Upgrade Reserved Instance


Hi. I have a t2.large RI (convertible) which will expire in December 2024. I now need to add a new server with higher capacity (possibly an m4.xlarge). I'm trying to figure out how best to optimise cost.

The new m4 instance will run parallel to the current server for 4-6 months and then the t2 instance will be decommissioned.

Is there a way to change my RI from t2 to m4 after 6 months? If yes, how can I minimise the cost for the new m4 for these 6 months? If not, is there a way to avoid paying for the whole year after the t2 is decommissioned?


asked a year ago417 views
3 Answers
Accepted Answer

Yes, if you have convertible RIs you can likely convert them for the new instance types. The link below details when conversions can be made at the details of the process. As for when you do it, you will have to do a bit of math and determine whether you convert the RIs now or when you are ready to shutdown the existing instances.


Exchange Convertible Reserved Instances

You can exchange one or more Convertible Reserved Instances for another Convertible Reserved Instance with a different configuration, including instance family, operating system, and tenancy. There are no limits to how many times you perform an exchange, as long as the new Convertible Reserved Instance is of an equal or higher value than the Convertible Reserved Instances that you are exchanging.

When you exchange your Convertible Reserved Instance, the number of instances for your current reservation is exchanged for a number of instances that cover the equal or higher value of the configuration of the new Convertible Reserved Instance. Amazon EC2 calculates the number of Reserved Instances that you can receive as a result of the exchange.

You can't exchange Standard Reserved Instances, but you can modify them. For more information, see Modify Reserved Instances .

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answered a year ago
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reviewed 23 days ago
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reviewed a year ago
  • Thank you for the explanation. It seems the best option is to move the RI from t2 to m4 and perhaps run the current t2 instance in the spot mode for as long as required. Is my understanding correct?

  • There are some other implications of spot mode. Using on-demand is the simplest option for the t2, but obviously a bit more costly. If you want to do spot, you will have to create an image of the t2 instance and then launch a spot instance with that image. So doing so will take a bit of downtime. Make sure that you use persistent spot instance so if the instance gets preempted it stops rather than terminates and then restarts when sufficient capacity exists. Further, make sure that you understand spot capacity and that you can lose the instance for unknown periods of time with 2 minutes notice when spot capacity is low. Finally, I would highly recommend using Data Lifecycle Manager (https://docs.aws.amazon.com/AWSEC2/latest/UserGuide/snapshot-lifecycle.html) to automatically create snapshots of your instance on a daily basis and keep them for several days as a safety net.

  • T2 on-demand sounds better then. Thanks again.


Agreed with exchanging reserved instances. If you need to calculate how much you can save with the new instance type, I recommend trying aws pricing for google sheets. It's helpful to compare on-demand and different reserved instance prices!

answered a year ago
  • Thank you! This is helpful!


Hello Nitesh,

Yes, you can change your t2 to a t3 or an m4 easily by stopping your instance (NOT TERMINATING IT), and right click on the instance in the portal and select Instance Settings / Change Instance Type. https://docs.aws.amazon.com/AWSEC2/latest/UserGuide/ec2-instance-resize.html Best Craig

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answered a year ago
  • Thanks, but I want to change my RI, not the instance itself.

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