EC2 the hidden costs

When you purchase an EC2 instance there are numerous statuses how they can be set. The simplest is “Running” this is when the instance is on and working. In this status you pay for the following: 

  • Compute time
  • Disk Space
  • Data Traffic (if has)

Additionally, you can be in a stopped state. In this mode, the EC2 instance is inactive, but still maintains its Public IP. Even if it is connected to an external disk server (EBS), the EBS is still active and the information stored there is not deleted. So in cases where our server is stopped we will pay for the following:

  • IP Unattached (3.7$± monthly)
  • Disk Space

Many users erroneously think that when their servers are stopped, that they are not working and there is no cost to them, this has led to users incurring very high unexpected costs.  

Using cloud services requires constant monitoring and a thorough understanding of what the actual costs of each service will be to make sure that they plan their budget accurately. 

EC2 costs breakdown

The above image shows what the EC2 costs actually consist of, when we click Other we will get the full details.

Associate IP Address cost

Detailed above is the payment for each IP addresses and servers that have more than one IP address connected, or even an IP address that is not connected at all. You can click down to see even more details. 

Elastic IP address not attached

An additional AWS cost is based on Data Traffic. That is the cost of the data going from the server to the internet.

Data Traffic is priced using the tier method. That means that your cost is based on a pre-defined volume, below that volume will be paid at a lower cost, above that volume will cost more etc.  Data traffic is calculated based on the account level, so it is important that you can extract your traffic data on the account level, to truly understand what each service costs. As the below example shows. 

Data Transfer cost

Clicking on the data traffic will show you which services make up the cost of that Server. 

Data Transfer costs breakdown

In the example above you can see that a significant cost in EC2 goes directly to the Data Traffic. To sum up, in addition to the cost of having EC2 servers, using AWS servers can incur additional “hidden” costs that you need to be aware of. 

When there is no ability to track and understand your true costs, it is very easy to incur additional expenses that are lost without justification. 

In another post I will elaborate on data traffic timing and how costs can be reduced here as well.