I want to duplicate the t2.micro I have running in the free tier

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Hi,

I'm currently running a t2.micro on the free tier and I like what I've seen so far. I'm considering purchasing at least one more t2.micro. I'm trying to figure out the most cost effective way to do that.

I have a little experience with reserved instances, but I found out the hard way that storage isn't included.

So my question is this. If I want to replicate the instance I have running in the free tier, what's the most cost effective way to do that? If that's a reserved instance, how do I purchase the storage I need? Is it on-demand pricing at the point I create the new instance?

Finally, is there anything else I need to purchase?

Thanks in advance.

crock77

crock77
asked 2 years ago467 views
2 Answers
2
Accepted Answer

I concur with @Brettski-AWS regarding the use of Savings Plans and t3 instances, both excellent cost-saving recommendations.

Note: On the free tier, you can have up to 30GB of EBS storage, which can be 15GBx2 volumes.
You would only incur a cost for the compute of the 2nd instance.


Regarding a cost-effective way to replicate the instance, I recommend the following steps:

  1. Create a snapshot of the existing instance
  2. Create a volume from a snapshot
  3. Launch a new instance
  4. Attach the volume -- more specifically -- replace the root volume of the new instance with the volume you created from the snapshot
  5. Delete the snapshot

The steps outlined above are not the easiest, and they're pretty advanced, so read the linked docs carefully.
Creating the second instance this way allows you to delete the intermediary snapshot, saving the ongoing fees of the snapshot.


The simpler alternative would be to create an AMI and launch an instance based on your custom AMI,
but you would have to retain [and pay for] the snapshot through the instance's life.


A note regarding EBS volume types;
gp3 volumes are 20% cheaper than gp2 volumes and are the recommended cost/performance balance.
The "standard" (st1, magnetic) volume type is almost half the cost of a gp3 volume, making it the most cost-effective but the least performant option.

Since you will pay for 2 storage volumes, you may consider adjusting the volume type to suit your needs.
You can modify the volume type at any point during the volume's lifetime.

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Blfrg
answered 2 years ago
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EXPERT
reviewed a month ago
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EXPERT
reviewed a year ago
  • Thank you @Brettski-AWS and @Blfrg. Really appreciate the detailed responses. I'm a little new at this, but learning a lot. Both are very helpful.

    Regarding replication, I realize now I think the question I asked was misleading. I said replicate, but what I really want is to launch another instance with the same specs because it has performed well.

    That said, the info on plans, t3 vs. t2, and volumes (gp3 vs. gp2 vs. st1) is all relevant to what I'm looking to do. I'll look into all of this more and report back with my next steps and/or questions.

    Thanks again!

  • @crock77, if you are focused on creating an instance with the same configuration specs, you can do the following:

    1. Browse to EC2 -> Instances
    2. Select the instance you want to mimic
    3. In the upper right, click Actions -> Image and templates -> Launch more like this

    This will pre-populate a new instance wizard with the same AMI (OS), instance type, security groups, volume, etc. And will allow you to make any customizations before launching the new instance (such as selecting t3 instead of t2 or changing volume type/size).

    Note: This does not copy any data or programs you installed after launching the initial instance. This will only make an entirely new instance with similar performance and security parameters.

  • Thanks @Blfrg! Used these tactics to spin up a couple more instances. So far so good. Thanks again!

  • @crock77 Glad to hear these responses helped you accomplish your goal.
    Please consider marking the answer as accepted to help those who search for similar needs.

1

You're correct - the Reserved Instance pricing doesn't cover storage; it only covers the EC2 instance itself (the compute). You might also consider Savings Plans as that doesn't restrict you to a particular instance type or size.

Note also that the t2 instances are previous generation; you may find that t3 instances are better value.

profile pictureAWS
EXPERT
answered 2 years ago
  • Thank you @Brettski-AWS and @Blfrg. Really appreciate the detailed responses. I'm a little new at this, but learning a lot. Both are very helpful.

    Regarding replication, I realize now I think the question I asked was misleading. I said replicate, but what I really want is to launch another instance with the same specs because it has performed well.

    That said, the info on plans, t3 vs. t2, and volumes (gp3 vs. gp2 vs. st1) is all relevant to what I'm looking to do. I'll look into all of this more and report back with my next steps and/or questions.

    Thanks again!

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