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Choosing your Instance type

Reviewed on 05 February 2024

Scaleway Instances are virtual machines in the cloud. You can create and manage Instances via our console, API, CLI, or other developer tools. When you create an Instance, you must select the Instance type you want to create. This page explains the different ranges of Instances available at Scaleway and helps you to choose the best one for your needs.

Different Instances for different use cases

Different Instance types have different prices and are designed for different use cases. They offer different levels of power and performance, based on their vCPU (cores), memory, storage, and bandwidth.

You may not need a super powerful Instance if you just want to play around and do some experiments for personal projects, so a Learning Instance could be perfect for you in this case. But if you want to use your Instance to host a business-critical application in production, you need the power and reliability of a Production-Optimized Instance, precisely designed to reliably handle this type of demanding workload.

Instance technical specifications

Instances are virtual machines: multiple Instances can run on one “real” physical host machine in a data center. The physical host has a hypervisor, which virtualizes the real physical resources of the host (CPU, memory, storage, etc.) and ensures that each Instance receives its share of those resources. The different types of resources that go into specifying an Instance type are:

  • vCPU: A virtual Centralized Processing Unit represents a part of the underlying physical CPU that is assigned to a particular Instance.

    vCPU may be shared or dedicated.

    • Shared: A context-switching mechanism allows a physical core to be shared between multiple vCPUs for multitasking. Instances with shared vCPU can be more cost-effective for running small, non-resource-intensive applications than dedicated vCPU Instances. Our different types of shared vCPU Instances offer a variety of options to balance price and performance depending on your use case.
    • Dedicated: Instances with dedicated vCPU do not share their compute resources with other Instances (1 vCPU = 1 CPU thread dedicated to that Instance). This type of Instance is particularly recommended for running production-grade compute-intensive applications.

    Scaleway provides Instances equipped with either x86 or ARM CPUs. ARM Instances generally offer higher energy and cost efficiency, while x86 cloud instances provide wider software compatibility and stronger single-thread performance. Learn more about the differences between ARM and x86-based Instances.

  • Core: A core is a physical unit of vCPU. More cores give an Instance more computing power. A description of an Instance’s cores may look something like 4 x86 64bit, where 4 refers to the number of cores, x86 refers to the microprocessor family, and 64bit refers to the chunk size used by the microprocessor for processing data.

  • Memory (aka Random Access Memory): RAM is like an Instance’s short-term memory. Data that is currently being used by the vPCU is stored in RAM. More RAM enables faster computing.

  • Bandwidth: Bandwidth refers to the volume of data that can be sent to/from an Instance in a given amount of time (usually per second).

  • Storage: Different Instance types may support Local and/or Block storage:

    • Local storage is an all-SSD-based storage solution, hosted on the local hypervisor.
    • Block storage is more flexible, network-attached storage that can be plugged in and out of Instances like virtual hard drives. Some Instances only support block storage, and boot themselves from their block storage.

    Depending on the Instance type, you can attach additional storage volumes and increase their size according to your needs.

Instance ranges

The table below shows the different ranges of Instances at Scaleway and their specifications. Within each range, there are different types of Instances.

Use this table to help identify the right Instance range for your use case and computing needs.

Instance rangeLearningCost-OptimizedProduction-OptimizedWorkload-Optimized
Use casesDiscovering the Scaleway ecosystem
Hosting personal projects
Scaling your development and testing environment
Hosting CI/CD runners and containerized worker nodes
Hosting production workloads and business-critical applications
Ensuring predictable CPU performance in the face of high traffic
Hosting high-demanding analysis, in-memory calculation, big-data processing, high-performance or cache databases
Designed for high-performance web-serving, video encoding, machine learning, batch processing, CI/CD
Supported storageResilient Block Storage or local storageResilient Block Storage or local storage, OR Resilient Block Storage only (depending on Instance type)Resilient Block StorageResilient Block Storage
vCPU1 coreFrom 1 to 32 coresFrom 2 to 96 coresFrom 2 to 64 cores
Shared/DedicatedShared vCPUShared vCPUDedicated vCPUDedicated vCPU
RAM1 GiBFrom 2 GiB to 128 GiBFrom 8 GiB to 384 GiBFrom 4 GiB to 512 GiB
Maximum Bandwidth100 Mbit/sFrom 100 Mbps to 6 GbpsFrom 400 Mbps to 20 GbpsFrom 400 Mbps to 12.8 Gbps

For more information about each range, refer to our dedicated documentation pages:

  • Learning
  • Cost-Optimized
  • Production-Optimized
  • Workload-Optimized

Instance types

Check out the Instances page of our website for full details on each Instance type. Alternatively, head over to the Instances datasheet to see all our available Instance types within each range.

Instance pricing

Instances are priced by the hour, with different Instance types having different hourly pricing. You can check out the current prices for Instances either on the Instance creation page of the Scaleway console or on the dedicated pricing page of our website.

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