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Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
User Guide for Linux Instances

Instance Purchasing Options

Amazon EC2 provides the following purchasing options to enable you to optimize your costs based on your needs:

  • On-Demand instances — Pay, by the hour, for the instances that you launch.

  • Reserved Instances — Purchase, at a significant discount, instances that are always available, for a term from one to three years.

  • Scheduled Instances — Purchase instances that are always available on the specified recurring schedule, for a one-year term.

  • Spot instances — Bid on unused instances, which can run as long as they are available and your bid is above the Spot price, at a significant discount.

  • Dedicated hosts — Pay for a physical host that is fully dedicated to running your instances, and bring your existing per-socket, per-core, or per-VM software licenses to reduce costs.

  • Dedicated instances — Pay, by the hour, for instances that run on single-tenant hardware.

If you require a capacity reservation, purchase Reserved Instances for a specific Availability Zone or purchase Scheduled Instances. Spot instances are a cost-effective choice if you can be flexible about when your applications run and if they can be interrupted. Dedicated hosts can help you address compliance requirements and reduce costs by using your existing server-bound software licenses. For more information, see Amazon EC2 Instance Purchasing Options.

Determining the Instance Lifecycle

The lifecycle of an instance starts when it is launched and ends when it is terminated. The purchasing option that you choose effects the lifecycle of the instance. For example, an On-Demand instance runs when you launch it and ends when you terminate it. A Spot instance runs as long as its capacity is available and your bid price is higher than the Spot price. You can launch a Scheduled Instance during its scheduled time period; Amazon EC2 launches the instances and then terminates them three minutes before the time period ends.

Use the following procedure to determine the lifecycle of an instance.

To determine the instance lifecycle using the console

  1. Open the Amazon EC2 console at https://console.aws.amazon.com/ec2/.

  2. In the navigation pane, choose Instances.

  3. Select the instance.

  4. On the Description tab, find Tenancy. If the value is host, the instance is running on a Dedicated Host. If the value is dedicated, the instance is a Dedicated Instance.

  5. On the Description tab, find Lifecycle. If the value is spot, the instance is a Spot instance. If the value is scheduled, the instance is a Scheduled Instance. If the value is normal, the instance is either an On-Demand instance or a Reserved Instance.

  6. (Optional) If you have purchased a Reserved Instance and want to verify that it is being applied, you can check the usage reports for Amazon EC2. For more information, see Reserved Instance Utilization Reports.

To determine the instance lifecycle using the AWS CLI

Use the following describe-instances command:

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aws ec2 describe-instances --instance-ids i-1234567890abcdef0

If the instance is running on a Dedicated host, the output contains the following information:

"Tenancy": "host"

If the instance is a Dedicated instance, the output contains the following information:

"Tenancy": "dedicated"

If the instance is a Spot instance, the output contains the following information:

"InstanceLifecycle": "spot"

If the instance is a Scheduled Instance, the output contains the following information:

"InstanceLifecycle": "scheduled"

Otherwise, the output contains the following information:

"InstanceLifecycle": "normal"