AWS offers you a pay-as-you-go approach for pricing for over 70 cloud services. With AWS you pay only for the individual services you need, for as long as you use them, and without requiring long-term contracts or complex licensing. AWS pricing is similar to how you pay for utilities like water or electricity. You only pay for the services you consume, and once you stop using them, there are no additional costs or termination fees.

Topics covered:

  • HPC cost and licensing considerations
  • Cost monitoring and notifications

It will cost you less than $0.75/hour to use the AWS resources created in the sample HPC environment you launched in this learning path, if you follow the recommended configurations. If you use larger (or more) EC2 instances as part of your cluster or require large network traffic during testing, your costs will increase.

The cost of running your HPC workload is dependent on the individual AWS services you decide to use. Each service has a different pricing model and is covered by the AWS license agreement. The total combined usage of each service will create your monthly AWS bill. The sample HPC environment you launched also uses EnginFrame, which is regulated by the NICE End User License Agreement. Please note that the cluster you launch uses EnginFrame's 90-day evaluation license.

Click the tabs below to learn about each service used in your sample HPC environment and how it impacts costs:

  • AWS CloudFormation

    Description: AWS CloudFormation gives you an easy way to create and manage a collection of related AWS resources, and provision and update them in an orderly and predictable way. You use a template to describe all the AWS resources (e.g., Amazon EC2 instances) that you want. You don't have to individually create and configure the resources or figure out dependencies—AWS CloudFormation handles all of that. In this lab, AWS Cloud Formation automatically deployed the AWS resources you need for your HPC environment.

    How Pricing Works: There is no additional charge for AWS CloudFormation. You pay for the AWS resources (such as Amazon EC2 instances, Elastic Load Balancing load balancers, etc.) created using AWS CloudFormation in the same manner as if you created them manually.

  • Amazon EC2

    Description: The Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) service enables you to launch virtual machine instances with a variety of operating systems. 

    How Pricing Works: Amazon EC2 pricing is based on four components: the instance type you choose (EC2 comes in 40+ types of instances with options optimized for compute, memory, storage and more), the region your instances are based in, the software you run, and the pricing model you select (on-demand instances, reserved capacity, spot, etc.). For more information, see Amazon EC2 pricing.

  • Elastic Load Balancing

    Description: Elastic Load Balancing automatically distributes incoming application traffic across multiple Amazon EC2 instances.

    How Pricing Works: You are charged for each hour or partial hour your load balancer is running and for each GB of data transferred through your load balancer. For more information, see Elastic Load Balancing pricing.

  • Amazon EFS

    Description: Amazon Elastic File System provides simple, scalable file storage for use with Amazon EC2 instances.

    How Pricing Works: You pay only for the amount of file system storage you use per month. There are no charges for bandwidth or requests. For more information, see Amazon EFS pricing.

  • AWS Directory Service

    Description: AWS Directory Service for Microsoft Active Directory (Enterprise Edition), also known as AWS Microsoft AD, enables your directory-aware workloads and AWS resources to use managed Active Directory in the AWS Cloud.

    How Pricing Works: You pay only for the type and size of directory you use. For more information, see AWS Directory Service pricing.

  • EnginFrame

    Description: NICE EnginFrame delivers a web experience designed for user-friendly HPC job submission, control, and monitoring to increase user productivity on-premises or on AWS.

    How Pricing Works: EnginFrame is licensed per concurrent users, and comes with a free evaluation license of 90 days. To continue using EnginFrame beyond 90 days, contact NICE.

The following suggestions will help you to reduce costs if you want to keep your environment active for several days:

  • Use an inexpensive instance for the head node (the “Master” instance) because this instance will not be terminated if idle. It is easy to stop an instance, change the instance type, and restart it.
  • Consider stopping the Master instance when you don’t use it - for example, during weekends or overnight periods.
  • Consider using Amazon EC2 Spot Instances to significantly reduce the per-instance pricing using low bids on the instance price.  

While the AWS Free Tier covers many costs, it is a good idea to create a billing alarm to notify you via email if chargers are accruing beyond a certain threshold. For more information, including a tutorial on how to set up billing alarms, see Creating a Billing Alarm.