Reserved Instances for Sale – Barely Used and in Excellent Condition!

September 14 2012 | by Zev Schonberg AWS, EC2, marketplace, reserved instance

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Amazon’s recent announcement about their new marketplace for selling unused Reserved Instances is huge news and will no doubt change the way companies consume cloud resources.

For some perspective, in the recent past, people seeking flexible and scalable computing power would opt for AWS On-Demand, pay-as-you-go pricing.

As the market matured, companies began to better understand their long-term cloud needs, and the lower-priced Reserved Instances became more compelling. But most businesses were and still are, hesitant to commit to the 1-3 year lock-in term. Despite the lower cost, the perceived restrictiveness remains a big barrier to widespread adoption.

Now Amazon is now trying to remove this barrier by allowing companies to enjoy the lower rates of Reserved Instances, along with the flexibility to easily offload them, if need be.

But in my humble estimation, this is still not enough to drive widespread Reserved Instance consumption.

Honey, I found this barely used Reserved Instance in excellent condition – should I buy it?

While the AWS blog post lists several great ways the marketplace can be used – switching instances, buying for medium-term use, or relocating – there still remains the enormous challenge of figuring out which Reserved Instances make the most sense to buy or sell.

Here are 2 areas that need to be clarified before making a purchase or sale on the AWS Reserved Instance Marketplace.

Which Reserved Instance Mix is Optimal for You?

In a previous post we described in detail the incredible complexity involved in identifying the Reserved Instance plans that are right for you. To briefly touch upon some of the complexity, here are some issues that need to be evaluated before deciding:

  • Region and Availability Zone
  • Instance Type and Platform
  • Your actual usage and utilization patterns
  • Your projected needs and internal policies
  • The number of concurrent instances and percentage of cumulative runtime

Cloudyn carefully monitors and analyzes all of this and provides reliable and accurate recommendations for buying Reserved Instances that will deliver the fastest ROI while also fully supporting all of your operational requirements.

How Do I Determine Which Reserved Instances are Worth Selling?

Likewise, when it comes to selling reservations, you need to be certain that the Reserved Instance under consideration is truly unused and Amazon simply does not provide that level of clarity into your cloud resources.

Additionally, there might be Reserved Instances that you could replace with smaller instances or perhaps could be relocated to a less expensive region. When factoring in the potential refund value of the sale (minus the 12% fee that Amazon charges), it may or may not be worth it to sell your reservations. And determining your ROI and operational needs requires prohibitively complex calculations of all the points mentioned above.

Fortunately for potential sellers, Cloudyn provides clear visualization for all your unused or rarely used reservations. This makes it easy to evaluate which reservations are best suited for sale. And as mentioned above on the buy-side, Cloudyn can accurately recommend which reservations are costing you too much and can be replaced with better pricing plans.

Get started with buying and selling in the AWS Reserved Instance Marketplace – but first, make sure to check out Cloudyn’s Buy/Sell Recommendation with our – FREE 30-day trial!

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