Basic Math

Amazon today announced the availability of Reserved Instance pricing for Windows. For users who will run server instances for more than about about 37% of the year, it is a new price reduction.  By paying a fee up-front, you get a huge discount on the per-hour price.  The break-even is about 37% of a year, if you start and stop all the time, or 19.3 weeks, if you just run all the time.

For example, if you are running on our new cloud recovery service, you will want to run an EC2 Small Windows Instance, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, for as long as you use the service.  Here is how the numbers work out for you:

  • On-demand pricing: $0.13 per hour, or $1,139 per year.
  • Reserved instance pricing: $227.50 up-front fee (for the one-year deal), plus $0.06 per hour, totaling $753 per year.

This is a nice savings of $386 per year, or about 34%.  (Amazon also offers a 3 year deal, with even better savings; this breaks-even at about 30 weeks of full-time usage).  Of course, one of the key benefits of cloud computing is the ability to pay as you go, and stop whenever you need.  In this case, though, I suggest making a small investment.  As long as you think you will keep running for 19 weeks, you cannot lose, and every hour you run after that gives you a nice discount.

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