AWS drops EC2 cloud costs to a new low

AWS drops EC2 cloud costs to a new low

Summary: The web services giant reduces the entry-level price for renting infrastructure from its EC2 cloud.


Amazon Web Services has dropped the price of renting virtual machines from its EC2 service to a new low — introducing an option to hire low-powered machines suited to small web servers and developing apps.

The cost of hiring one of the new T2 instances starts at $0.013 per hour ($9.50 per month), AWS announced today. Previously, the cheapest instance available was an M1, at $0.027 per hour. In comparison Google Compute Engine already offers a low-power virtual machine, the f1-micro, for $0.013 per hour in the US, albeit with less memory.

The T2 instance, as well as being suited to hosting fledgling web servers and test and dev environments, could serve "small databases", according to AWS.

T2 instances will share the compute power of the underlying CPU but will be able to request a greater share of the chip's processing power for limited periods.

"T2 instances are for workloads that don't use the full CPU often or consistently, but occasionally need to burst to higher CPU performance," AWS said.

AWS also suggests the new instances could be paired with solid state storage available through its Elastic Block Store to provide high performance storage at a lower cost than previously available.

T2 instances are available in micro, small, and medium varieties, whose configuration ranges from a single vCPU and 1GB of memory up to 2 vCPUs and 4GB memory. T2 instances are backed by what Amazon refers to as "the latest Intel Xeon processors" with clock speeds up to 3.3GHz. T2 virtual machines can be purchased as On-Demand and Reserved instances.

T2 instances are initially available in a variety of AWS regions: the US East (North Virginia), US West (Oregon), EU (Ireland), Asia Pacific (Singapore), Asia Pacific (Tokyo), Australia (Sydney), and Brazil (Sao Paulo).

AWS also offers a free-usage tier that allows users to test out a low-powered EC2 instance with limited storage for up to one year.

Read more on Amazon

Topics: Cloud, Amazon, Virtualization


Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic UK. He writes about the technology that IT-decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

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  • Smart move

    People are interested in proof of concept and what they don't want is large bills but "proof of the concept"

    As an example if you wanted an elastic build of Mysql Frabic, Trend Micro on top, and to demonstrate coding right off of the load balancer with forward routing rules:

    Amazon Elastic Load Balancing allows you to identify the originating IP address of a client connecting to your servers, whether you’re using HTTPS or TCP load balancing. Typically, client connection information, such as IP address and port, is lost when requests are proxied through a load balancer. This is because the load balancer sends requests to the server on behalf of the client, making your load balancer appear as though it is the requesting client. Having the originating client IP address is useful if you need more information about visitors to your applications in order to gather connection statistics, analyze traffic logs, or manage whitelists of IP addresses.

    Amazon Elastic Load Balancing access logs contain information about each HTTP and TCP request processed by your load balancer. This includes the IP address and port of the requesting client, the backend IP address of the instance that processed the request, the size of the request and response, and the actual request line from the client (for example, GET 80/HTTP/1.1). All requests sent to the load balancer are logged, including requests that never made it to back-end instances.

    (there is a business case that you can integrate legacy applications more effectively with IaaS)

    While the costs are "manageable" the proof of concept costs being lowered will just increase adoption.

    The AWS free-usage tier does not facilitate creating a proof of an elastic build, nor demonstrating anything elastic.

    However on a good note: proof of concept and adoption of less aggressive business requirements will drive down costs further. Even someone who concluded a proof of concept yesterday before this price announcement at a higher rate is still cheering the news.

    I wouldn't go into shock if a proof of concept cost $500 to illustrate an elastic and agile proof. But lowering that cost makes the adoption so much easier
  • Incomplete description - these new instances are for "bursty" CPU usage

    Here's a good link that goes into detail:

    Basically, you get a percentage of a CPU (e.g., 10% for t2.micro), and any time your VM is using less than 10% of a CPU, you earn credits - the credits are used for the times when your VM needs more CPU. You track it over time, and if you're bursting too often, you upgrade to the next category (or opposite, if you're building up more credits each day than you need, you can potentially lower to the next category down).

    It's actually very clever ... tbh, I think a lot of people are going to get lowered costs out of this, and it's a feature that I don't remember any other cloud provider implementing.
    • agree

      You get credits for idle time and then bursts, sort of like peak energy

      Sure there is a free tier, but to do anything substantial the charges accrue

      I would be impressed if people at home could sell CPU idle time similar to solar power to the electrical grid.
  • Amazon Pricing

    The problem with Amazon's prices is that they don't include persistent storage, high performance I/O, and network bandwidth. You need to pay extra for things like data transfer, local storage, and support. With a lot of competitors like the company I work for,, these things are offered. Our CEO says that Amazon's price list is the equivalent of "quoting the price of a car without the wheels included."
    Keneth Bryant