T3 instances are the low cost burstable general purpose instance type that provide a baseline level of CPU performance with the ability to burst CPU usage at any time for as long as required. T3 instances are designed for applications with moderate CPU usage that experience temporary spikes in use.
T3 instances offer a balance of compute, memory, and network resources and are a very cost effective way to run a broad spectrum of general purpose workloads including large scale micro-services, small and medium databases, virtual desktops, and business-critical applications. T3 instances are also an affordable option to run your code repositories and development and test environments.
Low Cost Burstable CPU Performance
T3 instances are designed to run the majority of general purpose workloads at a much lower cost. T3 instances work by providing a baseline level of CPU performance to address many common workloads while providing the ability to burst above the baseline for times when more performance is required. T3 instances makes use of credits to track how much CPU is used. T3 instances accumulate CPU credits when a workload is operating below the baseline threshold and uses credits when running above the baseline threshold. T3 instances are unlike any other burstable instance available in the market today since customers can sustain high CPU performance, whenever and however long required.
Unlimited and Standard Mode
T3 instances start in Unlimited mode by default, giving users the ability to sustain high CPU performance over any desired time frame while keeping cost as low as possible. For most general-purpose workloads, T3 Unlimited instances provide ample performance without any additional charges. If the average CPU utilization of a T3 instance is lower than the baseline over a 24-hour period, the hourly instance price automatically covers all interim spikes in usage. In the cases that the T3 instances needs to run at higher CPU utilization for a prolonged period, it can do so for a small additional charge of $0.05 per vCPU-hour. You can also choose to run in Standard Mode where a T3 instance can burst until it uses up all of its earned credits. For more details on T3 credits, please see the EC2 documentation page.
Multiple Processor Choices
T3 instances feature either the 1st or 2nd generation Intel Xeon Platinum 8000 series processor (Skylake-SP or Cascade Lake) with a sustained all core Turbo CPU clock speed of up to 3.1 GHz, and deliver up to 30% improvement in price performance compared to T2 instances. T3 instances provide support for the new Intel Advanced Vector Extensions 512 (AVX-512) instruction set, offering up to 2x the FLOPS per core compared to the previous generation T2 instances. T3a instances feature the AMD EPYC 7000 series processor with an all core turbo clock speed of up to 2.5 GHz. T3a offers a 10% lower price than T3 instances for customers who are looking to further cost optimize their Amazon EC2 compute environments.
Built on the AWS Nitro System
T3 instances are built on the AWS Nitro System, a rich collection of building blocks that offloads many of the traditional virtualization functions to dedicated hardware. By doing so, the AWS Nitro System enables high performance, high availability, and high security while also reducing virtualization overhead.
The T3 instances feature either the 1st or 2nd generation Intel Xeon Platinum 8000 series processor (Skylake-SP or Cascade Lake) with a sustained all core Turbo CPU clock speed of up to 3.1 GHz. Additionally there is support for the new Intel Advanced Vector Extensions 512 (AVX-512) instruction set, offering up to 2x the FLOPS per core compared to the previous generation T2 instances.
Name vCPUs Memory (GiB) Baseline Performance/vCPU CPU Credits earned/hr Network burst bandwidth (Gbps) EBS burst bandwidth (Mbps) On-Demand Price/hr* 1-yr Reserved Instance Effective Hourly* 3-yr Reserved Instance Effective Hourly* t3.nano 2 0.5 5% 6
5 Up to 2,085 $0.0052 $0.003 $0.002 t3.micro 2 1.0 10% 12
5 Up to 2,085 $0.0104 $0.006 $0.005 t3.small 2
2.0 20% 24
5 Up to 2,085 $0.0209 $0.012 $0.008 t3.medium 2 4.0 20% 24
5 Up to 2,085 $0.0418 $0.025 $0.017 t3.large 2 8.0 30% 36
5 Up to 2,780 $0.0835 $0.05 $0.036 t3.xlarge 4 16.0 40% 96
5 Up to 2,780 $0.1670 $0.099 $0.067 t3.2xlarge 8 32.0 40% 192
5 Up to 2,780 $0.3341 $0.199 $0.133
The T3a instances feature AMD EPYC 7000 series processors with an all core turbo clock speed of 2.5 GHz. The AMD-based instances provide additional options for customers that do not fully utilize the compute resources and can benefit from a cost savings of 10%.
$Name vCPUs Memory (GiB) Baseline Performance/vCPU CPU Credits earned/hr Network burst bandwidth (Gbps) EBS burst bandwidth (Mbps) On-Demand Price/hr* 1-yr Reserved Instance Effective Hourly* 3-yr Reserved Instance Effective Hourly* t3a.nano 2 0.5 5% 6
5 Up to 2,085 $0.0047 $0.0028 $0.0019 t3a.micro 2 1.0 10% 12
5 Up to 2,085 $0.0094 $0.0056 $0.0038 t3a.small 2
2.0 20% 24
5 Up to 2,085 $0.0188 $0.0112 $0.0075 t3a.medium 2 4.0 20% 24
5 Up to 2,085 $0.0376 $0.0224 $0.0150 t3a.large 2 8.0 30% 36
5 Up to 2,780 $0.0752 $0.0449 $0.0301 t3a.xlarge 4 16.0 40% 96
5 Up to 2,780
$0.1504 $0.0898 $0.0602 t3a.2xlarge 8 32.0 40% 192
5 Up to 2,780
$0.3008 $0.1796 $0.1203
*Prices shown are for Linux/Unix in US East (Northern Virginia) AWS Region. Prices for 1-year and 3-year reserved instances are for "Partial Upfront" payment options or "No upfront" for instances without the Partial Upfront option. For full pricing details, see the Amazon EC2 pricing page.
T3 instances accumulate CPU credits when operating below baseline threshold. One CPU credit is equal to one vCPU running at 100% utilization for one minute. See T3 Unlimited documentation for details on CPU Credits and how they work.
2018 re:Invent session: Amazon EC2 T Instances - Burstable, Cost-Effective Performance
2018 Webinar: Introducing New Amazon EC2 T3 Instances - General Purpose Burstable Instances
Amazon EC2 T3 User Guide
Amazon EC2 T3 infographic
Blog posts & articles
by Andy Ward, 09/14/2021
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