The cost of using AWS services depends on:
- the kind of services used such as compute, storage, networking, etc.,
- whether the AWS Free Tier is applicable,
- whether AWS Cloud Credit for Research is available, and
- the pricing model under which services are used.
The AWS Free Tier enables you to use for free some services within some limits in time and capacity. For example, if you created your instance in the last lesson using the suggested instance type t2.micro, your will not incur any cost for 12 months following opening your account. In the first episode of this lesson you will learn the scope of the AWS Free Tier, the free usage limits of the services used by your instance, how to check your service usage is within the free limits, and how to read your bills.
The AWS Cloud Credit for Research is credit towards the costs of using AWS services that is available to faculty, researchers and students at an accredited research institution. Student awards can be up to a maximum of US $5,000.00, but the awarded amount will depend on the research project description, the AWS services required, and the cost estimate of service usage as documented in your application. You will learn how to prepare your project and cost estimate to apply for AWS Cloud Credit for Research in the second episode.
The pricing scheme pay-as-you-go is the most widely known for cloud computing and is the one that is applied to your AWS service usage by default. Yet AWS offers other pricing schemes which, under some circumstances of service usage, will be more cheaper. These include Savings Plans, Reserved Instances, and Spot Instances. These schemes offer from 40% up to 90% discount off pay-as-you-go and rely on committing for 1 to 3 years of service usage, non-immediate (on-demand) service, meaning that your instance may take long to respond or made unavailable with 2-minutes notice, among other limitations. Savings Plans do not apply under AWS Free Tier nor Credit for Research. And capitalising on Reserved Instances and Spot Instances requires more involved configuration of AWS services and your applications. For these reasons, we will not consider these other pricing schemes any further in the remainder of this lesson. We will only consider the pay-as-you-go scheme from now on.