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Containers Expo Blog: Press Release

Amazon Announces New EC2 Pricing Options

To use Spot Instances, customers place a Spot Instance request, specifying the instance family, size and the region

Amazon Sessions at Cloud Expo

Amazon Web Services LLC, an Amazon.com company (NASDAQ: AMZN), today announced Spot Instances, a new option for purchasing and consuming Amazon EC2 compute resources. With Spot Instances, customers bid on unused Amazon EC2 capacity and run those instances for as long as their bid exceeds the current Spot Price. The Spot Price changes periodically based on supply and demand, and customers whose bids exceed it gain access to the available Spot Instances. Spot Instances are complementary to On-Demand Instances and Reserved Instances, providing another way to obtain Amazon EC2 compute capacity. To get started using Amazon EC2 Spot Instances, visit http://aws.amazon.com.

Spot Instances are well-suited for applications that can have flexible start and stop times such as image and video conversion and rendering, data processing, financial modeling and analysis, web crawling and load testing. By being flexible on when their instances run, coupled with the ability to bid what they’re willing to pay for capacity, customers can significantly lower their Amazon EC2 costs. In addition, Spot Instances can provide access to large amounts of additional capacity for applications with urgent needs. When these needs arise, users can specify a higher maximum bid, which will raise the priority of a request for capacity.

To use Spot Instances, customers place a Spot Instance request, specifying the instance family, size and the region they desire as well as the number of Spot Instances they want to run and the maximum price they’re willing to pay per instance. If a customer’s maximum price exceeds the current Spot Price, the customer’s instances will run until they choose to terminate the instances or their maximum bid falls below the Spot Price (whichever is sooner). Like other Amazon EC2 instances, Spot Instances can be terminated when they are no longer needed. If the Spot Price goes above a user’s maximum bid and the instance is terminated by Amazon EC2, the user will not be charged for any partial hour of usage.

"As customers continued to expand their use of AWS, they started asking if additional pools of capacity were available, even if only for a few hours at a time. Some customers were looking to reduce costs in exchange for being flexible as to when they run their application; others told us they were willing to pay more when they had urgent, high volume needs,” said Peter De Santis, General Manger of Amazon EC2. “Because of the dynamic nature of supply and demand in the Amazon EC2 environment, we developed Spot Instances to let customers take advantage of our unused capacity while specifying a price they are willing to pay."

Spot Instances run the same software images and come in the same compute instance families and sizes as both On-Demand and Reserved Instances, so users can easily move between the purchasing options that best meet the needs of their application. On-Demand Instances allow you to pay a fixed rate by the hour with no commitment; Reserved Instances provide capacity at a lower hourly rate in exchange for a low, one-time, upfront payment; and Spot Instances provide the ability to bid whatever price you want on unused capacity for applications with flexible start and end times. Together, these three different purchasing models give users the flexibility to optimize costs.

"Spot Instances and the Condor scheduler will enable a 'no compute cycle left behind' policy for running scientific and financial calculations on Amazon EC2," said Jason Stowe, CEO of Cycle Computing. "Our CycleCloud service provides secure, elastic compute clusters on Amazon EC2, helping our customers, including Eli Lilly, Varian Inc. and Pfizer, run molecular modeling, next-generation sequencing and risk-analysis calculations. With Spot Instances, CycleCloud can execute calculations when the price is right, resulting in real cost management for our clients."

“Clarity Solutions provides advanced investment platforms and advisory services to financial institutions. We’re using On-Demand instances to provide our clients with deep insight into opportunities and risks in structured finance and credit derivatives markets,” said Adam Kirby, CEO of Clarity Solutions. “We’re excited about Spot Instances because they enable our clients to lower costs on batch processing and provide access to a pool of resources for time-critical workloads. We see this as just another example of how AWS is pioneering the future of cloud computing.”

“Spot Instances enable cost-efficient computing across the spectrum of simulations run by our pharmaceutical and life sciences customers. We can now run jobs that had previously been set aside as too expensive to process,” said Chris Dagdigian, Founder and Director of Technology at Bioteam, Inc. “With Spot Instances, those jobs are coming off the shelf and further contributing to the product development process.”

About Amazon EC2

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (http://aws.amazon.com/ec2) is a web service that provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud. Amazon EC2's simple web service interface allows businesses to obtain and configure capacity with minimal friction. It provides complete control of your computing resources and lets you run on Amazon's proven computing environment. Amazon EC2 reduces the time required to obtain and boot new server instances to minutes, allowing you to quickly scale capacity, both up and down, as your computing requirements change. Amazon EC2 changes the economics of computing by allowing you to pay only for capacity that you actually use.

About Amazon.com

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth's Biggest Selection. Amazon.com, Inc. seeks to be Earth's most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices. Amazon.com and other sellers offer millions of unique new, refurbished and used items in categories such as Books; Movies, Music & Games; Digital Downloads; Electronics & Computers; Home & Garden; Toys, Kids & Baby; Grocery; Apparel; Shoes & Jewelry; Health & Beauty; Sports & Outdoors; and Tools, Auto & Industrial.

Amazon Web Services provides Amazon’s developer customers with access to in-the-cloud infrastructure services based on Amazon's own back-end technology platform, which developers can use to enable virtually any type of business. Examples of the services offered by Amazon Web Services are Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon SimpleDB, Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS), Amazon Flexible Payments Service (Amazon FPS), Amazon Mechanical Turk and Amazon CloudFront.

Amazon and its affiliates operate websites, including www.amazon.com, www.amazon.co.uk, www.amazon.de, www.amazon.co.jp, www.amazon.fr, www.amazon.ca, and www.amazon.cn.

As used herein, “Amazon.com,” “we,” “our” and similar terms include Amazon.com, Inc., and its subsidiaries, unless the context indicates otherwise.

Forward-Looking Statements

This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Actual results may differ significantly from management's expectations. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, risks related to competition, management of growth, new products, services and technologies, potential fluctuations in operating results, international expansion, outcomes of legal proceedings and claims, fulfillment center optimization, seasonality, commercial agreements, acquisitions and strategic transactions, foreign exchange rates, system interruption, indebtedness, inventory, government regulation and taxation, payments and fraud. More information about factors that potentially could affect Amazon.com's financial results is included in Amazon.com's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent filings.

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