Generating Amazon EC2 estimates

Generate Amazon EC2 Estimates with AWS Calculator. The quick estimate path and the advanced estimate path are two ways to produce an Amazon EC2 estimate. For a quick route to a rough estimate, use the rapid estimate direction. For a more detailed estimate that accounts for workload, data transfer costs, additional storage options, and other, less common example criteria, use the advanced estimate path.

Different information is needed for rapid and advanced routes, but the results are similar at the group level. That means that you can configure Amazon EC2 in the same community using both routes. You can move between fast and advanced as well.

You can still get an estimate that covers both cases if you have a clear idea of which Amazon EC2 example you need for certain parts of your expected AWS use, but don’t know enough specifics about that use.

Note: Your estimation could be higher if you choose between the easy and advanced paths than if you just used the quick path. The advanced path sets defaults that will increase your estimate and carry over to the quick path.

For example, say that Márcia understands that with Amazon EBS snapshots taken every hour, she wants an Amazon EC2 example. She also knows that she wants more flexible snapshot criteria for certain Amazon EC2 instances, but she doesn’t know how many hours she needs for the more flexible instances.

For the Amazon EC2 cases that do not have the hourly snapshot requirement and for which she does not know how many hours she wants, the fast estimation path helps her to produce an estimate. The advanced estimation route enables her to produce an estimate with an hourly snapshot requirement for the Amazon EC2 instances.

Topics

  • Quick estimates
  • Advanced estimates

Quick estimates

The rapid estimate route is designed to give you an estimate of the ballpark while needing minimal data and parameters. This way, even if you don’t have all or even many of the specifics of how you intend to use AWS, you can get a rough idea of how much AWS could cost you.

Each parameter has a default setting, so if you don’t know what you want for that particular parameter, you can still generate an estimate.

The quick estimate path has the following sections and parameters:

  • Amazon EC2 specifications
  • Pricing strategy
  • Amazon EBS

Amazon EC2 specifications

These settings determine the Amazon EC2 instance that AWS Pricing Calculator uses to generate an estimate for you.

Select your operating system

The default value for the operating system (OS) is Linux.

Number of EC2 instances

The default value is one. AWS Pricing Calculator uses this default because it’s the minimum number that you might need.

Enter requirements per instance

Scan either for minimum criteria or by name to find an instance. When you know the specifications of the instances you want, minimum criteria are more helpful, and instance name is more helpful if you already know the instance family or size of the instance you want. You can search for an instance with at least four vCPUs and 16 GB of memory, for example, or for a t2 or medium instance.

When you look for an instance by instance criteria, there are numerous defaults. For vCPUs, the default value is four, and for memory, the default is 16. (GB). These defaults are used by the AWS Pricing Calculator because they are the minimum necessary to do general purpose processing.

Instance name

Scan either according to minimum criteria or by name to find an example. When you know the specifications of the instances you want, minimum criteria are more helpful, and instance name is more helpful if you already understand the instance family or size of the instance you want.

You can search for an instance with at least 4 vCPUs and 16 GB of memory, for example, or for a t2 or medium instance.

There is no default value for the name of the instance since the AWS Pricing Calculator looks for the least expensive alternative available instances, which can change over time. For information about the available Amazon EC2 instance families, see Instance type.

Pricing strategy

The pricing strategy used by the AWS Pricing Calculator to produce an estimate for you is calculated by these settings.

Pricing model

The pricing model defines whether you are looking for an example of pay-as-you-use or an example you can reserve in advance. Reserving an example is not the same as paying for an instance’s use. For payment options for Reserved Instance (RI), see Options for payment.

Standard Reserved Instances are the default value. This default is used by AWS Pricing Calculator because they are the most popular purchase of Amazon EC2 and provide the most versatility and the highest discount on most cases of use.

Contract terms

You buy a reservation for the duration of your contract when you reserve a RI. There can be arrangements for either one or three years.

One year is the default value. This default is used by the AWS Pricing Calculator since it is the least costly choice for AWS research.

Payment options

For RIs, payment options decide when your reservation is paid for. You will pay upfront for the entire reservation, which is a hefty one-time charge, but there are no monthly payments.

With a partial upfront payment and a monthly payment, you can pay for the RI, which gives you a smaller upfront price but accrues monthly costs. With no upfront charge, you can also pay, which means that you pay only on a monthly basis. All up front offers you the best discount, but over a longer period of time, no upfront and partial upfront spread the costs out.

No Upfront is the default value for the payment options. This default is used by the AWS Pricing Calculator because it offers you the least costly start-up price.

Amazon EBS

The Amazon EBS settings used by the AWS Pricing Calculator to produce an estimate for you are calculated by these settings. The Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) is a storage form that you can link to an instance of your Amazon EC2.

This allows you to do stuff like back up your example, build a boot volume, or run a database on your example. See the Amazon Elastic Block Store documentation for more detail about how you can use Amazon EBS.

Storage volume

The amount of storage defines the form of storage that your example is allocated by Amazon EBS. Different types have different features, such as better I/O, quicker calculations, or for use cases such as boot volumes and backups, slower, less costly alternatives.

The General Purpose SSD is the default value. This default is used by the AWS Pricing Calculator because it is good for both I/O and storage though not costly.

Storage amount

How much storage your Amazon EBS volume has is calculated by the storage amount.

30 GB is the default value. This default is used by the AWS Pricing Calculator because it is a reasonable amount of storage for a decent price.

Advanced Estimates

The advanced estimate route is designed to provide you with a more precise estimate, more flexibility for criteria when making an estimate, and the ability to fine-tune your estimate. It takes more in-depth knowledge of the needs and requirements of your Amazon EC2 than an estimate you produce using the rapid estimate path.

For estimates that need to account for workload, data transfer costs, additional storage options, and other, less common example requirements, use the advanced estimate path. You know, for instance, that on Mondays you get a lot of traffic but not a lot of traffic over the rest of the week, and you want an estimation that accounts for this workload.

The advanced estimate path has the following sections and parameters:

  1. Operating system
  2. Instance type
  3. Workload
  4. Pricing
  5. Data transfer
  6. Memory (block storage)

1. Operating system

This setting is the OS on an Amazon EC2 instance. AWS Pricing Calculator generates your estimate using Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) that match your chosen OS. Choose the OS that best matches your needs.

Linux

AWS Pricing Calculator generates your estimate using a standard Linux AMI.

Linux SQL

AWS Pricing Calculator generates your estimate using a Linux SQL AMI.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux

AWS Pricing Calculator generates your estimate using a Red Hat Enterprise Linux AMI.

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

AWS Pricing Calculator generates your estimate using a SUSE Linux Enterprise AMI.

Windows Server

AWS Pricing Calculator generates your estimate using a standard Windows Server AMI.

Windows Server Bring Your Own License

AWS Pricing Calculator generates your estimate without including your license costs.

Windows Server with SQL Server Enterprise

AWS Pricing Calculator generates your estimate using a Windows Server with SQL server Enterprise AMI.

Windows Server with SQL Server Standard

AWS Pricing Calculator generates your estimate using a Windows Server with SQL Server Standard AMI.

Windows Server with SQL Server Web

AWS Pricing Calculator generates your estimate using a Windows Server with SQL Server Web AMI.

2. Instance type

The AWS Pricing Calculator lists all the types of instances available. The AWS Pricing Calculator begins with the selected default instance of form t2.xlarge. In order to filter the instance list by column names, you can use the search bar. The AWS Pricing Calculator uses the API name column as the default column if you do not choose a column to filter. For more information about the prices of available instance types, see the Amazon EC2 Pricing page.

3. Workload

The user patterns that fit your Amazon EC2 usage are workloads. Choosing the workload that most closely fits what you need decreases the amount of RI hours you can buy on-demand and unused by covering your use with the best RIs and On-Demand Instances mix. For your estimation, you could describe more than one workload.

Constant usage

This workload is best for a use case that has a constant, predicable load, such as logging traffic to a website or running a process in the background.

Daily spike

This workload is best for usage patterns that peak once a day, such as running several jobs at midnight or a morning news spike.

Weekly spike

This workload is best for patterns that peak once a week, such as blogs that post once a week or when you air a weekly television show.

Monthly spike

This workload is best for traffic that spikes once a month, such as monthly invoices, payroll, or other monthly reports.

4. Pricing

For Amazon EC2 examples, the AWS Pricing Calculator advanced estimate route provides three pricing models: Cost optimised, On-Demand, or Reserved. For the least costly alternative, Cost Optimized blends On-Demand Instances and RIs.

Pricing model

The pricing model defines whether you are searching for an example of pay-as-you-use, or an example you can reserve in advance. It is not the same to reserve an instance as to use an instance.

Cost optimized

Cost Optimization is the default value for the pricing model. Cost optimised is used by AWS Pricing Calculator as the default since it offers a compromise between On-Demand Instances and RIs.

This means that the AWS Price Calculator attempts to produce an average that you do not buy more RI hours than you need, but you also have the coverage you need for your peak traffic times that might not be covered by your RIs.

By evaluating the break-even point between the use and prices of on-demand and reserved instances, the AWS Pricing Calculator does this. If RIs have a 33 percent discount, for example, so any RIs that are less than 67 percent used will be underused, and an On-Demand Instance would be more cost-effective.

You might need only two RIs to cover your day-to-day traffic, for instance, but you expect a traffic span every week when you need four instances. The AWS Pricing Calculator creates a calculation that assumes that during the whole week you buy two instances for use and that you use On-Demand Instances to cover your maximum traffic. This helps you to take advantage of the RI discount for your usual traffic, but you avoid paying for reservations that go largely unused in two cases.

On-Demand

On-Demand Instances allow you to pay for the calculation capacity of an instance by the hour or second (for a minimum of 60 seconds) without long-term commitments. This ensures that you don’t have to schedule, buy, or manage cases that you don’t use much.

You demo a programme, for instance, to a friend. You don’t need the software to run for a long time, but the load can’t be managed by your local computer. You may use an on-demand instance to run the software and show it off, so once you’re done with it, you don’t need to think about paying for the server.

Reserved

Compared to On-Demand Instance pricing, RIs offer a discount and can be bought for a period of one year or three years. You can adjust your Availability Region, instance size, and networking type or your example family, operating system, and tenancy, depending on the type of RI. For situations that you use for long periods of time, this helps you to pay less.

You operate a website, for instance. You don’t regularly take down your website, so you want to keep the server going all the time. You can buy a reservation and have your RI website run.

Dedicated

On-Demand and Reserved Instances are available for Dedicated Instances. As well as an hourly area charge, you pay the usual hourly usage fee. In a VPC, dedicated instances run on hardware dedicated to a single client. At the host hardware level, they’re physically separated from instances that belong to other AWS accounts.

You run a server, for instance, with a server-bound software licence. A Dedicated Instance allows you to connect your licence to a particular instance and fulfil the requirements of corporate enforcement and regulations.

Contract terms

You agree to pay for the entire duration of the RI when you buy a RI, upfront, weekly, or with a combination of the two options. The terms can be one or three years long. It’s a bigger one-time expense to pay upfront, but less costly overall. Paying every month helps you to spread your expenses over several billing periods.

No contract

No contract means that, instead of a RI, you use On-Demand Instances. No upfront or monthly costs are available, and you only pay for what you use. You pay full price, however, rather than the discounted rate given by buying a RI.

1 YR No Upfront

You agree to buy a RI for a one-year duration for a one-year non-upfront contract. There is no upfront charge, but a monthly fee is charged by you.

1 YR Partial Upfront

You consent to buy a RI for a one-year duration for a single-year partial-upfront contract. An upfront fee is in place, but you still pay a monthly fee. This implies that if you have a no-upfront term, the upfront expense is greater than if you had a no-upfront term, but the monthly cost is smaller, and you pay a lower average price than with a no-upfront RI.

1 YR No Upfront – Convertible Reserved Instances

You agree to buy a RI for a one-year duration for a one-year non-upfront contract. There is no upfront charge, but a monthly fee is charged by you. Over the course of your RI word, you can adjust the example families, operating systems, or tenancies of your Convertible RIs for a Convertible RI.

1 YR Partial Upfront – Convertible Reserved Instances

You consent to buy a RI for a one-year duration for a single-year partial-upfront contract. An upfront fee is in place, but you still pay a monthly fee. This implies that if you have a no-upfront term, the upfront expense is greater than if you had a no-upfront term, but the monthly cost is smaller, and you pay a lower average price than with a no-upfront RI.

You may adjust the example families, operating systems, or tenancies of your Convertible RIs for a Convertible RI over the course of your RI word.

1 YR Full Upfront – Convertible Reserved Instances

You consent to acquire a RI for a one-year duration for a one-year full-upfront contract. There is no monthly fee; when you buy the RI, you pay the full amount. Over the course of your RI word, you can adjust the example families, operating systems, or tenancies of your Convertible RIs for a Convertible RI.

3 YR No Upfront

You consent to buy a RI for a three-year duration for a three-year non-upfront contract. There is no upfront charge, but a monthly fee is charged by you.

3 YR Partial Upfront

You consent to buy a RI for a three-year duration for a three-year partial-upfront contract. An upfront fee is in place, but you still pay a monthly fee. This implies that if you have a no-upfront term, the upfront expense is greater than if you had a no-upfront term, but the monthly cost is smaller, and you pay a lower average price than with a no-upfront RI.

3 YR Full Upfront

You consent to buy a RI for a three-year duration for a three-year total-upfront contract. There is no monthly fee; when you buy the RI, you pay the full amount.

3 YR No Upfront – Convertible Reserved Instances

You consent to buy a RI for a three-year duration for a three-year non-upfront contract. There is no upfront charge, but a monthly fee is charged by you. Over the course of your RI word, you can adjust the example families, operating systems, or tenancies of your Convertible RIs for a Convertible RI.

3 YR Partial Upfront – Convertible Reserved Instances

You consent to buy a RI for a three-year duration for a three-year partial-upfront contract. An upfront fee is in place, but you still pay a monthly fee. This implies that if you have a no-upfront term, the upfront expense is greater than if you had a no-upfront term, but the monthly cost is smaller, and you pay a lower average price than with a no-upfront RI.

Over the course of your RI word, you can adjust the example families, operating systems, or tenancies of your Convertible RIs for a Convertible RI.

3 YR Full Upfront – Convertible Reserved Instances

You consent to buy a RI for a three-year duration for a three-year total-upfront contract. There is no monthly fee; when you buy the RI, you pay the full amount. Over the course of your RI word, you can adjust the example families, operating systems, or tenancies of your Convertible RIs for a Convertible RI.

5. Data transfer

By importing data into and from Amazon EC2, you will accumulate additional costs. You should apply these costs to your forecast if you know how much data you can plan to upload or download within a month. See the Data Transfer section of the On-Demand Pricing page for more information.

6. Memory (block storage)

For storage attached to your instance or for snapshots taken of your example, you can add estimates. Attaching storage to your instance allows you to run databases, store logs for your instance, or build boot volumes. Snapshots generate backups of your example results, and you can add estimates to your key estimate for daily snapshots.

Generating Amazon EBS estimates

By taking point-in-time screenshots, you can backup the details on your Amazon EBS volumes to Amazon Easy Storage Service (Amazon S3). Incremental backups are snapshots, meaning that only the system blocks that have changed since your most recent snapshot are preserved.

This minimises the time needed for the snapshot to be generated and saves storage costs by not duplicating data. Only the data unique to that snapshot is deleted when you uninstall the snapshot. Each snapshot contains all the information you need to restore your data to a new Amazon EBS volume (from the moment when the snapshot was taken).

The cost of the initial snapshot plus the incremental snapshots is the overall cost for a snapshot. If you use AWS Phase Functions and Amazon CloudWatch to create an automatic monthly retention period for your snapshots, the AWS Pricing Calculator calculates the rates, which ensures that your snapshots are replaced every month.

Calculating Amazon EBS prices

Snapshots are saved at a particular frequency (monthly, weekly, regular, or hourly), so as the month progresses, the retention time of each incremental snapshot for a month decreases. The AWS Pricing Calculator helps to estimate the expense on a monthly basis of the services you have chosen.

The snapshot prices represent the initial snapshot as well as the incremental snapshots.

Calculating weekly incremental Amazon EBS prices

To measure the estimate for any particular incremental snapshot, the AWS Pricing Calculator uses 7 to 30 different data points. Using the following mathematical formula for a snapshot that is scheduled to be taken regularly and has a monthly retention rate, we can express the monthly estimate.

Calculating weekly incremental Amazon EBS prices - Amazon EC2 Estimates
Calculating weekly incremental Amazon EBS prices

Let’s use the same example as before but without taking the retention period into consideration. For snapshot storage, you specify the frequency as weekly and the storage amount changed as 30 GB. Each snapshot storage costs $0.05/GB.

WeekSnapshot sizeRetention lengthCost formulaSnapshot cost
Snapshot for Week 130 GBNot considered30 x $0.05$1.50
Snapshot for Week 230 GBNot considered30 x $0.05$1.50
Snapshot for Week 330 GBNot considered30 x $0.05$1.50

In this case, the total monthly cost of these three incremental snapshots, without taking the retention period into consideration, is $4.50.

In other words, the cost of a snapshot calculated with retention is 50% lower than the cost of a snapshot calculated without retention. Finally, we looked at how to Generate Amazon EC2 Estimates with AWS Calculator.

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