Scale V1 (Nomad) Apps

This document applies to Fly Apps running on our legacy "Apps V1" platform, which uses Hashicorp Nomad for orchestration. For Apps V2 instructions, see Scale Machine CPU and RAM, Scale the Number of Machines, and other docs in the Fly Apps section.

There are multiple dimensions of scaling on

Regions and Scaling

Your Fly application runs on servers in a pool of regions, selected from our available regions. That pool, which you can configure, represents the regions your app can be deployed in.

When you deploy an application for the first time, we pick a first region to deploy in. Our selections are simple:

  • If you’re turbo-charging a Heroku application, we pick regions close to the Heroku application (currently, this means iad for US Heroku applications (howdy!), and ams for European applications (hallo!).
  • Otherwise, you're prompted to select an initial region when you run fly launch

You can confirm this by running fly regions list.

fly regions list
Region Pool:
Backup Region:

The create command, in this case, was issued in the UK, so London (LHR-London Heathrow) is the closest region.

Backup Regions

Backup regions are disabled by default as they cause more problems than they solve.

Continuing our previous example: if for any reason your application can't be deployed in LHR, Fly will attempt to bring it up in either ams (Amsterdam) or fra (Frankfurt). Users won't notice this! They’re directed to the nearest running instance automatically. Backup Regions are selected based on the geographical closeness of the regions selected for your region pool.

Modifying the Region Pool

You can build your own region pool easily.

  • fly regions add ord iad adds ord and iad to your region pool.
  • fly regions remove ord removes ord from your region pool.

Both commands simply take a space-separated list of regions to add or remove.

Count Scaling

Now that we have control over where our application runs, we can talk about how many instances of your app are running.

Your application has a “scale count”. The scale count defaults to 1, meaning 1 instance of your application runs on Fly, in one of the regions in your pool.

If you want to run more than 1 instance, change your scale count with the fly scale count command. fly scale count 3 tells us to run 3 instances of your application.

When you bump up your scale count, we’ll place your app in different regions (based on your region pool). If there are three regions in the pool and the count is set to six, there will be two app instances in each region.

You can see your current scaling parameters with fly scale show.

fly scale show
        VM Size: shared-cpu-1x
      VM Memory: 512 MB
          Count: 4

This application uses the shared-cpu-1x (one shared CPU) VM size, with 512MB of RAM for each instance and there should be four instances of it created.

Scaling Virtual Machines

Each application instance on Fly runs in a virtual machine. The number of cores and amount of memory available in the virtual machine can be set for all application instances using the fly scale vm command.

Viewing the Current VM Size

Using fly scale show on its own will display the details of the application's current VM sizing.

fly scale show
           Size: shared-cpu-1x
      CPU Cores: 1
         Memory: 256 MB
 Max Per Region:

It shows the size (shared-cpu-1x), number of CPUs, and memory (in GB or MB).

Viewing Available VM Sizes

The fly platform vm-sizes command will display the various sizes with cores and memory:

fly platform vm-sizes
shared-cpu-1x    1         256 MB
dedicated-cpu-1x 1         2 GB
dedicated-cpu-2x 2         4 GB
dedicated-cpu-4x 4         8 GB
dedicated-cpu-8x 8         16 GB

The CPU Cores column shows how many vCPU cores will be allocated to the virtual machine.

CPU Types are either shared or dedicated. In a nutshell: shared CPU instances run lighter-weight tasks but potentially share CPU with other tenants. Shared VMs can have up to 2GB of memory. Dedicated CPU instances handle more demanding applications and can scale to 64GB of memory.

Upgrading a VM

You can easily change the type of your VMs. Just add the required size name to fly scale vm and we’ll take care of the rest. For example to go from shared-cpu-1x to dedicated-cpu-1x is:

fly scale vm dedicated-cpu-1x
Scaled VM size to dedicated-cpu-1x
      CPU Cores: 1
         Memory: 2 GB

Adjusting a VM's Memory

The fly scale memory command lets you directly set the VM memory allocation, in MB. For example, if we wanted our app to use 1GB of memory we'd run:

fly scale memory 1024
Scaled VM Memory size to 1 GB
      CPU Cores: 1
         Memory: 1 GB

You can also change the VM type and memory size at the same time. The fly scale vm command can take an additional memory flag which specifies the megabytes of RAM to be allocated to the VM. For example, if we wanted to allocate 4GB of RAM to our application and switch to a dedicated CPU option, we'd run:

fly scale vm dedicated-cpu-1x --memory 4096
Scaled VM size to dedicated-cpu-1x
      CPU Cores: 1
         Memory: 4 GB

Viewing the Application's Scaled Status

To view where the instances of a Fly application are currently running, use fly status:

fly status
  Name     = hellofly
  Owner    = personal
  Version  = 318
  Status   = running
  Hostname =

Deployment Status
  ID          = 8c3137c2-94d2-5fb6-e1ff-d46608def053
  Version     = v318
  Status      = running
  Description = Deployment is running
  Instances   = 3 desired, 3 placed, 2 healthy, 0 unhealthy

a592ecf4 318     iad    run     running 1 total, 1 passing 0        1m7s ago
382dd4ce 318     lhr    run     running 1 total, 1 passing 0        1m33s ago
075c8c53 318     sjc    run     running 1 total, 1 passing 0        3m1s ago


Autoscaling is a horizontal scaling service based on a global pool of instances where the application can be run. The system will create at least the minimum number of application instances. The autoscaler will then create instances (scale-out) as total application load exceeds the soft_limit * [instance count] threshold, up to the max count. It will also remove instances (scale-in) when the max application load over a 10-minute window dips below the same threshold, down to the min count. The 10-minute scale-in window allows for rapid scale-out with slightly more relaxed scale-in.

By default, autoscaling is Disabled and manual count-based scaling is in operation.

To determine what the current autoscale settings of an application are, run fly autoscale show:

fly autoscale show
     Autoscaling: Enabled
      Min Count: 1
      Max Count: 10

This app is configured with minimum of 1 instance and up to 10 instances that can be created on-demand.

Modifying the Autoscaling Plan

For example if you want to run at least three instances but no more than ten, you would run:

fly autoscale set min=3 max=10
     Autoscaling: Enabled
      Min Count: 3
      Max Count: 10

And if you wanted to change that to a minimum number of 5 instances, you would run:

fly autoscale set min=5
     Autoscaling: Enabled
      Min Count: 5
      Max Count: 10

You can continue to see your current scaling parameters using fly scale show.

fly scale show
VM Resources for hellofly
        VM Size: shared-cpu-1x
      VM Memory: 256 MB
          Count: 5

The count field here now shows the number of instances currently running.

You can also turn off autoscaling and return to the recommended count-scaling option by disabling autoscaling:

fly autoscale disable
     Autoscaling: Disabled