Cost of EC2 – Tips and Tidbits

March 14 2013 | by Zev Schonberg Amazon S3, aws cloud optimization, EC2 cost

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One of the side-effects of monitoring the cost of EC2 with over 3 million AWS instances and 2.6 petabytes of Amazon S3 storage is that we are sitting on some really big data with some interesting industry trends and insight. Here are a few nuggets we recently uncovered while looking at cost of EC2 , the cost of other AWS services and consumption patterns for 400 Cloudyn customers.

M1.Medium gives you more bang for your buck

Not surprisingly, our data showed that M1. Small and M1.Large are the most popular instance types in use. As the oldest instances available from Amazon, and with affordable pricing and a solid set of resources, cloud users – both new and old – are comfortable with these EC2 offerings.
1 Instance-Type-Usage

What we found interesting is that there seems to be a migration from M1.Large to M1.Medium (as seen from comparing run rates from October 2012 and January 2013). As you can get 2 M1.Mediums for the price of 1 M1.Large, and according to our cloud benchmarking, the potential output of the 2 M1.Mediums is about 30% more than the single M1.Large, this shift is really a no-brainer.

AWS instance revenue trivia

It’s very interesting to note that although M1.Small is the most common instance, it is only responsible for 6.5% of all spend. On the other hand, M2.4xlarge only runs 3.5% of the instance-hours, but it generates 18% (!) of AWS revenue.
2 AWS-Instance-Revenue-Winner

On-Demand still market leader (but shouldn’t be)

Although Amazon has been promoting Reserved Instances for quite some time, companies still are shying away from long-term cloud commitments. That’s why On-Demand EC2 pricing comprises over 70% of instance consumption.
3 EC2-Pricing-Model-Distribution
However, in most cases, by switching to Reserved Instances, AWS customers could shave off 30-40% in their costs and reach break-even within a few months, thereby eliminating any ‘cloud lock-in’. (While determining optimal EC2 deployments can be very complex without the right tools, our RI Calculator makes it a snap.)

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