The AWS pricing is quite complicated. I am aware that every website is different and require different types of AWS services.

But is there a simple way to say that for 10$ per month you can run website on AWS, that has X unique users, Y data transfer, Z storage etc. e.g. simpleblog.com, for 100$ you can run website with ... something like ...?

1 Answer 1

  • $10 -- You can't run a website on AWS at this price. The minimal server they offer is a "Micro" instance at $0.02 per hour which is $14.40 per month. Even at slightly over budget you wouldn't want to use a micro instance for a website because the machine is severely limited. It is meant for testing only. As the CPU quota is used up, it may become unavailable for several seconds at a time. The minimim you should be willing to spend on Amazon would be around $50 per month for a "small" instance.
  • $100 -- This is enough for a "small" webserver and a "small" RDS database instance. With this type of setup, you can run lightly used website such as a simple blog (or even several blogs). For another $60 per month, you would probably add a second "small" webserver and a load balancer which would give you the capability to grow.
  • $1000 -- At this price you would have upgraded your two servers to "large" instances. You would have a larger sized RDS database. You would have budget to take advantage of many of the other services available on AWS. Depending on the complexity of your web application, this would give you enough capacity to serve millions or even ten of millions of pageviews per month.
  • $10,000 -- At this price you might have 10 extra large servers behind your load balancer. With a reasonably efficient web application you would be serving hundreds of millions of page views per month.
  • $100,000 -- At this price you would almost certainly be using multiple data centers. This gives you enough budget for a hot spare for your website, or using DNS tricks to route visitors to a data center that is near them. You would hopefully be serving billions of pageviews per month. Here is an in depth case study from tripadvisor.com where they look at the cost benefit analysis of running their site on AWS vs building their own dedicated hardware at this price point. (Full disclosure: I used to work for TripAdvisor.)
  • $1,000,000 -- You probably wouldn't be using AWS at this point. Building out your own physical dedicated hardware would probably be cheaper. AWS does offer flexibility though, so you might still be using them for variable and spare capacity.
  • 2
    +1, this is a great answer but I'd like to point out a couple things at the low end of the scale. $10 would be easy for a static site using just S3, assuming traffic isn't huge. Also, the 'Micro' instance is perfectly fine for hosting a CMS site or two, provided you configure it properly (caching, mod_pagespeed, etc). I've got a Joomla site (front page <1MB) loading in 1.5seconds with a YSlow grade of 92% on a micro instance now. Not brilliant, but good enough for the vast majority of small websites. Commented Oct 27, 2013 at 12:53
  • 1
    "$10 -- You can't run a website on AWS at this price." Not strictly true. If uptime isn't a paramount concern, you can get a much better deal by using spot instances. The current rates are about $2/mo for a micro instance or $5/mo for a small. At that price, you can hedge the risk of sudden termination by starting multiple instances in different availability zones.
    – David
    Commented Oct 27, 2013 at 18:07
  • 1
    You CAN run a large instance for $100 if you choose Amazon EC2 Reserved Instances pricing.
    – Gaia
    Commented Oct 28, 2013 at 17:17

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.