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AWS Cost Cheat Sheet

| Sunday, October 14, 2012
I get asked about Amazon Web Services pricing literally every day. I suppose it’s a factor of the job I’m in! The AWS Simple Calculator should come with a health warning for anyone who is not already an AWS expert, and the EC2 Pricing page is a resource I personally go to a lot, but it’s not a quick reference. We do a good job in CloudVertical (signup for a free trial) of helping Cloud users understand their costs but in terms of just putting together basic, high-level indicative costs for a solution – there isn’t really a simple ‘at a glance’ solution. We do TCO (total cost of ownership) models for customers all the time, and we may launch a public, automated ‘shopping cart style’ TCO and Cloud On-Ramp Calculator in the near future (hint!), but in the mean time, here’s a cheat sheet (PDF) I put together to help with basic, quick, cursory AWS pricing.

A few of the questions it aims to answer at-a-glance:
  • How much is storage?
  • How much does an instance cost for a month?
  • What instance has about 7GB of RAM?
  • What’s the difference in cost between regions?
  • How much is data transfer?
  • How many hours are in a month? How many in a year?
  • What percentage saving could I get if I bought reserved instances?

Everything is in $USD and based on the US East (Virginia) region right now. If there’s demand for it – I’ll do the same thing in EURO and YEN – based those regions and using currency conversion at the time of creation so it gives a sense of actual cash cost relevant to users in those regions. In the next version, I’d like to add:
  • Sample Deployments – 1 Web Server, 1 DB Server + expected norms for associated costs; 2 Web Servers, 4 backend Servers; Multi-AZ/Region SMALL and LARGE deployment
  • Reserved Instances – % of Annual Cost in Upfront Investment, % Hourly Discount (amortized and not), Time Period for Return on Investment.
  • Spot Instances – Average Spot Instance price per instance and % Saving.

Read more: Cloud Vertical
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