Can I Change Instance Type Without Losing Data?


Larry Thompson

Can I Change Instance Type Without Losing Data?

Changing the instance type of your server can be a necessary step to optimize its performance or accommodate changing workload requirements. However, it’s essential to understand the implications and potential risks associated with such changes.

In this tutorial, we will explore whether it is possible to change an instance type without losing data and how to do so effectively.

Understanding Instance Types

Before diving into the process of changing an instance type, let’s briefly discuss what an instance type represents. An instance type refers to the hardware specifications of a virtual machine (VM) or server that you run on a cloud computing platform like Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure.

Instance types vary in terms of CPU power, memory capacity, storage capabilities, network performance, and other attributes. Cloud providers offer a range of instance types suited for different use cases and workloads.

Upgrading or downgrading your instance type can help you optimize costs or improve performance based on your requirements.

Possible Risks and Considerations

Changing an instance type involves stopping and starting your server with new hardware specifications. While most cloud providers ensure that the data stored on your server remains intact during this process, it is crucial to take precautions to minimize potential risks and avoid data loss.

Here are some important considerations before proceeding with an instance type change:

  • Backup: Before making any changes, create a backup of your data to ensure its safety. This precautionary step is highly recommended as it provides a fallback option in case something goes wrong during the process.
  • Compatibility: Ensure that the new instance type is compatible with your operating system, software, and applications running on the server.

    Incompatible hardware may lead to unexpected issues or performance degradation.

  • Performance Impact: Changing the instance type can impact the performance of your server. Consider the specific needs of your workload and ensure that the new instance type meets those requirements.
  • Downtime: The process of changing an instance type typically involves a brief period of downtime. Plan for this in advance to avoid any disruptions to your services.

Steps to Change Instance Type

Now that we have discussed the risks and considerations, let’s outline the steps involved in changing an instance type without losing data:

Step 1: Backup Your Data

As mentioned earlier, creating a backup is crucial before making any changes. This ensures that you have a copy of your data in case anything goes wrong during the instance type change process.

Step 2: Select New Instance Type

Identify and select the new instance type that best suits your requirements. Consider factors such as CPU power, memory capacity, storage capabilities, and network performance.

Step 3: Stop the Current Instance

Stop the current instance using your cloud provider’s management console or command-line interface (CLI). This will halt all processes running on the server but preserve your data.

Step 4: Change Instance Type

In your cloud provider’s management console or CLI, locate the option to change the instance type. Select the desired new instance type for your server.

Step 5: Start New Instance

Once you have successfully changed the instance type, start the new instance. The data from your previous instance should be preserved and accessible on the new server.

Step 6: Verify Data Integrity

After the new instance is up and running, verify the integrity of your data. Ensure that all files, databases, and configurations are intact and functioning as expected.


Changing an instance type without losing data is possible with proper precautions and following the outlined steps. Remember to always create a backup before making any changes, consider compatibility and performance requirements, plan for downtime, and verify the integrity of your data post-change.

By approaching the process carefully, you can successfully change your instance type while safeguarding your valuable data.

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