Paid AMIs allow AWS developers to charge other Amazon EC2 users to use AMIs they have created and shared. Sellers of AMIs set the price. Their customers purchase one or more paid AMIs, use them, and are billed through Amazon.com for the use.
This document describes how to locate paid AMIs that developers are selling, how to purchase one, and how to launch one on Amazon EC2. To help you understand the process, AWS has provided a demonstration paid AMI. The Demo Paid AMI is a fully functional real paid AMI that you can buy. It is based on the Getting Started AMI.
To use paid AMIs, you must have the Amazon EC2 API Command Line Tools (version 1.2-11797 or higher). You can determine which version of the tools you have by using the ec2ver command:
$ ec2ver 1.2-11797 2007-03-01
The above result verifies that the version being used is 1.2-11797.
To get the required version of the API Command Line Tools, click here.
Finding Paid AMIs
There are several ways you can determine what paid AMIs are available for you to purchase. You can look for information about them on the Amazon EC2 Resource Center and Discussion Forums. Alternatively, a developer might give you information about a paid AMI directly.
You can also tell if an AMI is a paid AMI by describing the image (see the example below). If the results include a product code, then the AMI is a paid AMI. You can then go to the Amazon EC2 Resource Center or the Discussion Forums, which might have information about how you can sign up for the paid AMI associated with that product code.
This example describes the Demo Paid AMI:
$ ec2-describe-images ami-bd9d78d4 IMAGE ami-bd9d78d4 ec2-public-images/demo-paid-AMI.manifest.xml 206029621532 available public A79EC0DB
The product code is A79EC0DB. A product code is only returned if the AMI is a paid AMI.
Purchasing a Paid AMI
Typically a seller of a paid AMI presents you with information about the AMI, its price, and a link where you can buy it. When you click the link, you're taken to Amazon.com and prompted to log in. You're immediately prompted to select the credit card you want to use to pay for the paid AMI. You're next presented with a page where you see the paid AMIs price and you confirm you want to purchase the AMI.
To purchase the Demo Paid AMI, click here. The Demo Paid AMI is intentionally priced very low to allow you to experience the purchase steps and experiment with the paid AMI without incurring a large bill. The Demo Paid AMI costs $0.11 per instance-hour consumed, $0.11 per GB data transfer in, and $0.20 per GB data transfer out. There is no monthly charge or one-time charge for it.
Note: The Demo Paid AMI is a real paid AMI, and you will get a separate bill at the end of the month for the Demo Paid AMI and any other paid AMIs you purchase.
Launching a Paid AMI
Once you have purchased a paid AMI, you can then launch it. You launch a paid AMI like any other AMI. If you have not purchased the paid AMI yet and try to launch it, you get a launch failure:
$ ec2run ami-bd9d78d4 Client.AuthFailure: Subscription to ProductCode A79EC0DB required.
The error indicates that you are not subscribed to the product code you are trying to launch.
If you have purchased the product, the launch will succeed and you will be charged for the paid AMI according to the seller's prices.
Example of successful launch:
$ ec2run ami-bd9d78d4 INSTANCE i-ba8566d3 ami-bd9d78d4 pending
An instance of the paid AMI is launching.
Viewing Usage Information for a Paid AMI
Amazon provides an account activity page that summarizes your usage of any paid AMIs you have purchased. For the Demo Paid AMI, click here to view your usage.
Your Bill for Paid AMIs
The Demo Paid AMI is a real paid AMI, and you will get a real bill at the end of the month that illustrates how paid AMIs are billed. The bill is separate from your normal Amazon EC2 bill and covers charges related to the Demo Paid AMI and any other paid AMIs you have purchased.
Canceling Your Subscription to the Demo Paid AMI
You can cancel your subscription to the Demo Paid AMI at any time by clicking here. Your accumulated hourly and bandwidth charges for the Demo Paid AMI will be listed in the aforementioned bill that you receive at the end of the month. The charges will not be refunded. Once you have canceled and received this final bill, you will not receive any further bills for the Demo Paid AMI.