Reserved Instances save you up to 60% over On-Demand rates.

Reserved Instances provide you the ability to maximize your level of savings by purchasing the Reserved Instance that meets your business’s needs.

  • Term: AWS offers Reserved Instances for 1 or 3 year terms. Reserved Instance Marketplace Sellers also offer Reserved Instances that have all the same operating qualities as AWS’s Reserved Instances, but terms that can range from 1 month to 36 months (depending on available selection).
  • Utilization: Reserved Instances are available in three different types: Light, Medium, and Heavy Utilization that enable you to balance the amount you pay upfront with your effective hourly price.
  • Region: Reserved Instances are available in all AWS regions. Reserved Instances are also available in Amazon VPC and Dedicated Instances.
  • Operating System: Reserved Instances can be purchased for Amazon EC2 running Linux/UNIX, SUSE Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Microsoft Windows Server, and Microsoft SQL Server platforms.

If your needs change, you can request to move your Reserved Instance to another Availability Zone within the same region, change its Network Platform, or, for Linux/UNIX RIs, modify the instance size of your reservation to another size of the same instance type at no additional cost. (Certain conditions apply, click here for more details.)

Reserved Instances are eligible for volume discounts, which can save you an additional 5% when you spend more than $250,000 on Reserved Instances or an additional 10% when you spend more than $2,000,000 on Reserved Instances. Customers who spend more than $5,000,000 on Reserved Instances should contact us for additional discounts.

Reserved Instances provide a capacity reservation so that you can have confidence in your ability to launch the number of instances you have reserved when you need them.

Reserved Instances are easy to use and require no change to how you use EC2. When computing your bill, our system will automatically apply Reserved Instance rates first to minimize your costs. An instance hour will only be charged at the On-Demand rate when your total quantity of instances running that hour exceeds the number of applicable Reserved Instances you own.

The Reserved Instance Marketplace provides you with the opportunity to sell Reserved Instances if your needs change (i.e. want to move instances to a new AWS Region, change to a new instance type, or sell capacity for projects that end before your Reserved Instance term expires).

Reserved Instances (“RIs”) allow you to make a low, one-time payment to reserve instance capacity and further reduce your on-going Amazon EC2 costs. There are multiple Reserved Instance types shown below that enable you to balance the amount you pay upfront with your effective hourly price:

Light Utilization RIs offer the lowest upfront payment of all of the Reserved Instance types.  Light Utilization RIs allow you to turn off your instance at any point and not pay the hourly fee. Light Utilization RIs are ideal for periodic workloads that only run a couple of hours a day or a few days per week. 

Medium Utilization RIs are the exact same Reserved Instances that EC2 has offered for the last several years. They have an upfront payment, but a much lower hourly usage fee. Medium Utilization RIs allow you to turn off your instance at any point and not pay the hourly fee. Medium Utilization RIs are best suited for workloads that run most of the time, but have some variability in usage (like web server traffic where demand may increase or decrease throughout the year). Using Medium Utilization RIs, you can save up to 31% for a 1-year term and 54% for a 3-year term vs. running On-Demand Instances. The break-even point for a Medium Utilization Linux RI (vs. On Demand) is 49% for a 1-year term or 22% of a 3-year term. If you expect to use your instance more than that, an RI will save you money.

Heavy Utilization RIs offer the most absolute savings of any Reserved Instance type. They’re most appropriate for steady-state workloads where you’re willing to commit to always running these instances in exchange for our lowest hourly usage fee. With this RI, you pay a little higher upfront payment than Medium Utilization RIs, a significantly lower hourly usage fee, and you’re charged that lower hourly rate for every hour in the Reserved Instance term you purchase. Using Heavy Utilization RIs, you can save up to 37% for a 1-year term and 60% for a 3-year term vs. running On-Demand Instances. The break-even point for a Heavy Utilization Linux RIs (vs. On Demand) is 63% for a 1-year term or 40% of a 3-year term. If you expect to use your instance more than that, an RI will save you money.

To illustrate when to choose each Reserved Instance option, the table below shows the possible savings for Medium, and Heavy Utilization Reserved Instances over On-Demand rates. The higher your utilization over your Reserved Instance term, the more savings Reserved Instances provide.

3-Year RI Percentage Savings Over On-Demand Comparison*
Annual Utilization

Medium Utilization RI

Heavy Utilization RI

20%

-8%

-99%

40%

30%

1%

60%

43%

34%

80%

50%

50%

100%

54%

60%

3-Year RI Percentage Savings Over On-Demand Comparison*
Annual Utilization

Medium Utilization RI

Heavy Utilization RI

20%

-32%

-233%

40%

5%

-66%

60%

17%

-11%

80%

24%

17%

100%

27%

33%

Utilization Rate = % of time your instance is running: 30% utilization of a 3 year term = 10.8 months
* rates are compared for an m3.xlarge instance 3-year Reserved Instance, % savings on effective hourly rates are roughly the same for all instance types

Another way to view the utilization rates above is in terms of aggregate usage. If you purchase a 3-year term Medium Reserved Instance, you need only run that instance for a total of 7.4 months over the course of the 3-year term (19% of the term) for your costs to equal those of On- Demand. Any usage beyond this amount incrementally increases your savings.

Reserved Instances give you the option to make a low, one-time payment for each instance you want to reserve and in turn receive a significant discount on the hourly charge for that instance. There are three Reserved Instance types (Light, Medium, and Heavy Utilization Reserved Instances) that enable you to balance the amount you pay upfront with your effective hourly price.

The following tables display the Reserved Instance Prices available directly from AWS. In addition to Reserved Instances for Linux/UNIX and Windows operating systems specified below, we also offer Reserved Instances for Amazon EC2 running SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Amazon EC2 running Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and Amazon EC2 running Microsoft SQL Server. Dedicated Reserved Instances are also available.


Except as otherwise noted, our prices are exclusive of applicable taxes and duties, including VAT and applicable sales tax. For customers with a Japanese billing address, use of the Asia Pacific (Tokyo) Region is subject to Japanese Consumption Tax. Learn more.


Except as otherwise noted, our prices are exclusive of applicable taxes and duties, including VAT and applicable sales tax. For customers with a Japanese billing address, use of the Asia Pacific (Tokyo) Region is subject to Japanese Consumption Tax. Learn more.


Except as otherwise noted, our prices are exclusive of applicable taxes and duties, including VAT and applicable sales tax. For customers with a Japanese billing address, use of the Asia Pacific (Tokyo) Region is subject to Japanese Consumption Tax. Learn more.


Except as otherwise noted, our prices are exclusive of applicable taxes and duties, including VAT and applicable sales tax. For customers with a Japanese billing address, use of the Asia Pacific (Tokyo) Region is subject to Japanese Consumption Tax. Learn more.


Except as otherwise noted, our prices are exclusive of applicable taxes and duties, including VAT and applicable sales tax. For customers with a Japanese billing address, use of the Asia Pacific (Tokyo) Region is subject to Japanese Consumption Tax. Learn more.


Except as otherwise noted, our prices are exclusive of applicable taxes and duties, including VAT and applicable sales tax. For customers with a Japanese billing address, use of the Asia Pacific (Tokyo) Region is subject to Japanese Consumption Tax. Learn more.


Except as otherwise noted, our prices are exclusive of applicable taxes and duties, including VAT and applicable sales tax. For customers with a Japanese billing address, use of the Asia Pacific (Tokyo) Region is subject to Japanese Consumption Tax. Learn more.


Except as otherwise noted, our prices are exclusive of applicable taxes and duties, including VAT and applicable sales tax. For customers with a Japanese billing address, use of the Asia Pacific (Tokyo) Region is subject to Japanese Consumption Tax. Learn more.


Except as otherwise noted, our prices are exclusive of applicable taxes and duties, including VAT and applicable sales tax. For customers with a Japanese billing address, use of the Asia Pacific (Tokyo) Region is subject to Japanese Consumption Tax. Learn more.


Except as otherwise noted, our prices are exclusive of applicable taxes and duties, including VAT and applicable sales tax. For customers with a Japanese billing address, use of the Asia Pacific (Tokyo) Region is subject to Japanese Consumption Tax. Learn more.


Except as otherwise noted, our prices are exclusive of applicable taxes and duties, including VAT and applicable sales tax. For customers with a Japanese billing address, use of the Asia Pacific (Tokyo) Region is subject to Japanese Consumption Tax. Learn more.


Except as otherwise noted, our prices are exclusive of applicable taxes and duties, including VAT and applicable sales tax. For customers with a Japanese billing address, use of the Asia Pacific (Tokyo) Region is subject to Japanese Consumption Tax. Learn more.


Except as otherwise noted, our prices are exclusive of applicable taxes and duties, including VAT and applicable sales tax. For customers with a Japanese billing address, use of the Asia Pacific (Tokyo) Region is subject to Japanese Consumption Tax. Learn more.


Except as otherwise noted, our prices are exclusive of applicable taxes and duties, including VAT and applicable sales tax. For customers with a Japanese billing address, use of the Asia Pacific (Tokyo) Region is subject to Japanese Consumption Tax. Learn more.


Except as otherwise noted, our prices are exclusive of applicable taxes and duties, including VAT and applicable sales tax. For customers with a Japanese billing address, use of the Asia Pacific (Tokyo) Region is subject to Japanese Consumption Tax. Learn more.


Except as otherwise noted, our prices are exclusive of applicable taxes and duties, including VAT and applicable sales tax. For customers with a Japanese billing address, use of the Asia Pacific (Tokyo) Region is subject to Japanese Consumption Tax. Learn more.


Except as otherwise noted, our prices are exclusive of applicable taxes and duties, including VAT and applicable sales tax. For customers with a Japanese billing address, use of the Asia Pacific (Tokyo) Region is subject to Japanese Consumption Tax. Learn more.


Except as otherwise noted, our prices are exclusive of applicable taxes and duties, including VAT and applicable sales tax. For customers with a Japanese billing address, use of the Asia Pacific (Tokyo) Region is subject to Japanese Consumption Tax. Learn more.

Reserved Instances can be purchased directly from AWS for 1 or 3 year terms. Using the Reserved Instance Marketplace, you have the flexibility to purchase Reserved Instances from AWS Reserved Instance Marketplace Sellers for terms ranging between 1 month to 36 months (depending on available selection). In either case, the one-time fee per instance is non-refundable. If your needs change, you can also request to move your Reserved Instance to another Availability Zone within the same region, change its Network Platform, or, for Linux/UNIX RIs, modify the instance type of your reservation to another type in the same instance family at no additional cost.

Light and Medium Utilization Reserved Instances also are billed by the instance-hour for the time that instances are in a running state; if you do not run the instance in an hour, there is zero usage charge. Partial instance-hours consumed are billed as full hours. Heavy Utilization Reserved Instances are billed for every hour during the entire Reserved Instance term (which means you’re charged the hourly fee regardless of whether any usage has occurred during an hour).

If Microsoft or Red Hat chooses to increase the license fees that it charges for Windows or Red Hat Enterprise Linux, we may correspondingly increase the per-hour usage rate for previously purchased Reserved Instances with Windows or Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The initial one-time payment for a Reserved Instance will be unaffected in this situation. Any such changes for Windows would be made between Dec 1 – Jan 31, and with at least 30 days’ notice. Any such changes for Red Hat Enterprise Linux would be made at least 30 days’ notice. If the per-hour usage rate does increase, you may continue to use your Reserved Instance with Windows or Red Hat Enterprise Linux with the new per-hour usage rate, convert your Reserved Instance with Windows or Red Hat Enterprise Linux to a Reserved Instance with Linux/UNIX, or request a pro rata refund of the upfront fee you paid for the Reserved Instance with Windows or Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Reserved Instances are available for Linux/UNIX, Windows, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and SUSE Linux Enterprise operating systems. You can also optionally reserve instances in Amazon VPC at the same prices as shown above. Click here to learn more about Reserved Instances.

When you have purchased a sufficient number of Reserved Instances in an AWS Region, you will automatically receive discounts on your upfront fees and usage fees for future purchases of Reserved Instances in that AWS Region. Reserved Instance Tiers are determined based on the total list price (non-discounted price) of upfront fees for the active Reserved Instances you have per AWS Region. It is important to note that Reserved Instance Tiers do not apply to Reserved Instances purchased from the Reserved Instance Marketplace. A complete list of the Reserved Instance Tiers is shown below:

Reserved Instance Volume Discounts

Total Reserved Instances


Upfront Discount


Hourly Discount

Less than $250,000

0%

0%

$250,000 to $2,000,000

5%

5%

$2,000,000 to $5,000,000

10%

10%

More than $5,000,000

Contact Us

Contact Us

For example, as soon as you have active Reserved Instances with total list price of upfront fees totaling more than $250,000 in a single AWS Region, you will automatically receive a 5% discount on both upfront and hourly fees for all future Reserved Instance purchases in that AWS Region, and those discounts will continue to apply to new Reserved Instances as long as you continue to qualify for the discount tier.

To illustrate, let's assume you currently have $200,000 worth of active Reserved Instances in us-east-1. You purchase 75 Reserved Instances at $1000 each. That's a total of $75,000. The first $50,000 of this purchase would be discounted at 0 percent. The remaining $25,000 of your purchase will be discounted by 5 percent, so you will only be charged $23,750 for it, and you will pay discounted hourly fees on those Reserved Instances.

To learn more about Reserved Instance Tiers, please visit the “Understanding Reserved Instance Tiers” portion of the Amazon EC2 User Guide.

With do-it-yourself options such as collocation or managed hosting, you know that your servers are always available. Reserved Instances provide the same capacity and cost savings, but with greater flexibility and less effort.

Direct costs of do-it-yourself solutions include hardware, facility fees, and maintenance. Doing it yourself requires dedicated support resources within your organization, which result in additional indirect costs and distraction to your core business. When you do-it-yourself, you only have access to a set number of physical servers; any hardware problems result in costly repairs and lost time. Additionally, if your needs change you are stuck with costly hardware that may sit idle or underutilized.

Reserved Instances transfer responsibility for these support activities to Amazon EC2, leaving you free to focus on your business. Reserved Instances allow you to avoid recurring costs by turning off instances when you are not using them. In the event of a hardware issue, you can re-launch your instance immediately without additional costs. With Reserved Instances you maintain flexibility because you have the option to modify your Reserved Instance or sell it on the Reserved Instance Marketplace for cash if your needs change.

The chart below shows a comparison between the estimated annual costs of doing it yourself, Heavy Utilization Reserved Instances and On-Demand Instances for a customer running 35 m1.small and 10 m1.large Linux/UNIX instances at steady state for 3 years.

Annual Cost Comparison (100% utilization)
  Do-It-Yourself
EC2 On-Demand
EC2 Reserved
(1 Year Term)
EC2 Reserved
(3 Year Term)
Usage Costs - $ 157,680 $ 75,411 $ 48,123
Server Hardware $ 20,129 - - -
Network Hardware $ 4,026 - - -
Hardware Maintenance $ 28,986 - - -
Operating System $ – - - -
Facility Expense $ 131,382 - - -
Remote Hands Support $ 1,014 - - -
Data Transfer Costs $ 10,071 $ 6,138 $ 6,138 $ 6,138
TOTAL COST $ 195,608.00 $ 163,818.00 $ 81,550.00 $ 54,263.00

For information, tools, and resources to compare the costs of Amazon Web Services with IT infrastructure alternatives please visit the AWS Economics Center.

The Reserved Instance Marketplace allows you to sell your Amazon EC2 Reserved Instances to other businesses and organizations if your needs change (e.g. you want to move instances to a new AWS Region, change to a new instance type, or sell capacity for projects that end before the term expires). You can also browse the Reserved Instance Marketplace to find an even wider selection of Reserved Instance term lengths and pricing options sold by other AWS customers. Amazon EC2 Instances purchased on the Reserved Instance Marketplace offer the same capacity reservations as Reserved Instances purchased directly from AWS.

The Reserved Instance Marketplace provides a number of benefits that make it easy to buy and sell Reserved Instances:

  • Set Your Own Price. You can choose the upfront price you set for the Reserved Instances you sell, and automatically reduce that upfront price over subsequent months.
  • Money Back. Once your Reserved Instance sells, you will receive an ACH wire transfer from Amazon Web Services to the account specified when you registered for the Reserved Instance Marketplace.
  • Greater Reserved Instance Selection. Businesses can now shop the Reserved Instance Marketplace to purchase Reserved Instances outside the standard one-year and three-year term lengths that AWS offers.

Each Reserved Instance sold on the Amazon EC2 Reserved Instance Marketplace will be charged a service fee of 12% of the total upfront price. Reserved Instances can be sold after they have been active for at least 30 days and once AWS has received the upfront payment.

For more detailed information on how to buy and sell Reserved Instances, please see How to Purchase Reserved Instances and the Reserved Instance Marketplace pages.