Billing is not one of the strong points of the AWS platform. Using the cloud service gets real expensive, real fast. Amazon unveiled Lightsail last year to remedy that and offer users a predictable solution.
This cross between a VPS and cloud was designed to offer users a simple and simplified platform to get their projects up and running, and have complete control over the amount of money they have to pay at the end of a month.
But that’s not to say that Lightsail is not without its surprise.
Adding in the extra services that are available for it, can often result in a higher than expected bill, as even though the Linux and Windows powered virtual private servers have set charges, there are variables involved that have an effect on billing.
And occasionally, error do creep in.
This is what a number of UK users of the Lightsail service encountered recently when they checked their bill. They were confronted with multibillion dollar tabs, as the Lightsail billing process went bonkers, and soared up prices overnight.
— Alec (@alechendry) November 7, 2017
AWS was quick to contact customers about incorrect bill estimations for Lightsail, with the email stating:
“We are investigating incorrect bill estimations for Amazon Lightsail. If you have Lightsail instance snapshots you may see incorrect estimated amounts in your AWS Billing Console. This is only impacting your estimated bill and will not impact your final bill for November.”
Needless to say, the issue was resolved in due time, but not before giving countless users in the UK a bit of a shock.
Goes to show that as impressive a platform AWS is, and as simple a service Lightsail is designed to be, at the end of the day, we still are dealing with technology here. And even a single error can result in issues like this, despite all the strong checks and measures Amazon has in place to ensure that they don’t.