Leveraging Amazon EC2 Spot Instances at Scale - Leveraging Amazon EC2 Spot Instances at Scale

Leveraging Amazon EC2 Spot Instances at Scale

Publication date: March 2018 (Document Details)


This is the fourth in a series of whitepapers designed to support your cloud journey. This paper seeks to empower you to maximize value from your investments, improve forecasting accuracy and cost predictability, create a culture of ownership and cost transparency, and continuously measure your optimization status.

This paper provides an overview of Amazon EC2 Spot Instances, as well as best practices for using them effectively.


In addition to On-Demand and Reserved Instances, the third major Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) pricing model is Spot Instances. With Spot Instances, you can use spare Amazon EC2 computing capacity at discounts of up to 90% compared to On-Demand pricing. That means you can significantly reduce the cost of running your applications, or grow your application’s compute capacity and throughput for the same budget. The only difference between On-Demand Instances and Spot Instances is that Spot Instances can be interrupted by EC2 with two minutes of notification when EC2 needs the capacity back.

Unlike Reserved Instances, Spot Instances do not require an upfront commitment. However, because Spot Instances can be terminated if the Spot price exceeds your maximum price or if no capacity is available for the instance type you’ve specified, they are best for flexible workloads.