For many organizations running on cloud infrastructure, compute instances like those provided by Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) are a significant part of cloud spending. Calculating the cost of compute instances, and estimating future costs, is a primary concern. The large number of compute instance types, and variable EC2 instance pricing, makes things more complex.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides online calculators that can help you estimate your costs, before actually running workloads on the cloud. Amazon does not have a separate calculator for EC2, but as part of Amazon’s general pricing calculator, you can select EC2 as a service and create detailed estimates of AWS EC2 pricing. This article will show you how.
You can also add other services alongside EC2 (for example, database or storage services) to estimate overall costs for your AWS workloads.
In this article, you will learn:
AWS Pricing Calculator is a free tool that lets you create cost estimates for workloads you run on any Amazon service, including Amazon EC2.
To use the calculator, you must have an Amazon account.
To get started, click Create estimate.
The calculator lets you select from 76 AWS services, one of which is Amazon EC2. Click the Configure button for the service you want to add to your estimate.
The Configure screen lets you:
Under each section of the Configure screen, you can click Show calculations to get details of how the price is calculated, based on the settings you selected. This is very useful to understand how Amazon prices the service in different pricing models (e.g. on-demand vs. reserved instances).
At the bottom of the Configure screen, you will see a preview of the overall monthly cost of the service options you selected. If this sounds off, you can adjust your settings above and see how the price changes. When you’re done, click Add to my estimate.
The calculator now provides an estimate based on the service configuration you selected. You can now do the following:
Let’s see how to use the Amazon AWS calculator to estimate costs for your EC2 workloads. There are two options: quick estimates, which can give you a rough idea of your costs, and advanced estimates which let you input more parameters and get a precise estimate.
Quick estimates give you an approximate price with minimal configuration information. This can give you a ballpark figure of your costs, even if you are not yet sure how you will run workloads on EC2.
When you select EC2 as a service to include in your estimate, you’ll see the dialog box below. The default tab, Quick estimate, lets you specify basic parameters and get a rough price estimate.
Specify the following parameters to get a quick estimate for EC2:
Here, specify how you’d like to pay for your EC2 instances:
Related content: read our guide to AWS reserved instances
Specify how you want to use Elastic Block Store (EBS) volumes, which are a virtual hard disk attached to your instance. You can select the type of EBS volume and the storage capacity you require.
After filling in the details above, click Add to my Estimate, and you can immediately see a price estimate for the instance parameters you selected.
When creating an estimate, if you select the Advanced estimate tab, shown below, you can define more extensive details about your expected EC2 usage, to get a more precise estimate. This requires a better understanding of how you intend to run workloads in EC2.
Fill in the following details:
Click Add to my estimate and the AWS calculator provides a more robust estimate of EC2 costs for your specific workload.
While the various EC2 instance pricing models offer cloud spend optimization, managing it all on your own is not so simple. Using reserved instances and savings plans creates financial lock-in which forces you into time-consuming, complex capacity planning to make sure you buy the right RIs. Even after that, projects might change unexpectedly leaving you with unused reservations and wasted money. When it comes to spot instances, they are seemingly unsuitable for production workloads, as they can be terminated with just a 2-minute warning.
To address these challenges, Spot by NetApp offers a full suite of cloud financial management tools. These tools can help with everything from spend reporting and cost allocation, to running production and mission-critical workloads on EC2 spot instances, to maximizing utilization and ROI on EC2 reserved instances and savings plans.
Check out how much you can save on your AWS bill using Spot by NetApp
for up to 20 instances