Last week, Amazon announced that Auto Scaling now uses Amazon EC2 instance status checks. The describe the new benefits of Auto Scaling health checks on the official AWS blog :
Auto Scaling Health Checks
Whether you are running a large scale website distributed across many instances or a business application that runs on a single instance, you can now use Auto Scaling to improve the availability of your applications.
You do not need to take any action to begin using EC2 status checks in your Auto Scaling groups. Auto Scaling already incorporates these checks as part of the periodic health checks it already performs. As always, if you use an Elastic Load Balancer together with your Auto Scaling group, you can also choose to include the results of ELB health checks to maintain the health of your application.
More about Amazon EC2 Status Checks
Amazon EC2 status checks help identify problems that may impair an instance’s ability to run your applications. Status checks are the results of automated tests performed by EC2 on every running instance that detect hardware and software issues. These include loss of power or network connectivity, as well as other problems that prevent your operating system from accepting network packets. For more information about status checks, visit Monitoring the Status of Your Instances in the Amazon EC2 User Guide.