Choosing your first AWS Reserved Instance can be confusing.
And I am going to walk you through some of the things I think you should consider before taking the plunge into a long term commitment.
A little over 6 months ago AWS changed the way that they sold reserved instances. They introduced new offerings to replace the old Light, Medium, and Heavy model. If you need to purchase a reserved instance today, there are three payment options:
- All upfront – You pay for the entire Reserved Instance term (one or three years) with one upfront payment and get the best effective hourly price when compared to On-Demand.
- Partial upfront – You pay for a portion of the Reserved Instance upfront and then pay for the remainder over the course of the one or three year term. This option balances the RI payments between upfront and hourly.
- No upfront – You pay nothing upfront but commit to paying for the Reserved Instance over the course of the Reserved Instance term, with discounts (typically about 30%) when compared to On-Demand. This option is offered with a one year term.
Do you need an AWS Reserved Instance?
If you have a normal dedicated instance running on AWS that needs to be available 24/7 over the long term (like an e-commerce website), then the answer is probably yes. Otherwise, you are just wasting money. So assuming your project justifies it, we’ll use this as an example:
Let’s assume we have the following instance running on AWS.
How do you convert an existing EC2 instance to an AWS Reserved Instance?
The truth is, you don’t. This was confusing to me when I purchased my first Reserved Instance. A Reserved Instance isn’t a different piece of hardware compared to your dedicated instance; it’s nothing more than an accounting term. It’s how you’re billed.
When you purchase a Reserved Instance, the AWS accounting algorithm will automatically apply the Reserved Instance rate to any single applicable EC2 instance. Criteria include:
- Region and Availability Zone.
- Instance type (micro, small, large, etc.).
- The instance’s current state (i.e., it must be running).
- The instance does not currently have an AWS Reserved Instance applied to it already.
So what you need to concentrate on is matching the region, availability zone, and instance type (micro, small, large, etc.) of your current Dedicated Instance to your soon-to-be-purchased Reserved Instance. So, let’s go ahead and purchase our Reserved Instance.
Purchasing a Reserved Instance
Note: Make sure you are in the same Region as your Dedicated Instance before starting this step.
- Go to your EC2 Dashboard and Select ‘Reserved Instances’ in the left-hand column.
- Then click on ‘Purchase Reserved Instances’ and you should be presented with the following screen:
Confirm each of the following:
- Choose your Platform.
- Choose your Instance type.
- Choose your availability Zone.
- Choose your term.
- Leave Tenancy as Default.
- Leave offering as “Any”.
After that, you should be presented with a screen similar to the one below.
This is where your needs will be unique to your project, so you’ll have to choose this one for yourself.
When we work out how much per year each one of my possible alternatives would cost, we come up with the following:
No Upfront $140/yr
Partial Upfront $131/yr
All Upfront $128.00/yr
I would probably go with the No Upfront as it doesn’t cost you any money initially and the overall difference is only $12. However as I said before, it is up to each individual to work out what best suits their needs. Just be sure that you really want this instance for the time period that you have chosen.
From there you just add it to your cart and make the purchase. Remember there is no going back, so if you purchase an AWS Reserved Instance for 12 months and decide you don’t want it you can’t get your money refunded from AWS. You can, however, sell your instance to someone else. But I am not in a position to offer any solid advice in this area.
It’s always best to carefully plan ahead.
WARNING: Great Cloud Content Ahead
At Cloud Academy, content is at the heart of what we do. We work with the world’s leading cloud and operations teams to develop video courses and learning paths that accelerate teams and drive digital transformation. First and foremost, we listen to our customers’ needs and we stay ahea...
Excelling in AWS, Azure, and Beyond – How Danut Prisacaru Prepares for the Future
Meet Danut Prisacaru. Danut has been a Software Architect for the past 10 years and has been involved in Software Engineering for 30 years. He’s passionate about software and learning, and jokes that coding is basically the only thing he can do well (!). We think his enthusiasm shines t...
New Content: AWS Data Analytics – Specialty Certification, Azure AI-900 Certification, Plus New Learning Paths, Courses, Labs, and More
This month our Content Team released two big certification Learning Paths: the AWS Certified Data Analytics - Speciality, and the Azure AI Fundamentals AI-900. In total, we released four new Learning Paths, 16 courses, 24 assessments, and 11 labs. New content on Cloud Academy At any ...
New Content: Azure DP-100 Certification, Alibaba Cloud Certified Associate Prep, 13 Security Labs, and Much More
This past month our Content Team served up a heaping spoonful of new and updated content. Not only did our experts release the brand new Azure DP-100 Certification Learning Path, but they also created 18 new hands-on labs — and so much more! New content on Cloud Academy At any time, y...
AWS Certification Practice Exam: What to Expect from Test Questions
If you’re building applications on the AWS cloud or looking to get started in cloud computing, certification is a way to build deep knowledge in key services unique to the AWS platform. AWS currently offers 12 certifications that cover major cloud roles including Solutions Architect, De...
Overcoming Unprecedented Business Challenges with AWS
From auto-scaling applications with high availability to video conferencing that’s used by everyone, every day — cloud technology has never been more popular or in-demand. But what does this mean for experienced cloud professionals and the challenges they face as they carve out a new p...
Constant Content: Cloud Academy’s Q3 2020 Roadmap
Hello — Andy Larkin here, VP of Content at Cloud Academy. I am pleased to release our roadmap for the next three months of 2020 — August through October. Let me walk you through the content we have planned for you and how this content can help you gain skills, get certified, and...
New Content: Alibaba, Azure AZ-303 and AZ-304, Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) Foundation, Python 3 Programming, 16 Hands-on Labs, and Much More
This month our Content Team did an amazing job at publishing and updating a ton of new content. Not only did our experts release the brand new AZ-303 and AZ-304 Certification Learning Paths, but they also created 16 new hands-on labs — and so much more! New content on Cloud Academy At...
Blog Digest: Which Certifications Should I Get?, The 12 Microsoft Azure Certifications, 6 Ways to Prevent a Data Breach, and More
This month, we were excited to announce that Cloud Academy was recognized in the G2 Summer 2020 reports! These reports highlight the top-rated solutions in the industry, as chosen by the source that matters most: customers. We're grateful to have been nominated as a High Performer in se...
Which Certifications Should I Get?
The old AWS slogan, “Cloud is the new normal” is indeed a reality today. Really, cloud has been the new normal for a while now and getting credentials has become an increasingly effective way to quickly showcase your abilities to recruiters and companies. With all that in mind, the s...
New Content: AWS, Azure, Typescript, Java, Docker, 13 New Labs, and Much More
This month, our Content Team released a whopping 13 new labs in real cloud environments! If you haven't tried out our labs, you might not understand why we think that number is so impressive. Our labs are not “simulated” experiences — they are real cloud environments using accounts on A...
Kickstart Your Tech Training With a Free Week on Cloud Academy
Are you looking to make a jump in your technical career? Want to get trained or certified on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform, DevOps, Kubernetes, Python, or another in-demand skill? Then you'll want to mark your calendar. Starting Monday, June 22 at 12:00 a.m. PDT (3:00 a.m. EDT), ...