With On-Demand instances, you pay for compute capacity by the hour with no long-term commitments or upfront payments. You can increase or decrease your compute capacity depending on the demands of your application and only pay the specified hourly rate for the instances you use.
On-Demand instances are recommended for:
- Users that prefer the low cost and flexibility of Amazon EC2 without any up-front payment or long-term commitment
- Applications with short-term, spiky, or unpredictable workloads that cannot be interrupted
- Applications being developed or tested on Amazon EC2 for the first time
Amazon EC2 Spot instances allow you to bid on spare Amazon EC2 computing capacity for up to 90% off the On-Demand price. Learn More.
Spot instances are recommended for:
- Applications that have flexible start and end times
- Applications that are only feasible at very low compute prices
- Users with urgent computing needs for large amounts of additional capacity
Reserved Instances provide you with a significant discount (up to 75%) compared to On-Demand instance pricing. In addition, when Reserved Instances are assigned to a specific Availability Zone, they provide a capacity reservation, giving you additional confidence in your ability to launch instances when you need them.
For applications that have steady state or predictable usage, Reserved Instances can provide significant savings compared to using On-Demand instances. See How to Purchase Reserved Instances for more information.
Reserved Instances are recommended for:
- Applications with steady state usage
- Applications that may require reserved capacity
- Customers that can commit to using EC2 over a 1 or 3 year term to reduce their total computing costs
A Dedicated Host is a physical EC2 server dedicated for your use. Dedicated Hosts can help you reduce costs by allowing you to use your existing server-bound software licenses, including Windows Server, SQL Server, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (subject to your license terms), and can also help you meet compliance requirements. Learn more.
- Can be purchased On-Demand (hourly).
- Can be purchased as a Reservation for up to 70% off the On-Demand price.
For details on related costs like data transfer, Elastic IP addresses, and EBS Optimized Instances, visit the On-Demand pricing page.