Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
User Guide for Linux (API Version 2014-10-01)
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Reserved Instances

You can use Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) Reserved Instances to pay a one-time fee to reserve capacity and receive a discount on your instance use compared to running On-Demand instances. The discounted usage price is locked for the duration of your contract, allowing you to predict compute costs over the term of the Reserved Instance. When you want to use the capacity you reserved, you launch an EC2 instance—the same way you launch an On-Demand instance—with the same configuration as the reserved capacity that you purchased. Amazon Web Services (AWS) will automatically apply the usage price that is associated with your capacity reservation. You are charged that usage price for your EC2 instance for as long as you own the Reserved Instance.

When the term of your Reserved Instance ends, and you do not renew by purchasing another capacity reservation, you can continue using the EC2 instance without interruption. However, you will now be charged at the On-Demand rate.

To purchase an Amazon EC2 Reserved Instance, you must select an instance type (such as m1.small), platform (Linux/UNIX, Windows), location (region and Availability Zone), and term (either one-year or three-year). You can use Auto Scaling or other AWS services to launch the On-Demand instances that utilize your Reserved Instance benefits. For information about launching On-Demand instances, see Launch Your Instance. For information about launching instances using Auto Scaling, see the Auto Scaling Developer Guide.

If you want your Reserved Instance to run on a specific Linux/UNIX platform, you must identify that platform when you purchase the reserved capacity. Then, when you're ready to use the Reserved Instance that you purchased, you must choose an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) that runs that specific Linux/UNIX platform, along with any other specifications you identified during the purchase.

For example, if you require a one-year, SUSE Linux, m1.medium Reserved Instance in the Singapore region, purchasing a one-year, Linux/UNIX, m1.medium Reserved Instance in the Singapore region will not give you the capacity reservation and pricing benefit. Both your Reserved Instance purchase and the instance you launch must specify the same SUSE Linux product platform.

For product pricing information, see the following pages:

Reserved Instance Overview

The following information will help you get started working with Amazon EC2 Reserved Instances:

  • Complete all the prerequisite tasks first—such as registration, signing up, and installing the tools—so you can start working with Reserved Instances. For more information, see Getting Started with Reserved Instances.

  • Before you buy and sell Reserved Instances, you can learn more about the process by reading Steps for Using Reserved Instances.

  • Standard one- and three-year terms for Reserved Instances are available for purchase from AWS, and non-standard terms are available for purchase from third-party resellers through the Reserved Instance Marketplace.

  • Optimize your Reserved Instance costs by selecting the pricing model that best matches how often you plan to use your instances. For more information, see Choosing Reserved Instances Based on Your Usage Plans.

  • Learn more about the pricing benefit of Reserved Instances. For more information, see Understanding the Pricing Benefit of Reserved Instances.

  • Understand Reserved Instance pricing tiers and how to take advantage of discount pricing. For more information, see Understanding Reserved Instance Pricing Tiers.

  • You can sell your unused Reserved Instances in the Reserved Instance Marketplace. The Reserved Instance Marketplace makes it possible for sellers who have Reserved Instances that they no longer need to find buyers who are looking to purchase additional capacity. Reserved Instances bought and sold through the Reserved Instance Marketplace work like any other Reserved Instances. For more information, see Reserved Instance Marketplace.

For a checklist that summarizes requirements for working with Reserved Instances and the Reserved Instance Marketplace, see Requirements Checklist for Reserved Instances.