Simple. AWS Lightsail pricing is nothing, if not simple. The company advertises the costs of Lightsail plans as per month, which helps keep things straightforward for users that sign up for it.
Using this new service from Amazon can be substantially cheaper than firing up EC2 instances.
But like most things in life, the devil is in the detail. While it is not all that hard to make sense of the pricing structure in place for AWS Lightsail, there are certain factors to keep in mind. That’s because Amazon charges differently for these instances, compared to Elastic Cloud Compute.
How different? Read on to find out.
Even though Lightsail billing is much simplified you still need to approach things carefully here. That’s because, Lightsail instances are charged for when they are in the running or stopped state — this is different than EC2 where you pay for when the EC2 instance is in the running state. This is an important distinction that you will have to always keep in mind while you use this VPS platform from Amazon.
The company basically bills the instances by the hour, but advertises the monthly price by capping it for a whole month. For example, a $5 per month plan that is billed at $0.007 per hour for 720 hours will come in at $4.87 in a 29-day month. Likewise, $5.04 in a 30-day month, and $5.20 in a 31-day month.
While this is not quite as flexible as EC2, there still is a lot of cost saving on offer at Lightsail, as you can create a final snapshot and recreate your instances from those snapshots when you need them. Your data and state will persist, but you will not be charged for the time your Lightsail instances don’t exist. This is not something that is ideal for hosting websites, of course, but regular VPS based workloads can be quite cost effective when approach this way.
That said, here are the pricing plans in place on Amazon Lightsail, Linux and Windows:
As you can see, using Windows Server powered instances is notably more expensive than those based on Linux. But still, Lightsail pricing is comparable, and in some cases, far less expensive than procuring equivalent resources separately. Case in point, an enterprise may pay $90 per TB for internet data transfer allowance, but each Lightsail instance offers 1 to 5 TB as part of the plan.
This makes it ideal for users and businesses that want to spin up a server without having to work through all the pricing, configuration, and management details that a typical AWS deployment necessitates. There are other factors to consider too, like IP addresses, and other AWS services you bring into the picture using VPC peering.
But in most cases, Lightsail is substantially cheaper than spinning and setting up EC2 instances.
Worth a mention that each account is limited to 20 Lightsail instances, five IPs and three DNS zones. This makes the service fine for simple use cases, but not for elaborate workloads. Business and enterprise users are unlikely to build large scale Lightsail deployments with these confines.
You can check out Lightsail pricing on the official website.