With Amazon EC2 Spot instances, you can request the same Amazon EC2 instances to reduce compute costs and improve application throughput. You can request Spot instances by using the Spot management console, CLI, API or the same interface that is used for launching On-Demand instances by indicating the option to use Spot. Your request will be fulfilled as long as capacity is available. You can select a Launch Template or a pre-configured or custom Amazon Machine Image (AMI), configure security and network access to your Spot instance, choose from multiple instance types and locations, use static IP endpoints, and attach persistent block storage to your Spot instances.

The Spot price is determined by long term trends in supply and demand for EC2 spare capacity. You pay the Spot price that's in effect at the beginning of each instance-hour for your running instance, billed to the nearest second.

Amazon EC2 offers features and tools to help you optimize cost savings and application performance with Spot instances.

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Spot instances can be launched via RunInstances API with a single additional parameter. The Spot instances launched via RunInstances are the same as any EC2 Spot instance; they provide the reliability, security, performance, control, and elasticity of Amazon EC2, at low market-driven prices. Simply specify the market option as Spot when requesting the capacity. Learn more about launching Spot instances via RunInstances API. 

Spot Fleet allows you to automatically request Spot instances with the lowest price per unit of capacity. Simply submit a Spot Fleet request that includes the instance types that your application can use, and define a target capacity based on your application needs (in any unit including instances, vCPUs, memory, storage, or network throughput). Learn more about Spot Fleets.

Spot Fleet detects disrupted or manually terminated Spot instances, and automatically replaces them, to ensure that your application gets your desired amount of compute capacity. Spot Fleet also enables you to provision Spot capacity across multiple instance pools, which helps improve your application's availability and reduce operating costs of the fleet over time. Learn more about Spot Fleets.

Spot can hibernate or stop (shutdown) your instances in the event of interruption, instead of terminating them when capacity is no longer available. Instances will be resumed from prior state when capacity becomes available, allowing your instances to resume their work faster. Learn more about Stop/Start and Hibernate.

With Spot instances, you never pay more than the maximum price you specified. If the Spot price exceeds your maximum willingness to pay for a given instance or when capacity is no longer available, your instance will be terminated automatically (or stopped/hibernate, if you opt for this behavior on persistent request). Spot offers three features to help you better track and control when Spot instances run and terminate (or stop/hibernate).

Termination Notices
If you need to save state, upload final log files, or remove Spot instances from an Elastic Load Balancer before interruption, you can use termination notices, which are issued two minutes prior to interruption. Learn more about managing interruptions.

Persistent Requests
You can optionally set your request to remain open so that a new instance will be launched in its place when the instance is interrupted. You can also have your Amazon EBS-backed instance stopped upon interruption and restarted when Spot has capacity at your preferred price. Learn more about persistent and one-time requests.

Block Durations
If you need to execute workloads continuously for 1 to 6 hours, you can also specify a duration requirement when requesting Spot instances. Learn more about block durations for Spot instances.

Amazon Web Services customers have the ability to run Amazon Elastic MapReduce (EMR) clusters on Spot instances and significantly reduce the cost of processing vast amounts of data on managed Hadoop clusters. Customers can run their EMR clusters by easily mixing Spot instances with On-Demand and/or Reserved instances using the multiple Instance Groups feature. To learn more about setting up an EMR cluster with Spot, visit the Amazon EC2 User Guide.

AWS CloudFormation makes it easy to organize and deploy a collection of AWS resources, including EC2 Spot, and lets you describe any dependencies or special parameters to pass in at runtime. For a sample High Performance Computing framework using CloudFormation that can use Spot instances, see the cfncluster demo. To learn more about setting up CloudFormation with Spot, visit the Amazon EC2 User Guide.

You can use Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling groups to launch and manage Spot instances, maintain application availability, and scale your Amazon EC2 Spot capacity up or down automatically according to conditions and bid prices you define. To learn more about using Auto Scaling with Spot instances, visit the Auto Scaling Developer Guide. To scale other services in addition to EC2, you can use AWS Auto Scaling.  

Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) customers have the ability to run Amazon ECS clusters on Spot instances to reduce the operational cost of running containerized applications on Amazon ECS. Amazon ECS Console is also tightly integrated with Amazon EC2 Spot, customers can use the Create Cluster Wizard to easily setup an ECS cluster with Spot instances. To learn more about ECS, visit Amazon ECS product page.

AWS Batch plans, schedules, and executes customers batch computing workloads on AWS. AWS Batch dynamically requests for Spot Instances on your behalf, reducing the cost of running your batch jobs. To learn more about Batch, visit AWS Batch product page.

Thinkbox Deadline makes it easy to spin up a render farm on EC2 using Spot fleet through the AWS Portal. You can choose the 3rd party product you want such as Autodesk Maya, Autodesk 3dsMax and spin up an EC2 Spot fleet. Deadline 10 comes with a file system to automatically sync your asset files to Amazon S3. To learn more about Deadline, visit Thinkbox Deadline.

You can specify an unencrypted snapshot at launch and request Spot to create an encrypted EBS volume(s) when launching the instance. Specify "Encrypted: true" as the encryption behavior within block device mappings, when submitting a Spot request. If you already have an encrypted EBS volume in use then specify the snapshot ID without the "Encrypted" flag and Spot will continue to create encrypted volumes in your existing encrypted EBS snapshot.

When you request a Spot instance, Spot will default the maximum price you are willing to pay per Spot instance-hour as the On-Demand price. You can also exercise additional control over your Spot instance budget by specifying the maximum price you are willing to pay per instance-hour in your request. You will continue to pay the Spot price that's in effect for the time period your instances are running. If Spot price rises above your maximum price, your instance will be automatically terminated, stopped or hibernated. Learn more about how Spot works.

You can use Spot Fleet plugin for Jenkins and Atlassin Bamboo to execute your continuous integration build tasks on Spot instances.

Spot instances are well suited to a variety of workloads. The more distributed, scalable, and fault tolerant your application, the easier it is to save money and increase throughput.

Complex analytics such as log scanning or simulations, typically performed as batch jobs, can be completed cost-effectively with Spot instances. Learn more about batch processing.

Financial Modeling and Analysis
Financial Services firms use Spot instances to reduce the time and cost to perform complex analysis ranging from wealth management simulations to Counterparty Value Analytics.

Image and Media Rendering
Media and Entertainment companies can cost-effectively render and encode media assets using Spot instances, scaling their infrastructures based on demand. To learn more and see reference architectures, visit our blog.

Load, integration, canary, and security testing all benefit from the elasticity and price savings associated with Spot instances. Learn More.

Big Data
Spot instances can be used with tools like Amazon Elastic MapReduce to process massive amounts of data, from human genomes to the Twitter fire hose. Learn more.

Geospatial Analysis
Geographic information system (GIS) providers use Spot to speed up and reduce the cost of batch processing jobs such rendering and satellite image processing. Learn more about batch processing.

Scientific Computing
Scientific researchers and high performance computing customers use Spot to cost-effectively perform simulations ranging from drug discovery to genomics research. Learn More.

Web Crawling
Web crawling processes can easily and cost-effectively scale-out on Spot instances by leveraging Amazon Elastic MapReduce or other tools to get work done faster and typically cheaper.