What is EC2 monthly pricing?

EC2 monthly pricing is something that most users want to find out before the fire up the service. Breaking costs down by the hour or second is one of the hardest of things for users to get used to when starting with Amazon Web Services.

You may be billed every month, but it is easy to get a little carried away when the charges are listed as hourly or per second. All this makes it hard to quickly answer the question how much is it going to cost?

And this is a question that many a user and organization face when they first start using AWS.

Amazon has the pricing details locked down on this page on the AWS website, which breaks the costs down for the various instance types that are available at the cloud provider.

But it also offers another handy tool to get an idea of what the service will end up costing you. Before we get to that, it is important to have a good ability to forecast your requirements and usage. This is something that is easier said than done — considering all the varying factors involved.

Pricing factors

Obviously, what you will pay to Amazon every month will come down to a lot of dynamic factors. Starting with the type of instances that you have chosen to boot up, the services you have deployed, any licensing costs, including those for instances based on the Windows operating system.

The accuracy of nailing an estimate for your monthly bill is completely dependent on how you find your way through these factors. You must already know the specific services and resources that you will use on a monthly basis, and also have a good enough idea about details like the amount of data that you will need to store, your monthly data transfers, and all that fun stuff.

You will get charged for data in and out of your AWS, for example visitors to your website, but not between AWS services like EC2 instances to RDS databases.

Calculator to the rescue

Luckily, Amazon has put up a handy little Calculator to help you keep tabs on costs. It may not be the prettiest thing around, and is a little rough around the edges being a rather old creation, but it does provide access to the latest prices. And it is very detailed and through.

Here’s how it looks:

Website AWS Calculator

The Calculator page gives you an idea of your estimate monthly costs, as well as what it will cost you to initiate new AWS resources. Amazon call it the AWS Simple Monthly Calculator, and it works for pretty much all major services that are available at Amazon Web Services — from EC2 to S3, RDS, DynamoDB, Elastic Transcoder, even what it will cost you to get access to the various support channels.

Unfortunately, not all AWS services are present in the Calculator, with the most notable exception being AWS Lambda. For these services, you will have to use your own calculations based on the specific pages for those services, which almost always clearly list the prices.

Still, the Calculator website application is a great way to estimate and forecast your AWS costs, so be sure to have it bookmarked if you are a user.