Amazon launches annual software subscription prices on AWS Marketplace

Amazon fleshes out AWS Marketplace with annual software subscriptions for instances running on its cloud infrastructure.

Customers running machines on Amazon's AWS cloud can now convert a host of hourly-based software subscriptions into annual subscriptions.

The new annual subscriptions were launched on Monday for around 90 products from software vendors currently selling their wares on Amazon's Marketplace for AWS developers and enterprises.

Some of the vendors that have launched annual pricing include Alert Logic, Barracuda, Citrix, Fortinet, MicroStrategy, Progress Software, Riverbed, Sophos, Tenable, and Vormetric.

AWS customers currently paying for software on an hourly basis can convert to an annual subscription without having to restart the instance it's running on or re-launch the application.

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AWS Marketplace annual subscription pricing. Image credit: AWS

On the page for each product available on an annual subscription basis, users can move the "software pricing" toggle from "hourly" to "annual" to display pricing tiers for different instance types and get an estimate of the percentage savings per year. 

While Amazon says annual subscriptions can offer savings of between 10 and 40 percent, actual savings will depend on how much the customer uses the software since Amazon calculates the reductions as the "difference between the annual price and running the software at the hourly price for 24 hours over 365 days".

Customers also should be sure they want an annual subscription since they're billed immediately and cannot cancel it.

Amazon says the benefit of moving to annual pricing is that it makes for more accurate forecasts for software expenses on steady-state workloads, cost savings, and also cites the flexibility of running the software in any availability zone of any region, so long as the software is offered there.

However, since purchased software is tied to each instance type, there are also a number of restrictions which prevent customers from downgrading instance types. For example, once a subscription has been bought for a particular instance, it's not possible to move to an instance that carries a lower subscription cost. Customers can move the subscription if the price of the software is the same across two different instance types, but to do this customers will need to contact AWS support.  

Once a subscription has expired, users will be charged at an hourly rate.

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