Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
User Guide for Windows Instances

Monitoring Your CPU Credits

You can see the credit balance for each instance in the Amazon EC2 per-instance metrics of the CloudWatch console.

Additional CloudWatch Metrics for Burstable Performance Instances

T3 and T2 instances have these additional CloudWatch metrics, which are updated every five minutes:

  • CPUCreditUsage – The number of CPU credits spent during the measurement period.

  • CPUCreditBalance – The number of CPU credits that an instance has accrued. This balance is depleted when the CPU bursts and CPU credits are spent more quickly than they are earned.

  • CPUSurplusCreditBalance – The number of surplus CPU credits spent to sustain CPU performance when the CPUCreditBalance value is zero.

  • CPUSurplusCreditsCharged – The number of surplus CPU credits exceeding the maximum number of CPU credits that can be earned in a 24-hour period, and thus attracting an additional charge.

The last two metrics apply only to instances configured as unlimited.

The following table describes the CloudWatch metrics for burstable performance instances. For more information, see List the Available CloudWatch Metrics for Your Instances.

Metric Description
CPUCreditUsage

The number of CPU credits spent by the instance for CPU utilization. One CPU credit equals one vCPU running at 100% utilization for one minute or an equivalent combination of vCPUs, utilization, and time (for example, one vCPU running at 50% utilization for two minutes or two vCPUs running at 25% utilization for two minutes).

CPU credit metrics are available at a five-minute frequency only. If you specify a period greater than five minutes, use the Sum statistic instead of the Average statistic.

Units: Credits (vCPU-minutes)

CPUCreditBalance

The number of earned CPU credits that an instance has accrued since it was launched or started. For T2 Standard, the CPUCreditBalance also includes the number of launch credits that have been accrued.

Credits are accrued in the credit balance after they are earned, and removed from the credit balance when they are spent. The credit balance has a maximum limit, determined by the instance size. After the limit is reached, any new credits that are earned are discarded. For T2 Standard, launch credits do not count towards the limit.

The credits in the CPUCreditBalance are available for the instance to spend to burst beyond its baseline CPU utilization.

When an instance is running, credits in the CPUCreditBalance do not expire. When a T3 instance stops, the CPUCreditBalance value persists for seven days. Thereafter, all accrued credits are lost. When a T2 instance stops, the CPUCreditBalance value does not persist, and all accrued credits are lost.

CPU credit metrics are available at a five-minute frequency only.

Units: Credits (vCPU-minutes)

CPUSurplusCreditBalance

The number of surplus credits that have been spent by an unlimited instance when its CPUCreditBalance value is zero.

The CPUSurplusCreditBalance value is paid down by earned CPU credits. If the number of surplus credits exceeds the maximum number of credits that the instance can earn in a 24-hour period, the spent surplus credits above the maximum incur an additional charge.

Units: Credits (vCPU-minutes)

CPUSurplusCreditsCharged

The number of spent surplus credits that are not paid down by earned CPU credits, and which thus incur an additional charge.

Spent surplus credits are charged when any of the following occurs:

  • The spent surplus credits exceed the maximum number of credits that the instance can earn in a 24-hour period. Spent surplus credits above the maximum are charged at the end of the hour.

  • The instance is stopped or terminated.

  • The instance is switched from unlimited to standard.

Units: Credits (vCPU-minutes)

Calculating CPU Credit Usage

The CPU credit usage of instances is calculated using the instance CloudWatch metrics described in the preceding table.

Amazon EC2 sends the metrics to CloudWatch every five minutes. A reference to the prior value of a metric at any point in time implies the previous value of the metric, sent five minutes ago.

Calculating CPU Credit Usage for Standard Instances

  • The CPU credit balance increases if CPU utilization is below the baseline, when the credits spent are less than the credits earned in the prior five-minute interval.

  • The CPU credit balance decreases if CPU utilization is above the baseline, when the credits spent are more than the credits earned in the prior five-minute interval.

Mathematically, this is captured by the following equation:

CPUCreditBalance = prior CPUCreditBalance + [Credits earned per hour * (5/60) - CPUCreditUsage]

The size of the instance determines the number of credits that the instance can earn per hour and the number of earned credits that it can accrue in the credit balance. For information about the number of credits earned per hour, and the credit balance limit for each instance size, see the credit table.

Example

This example uses a t3.nano instance. To calculate the CPUCreditBalance value of the instance, use the preceding equation as follows:

  • CPUCreditBalance – The current credit balance to calculate.

  • prior CPUCreditBalance – The credit balance five minutes ago. In this example, the instance had accrued two credits.

  • Credits earned per hour – A t3.nano instance earns six credits per hour.

  • 5/60 – Represents the five-minute interval between CloudWatch metric publication. Multiply the credits earned per hour by 5/60 (five minutes) to get the number of credits that the instance earned in the past five minutes. A t3.nano instance earns 0.5 credits every five minutes.

  • CPUCreditUsage – How many credits the instance spent in the past five minutes. In this example, the instance spent one credit in the past five minutes.

Using these values, you can calculate the CPUCreditBalance value:

CPUCreditBalance = 2 + [0.5 - 1] = 1.5

Calculating CPU Credit Usage for Unlimited Instances

When a T3 or T2 instance needs to burst above the baseline, it always spends accrued credits before spending surplus credits. When it depletes its accrued CPU credit balance, it can spend surplus credits to burst for as long as it needs. When CPU utilization falls below the baseline, surplus credits are always paid down before the instance accrues earned credits.

We use the term Adjusted balance in the following equations to reflect the activity that occurs in this five-minute interval. We use this value to arrive at the values for the CPUCreditBalance and CPUSurplusCreditBalance CloudWatch metrics.

Adjusted balance = [prior CPUCreditBalance - prior CPUSurplusCreditBalance] + [Credits earned per hour * (5/60) - CPUCreditUsage]

A value of 0 for Adjusted balance indicates that the instance spent all its earned credits for bursting, and no surplus credits were spent. As a result, both CPUCreditBalance and CPUSurplusCreditBalance are set to 0.

A positive Adjusted balance value indicates that the instance accrued earned credits, and previous surplus credits, if any, were paid down. As a result, the Adjusted balance value is assigned to CPUCreditBalance, and the CPUSurplusCreditBalance is set to 0. The instance size determines the maximum number of credits that it can accrue.

CPUCreditBalance = min [max earned credit balance, Adjusted balance] CPUSurplusCreditBalance = 0

A negative Adjusted balance value indicates that the instance spent all its earned credits that it accrued and, in addition, also spent surplus credits for bursting. As a result, the Adjusted balance value is assigned to CPUSurplusCreditBalance and CPUCreditBalance is set to 0. Again, the instance size determines the maximum number of credits that it can accrue.

CPUSurplusCreditBalance = min [max earned credit balance, -Adjusted balance] CPUCreditBalance = 0

If the surplus credits spent exceed the maximum credits that the instance can accrue, the surplus credit balance is set to the maximum, as shown in the preceding equation. The remaining surplus credits are charged as represented by the CPUSurplusCreditsCharged metric.

CPUSurplusCreditsCharged = max [-Adjusted balance - max earned credit balance, 0]

Finally, when the instance terminates, any surplus credits tracked by the CPUSurplusCreditBalance are charged. If the instance is switched from unlimited to standard, any remaining CPUSurplusCreditBalance is also charged.