Posted On: Aug 18, 2016

Today, we are excited to announce hourly pricing for Amazon WorkSpaces, providing you the flexibility to pay for your desktops either monthly or hourly. Hourly pricing can help you save money on your AWS bill when your users only need part-time access to their Amazon WorkSpaces. With hourly billing you pay a small fixed monthly fee per Amazon WorkSpace to cover infrastructure costs and storage, and a low hourly rate for each hour your Amazon WorkSpaces are running and available for use, or undergoing maintenance. When your Amazon WorkSpaces are not being used, they automatically stop after a specified period of inactivity, and hourly charges are suspended.

To make hourly billing possible, Amazon WorkSpaces now operates in two running modes – AutoStop and AlwaysOn. The AutoStop running mode allows you to pay for your Amazon WorkSpaces by the hour. Using the AutoStop running mode, your Amazon WorkSpaces will stop after a specified period of inactivity, and the state of apps and data is preserved. When your users reconnect, their Amazon WorkSpaces resume, typically in about 90 seconds, and they can continue on from where they left off. The AlwaysOn running mode is used when paying a fixed monthly fee for unlimited usage of your Amazon WorkSpaces. Amazon WorkSpaces using the AlwayOn running mode do not stop and users always have instant access to their desktops.

Hourly billing works best when Amazon WorkSpaces are used, on average, for less than a full working day or for just a few days a month, making it ideal for part-time workers, job sharing, road warriors, short-term projects, corporate training, and education. Monthly billing is best for workers who use their Amazon WorkSpace full-time as their primary desktop, or if they need desktops that never stop. You can mix monthly and hourly billing within your AWS account, and you can also switch your running Amazon WorkSpaces between billing options at any time during a billing period to optimize your AWS bill.

To get started, simply launch an Amazon WorkSpace in the AWS Management Console, and you will be prompted to select a running mode. You can also specify the running mode using the Amazon WorkSpaces APIs, or the Amazon WorkSpaces Command Line Interface. To allow your Amazon WorkSpaces using custom images to use the AutoStop running mode, you should refresh your custom images from the latest Amazon WorkSpaces bundles. Support for switching existing WorkSpaces from AlwaysOn to AutoStop running mode will be added at a later time.

To learn more about hourly billing for Amazon WorkSpaces, click here.