Amazon AWS services offer different solutions including data storage, data processing with computing tools, and hosting solutions. However, there is one common point underlying this wide variety of Amazon AWS services: and that’s pricing.
In fact, the solutions offered by Amazon follow the pay as you go, model. This means that users and companies that use these services pay according to the services they actually use and can use the infrastructure on demand without necessarily activating long-term plans.
This kind of solution allows you to eliminate the initial investment and have variable costs based on specific needs and not on fixed fees. In this article, Amazon AWS: prices and services we will see the factors behind the costs, this can be an advantage or a disadvantage depending on the case.
Before returning to the topic of cost variability, let’s look at what solutions Amazon Web Services offers.
Amazon AWS: services
For those looking for a hosting solution, Amazon AWS provides several services that can fit different needs from those looking for a VPS cloud hosting service to those who need a dedicated server instead.
Amazon’s Lightsail service is recommended for those who want to build a website or blog and expect to have low traffic volumes. For static sites, on the other hand, you can use Amazon S3, which is generally one of the most used services for those who need a storage solution. For a site that needs more resources you can use Amazon EC2.
Amazon AWS: pricing
Amazon AWS services vary in price depending on the resources used. With the exception of Amazon Lightsail which is offered with fixed plans and predictable prices.
Let’s take a look at Amazon AWS prices based on estimated consumption that varies depending on the resources required and traffic available.
Amazon AWS Lightsail Service Pricing
Amazon Lightsail is suggested for websites using common CMSs such as WordPress, Drupal, Magento or Joomla. The proposed solutions allow you to choose between Linux and Windows servers and prices vary depending on the resources included in the plan.
|Monthly cost||RAM||Processor||Storage space||Traffic limit|
|3,50 dollars/month (about 2,95 €)||Memory: 512 MB||1 Core||20 GB SSD||Data Transfer: 1 TB|
|5 dollars/month (4,22 €)||Memory: 1 GB||1 Core||40 GB SSD||Data Transfer: 2 TB|
|10 dollars/month (8,43 €)||Memory: 2 GB||1 Core||60 GB SSD||Data Transfer: 3 TB|
|20 dollars/month (16,86 €)||Memory: 4 GB||2 Core||80 GB SSD||Data Transfer: 4 TB|
|40 dollars/month (33,72 €)||Memory: 8 GB||2 Core||160 GB SSD||Data Transfer: 5 TB|
|80 dollars/month (67,45 €)||Memory: 16 GB||4 Core||320 GB SSD||Data Transfer: 6 TB|
|160 dollars/month (134,90 €)||Memory: 32 GB||8 Core||640 GB SSD||Data Transfer: 7 TB|
|Monthly cost||RAM||Processor||Storage space||Traffic limit|
|8 dollars/month (about 6,74 €)||Memory: 512 MB||1 Core||30 GB SSD||Data Transfer: 1 TB|
|12 dollars/month (10,12 €)||Memory: 1 GB||1 Core||40 GB SSD||Data Transfer: 2 TB|
|20 dollars/month (16,86 €)||Memory: 2 GB||1 Core||60 GB SSD||Data Transfer: 3 TB|
|40 dollars/month (33,72 €)||Memory: 4 GB||2 Core||80 GB SSD||Data Transfer: 4 TB|
|70 dollars/month (59,02 €)||Memory: 8 GB||2 Core||160 GB SSD||Data Transfer: 5 TB|
|120 dollars/month (101,17 €)||Memory: 16 GB||4 Core||320 GB SSD||Data Transfer: 6 TB|
|240 dollars/month (202,34 €)||Memory: 32 GB||8 Core||640 GB SSD||Data Transfer: 7 TB|
Each solution provides a threshold of traffic included in the plan, in case the threshold of outgoing traffic is exceeded an additional charge will be made to cover the difference.
Amazon AWS: prices and services – EC2 pricing
Amazon EC2 (Elastic Cloud Computing) is one of the most widely used Amazon AWS services and allows you to take advantage of dedicated or on-demand resources.
You can opt to use on-demand instances and pay, then based on the resources used or use Savings Plans, which are periodic plans of one year or 3 years. Choosing annual plans allow you to reduce costs compared to on-demand plans.
In this table, you can see an overview of the monthly prices of EC2.
In particular, we have examined the t3.micro and t4g.small plans.
|Instance||RAM||Processor||Storage space||Traffic limit||Monthly cost||Monthly cost with Saving Plans|
|EC2 (t3.micro)||1 GB RAM||2 virtual CPU||10 GB SSD||Outbound traffic: 50 GB||16,05 dollars/month||8,46 dollars/month (ordering for one year)|
|EC2 (t3.micro)||1 GB RAM||2 virtual CPU||10 GB SSD||Outbound traffic: 100 GB||20,55 dollars/month||12,96 dollars/month (ordering for one year)|
|EC2 (t3.micro)||1 GB RAM||2 virtual CPU||10 GB SSD||Outbound traffic: 250 GB||34,05 dollars/month||26,46 dollars/month (ordering for one year)|
|Ec2 (t4g.small)||2 GB RAM||2 virtual CPU||10 GB SSD||Outbound traffic: 50 GB||20,72 dollars/month||annual plan not available|
|Ec2 (t4g.small)||2 GB RAM||2 virtual CPU||10 GB SSD||Outbound traffic: 100 GB||25,22 dollars/month||annual plan not available|
|Ec2 (t4g.small)||2 GB RAM||2 virtual CPU||10 GB SSD||Outbound traffic: 250 GB||38,72 dollars/month||annual plan not available|
Prices vary according to the resources required and the hourly rate, from these parameters we derive the costs in the table on a monthly basis. The costs are estimates obtained from the price calculator provided by Amazon and are based on the data center in Milan. The actual price will depend on the number of resources used.
Some of the plans can be ordered either on-demand or using Saving Plans, the prices in the table refer to the monthly cost if the plan is ordered for one year with prepayment. Annual plans provide savings but are not available for all instances (e.g. in the case of t4g.small).
In addition to on-demand instances and subscription plans, Amazon EC2 also allows you to request a dedicated server. Prices vary depending on the configurations, if you want to delve into the cost issue you can get a better idea by reading our article on how much a dedicated-server costs.
In the case of Amazon AWS you can also save money by opting for long-term plans.
For example, a configuration with 36 virtual CPUs, 24 physical cores (d2 instance) and 2 TB of space have a monthly cost of $5,196.16. This figure is the maximum monthly cost based on an estimated 730 hours per month at $6,794 per hour.
Amazon AWS pricing varies flexibly based on several factors, the same can apply to other cloud providers that offer customizable services with flexible costs.
Cost flexibility in itself can be a benefit because you end up paying only for the resources you actually use. If, however, you fail to accurately estimate usage, you may also risk running into unexpected costs. For example, a spike in traffic that you didn’t expect could drive up the cost of a cloud plan, Let’s take a look at what factors the costs mainly depend on, in this case, we’ll refer to Amazon AWS services, but the discourse also applies to other cloud providers since prices generally vary according to the same criteria.
As you can imagine the basic cost of the cloud plan to activate depends on the type of virtual machine used and therefore on the requirements themselves (RAM, number of CPUs, etc.). Another important factor is the amount of space required for storage.
As you can see from the comparison in the table, another important item that modifies the costs is the data transfer. The amount of bandwidth made available corresponds to a big chunk of the costs and it is, therefore, important not to underestimate it when making an estimate.
Type of subscription
As we saw earlier in the Amazon AWS EC2 services table, prices change based on the type of subscription. Annual and three-year subscription plans save money by reducing the hourly rate compared to on-demand instances.
Pricing also varies based on the payment solution you choose, for example, paying upfront can reduce overall expenses.
Data Center Location
The location of data centers can also influence pricing to some extent. In our case, we looked at estimates using the Milan data center, but if you try to price services with another data center you’ll notice changes.
There is basic support included in Amazon AWS services that allow customers to access documentation, the support forum, and contact customer service. For more advanced technical support, however, you’ll need to activate an additional paid support plan ( the basic rates are Developer at $29/month or Business at $100/month).
With Amazon AWS, support prices also vary depending on the services activated. In particular, for the Developer support plan, they can correspond to 3% of the monthly costs for activated services. For a Business support plan the costs vary depending on the cost range of the plan you are using by reducing if the expense is higher:
- 10% of the monthly cost when spending is between 0 and 10k
- 7% of the monthly cost between 10 thousand and 80 thousand dollars
- 5% of the monthly cost between 80 thousand and 250 thousand dollars
- 3% of the monthly cost above $250k.
In this article, Amazon AWS: prices and services we’ve seen the services made available by Amazon AWS, the pricing on the plans offered, and the flexibility of the cloud solutions. With hundreds of instances available, Amazon AWS offers services for every business from the smallest enterprises to the most complex organizations.
With the suggested pricing model, Amazon AWS only allows you to pay for the resources you use. However, this means having to plan ahead for resources and usage time if you want to make an accurate estimate and not go over your budget.
Have you ever used Amazon AWS services before? What can you tell us about the monthly costs you incurred? Were they in line with what you had estimated? Let me know in the comments below.