Amazon Announces Per Second Billing For EC2


Wowzer! In what is clearly the biggest change to pricing in years, Amazon has officially announced that it will be charging for AWS EC2 usage by the second.

Classic Amazon move, this, of lowering prices to gain market share.

The only surprising thing here is that it took the company all this long to get around this, particularly as EC2 had gotten a bit of a reputation of being expensive.

Ever since AWS became available back in 2006, the cloud giant has billed customers by the hour. Google stirring things around in 2013, when it announced that it would start charging by the minute, with a minimum of 10 minutes.

Another direct competitor followed suit shortly thereafter, Microsoft Azure.

And now, as AWS chief evangelist, Jeff Bar, announced, Amazon Web Services will begin charging its customers by the second for use of its EC2 service. The price change goes into effect October 2, and is only available for Linux virtual machines:

“How can you use it to improve your support for continuous integration? Can it change the way that you provision transient environments for your dev and test workloads? What about your analytics, batch processing, and 3D rendering?”

Here lies the kick, for this welcome little change.

This per second pricing could mean that companies will not only end up paying less money for certain workloads, it will also allow them the freedom to experiment more with their use of EC2 instances.

For all intents and purposes, this is about granular as you can get for cloud prices, with a one-minute minimum. Microsoft actually introduced something similar earlier this year, and bills for container use on its platform by the second.

But Amazon now offers it for virtual machines, which are much more widely used currently.

This new per second billing model will apply to on-demand, reserved and spot instances, as well as provisioned storage for EBS volumes. Amazon EMR and AWS Batch are also moving to this new model, which will actually make a lot more sense for developers in a world where serverless is taking off.

Splendid little development, this, don’t you think?