AWS drops EC2 cloud costs to a new low

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.

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"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.

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