How to Compute AWS Service Costs with EC2 Pricing
When you start to look at the costs and the pricing for AWS EC2, it can sometimes feel more than a little overwhelming. This is especially true if you are just getting started with the idea of clouds, but it can be confusing for anyone.
What Questions Do You Need to Answer?
When you are calculating the costs, you will need to answer a number of questions to determine exactly what you need first. This will then help you have a better understanding of just how much you will end up paying.
One of the first and most important questions you need to ask is how long the machine will be running. Will the machine be running around the clock? This is common for web servers, and it is likely what you need. However, there may be some instances where you will only need it temporarily or part-time. Consider your bandwidth needs and where the data will be stored. In addition, consider how much data you will most likely need to use. You will also want to consider any other software that you might need on the machine and calculate that as part of the costs.
After you figure out what you need, it tends to be much easier to go through the various pricing tiers for Amazon EC2 and make better sense of them. There are several options available including on-demand instances, Reserved Instances, and Spot Instances. The price for these are different, and you will need to calculate your costs after choosing one of them.
When you choose the on-demand instance, you are essentially paying by the hour and the machine stays up as long as the hardware is working. Amazon does not turn these machines off.
With a Reserved Instance, you are using a contract for the machine. You buy the contract for 12, 24, or 36 months and it will run around the clock. This is a popular option because it can help to save quite a bit. You can save even more when the contract is for a longer-term.
The Spot Instance is different, but it can be quite a bit cheaper than on-demand instances. These are purchased hourly and on the spot. Essentially, they are purchased when you use the machine. They do have a downside though, as Amazon can bring the machine down without warning.
You also need to consider the costs of storage. Will there be storage on the local machine that is lost when it shuts down, or will the storage be persistent? For those who want to store data, the charges are based on gigabytes per month. There are a number of different options available, which can alter the price.
In addition, there are other types of software that might be added, such as Red Hat. This would also increase the cost, of course. Other factors that you need to consider are if the price includes the overall bandwidth and whether you want any optional services or not. Take your time to calculate the costs to make sure it will be affordable for your business.