Amazon RDS Reserved Instances give you the option to reserve a DB instance for a one or three year term and in turn receive a significant discount compared to the On-Demand Instance pricing for the DB instance. In addition, Reserved Instances provide you with a capacity reservation, so you can have confidence that you will be able to launch the instances you have reserved when you need them.

You can choose between three payment options when you purchase a Reserved Instance. With the All Upfront option, you pay for the entire Reserved Instance with one upfront payment. This option provides you with the largest discount compared to On-Demand Instance pricing. With the Partial Upfront option, you make a low upfront payment and are then charged a discounted hourly rate for the instance for the duration of the Reserved Instance term. The No Upfront option does not require any upfront payment and provides a discounted hourly rate for the duration of the term.

All Reserved Instance types are available for the MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle and SQL Server (except for SQL Server-License Included) database engines.

Amazon Aurora is a MySQL-compatible, relational database engine that combines the speed and availability of high-end commercial databases with the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of open source databases. Amazon Aurora joins MySQL, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, and PostgreSQL as the fifth database engine available to customers through Amazon RDS. Learn more about reserved-instance pricing for Amazon RDS for Aurora »

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  • Reserved Instances provide three payment options: All Upfront, Partial Upfront, and No Upfront.
  • Reserved Instances can save you up to 69% over On-Demand rates when used in steady state.
  • Reserved Instances are easy to use and require no change to how you use Amazon RDS. 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 the total number of instances you run that hour exceeds the number of applicable Reserved Instances you own.
  • All Upfront and Partial Upfront Reserved Instances can be purchased for one or three year terms, while, No Upfront Reserved Instances are only available for one year term.
  • Reserved Instances are available in all the AWS regions.
  • Reserved Instances are available for all supported DB Engines.
  • No Upfront RIs – No Upfront RIs offer a significant discount (typically about 30%) compared to On-Demand prices. You pay nothing upfront but commit to pay for the Reserved Instance over the course of the Reserved Instance term. This option is offered with a one year term.

  • Partial Upfront RIs- Partial Upfront RIs offer a higher discount than No Upfront RIs (typically about 60% for a 3 year term). You pay for a portion of the Reserved Instance upfront, and then pay for the remainder over the course of the one or three year term. This option balances the RI payments between upfront and hourly.

  • All Upfront RIs – All Upfront RIs offer the highest discount of all of the RI payment options (typically about 63% for a 3 year term). You pay for the entire Reserved Instance term (one or three years) with one upfront payment and get the best effective hourly price when compared to running the same DB instance on an On-Demand basis.

**On August 15th, 2015, Light and Medium Utilization Reserved Instances will no longer be available for purchase. To view more information on these offerings, please visit this page. **

Reserved Instances are a great option for the steady state use case. Most production applications require database servers to be available 24×7. Reserved Instances could provide your business substantial savings if you exclusively use On-Demand DB Instances for your production applications. Amazon RDS provides three RI payment options (No Upfront, Partial Upfront, All Upfront) that enable you to balance the amount you pay upfront with your effective hourly price and receive a significant discount over On-Demand prices.

The No Upfront payment option does not require an upfront payment and provides a substantial discount (typically about 30%) compared to On-Demand. This option is offered with a one-year term. The Partial Upfront payment option balances the payments of an RI between upfront and hourly, and replaces the previous Heavy Utilization RI. You pay for a portion of the Reserved Instances upfront, and then pay for the remainder over the course of the one- or three-year term. This option provides a high discount (typically about 60% for a 3 year term) compared to On-Demand. The All Upfront payment option allows you to pay for the entire Reserved Instances term (one- or three-year) with one upfront payment and benefit from the largest discount (typically about 63% for a 3 year term) compared to On-Demand. Reserved Instances could also provide significant cost savings for mission critical applications that run on Multi-AZ database deployments for higher availability and data durability.

You can determine whether Reserved or On-Demand DB Instances best fit your needs by comparing On-Demand hourly rates and the effective hourly rate of Reserved Instances. In order to calculate an effective hourly rate, amortize the one-time fee over the term and add the hourly usage rate.

Customers using both Reserved and On-Demand DB Instances will have Reserved Instance rates applied first to minimize costs. Each hour, if the number of running instances is less than or equal to the number of applicable Reserved Instances you have, all running DB instances will be charged at the Reserved Instance hourly rate. When your total quantity of running DB instances exceeds the number of applicable Reserved Instances you own, you will be charged the On-Demand rate.

For example, if you own 3 Reserved Instances with the same instance type in a given region, the billing system checks each hour to see how many total instances you have running that match those parameters. If it is 3 or less, you will be charged the Reserved Instance Rate for each instance running that hour. If more than 3 are running, you will be charged the On-Demand rate for the additional instances.

If you purchase a Reserved Instance in a given region where you have a running DB Instance, the lower hourly charge will automatically be applied to that instance moving forward with no need to restart.

Reserved Instances can be purchased using the AWS Management Console or API tools.

  1. Log in to the AWS Management Console, click the “Amazon RDS” tab
  2. Select the Region in which you would like to make your Reserved Instance purchases
  3. Select “Reserved DB Instances” in the navigation pane and click on the “Purchase Reserved DB Instance” button
  4. Select the DB instance class, deployment type and the term length
  5. Adjust the quantity of DB instances to purchase
  6. Click on “Continue”, verify the purchase information, and confirm

Please refer to Amazon RDS FAQs for information about using the API tools.

  • Region, DB Engine, DB Instance Class, Deployment Type and term length must be chosen at purchase, and cannot be changed later.
  • You can purchase up to 20 Reserved DB Instances. If you need additional Reserved Instances, complete the form found here.
  • The one-time fee is non-refundable.