EC2 Spot Instances lets you access excess compute capacity in the cloud. Spot pricing is the cheapest pricing model on AWS (Amazon Web Services). Unlike On-Demand and Reserved Instance prices, spot prices are more volatile and subject to interruptions.

You can use AWS Spot Instances for various workloads, including big data, CI/CD jobs, and running containerized applications. Use Spot Instances to run parallel workloads at scale, launching multiple web applications and rendering long videos. However, how efficient is Spot capacity, and how much does it cost?

Read More About Amazon Spot Instance Pricing

AWS EC2 Spot Instance Pricing

EC2 Spot Instances have a 90% discount compared to On-Demand prices.

Unlike Reserved Instances, Spot prices vary with time and demand. If you run Spot Instances for long hours, you also pay more.

Spot Instance prices also vary with availability region and the machine type. You can run AWS Spot Instances on any of the following machine types:

  • General Purpose machines both old and current generation.
  • Compute Optimized machine types.
  • GPU instances.
  • Memory-Optimized machines.
  • Micro Instances.

Each of these machines has a different Spot price in dollars per hour.

For example: if the cost of deploying a t3.micro Linux Spot Instance in the US East, North Virginia is $0.003 per hour, running for 3 hours, the total cost will be $0.009.

Benefits of Using AWS Spot Instances

AWS Spot Instances can cut high costs from your cloud spending while still yielding optimal performance. Here are the benefits of Spot fleets.

Cost Savings

You can run fault-tolerant workloads on AWS Spot Instances for up to 90% off compared with the On-Demand price. Such cost savings arise because of unused cloud capacity subject to interruptions. You can run Spot fleets on the latest generation of AWS servers.

Compute-optimized servers, for example, lets you run High-Performance Computing (HPC) workloads at huge discounts. Even if you previously chose a long-term commitment, AWS lets users combine Spot capacity with Reserved Instances to yield savings that are even more significant. You can deploy Spot capacity at any time without significantly exceeding your cloud budget.


Autoscaling features help allocate the correct quantity of resources for running your workloads. If you under-allocate resources, chances are, you may increase the load. In such cases, you can deploy Spot fleets to serve workloads when needed.

With auto-scale, you can guarantee reliability and availability of resources; this reduces auto-termination of processes. AWS lets you define conditions and set maximum prices for terminating Spot capacity. As a result, AWS will run Spot fleets as long as the price remains below your bid price.

Flexibility And Control

The ‘Hibernate’ feature gives you the flexibility you need to maintain consistency in running your workloads. Instead of terminating the Spot Instance, AWS can pause the Spot Instance whenever there’s an interruption. When the Spot price goes below the bid price, AWS automatically resumes the Spot Instance.

There’s no need for manual launching and configuration. Users can also use the RunInstances API to access On-demand Instances. This API (application programming interface) lets you access secure, reliable, and high-performance compute capacity with one additional parameter.

Easy To Manage

AWS users can use real-time monitoring to track the deployment of Spot Instances. In addition, the ‘set your own price” feature eliminates any hidden costs when running Spot fleets. You’ll never pay more than the manually allocated price. AWS uses termination notices to send alerts two minutes before terminating a Spot Instance. The AWS alerts let you backup, save logs, and preserve the existing state before terminating your workloads.

For persistent workloads that don’t need interruptions, you can configure an AWS Elastic Block Storage with the Spot Instance such that AWS launches the instance only when prices are favorable.

Supports Integrations

Spot Instances have enough compute capacity, memory, and storage to handle most workloads. Special use cases, however, need various integrations. You can use several AWS services and microservices through Spot Instance integrations:

  • Use the Elastic MapReduce Integration to reduce the processing costs of big data
  • Use Amazon CloudFormation for deploying several AWS services and their dependencies
  • Use Amazon Elastic Container service to run highly optimized workloads at fewer costs
  • Use batch integration to run batch-processing jobs
  • Use the ThinkBox Deadline integration to launch third-party products like Autodesk’s AutoCAD, Maya, 3dsMax, and much more

Optimize AWS Costs With EC2 Spot Instances

EC2 instances are a great way to reduce costs when working with fault-tolerant resources. Rather than using On-Demand Instances, you can switch to Spot Instances and keep costs as low as possible.

Before choosing a Spot Instance, you have to study the Spot pricing history. From the EC2 dashboard, navigate to Spot Requests > Pricing history. Study the pricing charts to get a glimpse of the average spot price in your availability region.

Though ideal for short-term workloads, AWS Spot Instances aren’t reliable and are subject to interruptions. AWS has several services, which can make decisions on Spot Instances overwhelming.

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