A serverless applicaiton (Lambda function) that scales down (in) ECS clusters in a cost effective and graceful way.
Switch branches/tags
Nothing to show
Clone or download
Latest commit a9b0524 Nov 23, 2017
Failed to load latest commit information.
.gitignore ignore file Aug 7, 2017
LICENSE Create LICENSE Nov 12, 2017
README.md Update README.md Nov 23, 2017
ecscale.py Fixing minimum state by skipping Sep 6, 2017
policy.json adding policy json Aug 11, 2017



A serverless app removing underutilized hosts from ECS clusters

Scaling ECS down is not a straightforward task;Based on one metric solely, an instance could be taken down causing 2 effects:

  1. Forcefully removing a host when a container is running will cut off active connections causing service downtime
  2. Removing an instance based on utilization / capacity metric may cause an endless loop of scale

To such an end, this tool will look for scaleable clusters based on multiple metrics

Once identified, the target is moved to "draining" state, where a new instance of the same task is raised on an available host. Once the new containers are ready, the draining instsnce will start draining connection from active tasks. Once the draining process is complete, the instance will be terminated.


  1. Throw ecscale.py code to AWS Lambda providing relevant role to handle ECS and autoscaling (Instrcutions ahead)
  2. Set repeated run (recommended every 60 minutes using a cloudwatch events trigger for Lambda)
  3. That's it... Your ECS hosts are being gracefully removed if needed. No metrics/alarms needed

Changable Parameters:

  • SCALE_IN_CPU_TH = 30 # Below this EC2 average metric scaling would take action
  • SCALE_IN_MEM_TH = 60 # Below this cluster average metric scaling would take action
  • FUTURE_MEM_TH = 70 # Below this future metric scaling would take action
  • ECS_AVOID_STR = 'awseb' # Use this to avoid clusters containing a specific string (i.e ElasticBeanstalk clusters)
How to create a role to run ecscale:
  1. When creating the Lambda function, you'll be asked to select a role or create a new one, choose a new role
  2. Provide the json from policy.json to the role policy
  3. All set to allow ecscale to do its work
Creating a Lambda function step by step:

Flow logic

  • Iterate over existing ECS clusters
  • Check a cluster's ability to scale-in based on predicted future memory reservation capacity
  • Look for empty hosts the can be scaled
  • Look for least utilized host
  • Choose a candidate and put in draining state
  • Terminate a draining host that has no running tasks and decrease the desired number of instances

Read about it some more on Medium