Amazon Drops EC2 Cloud Pricing, Again


Amazon Web Services (AWS) has again reduced the price of its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) cloud computing services, this time unveiling a price reduction of up to 19 percent for High Memory Double Extra Large (m2.2xlarge) and Quadruple Extra Large (m2.4xlarge) instances for Linux/Unix and Windows. The price decrease covers both On-Demand and Reserved instances.

The price drop follows AWS reducing the cost of its CloudFront offering in June and a previous AWS price drop in February that included Amazon EC2, Amazon S3, Amazon SimpleDB, Amazon SQS, Amazon RDS and Amazon VPC.

"If you have existing Reserved Instances your hourly usage rate will automatically be lowered to the new usage rate and your estimated bill will reflect these changes later this month," AWS wrote in a blog post announcing the price decrease. "As an example, the hourly cost for an m2.4xlarge instance running Linux/Unix in the us-east Region from $2.40 to $2.00. This price reduction means you can now run database, memcached, and other memory-intensive workloads at substantial savings."

Along with the price drop, which was e-mailed to EC2 customers this week, Amazon is also highlighting ways users can save more dough on its AWS cloud computing services.

"When compared to On-Demand Instances, Reserved Instances enable you to reduce your overall instance cost by up to 56 percent," Amazon wrote. "You pay a low, one-time fee to reserve an instance for a one- or three-year period. You can then run that instance whenever you want at a greatly reduced hourly rate," Amazon wrote.

AWS also highlighted the availability of Spot Instances, which let users bid on unused EC2 capacity and run instances for as long as that bid exceeds the current Spot price; a cheaper option for background processing or jobs where users have flexibility in when instances run.