AWS News Blog

New EC2 Second Generation Standard Instances and Price Reductions

We launched Amazon EC2 with a single instance type (the venerable m1.small) in 2006. Over the years we have added many new instance types in order to allow our customers to run a very wide variety of applications and workloads.

The Second Generation Standard Instances
Today we are continuing that practice, with the addition of a second generation to the Standard family of instances. These instances have the same CPU to memory ratio as the existing Standard instances. With up to 50% higher absolute CPU performance, these instances are optimized for applications such as media encoding, batch processing, caching, and web serving.

There are two second generation Standard instance types, both of which are 64-bit platforms:

  • The Extra Large Instance (m3.xlarge) has 15 GB of memory and 13 ECU (EC2 Compute Units) spread across 4 virtual cores, with moderate I/O performance.
  • The Double Extra Large Instance (m3.2xlarge) has 30 GB of memory and 26 ECU spread across 8 virtual cores, with high I/O performance.

The instances are now available in the US East (Northern Virginia) region; we plan to support them in the other regions in early 2013.

On Demand pricing in the region for an instance running Linux starts at $0.58 (Extra Large) and $1.16 (Double Extra Large). Reserved Instances are available, and the instances can also be found on the EC2 Spot Market.

Price Reductions
As part of this launch, we are reducing prices for the first generation Standard (m1) instances running Linux in the US East (Northern Virginia) and US West (Oregon) regions by over 18% as follows:

Instance Type New On Demand Price Old On Demand Price
Small $0.065/hour $0.08/hour
Medium $0.13/hour $0.16/hour
Large $0.26/hour $0.32/hour
Extra Large $0.52/hour $0.64/hour

There are no changes to the Reserved Instance or Windows pricing.

Meet the Family
With the launch of the m3 Standard instances, you can now choose from seventeen instance types across seven families. Let’s recap just so that you are aware of all of your options (details here):

  • The first (m1) and second (m3) generation Standard (1.7 GB to 30 GB of memory) instances are well suited to most applications. The m3 instances are for applications that can benefit from higher CPU performance than offered by the m1 instances.
  • The Micro instance (613 MB of memory) is great for lower throughput applications and web sites.
  • The High Memory instances (17.1 to 68.4 GB of memory) are designed for memory-bound applications, including databases and memory caches.
  • The High-CPU instances (1.7 to 7 GB of memory) are designed for scaled-out compute-intensive applications, with a higher ratio of CPU relative to memory.
  • The Cluster Compute instances (23 to 60.5 GB of memory) are designed for compute-intensive applications that require high-performance networking.
  • The Cluster GPU instances (22 GB of memory) are designed for compute and network-intensive workloads that can also make use of a GPGPU (general purpose graphics processing unit) for highly parallelized processing.
  • The High I/O instance (60.5 GB of memory) provides very high, low latency, random I/O instance performance.

With this wide variety of instance types at your fingertips, you might want to think about benchmarking each component of your application on every applicable instance type in order to find the one that gives you the best performance and the best value.

— Jeff;

Jeff Barr

Jeff Barr

Jeff Barr is Chief Evangelist for AWS. He started this blog in 2004 and has been writing posts just about non-stop ever since.