How AWS Pricing Works

13 February 18


Amazon Web Services (AWS) helps you move faster, reduce IT costs, and attain global scale through a broad set of global compute, storage, database, analytics, application, and deployment services. One of the main benefits of cloud services is the ability it gives you to optimize costs to match your needs, even as those needs change. AWS offers on-demand, pay-as-you-go, and reservation-based payment models, enabling you to obtain the best return on your investment for each specific use case. AWS services do not have complex dependencies or licensing requirements, so you can get exactly what you need to build innovative, costeffective solutions using the latest technology. In this whitepaper, we’ll provide an overview of how AWS pricing works across some of our most widely used services. The latest pricing information for each AWS service is available at


Understand the fundamentals of pricing

There are three fundamental drivers of cost with AWS: compute, storage, and outbound data transfer. These characteristics vary somewhat, depending on the AWS product and pricing model you choose. In most cases, there is no charge for inbound data transfer or for data transfer between other AWS services within the same region. There are some exceptions, so be sure to verify data transfer rates before beginning. Outbound data transfer is aggregated across services and then charged at the outbound data transfer rate. This charge appears on the monthly statement as AWS Data Transfer Out. The more data you transfer, the less you pay per GB. For compute resources, you pay hourly from the time you launch a resource until the time you terminate it, unless you have made a reservation for which the cost is agreed upon beforehand. For data storage and transfer, you typically pay per GB. Except as otherwise noted, our prices are exclusive of applicable taxes and duties, including VAT and sales tax. For customers with a Japanese billing address, use of AWS is subject to Japanese Consumption Tax. Learn more.


Start early with cost optimization Adopting

cloud services is not just a technical evolution. It also requires changes to how organizations operate. As you move from IT being treated as a capital investment that happens periodically to a world where pricing is closely tied to efficient use of resources, it pays to understand what drives cloud pricing so you can build a strategy for optimizing it.

When it comes to understanding pricing and optimizing your costs, it’s never too early to start. It’s easiest to put cost visibility and control mechanisms in place before the environment grows large and complex. Managing cost-effectively from the start ensures that managing cloud investments doesn’t become an obstruction as you grow and scale