AWS Blog

EC2 Update – T2.Nano Instances Now Available

by Jeff Barr | on | in Amazon EC2 | | Comments

We announced the t2.nano instances earlier this year. Like their larger siblings (t2.micro, t2.small, t2.medium, and t2.large), these instances provide a baseline level of processing power, along with the ability to save up unused cycles and use them when the need arises.

As I noted in my earlier post (New T2.Large Instances), this model has proven to be extremely popular with our customers. In fact, we did some research and found that, over the course of a couple of days, over 96% of the T2 instances always maintained a positive CPU Credit balance. In effect, you are paying for a very modest amount of processing power, yet have access to far more when the need arises. The pricing (which I will get to in a moment) becomes even more compelling when you purchase a 1 year or 3 year Reserved Instance.

I expect to see the t2.nano used to host low-traffic websites, run microservices, support dev / test environments, and to be used as cost-effective monitoring vehicles. There are also plenty of ways to use these instances in training and educational settings.

The Specs
Each t2.nano instance has 512 MiB of memory and 1 vCPU, and can run 32 or 64 bit operating systems and applications. They support EBS encryption and up to two Elastic Network Interfaces per instance.

The t2.nano offers the full performance of a high frequency Intel CPU core if your workload utilizes less than 5% of the core on average over 24 hours. You get full access to the CPU core when needed, as long as you maintain a positive CPU credit balance. Each newly launched t2.nano starts out with a CPU credit balance of 30 credits, and earns 3 more credits per hour, up to a maximum of 72. This means that each instance can burst to full-core performance for up to 72 minutes at a stretch.

You can run Linux or Windows on these instances. However, our data shows that Windows instances consume more CPU and memory than Linux instances and you’ll want to do some testing and evaluation in order to decide which instance size will work best for your application. If you do not need the Windows GUI, you may want to take a look at the Server Core AMI.

EC2 Pricing & Sample Configurations
The t2.nano instances are priced at exactly half of the t2.micro for a given region. Here are some sample prices (see the EC2 Pricing page for more information):

Region Price / Hour (On-Demand)
Price / Month (On-Demand)
1 Year Reserved Instance / Month
3 Year Reserved Instance / Month
US East (Northern Virginia) $0.0065 $4.75 $3.125 $2.10
US West (Oregon) $0.0065 $4.75 $3.125 $2.10
EU (Ireland) $0.0070 $5.11 $3.42 $2.31
Asia Pacific (Tokyo)  $0.0100 $7.30 $5.25 $3.44
South America (São Paulo) $0.0135 $9.85 $5.67 $4.17

Let’s take a look at the full-system cost to host and run a low-traffic website (up to 25,000 visits or so per month) on AWS using a t2.nano for one month.This is a real-world configuration that is more than adequate to handle the load.

In addition to the instance itself, the sample configuration includes an 8GB EBS SSD volume for storage and domain hosting with Amazon Route 53. The pricing includes 2 gigabytes of network-out traffic. In other words, this is the all-in cost to run the site on AWS. Here’s the monthly pricing in US West (Oregon):

AWS Service
Configuration On-Demand 1 Year Reserved Instance
3 Year Reserved Instance
EC2 t2.nano $4.75 $3.17 $2.11
EBS Volume 8 GB SSD $0.80 $0.80 $0.80
Network Out  2 GB $0.09 $0.09 $0.09
Route 53  1 Domain + 25K Queries $0.51 $0.51 $0.51
Total Price $6.15 $4.57 $3.51

Let’s say you really hit the jackpot and draw in 10 times as many visits as you planned for. You’ll pay less than $1 in additional Network Out charges, $0.81 to be precise. If you are running a small site and want to keep a watchful eye over your variable costs, don’t forget to create a billing alert.

This is a powerful starter system that can easily scale to handle more traffic or to host a more complex site or application. Over time, you can expand to make use of other AWS services such as S3, Elastic Load Balancing, Auto Scaling, Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS), and AWS CloudFormation. You also have access to T2 instances in other sizes, and to the full range of EC2 instance types.

Our friends at Bitnami provide a very wide range of packaged tools and applications that can be used on AWS with a couple of clicks. They have optimized their very popular WordPress AMI for use on the t2.nano. You can find this and many other applications in the AWS Marketplace.

Available Now
You can launch t2.nano instances today in the US East (Northern Virginia), US West (Oregon), US West (Northern California), EU (Ireland), Asia Pacific (Singapore), Asia Pacific (Tokyo), South America (São Paulo), and AWS GovCloud (US) regions. The instances will be available soon in EU (Frankfurt) and Asia Pacific (Sydney). You can use them with AWS CloudFormation today; support for AWS Elastic Beanstalk (in the form of updated containers) is in the works.


PS – Several of the comments ask about the free tier. Here’s our perspective on this:

The AWS Free Tier is designed to enable customers to get hands-on experience with AWS Cloud Services. For EC2, we offer new customers up to 750 hours per month (expiring 12 months after signing up for AWS) of usage on t2.micro instances, which allows users to run an instance continuously through their first year. We believe this is enough time for new customers to get familiar with all the tools available to interact with, configure, and monitor their EC2 instances (APIs, CLI, Console, CloudWatch, etc.). T2.micro is designed to work with a broad set of AMIs and AWS Marketplace software eligible for Free Tier, whereas the t2.nano is best suited for the workloads that work well within 512 MB memory and have more moderate burst requirements. The t2.micro is the best starting point to get hands-on experience with AWS, and customers can later scale up or down depending on their workloads.”