Auto Scaling
User Guide

Suspending and Resuming Auto Scaling Processes

Auto Scaling enables you to suspend and then resume one or more of the Auto Scaling processes in your Auto Scaling group. This can be very useful when you want to investigate a configuration problem or other issue with your web application and then make changes to your application, without triggering the Auto Scaling process.

Auto Scaling might suspend processes for Auto Scaling groups that repeatedly fail to launch instances. This is known as an administrative suspension, and most commonly applies to Auto Scaling groups that have been trying to launch instances for over 24 hours but have not succeeded in launching any instances. You can resume processes suspended for administrative reasons.

Auto Scaling Processes

Auto Scaling supports the following processes:


Adds a new EC2 instance to the group, increasing its capacity.


If you suspend Launch, this disrupts other processes. For example, you can't return an instance in a standby state to service if the Launch process is suspended, because the group can't scale.


Removes an EC2 instance from the group, decreasing its capacity.


If you suspend Terminate, this disrupts other processes.


Checks the health of the instances. Auto Scaling marks an instance as unhealthy if Amazon EC2 or Elastic Load Balancing tells Auto Scaling that the instance is unhealthy. This process can override the health status of an instance that you set manually.


Terminates instances that are marked as unhealthy and subsequently creates new instances to replace them. This process works with the HealthCheck process, and uses both the Terminate and Launch processes.


Balances the number of EC2 instances in the group across the Availability Zones in the region. If you remove an Availability Zone from your Auto Scaling group or an Availability Zone otherwise becomes unhealthy or unavailable, Auto Scaling launches new instances in an unaffected Availability Zone before terminating the unhealthy or unavailable instances. When the unhealthy Availability Zone returns to a healthy state, Auto Scaling automatically redistributes the instances evenly across the Availability Zones for the group.

Note that if you suspend AZRebalance and a scale out or scale in event occurs, Auto Scaling still tries to balance the Availability Zones. For example, during scale out, Auto Scaling launches the instance in the Availability Zone with the fewest instances.

If you suspend Launch, AZRebalance neither launches new instances nor terminates existing instances. This is because AZRebalance terminates instances only after launching the replacement instances. If you suspend Terminate, your Auto Scaling group can grow up to ten percent larger than its maximum size, because Auto Scaling allows this temporarily during rebalancing activities. If Auto Scaling cannot terminate instances, your Auto Scaling group could remain above its maximum size until you resume the Terminate process.


Accepts notifications from CloudWatch alarms that are associated with the group.

If you suspend AlarmNotification, Auto Scaling does not automatically execute policies that would be triggered by an alarm. If you suspend Launch or Terminate, Auto Scaling would not be able to execute scale out or scale in policies, respectively.


Performs scheduled actions that you create.

If you suspend Launch or Terminate, scheduled actions that involve launching or terminating instances are affected.


Adds instances to the attached load balancer or target group when they are launched.

If you suspend AddToLoadBalancer, Auto Scaling launches the instances but does not add them to the load balancer or target group. If you resume the AddToLoadBalancer process, Auto Scaling resumes adding instances to the load balancer or target group when they are launched. However, Auto Scaling does not add the instances that were launched while this process was suspended. You must register those instances manually.

Suspend and Resume Processes Using the Console

You can suspend and resume individual processes using the AWS Management Console.

To suspend and resume processes using the console

  1. Open the Amazon EC2 console at

  2. On the navigation pane, under Auto Scaling, choose Auto Scaling Groups.

  3. Select the Auto Scaling group.

  4. On the Details tab, choose Edit.

  5. For Suspended Processes, select the process to suspend.

    Suspended processes list.

    To resume a suspended process, remove it from Suspended Processes.

    Suspended processes list.
  6. Choose Save.

Suspend and Resume Processes Using the AWS CLI

You can suspend and resume individual processes or all processes.

To suspend a process

Use the suspend-processes command with the --scaling-processes option as follows:

aws autoscaling suspend-processes --auto-scaling-group-name my-asg --scaling-processes AlarmNotification

To suspend all processes

Use the suspend-processes command as follows (omitting the --scaling-processes option):

aws autoscaling suspend-processes --auto-scaling-group-name my-asg

To resume a suspended process

Use the resume-processes command as follows:

aws autoscaling resume-processes --auto-scaling-group-name my-asg --scaling-processes AlarmNotification

To resume all suspended processes

Use the resume-processes command as follows (omitting the --scaling-processes option):

aws autoscaling resume-processes --auto-scaling-group-name my-asg