Pilotcore Pilotcore

Cost Optimization With the AWS Cost Calculator

The AWS Cost Calculator is free and provides a comprehensive way to calculate your monthly bill. Learn how to properly calculate your AWS costs with Pilotcore.

5 min read
Cost Optimization With the AWS Cost Calculator

Pilotcore Want to get up and running fast in the cloud? We provide cloud and DevOps consulting to startups and small to medium-sized enterprise. Schedule a no-obligation call today.

Are you looking to reduce your Amazon Web Services bill this year?

A majority of enterprises have improved their IT systems through cloud adoption. Thirty-percent of all IT budgets are now allocated to cloud computing services. And 50% of enterprises spend $1.2 million every year on cloud technology.

The market leader in cloud computing is AWS and the AWS hosting price is hard to beat if you optimize your resources architecture properly. But what is the best way to optimize your AWS hosting cost? How do you know if you're paying the right price for your AWS resources? When you look at AWS Cost Explorer in the billing console, you may not immediately know how to bring your bill down.

Amazon Web Services holds the lion's share of the Cloud computing market. But that comes at a cost if you don't optimize their price plans.

This article examines the AWS cost calculator and how it helps to calculate your monthly bill.

We show you how to use the AWS cost estimator for the most popular AWS services like Amazon EC2. You'll discover how to set-up instances and enter data transfer limits to estimate your bill.

Read on to learn how to use the AWS cost calculator. And most importantly, learn how to reduce your cloud costs.

A Word About AWS Free Tier

If you are new to AWS you can take advantage of AWS Free Tier to experiment with running workloads in the cloud at minimal cost and for a limited time. AWS Free Tier offers 12 months of free trials and access to certain resources without cost to help you get comfortable with the platform and see how it can benefit you.

What Is the AWS Cost Calculator?

The Amazon Web Services Simple Monthly calculator is a bit of a misnomer.

Although this free tool allows you to estimate your cloud costs, it's anything but simple for first-time users. However, it provides a comprehensive way to calculate your monthly bill. And it prevents unwanted surprises – if you use it correctly.

Visit the AWS pricing calculator page here.

You'll recognize the different AWS services listed on the left of the screen. Selecting these changes the information displayed on the right, which is unique to that AWS service.

There is a new version of the calculator available, offering a Fargate pricing calculator as well, but many IT managers still use the older tool. With that in mind, how does it work?

AWS Cloud Computing Services Costs

The calculator lists many of Amazon's popular web services, including:

  • Amazon EC2 - cloud computing capacity
  • Amazon S3 - data object storage
  • Amazon Cloudfront - CDN web service
  • Amazon RDS - relational database on the cloud
  • Amazon Glacier - low-cost storage service for back-ups

Over x30 services are listed here, ranging from data storage solutions to NoSQL databases to directory services.

Calculating AWS Costs

You may be familiar with how these services work on a technical basis, but how they will affect your monthly billing cycles is not always clear. The complex array of options available means that figuring out costs largely depends on several factors.

For example, the two tabs at the top show 'Services' and 'Estimate of your monthly bill.'

Beneath the Services tab is a dropdown containing a list of all AWS's regions. Canada's Central (Montreal) region is listed, and the US divides into East and West and then by major cities. European data centers include Ireland, London, and Paris. Asia, Africa, and South America are also included. Since each region is different in terms of the services available, you must do a separate calculation per region.

Once you've gone through each step of the form for all the relevant regions, you can select the Estimate tab.

This gives a breakdown of each cost and produces a final figure at the bottom. You can export this data as a CSV/spreadsheet file and save it to your computer to share.

AWS Pricing Calculator Samples

On the far right of the screen, you'll notice a range of common customer samples. These pre-built templates automatically fill-in many of the service fields for you.

Choosing the Marketing Web Site option, for example, adds 30GB/month data transfer out and 20GB/Week data in. You can adjust these values as needed. Clicking the Estimate tab shows that Amazon Cloudfront has been added along with S3 storage and basic support.

You can click the + buttons to view a price analysis of each service. Any discounts are noted above the final total, which in this example amounts to $196.33 per month.

Amazon EC2 Costs

One of AWS's most popular services is Amazon EC2.

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud provides secure and resizable compute capacity on demand. It allows developers to scale their projects by hooking into Amazon's global network.

Although using EC2 is relatively straightforward to use, calculating the cost isn't so simple.

Compute and Storage Services

Selecting the Amazon EC2 link on the left, you'll see a list of configuration options appear. The four gray boxes at the top let you include compute and storage resources like EC2 instances and dedicated hosts, including billing options (on-demand or reserved/convertible), Elastic Graphics resources, EBS volumes.

You can add as many of these as you require by clicking on the green arrow buttons.

Add your own reference into the description field to keep track of the service. For EC2 instances, choose the number you expect to launch in the next month. You must include your estimate of hours the instance will run then select the instance type.

A modal box will open asking you to choose an operating system. You have different flavours of Linux here or Microsoft Windows with the option of SQL Server.

Beneath the OSs is a full list of available server configurations. Note the number of virtual CPUs, memory and I/O limits, and on-demand hourly costs. Then click Save and Close to return to the main screen.

AWS Fargate Cost Calculator

Using the new version of the calculator you can estimate how much your Fargate usage will cost. The ECS Fargate cost calculator takes operating system, CPU architecture, the number of tasks/pods, duration, vCPU, memory and ephemeral storge to produce an estimate for your deployment. Keep in mind as well that the fargate cost calculator is the same whether you use ECS or EKS.

Elastic IP and Data Transfer

The EC2 AWS price calculator enables you to add extra vCPU hours and edit your Elastic IP settings.

There's no charge for Elastic IP addresses that you bring into AWS, but you need to state how they're used. That includes the total time any additional Elastic IPs are attached to your running EC2 instances.

Data transfer estimates will change the estimate considerably, so be sure to do the right math.

Enter all incoming and outgoing data transfers, including inter and intra-region traffic. These are charged in gigabytes per month or week, so be sure to select the right type.

As you can see, it's necessary to gather information on your requirements before filling out the AWS calculator thoroughly. It's a beneficial exercise, and in so doing, you can learn a lot about the different factors that go into AWS billing.

If you're experiencing sticker shock after seeing your estimate, keep in mind how much more cost would go into estimating, purchasing, installing, maintaining, and occasionally replacing all the necessary hardware yourself in an on-premises data centre, not to mention associated labour costs.

AWS Cost Optimization

Don't worry if your head is swimming after you explore the AWS cost calculator.

With such an array of possibilities, it isn't easy to know exactly what they all mean. And even when you do, you might not appreciate the final price.

One simple way to reduce the headaches of AWS estimates and your bill is to hire Pilotcore to optimize your costs.

Our AWS cost optimization service lets you maximize your ROI while reducing your monthly charges. We do this through:

  • optimizing cloud architecture
  • identifying areas of unnecessary costs
  • optimizing data transfer
  • reduce wastage and find optimum configurations

As AWS-certified experts, we help businesses of all sizes and types to take advantage of the power of Amazon Web Services, but at a price they can afford.

AWS Consulting and Cloud Adoption With Pilotcore

This article outlined the main components that go into your AWS bill through the AWS cost calculator.

Using this tool, you can estimate your Amazon AWS hosting pricing more accurately. Knowing what each option means and how to use it requires expert knowledge, especially if you want to reduce your overheads.

Pilotcore offers full cloud adoption services with the leader in cloud technology, Amazon.

We help steer your migration to the cloud and can optimize that presence for the best return on your investment. As a registered AWS partner in Canada, we offer comprehensive cloud architecture design, consulting, and more.

Learn more about our services and how we can help you lower your AWS bill today.

Peak of a mountain

Your Pilot in the Cloud

Contact us today to discuss your cloud strategy! There is no obligation.

Let's Talk