What is EC2 instance pricing?

Cloud Coins

AWS has popularized the idea of charging users for only what they use, with no minimum. And nowhere else is it more evident than in EC2 instance pricing that lets cloud users get the resources they need, when they need, at their own comfortable prices.

We have taken a look at the four different pricing models of Amazon EC2 instances in a previous article, and we can now get down to finding what it will actually cost you when you fire one up.

EC2 instance pricing demystified

As previously mentioned, charges are currently based on per hour usage of an instance type. But that is all set to change as early as October 2, 2017, when Amazon rolls out per second billing — per minute rather, once you get down to the technicalities.

That’s because users will now be billed for every minute they use the cloud, with Amazon rounding off the seconds in a minute pulse.

However, as things currently stand, though, the company takes note of partial or semi partial instance hours that a user consumes, and counts them as full hours. For example, if you use an instance for 55 minutes, you will be charged for 60 minutes, or in other words, the full hour. Same goes for when you fire up and turn off an instance after only using it for 5 minutes.have a read of the EC2 monthly pricing model to additional information

Amazon Web Services lists the complete pricing details of its EC2 service here on this page.

Any data transfer charges?

As a matter of pure fact, yes. Enumerating compute usage per hour or per second is one thing, but you will also have to take into account other costs. These can actually quickly add up, depending on your workloads, so it is a good idea to keep an eye on them and plan accordingly.

As we discovered when learning about the AWS Regions, there are no data transfer charges between two Amazon services within the same Region. As an example, from AWS EC2 US West (Oregon) to AWS RDS US West (Oregon). But if you move or backup your data from say, AWS EC2 EU (London) to AWS EC2 Asia Pacific (Tokyo), then you will be charged.

Charges are exclusive of applicable taxes and duties, including VAT and sales taxes, and these show up in the monthly billing.

You can get an idea of the cost before initiating a new AWS resource, as well as an estimate of your monthly billing using the handy calculator that Amazon had made available here.