Advanced estimates - AWS Pricing Calculator

Advanced estimates

The advanced estimate path provides an accurate estimate. It also provides you with more parameter flexibility when generating an estimate and the ability to fine-tune your estimate. Using the advanced estimate path requires more in-depth knowledge of your Amazon EC2 needs and requirements than an estimate that's generated using the quick estimate path.

Use the advanced estimate path for estimates that need to account for specific requirements. For example, your estimates need to account for workload, data transfer costs, additional storage options, and other, less common instance requirements. For example, assume that you get a lot of traffic on Mondays but not much traffic throughout the rest of the week. You want an estimate that accounts for this workload.

The advanced estimate path has the following sections and parameters:

Operating system

This setting is the operating system (OS) on an Amazon EC2 instance. AWS Pricing Calculator generates your estimate using Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) that match the OS that you choose. Choose the OS that best matches your needs.


Workloads are the usage patterns that match your Amazon EC2 usage. Choosing the workload that most closely matches what you use reduces the number of On-Demand and unused RI hours that you might purchase. It does this by covering your usage with the the most appropriate combination of RIs and On-Demand Instances for you. You can define more than one workload for your estimate.

Constant usage

This workload is suitable for use cases that have a constant, predicable load. This includes use cases such as logging traffic to a website or running processes in the background.

Daily spike

This workload is best for usage patterns that peak once a day. This is suitable for scenarios where, for example, you need to run several jobs at midnight or have a morning news spike.

Weekly spike

This workload is best for patterns that peak once a week. This is suitable for scenarios such as blogs that post once a week and weekly television shows.

Monthly spike

This workload is best for traffic that spikes once a month, such as monthly invoices, payroll, or other monthly reports.

Instance type

AWS Pricing Calculator lists all available instance types. Use the search bar to filter the instances.

For more information about the available instance types, see Amazon EC2 Instance Types.

Pricing strategy

The AWS Pricing Calculator advanced estimate path offers six pricing models for Amazon EC2 instances. The pricing models include Cost optimized, On-Demand, and Reserved. Cost optimized combines On-Demand Instances and RIs for the least expensive option. It also supports EC2 Instance Savings Plans, Compute Savings Plans, and Spot. For Spot, the calculator shows historical average discount percentage for the instance chosen, and lets you enter a percentage discount for creating estimates.

Adding Amazon EBS estimates

You can add estimates for storage attached to your instance or for snapshots taken of your instance. By attaching storage to your instance, you can run databases, store logs, or create boot volumes. Snapshots create backups of the data on your instance. You can add estimates for regular snapshots to your main estimate. The total cost for a snapshot is the sum of the initial and incremental snapshots. When AWS Pricing Calculator calculates prices, it assumes that you will use AWS Step Functions and Amazon CloudWatch to create an automated monthly retention period for your snapshots. This has the result that your snapshots are replaced monthly.

Snapshots are saved at a speciļ¬c frequency, such as a monthly, weekly, daily, or hourly interval. As a result, the retention period of each incremental snapshot for a month decreases as the month progresses. AWS Pricing Calculator estimates the cost of the services that you select on a monthly basis.

Adding data transfer estimates

You can accrue additional costs by transferring data into and out of Amazon EC2. If you know how much data you can expect to upload or download in a month, you can add these costs to your estimate. For more information, see the Data Transfer section of the On-Demand Pricing page.