6 Ways to Reduce AWS Costs with EC2 Spot Instances
Published: February 13, 2023
Last modified: September 14, 2023
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a pioneer in the cloud computing industry, providing scalable and flexible computing resources to businesses and organizations worldwide. One of their innovative offerings is the EC2 Spot Instance service, which offers a cost-saving solution for businesses looking to optimize their cloud computing expenses.
In this article, we’ll explore the benefits and considerations of EC2 Spot Instances and how they can help businesses achieve cost optimization with their AWS workloads.
What are AWS EC2 Spot Instances?
EC2 Spot Instances are a cost-optimization solution offered by AWS that allows businesses to bid on unused EC2 capacity. Spot Instances are instances that are available at a lower cost than On-Demand Instances, but with the possibility of being interrupted by AWS. The price of Spot Instances changes based on supply and demand, and businesses can bid on the price they are willing to pay for the instance. If the spot price falls below the bid price, the instance will start running, and the business will pay the lower spot price.
Where can EC2 Spot Instances be used?
EC2 Spot Instances can be used for a variety of applications, including big data processing, high-performance computing, and scientific simulations. They can also be used for applications that are flexible with respect to availability, such as batch processing, load testing, and background processing.
EC2 Spot Instances are also suitable for applications that are stateless, meaning that the application does not store data locally, as they can be terminated at any time, and the data can be easily transferred to another instance.
Difference between EC2 Spot Instances and EC2 On-Demand Instances
The following table summarizes the main differences between EC2 Spot Instances and EC2 On-Demand instances in terms of features, pricing, and availability.
EC2 Spot Instances
EC2 On-Demand Instances
Cost-effective alternative to EC2 On-Demand instances
Typically more expensive than EC2 Spot Instances
Users bid on unused EC2 computing capacity
Users pay the full price for the EC2 computing capacity
Applications can be terminated at any time
Applications are guaranteed to run until the user stops it or terminates the instance
Ideal for flexible, stateless applications
Ideal for applications that require guaranteed computing capacity
Spot Instance Requests
Spot Instance Requests are a way for you to bid on unused EC2 instances and run them at a lower cost than On-Demand instances. You can use Spot Instance Requests for various use cases such as big data processing, batch jobs, and web services, among others. The key to using Spot Instances effectively is to understand when and why an instance may be interrupted.
Spot Instance Requests work like an auction, where you can place a bid on an EC2 instance and if the price is less than the current Spot price, you will get the instance.
The Spot price varies depending on the availability of the instances in a particular region.
If the price goes higher than your bid price, your instance will be terminated, but you will be given a two-minute warning to save any important data.
Spot Instances are made available at a discounted rate, but there is a trade-off for that reduced cost. Spot Instances can be interrupted by AWS at any time if the instances are needed for On-Demand or Reserved Instances. This is because Spot Instances are made available from EC2’s unused capacity, and if that capacity is needed, AWS may terminate the Spot Instance.
The interruption of a Spot Instance is not always predictable, and it can happen at any time without warning. This can cause some challenges for users who rely on these instances for critical workloads, as the interruption can cause data loss or application downtime.
However, AWS provides several tools and resources to help users manage Spot Instances interruptions.
You can use the EC2 Instance Rebalancing feature to automatically replace interrupted instances with new ones.