AWS Savings Plans: A guide to the November 2019 AWS pricing change

 In |

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Say hello to AWS Savings Plans.

Effective Nov. 6, 2019, Amazon EC2 is available through Savings Plans, a new flexible pricing model option.

We know you have questions about this new program, and we’re here to help. Here’s what you need to know.

What are Savings Plans?

Savings Plans are a new pricing model that provides the same discounts as EC2 Reserved Instances (RIs) in exchange for a monetary commitment, instead of making commitments to specific instance configurations.

You can save up to 72% on Amazon EC2 and AWS Fargate by committing to a consistent amount of usage (e.g., $10/hour) over one or three years.

How does it work?

Every type of compute usage has an On-Demand rate and a Savings Plans rate. If you commit to $10/hour of compute usage, you’ll get Savings Plans pricing on all usage up to $10. Any usage beyond the commitment will be charged at regular On-Demand rates.

Savings Plans take two forms:

  • Compute Savings Plans offer the greatest flexibility and up to 66% savings—the same discounts as Convertible RIs. They’re are applicable across EC2 and Fargate, and they’re region agnostic. Compute Savings Plans also provide flexibility across instance family, OS, and tenancy (dedicated or default).
  • EC2 Instance Savings Plans offer the deepest discounts—up to 72% (same as Standard RIs). They’re applicable on a selected EC2 instance family in a selected region. For example, M5 in US East. EC2 Instance Savings Plans are flexible across size, OS, and tenancy.

Savings Plans are available in all AWS commercial regions (except Beijing and Ningxia) and AWS GovCloud (US) Regions.

Why should you use Savings Plans?

In short, it’s easy, flexible, and offers significant discounts.

  • Easy to use: Get automatic discount rates in exchange for a monetary commitment.
  • Flexible: Make a single commitment that applies across multiple AWS Compute Services, even as your requirements change.
  • Significant discounts: Up to 66% on Compute Savings Plans and up to 72% on EC2 Instance Plans.

What if I already have existing RIs?

Note that you cannot convert existing RIs to the new Savings Plan model. You’ll have to wait for the RIs to expire or sell your RIs on the marketplace. But existing RIs will continue to work as-is alongside Savings Plans.

You can also continue purchasing EC2 RIs to maintain compatibility with your existing purchasing and cost management processes.

Just like with Regional RIs, you can reserve EC2 capacity with On-Demand Capacity Reservations. If you have active Savings Plans, your usage will be charged at Savings Plans rates.

 Do Savings Plans offer Reserved Capacity functionality?

No. If you need Reserved Capacity in specific availability zones, you’ll need to continue purchasing Reserved Capacity RIs.

How do I get started with Savings Plans?

We’re guessing you have other questions about your specific organization — reach out to your account executive to talk through these changes and what they mean for you.

If you’re ready to get started, your account team is waiting. Contact them today.