AWS Per Second Billing for EC2 and EBS Explained

The pay-as-you-go model revolutionized how businesses consume IT services. This model disrupted traditional IT, thus breaking the CAPEX model and ushering in a more customer friendly OPEX model. But OPEX too is now undergoing rapid evolution primarily in the form of reduced billing cycles. With introduction of per second billing for EC2 and EBS, AWS is pushing the envelope further.

Jeff Barr in his new AWS blog has announced per second billing for EC2 and EBS. This model of per-second billing will be applicable for on-demand, reserved and spot EC2 instances. This change will also be applied to the provisioned EBS storage, AWS EMR and AWS Batch.

He wrote “Back in the old days, you needed to buy or lease a server if you needed access to compute power. When we launched EC2 back in 2006, the ability to use an instance for an hour, and to pay only for that hour, was big news. The pay-as-you-go model inspired our customers to think about new ways to develop, test, and run applications of all types.”

“Today, services like AWS Lambda prove that we can do a lot of useful work in a short time. Many of our customers are dreaming up applications for EC2 that can make good use of a large number of instances for shorter amounts of time, sometimes just a few minutes”, he added.

With this running auto-scaling batch, processes will become economical. Even AWS EMR can be used for use-cases requiring only few minutes of parallel processing. Now, EC2 can be used instead of AWS Lambda, especially to overcome its 300 seconds max execution limit.

Key points to note:

  1. Per second billing on EC2 and EBS will start to get applied from October 2nd, 2017.
  2. It will only be applicable for Linux EC2 instances.
  3. The minimum cost of EC2 will be for 1 minute. That is, if you only run the instance for say 40 seconds, you will be charged for a full minute. This will only happen for the first minute.
  4. You can get the RI benefit for multiple instances launched, used and terminated within an hour.

This is certainly great news for all AWS users. This pricing change will not only bring costs down, but also encourage developers and architects to bring in innovative ways to solve problems.