Does amazon start billing for a service from the moment it is starting up or only after it has started up?

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I am using a couple of services like EC2 compute and Amazon RDS. Instances from both AWS services can take a few minutes to start up. My question is: When does Amazon start charging the customer for such an instance? Does it happen the moment the customer hits the Create instance button or only after the instance has been fully initialized and is ready to take requests?

I have the same question for when someone stops an EC2 or RDS instance. It takes a while for it to shut down completely. Does billing stop the moment you give the stop order or only after the instance has stopped completely? I could only find this repost.aws question about the subject. But that question is about one specific service. I would like to know at what point amazon starts billing and stops billing for a service in general.

Thank you

asked 2 years ago229 views
2 Answers
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You are billed when the instance is in running state. You can find additional details here

--Syd

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Syd
answered 2 years ago
  • +1 to this. Worth noting that sometimes EC2 instances may be in the "running" state, however they may be unreachable (for example, you cannot SSH or access it due to your own misconfiguration) or they may be failing health checks... You are still billed for the EC2 instance as long as it's running. It's in your interest to fix any possible issues you might have with the resource itself that is not related to underlying infrastructure (things like networking misconfiguration or lost access keys, etc)

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My understanding is that billing should start and stop based on the API request. So for EC2, from the time an instance is launched (created) until it is terminated or stopped.

Billed per second; Minimum of 1 Minute (On-demand, Reserved, Spot) - Amazon linux - Ubuntu - EBS

Billed per hour - Windows - Commercial Linux (Red Hat EL, SUSE)

This would be similiar for RDS but would depend on the OS. From the time a DB instance is launched until it is stopped or deleted.

Does this help? More info can be found here: https://aws.amazon.com/pricing/

answered 2 years ago
  • but how do you define created? Is it the moment the instance is initializing or the moment it is done initializing and is ready to accept requests?

  • Not exactly. The instances are billed only when they are in the "running" state. If they are in any other state - they are not charged. For example, when you want to shut it down, it will be in "terminating" state for a while, as soon as the state changes - you are no longer billed for it (since it's not "running" anymore).

    With that said, note that sometimes EC2 instances may be in the "running" state, however they may be unreachable (for example, you cannot SSH or access it due to your own misconfiguration) or they may be failing health checks... You are still billed for the EC2 running instance in this case. It's in your interest to fix any possible issues you might have with the resource itself that is not related to underlying infrastructure (things like networking misconfiguration or lost access keys, etc)

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