When we first started talking about Amazon EC2 Instances, we briefly mentioned Amazon EC2 Reserved Instances. Using Amazon EC2 Reserved Instances can be a cost effective way for organizations to continue their journey to the cloud with AWS. Let’s take a look at what Amazon EC2 Reserved Instances really are.

Types of Amazon EC2 Reserved Images

The use case for Amazon EC2 Reserved Instances is for those organizations which know they will be consuming Amazon EC2 on a regular basis. If you’re moving a particular workload to AWS full time, Amazon EC2 Reserved Images are the way to go. The benefit of Amazon EC2 Reserved Instances for consumers is cost savings.

Amazon boasts up to a 75% savings for customers using standard Amazon EC2 Reserved instances, which depends on the instance type and the term of the purchase.  This term can be 1 or 3 years. Amazon also offers convertible EC2 Reserved Images, which can be purchased for a 3 year term. The difference with a convertible EC2 Reserved Image is that they can be modified.  However, the resulting instances must be the same or greater than the original EC2 Reserved Image. For example, with a convertible EC2 Reserved Image, you can change image families or operating systems. The caveat to the convertible EC2 Reserved Image is a lesser cost savings. The greatest savings is achieved with the standard EC2 Reserved Image with a 3 year term.

The RI Marketplace

What if a 1 year or 3 year term is too much commitment for your organization right now? Or you purchased a 3 year standard EC2 Reserved Image, and the application you deployed is being retired? In either case, the RI Marketplace is going to be your new best friend. Here, you can purchase RIs from third parties, or list your own RIs for sale.

If you plan on selling your EC2 Reserved Images, there are several important points to consider. First of all, there is a 12% sellers fee. The Reserved Image must also have been active for at least 30 days before it can be sold. In addition, it must have at least 1 month left in its term to be listed on the RI Marketplace. For more information, be sure read more about the RI Marketplace from Amazon directly.

AWS is all about flexibility. The RI Marketplace is a great way to encourage customers to move workloads to the cloud. It also provides customers options if it turns out they do not need as many resources as they thought they did, or if they end up changing their workload strategies.

Getting Started With EC2 Reserved Instances

Getting started with AWS Reserved Instances as a buyer is as simple as logging into your AWS account, and clicking Reserved Instances in the left navigation pane.

AWS EC2 Reserved Instances

AWS Reserved Instances on Amazon EC2

At this point, you will be able to the instance type you would like, as well as what platform you would like the EC2 Reserved Image to be.

AWS Reserved Image Platforms

Platforms available for AWS EC2 Reserved Images

As you can see from the platform types available, AWS EC2 Reserved Images will suit any of the workloads organizations are looking to put into the cloud long term.  Combined with the number of instance types available, it also won’t be difficult for organizations to find what they need and to save money.

For example, if an m4.large instance is needed, which consists of 2 vCPUs and 8 GB of RAM. I also can save up to 63% of the on demand price by paying for my image all up front on a 3 year term. If I want to only partially pay up front, I can save 60%.  For more on EC2 Reserved Instance pricing, click here.

As organizations move to the cloud, cost savings will be an important factor in that decision. Amazon EC2 Reserved Images have the potential to save organizations money. They but also provide flexibility with the ability to sell instances on the RI Marketplace if business needs change, which is key in the journey to the cloud.