Posts Tagged ‘ec2’

Amazon lowers EC prices again

February 2nd, 2013 Comments off

Amazon has reduced their on demand EC2 prices. This applies to instances running Linux and is pretty much across the board as far as the type of instance. All M1 (first gen), M2 (high memory), M3 (second gen) and C1 (high CPU) instances are affected.

The reductions average 10-20%.

Here’s a table from the Amazon AWS blog.


  Savings (%)
Region M1 M2 M3 C1 Medium C1 Extra Large
 US East (Northern Virginia) 7.7% 8.9% 13.8% 12.1% 12.1%
 US West (Northern California) 27.7% 9.1% 11.3% 11.3%
 US West (Oregon) 7.7% 8.9% 12.1% 12.1%
 AWS GovCloud (US) 22.3% 9.3% 9.8% 9.8%
 Europe (Ireland) 23.5% 9.1% 11.3% 11.3%
 Asia Pacific (Singapore) 5.9% 2.2% 1.6% 1.9%
 Asia Pacific (Tokyo) 4.3% 2.5% 2.6% 2.6%
 Asia Pacific (Sydney) 5.9% 2.2% 1.6% 1.9%
 South America (São Paulo) 30.4% 20.6% 13.0% 13.0%

They are also reducing data transfer prices. This reduction only applies in region to region data transfers and not to internet connected transfers. So, if you are redundant between multiple regions (say, for failover), maintaining that redundancy is now cheaper. Moving from one region into another region was already free. This is relates to the price you pay for data leaving a region.


Here’s the table from the same post as above.

Region Old Price / GB New Price / GB Savings
US East (Northern Virginia) $0.120 $0.020 83%
US West (Northern California) $0.120 $0.020 83%
US West (Oregon) $0.120 $0.020 83%
AWS GovCloud (US) $0.155 $0.030 81%
Europe (Ireland) $0.120 $0.020 83%
Asia Pacific (Singapore) $0.190 $0.090 53%
Asia Pacific (Tokyo) $0.200 $0.090 55%
Asia Pacific (Sydney) $0.190 $0.140 26%
South America (São Paulo) $0.250 $0.160 36%

The data transfer is not just EC2. It applies to EC2, S3, Glacier, and CloudFront.

Jeff Bezos provides an example savings:

Let’s work through an example to see what this means in practice. Suppose you are delivering 100 TB of content per month to your users, with a 10% cache miss rate (90% of the requests are delivered from a cached copy in a CloudFront edge location), and that this content comes from the Standard or Europe (Ireland) Amazon S3 Region. The cost of your origin fetches (from CloudFront to S3) will drop from $1,228.68 to $204.80, an 83% reduction.


Amazon AWS was pretty much the first and is still the eader, both in functionality and price. I do 99% of my cloud computing there.


Play in the Cloud for less than $US0.50/Day!

November 14th, 2010 Comments off

Looking to spin up a computer in the cloud somewhere but don’t want to spend a bunch of money until you’ve played around for a while? Amazon Web Services Elastic Compute Cloud, AWS EC2, gives you a couple of options to start with. I’m not going to go into a lot of detail about what EC2 is. I’ve done that plenty here.

First up, if you don’t already have an AWS account, now’s the time. Starting Nov 1, Amazon is offering a free year (with some limitations) of AWS. To get the free service, you must be a new user. Here are some details from Amazon’s page on the free tier service:

To help new AWS customers get started in the cloud, AWS is introducing a new free usage tier. Beginning November 1, new AWS customers will be able to run a free Amazon EC2 Micro Instance for a year, while also leveraging a new free usage tier for Amazon S3, Amazon Elastic Block Store, Amazon Elastic Load Balancing, and AWS data transfer. AWS’s free usage tier can be used for anything you want to run in the cloud: launch new applications, test existing applications in the cloud, or simply gain hands-on experience with AWS.

That’s an awesome deal if you are looking to get started. However, if you are already using AWS and just need to run a dev box or maybe test something out, you can get the micro instances.

A micro instance is a small server, 613MB of Ram, up to 2 ECUs (virtual CPU power) for short durations and storage on EBS.

This isn’t what you would really want to run long term unless maybe you have a small web site or something. Actually, for a small web site, I would host it somewhere and get it a lot cheaper than this. This is really for a short term test or maybe a dev box or two.

The sweet spot on this is the price. Get a linux box for 0.02/hour or a windows box for 0.03/hour. The linux box is $0.48 per day or $14.40 for a 30 day month. That’s crazy cheap for a way to get your hands on some cloud cycles.

If you need a more beefy machine, AWS has lowered prices overall since they got started. You can head over to Amazon to check out the pricing.

It’s a fun time to be a geek isn’t it? 😉


Amazon EC2 Price DEcrease and bigger boxes!

October 28th, 2009 Comments off

AWS Price Decrease

Upcoming Price Changes

Effective November 1, 2009, we will be lowering prices for all On-Demand instances. The tables below show the existing and future On-Demand prices.

How often does a vendor REDUCE their prices, and thereby lowering your bill, without some nasty contract renegotiation? In my experience, never. One more reason to really like Amazon’s web services.

Starting November 1, 2009, EC2 prices are dropping 15% across the board (for linux AMIs). For a small image, that means a drop from $0.10/hour to $0.085/hour, large is going from $0.4/hour to $0.34/hour and the extra large are going from $0.8/hour to $0.68/hour. For a business using several instances (usually in the large and extra-large capacities), this could be a significant savings over time. Think about – a 15% reduction and you don’t have to do anything to get it.

Data transfer and storage stay the same so it’s not a complete 15% reduction in your entire bill. I still think this is a significant poke at Microsoft and others getting into the cloud market. Windows AMIs are being reduced to but at a smaller percentage. For example, the Extra Large windows instance is dropping from $1.00/hour to $0.98/hour.

I need a bigger box!

Amazon has added some new server sizes to the farm. I love the names. Remember double, extra top secret (I think that was from Get Smart). Let’s try these names on for size. Amazon is added in the Double Extra Large High-Memory On-Demand Instance and Quadruple Extra Large High-Memory On-Demand Instance. Say that 5 times real fast.

These puppies are not cheap: $1.20/hour and $2.40/hour, respectively. They are, however, beefy!

High-Memory Double Extra Large Instance

34.2 GB of memory
13 EC2 Compute Units (4 virtual cores with 3.25 EC2 Compute Units each)
850 GB of instance storage
64-bit platform
I/O Performance: High

High-Memory Quadruple Extra Large Instance

68.4 GB of memory
26 EC2 Compute Units (8 virtual cores with 3.25 EC2 Compute Units each)
1690 GB of instance storage
64-bit platform
I/O Performance: High


Take care,


Using and Managing AWS – Part 4: Choosing a Tool

May 19th, 2009 1 comment

Choose Your Tool

When working with AWS, you have a choice of tools. You should try several tools and use the one that works best for your needs. Some tools are provided by Amazon and others are provided by third party developers. I cover seven tools in chapters that follow this one but that list is not a comprehensive list. It’s just the tools that I have used myself and that I know for a fact do work.

Some services are more programming tools that anything else. SQS is like that. It is a queuing service that you will plug into your applications. You can interface with SQS using PHP, C#, Ruby, Perl and many other languages. Actually, you can also write interfaces to S3 or EC2 using a language of your choice but how many of us really want to write an interface?

When choosing your tool, you need to think about how you will be using AWS. Will you primarily be an S3 user? In that case you will to choose a tool with robust S3 handling. If you don’t plan to use EC2 at all, you may want to skip the tools that provide EC2 functionality and stick with the S3 browsers like S3 Browser and S3 Organizer.

On the other hand, if your only use of S3 will be snapshot backups of you EC2 instances and EBS volumes, you will want to pick a tool that helps you choose an AMI, run it and monitor it. ElasticFox and Cloud Studio are ideal for that environment.

If you plan to use both EC2 and S3 fairly heavily, Cloud Studio provides nice S3 support while ElasticFox is lacks S3 support. If you are a Firefox user though, the combination of S3 Browser and ElasticFox will provide all of the functionality you’re likely to need.

For those individuals who like pain, Amazon provides the AWS Command Line Tool set. It’s not for everyone but for those who enjoy typing at a command prompt, more power to you. Actually, I am somewhat joking. Everyone should be a little bit familiar with the command line tools just in case something goes wrong with the GUI tools.

Time will add more tools, I’m sure. The point I am making here, is to explore the options and choose a tool that fits your needs.

If you are an S3 only user, your setup needs ends here. Once you have signed up and chosen a tool, you can get started working.

The remaining posts in this series are geared towards EC2 users. Before logging into your chosen tool, you need to put some thought into your instance security, storage and usage.

Amazon Web Services EC2 – Part 6: Elastic Block Storage

April 8th, 2009 Comments off

Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)

Elastic Block Storage (EBS)

For most of its life in beta, EC2 offered only two kinds of storage, AMI based transient storage and S3. The transient storage was mounted as a filesystem and S3 was used for backup. To save data during downtime for instances, data had to first be saved off to S3 and the instance brought down. When the instance was brought back up, data was restored from S3. It was a painful process.

Enter EBS, the Elastic Block Store. EBS is a persistent storage mechanism, like a hard drive, that can be mounted by an instance and will retain its data even when the instance is brought down.

Amazon estimates that EBS storage is more reliable than commodity hard drives with an annual failure rate of 0.1 – 0.5%. EBS is replicated (mirrored) within an availability zone for redundancy. You would need to lose the entire availability zone to lose your data.

An EBS volume can only be attached to a single instance at a time but like a USB drive, you can attach it to one instance, copy data to it and then attach it to another instance. An easy way to move large volumes of data.

An EC2 instance can attach many EBS volumes. An EBS volume can be allocated from 1GB to 1TB. If you need 10TB, mount 10 1TB volumes or 20 500GB volumes. You are limited to the max number of volumes you can use (20) but you can always request that number be increased should you have a business reason to do so.

Performance of an EBS volume is engineered to be better than the internal AMI volumes. It’s sort of like attaching to a very fast, very expensive SAN. Because they are raw devices, you can attach multiple volumes and stripe across all of them. This will improve IO.

An added durability feature is volume snapshots. You can tale point in time snapshots of your entire EBS configuration and the data will backed up to S3. Snapshots are incremental so only data that has changed is backed up. This saves time and money (less in S3 charges). Snapshot storage in S3 is stored compressed to take even less space.

You can also create new instances from a snapshot. If we refer back to that catalog application I mentioned earlier, you could add new catalog instances by creating a new instance and attaching to a copy of your master instance. S3 supports lazy loading so you can start the instance before all of the data is copied. If any data is requested before its restored, S3 will immediately serve that data up so that it looks to the file system as if it was already available.


EBS storage costs $0.10 per GB per month of allocated disk space. 10GB for a month costs $1.00, 100GB would be $10.00 per month. Very, very cheap storage for such a high performing and reliable storage system.

IO is billed at $0.10 per million IOs per month. Amazon provides an example of a medium sized web site that does 100 transactions per second. Adding that to a month works out to about $26.00 per month. Not bad.

Technorati : , , , , , , ,