Getting Started with Amazon EC2 Spot Instances

Amazon EC2 Spot Instances offer spare compute capacity in the AWS cloud at steep discounts compared to On-Demand instances.

Spot instances let you save up to 90% on big data, containers, CI/CD, HPC and other fault-tolerant workloads. Or, scale your workload throughput by up to 10x and stay within the existing budget.

What are Spot Instances? (2:10)

How to Get started

Getting started with Spot Instances is simple. First, identify key workloads best suited to run on Spot Instances. Then launch a Spot instance in minutes via the AWS Management console, integrated AWS services, such as EMR, ECS, and Auto Scaling, or the EC2 Fleet API. Visit the Amazon EC2 User Guide, and read the best practices and resources below.

1. Know Before you Launch Spot

  1. Watch this video to see which workloads are best suited to run on Spot Instances
  2. Learn how the Spot pricing model works, offering redictable prices, wthout bidding and with typical savings of 70-90% over On-Demand

2. Create Your First Spot Instance

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  1. Learn how Spot Instances work to launch your first Spot Instance from the AWS Management Console, AWS SDK/CLI or via the AWS APIs.
  2. Learn how to launch Spot Instances for workloads such as CI/CD, Big Data, Containers, and Rendering

3. Implement Best Practices

  1. Watch this video to learn a few simple rules to follow when launching Spot Instances to maximize compute cost savings. Learn more
  2. Learn how to minimize the impact of interruptions here

How Spot Instances Work

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Use Case Examples

Containerized Workloads with Spot Instances

Containers are stateless, fault-tolerant and a great fit for Amazon EC2 Spot Instances. Attend this webinar to learn how to efficiently deploy containerized workloads and easily manage clusters at any scale at a fraction of the cost. Spot instances can be used with ECS or Kubernetes to run any containerized workload, from distributed system to applications that map millions of miles a day. Learn more.

Did You Know That Containers Are Natural Fit for Amazon EC2 Spot Instances? (6:53)

Big Data Best Practices with Amazon EMR and Amazon EC2 Spot Instances

Big Data Workloads on Spot Instances

Spot instances provide acceleration, scale, and deep cost savings to run time-critical, hyper-scale workloads for rapid data analysis. Use Spot Instances with Amazon EMR, Hadoop or Spark to process massive amounts of data. Watch this video to get started on Amazon EC2 Spot and Amazon EMR for easy fast and cost-effective processing of vast amounts of data.


CI/CD Workloads on Spot Instances

Configure Jenkins with the EC2 Spot Plug-In to automatically scale a fleet of Spot instances depending on the number jobs to be completed. Increase cost savings by leveraging older generation instances for CI, as these processes do not require a lot of power for testing. Load, integration, canary, and security testing all benefit from the elasticity and price savings associated with Spot instances.

Did You Know That There Is an Amazon EC2 Spot Fleet Plugin for Jenkins? (7:42)

Rendering on AWS with Deadline 10 (44:37)

Rendering Workloads on Spot Instances

Watch this webinar to learn how you can get started with AWS Thinkbox Deadline and Amazon EC2 Spot to help scale rendering pipelines using AWS Portal. Also see how you can take advantage of products such as Draft and Jigsaw to help make it easier to manage your rendering tasks.


Spot Best Practices

Your instance type requirements, budget requirements, and application design will determine how to apply the best practices for your application. Here are a few recommendations.

1. Spot Rules

Learn two simple rules to follow to maximize compute cost savings:
  1. Spot Capacity Pools have separate prices and change infrequently
  2. Amazon EC2 will give you a 2 minute warning when we need the capacity back

2. Instance Flexibility

Test your application on different instance types when possible. Because prices fluctuate independently for each instance type in an Availability Zone, you can often get more compute capacity for the same price when you have instance type flexibility. Watch this video to learn more.

3. Fleet API

EC2 Fleet simplifies the provisioning of EC2 capacity across different instance types, AZs, and across On-Demand, RIs and Spot purchase models. The same functionality is available in Spot Fleet. Watch this video to learn how to mix Spot Instances and On-Demand to maximize cost savings via Spot Fleet.


Handling Interruptions

Automating 2 min Notifications (4:11)

Spot Instances receive a two-minute notice when these instances are about to be reclaimed by EC2, because EC2 needs the capacity back.To reduce the impact of interruptions, follow best practises mentioned above.

Watch this video to automate the 2 minute notifications you receive when the Spot instances are interrupted by Amazon EC2. You can also review the Spot Instance Advisor for average frequency of interruption for different Spot Pools.