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IndyAWS Hosts Amazon EC2 Spot Instance Discussion

IndyAWS Hosts Amazon EC2 Spot Instance Discussion

The May 2021 edition of IndyAWS — Indiana’s fastest growing cloud meetup founded in 2017 by Six Feet Up CTO and Amazon Web Services (AWS) Community Hero Calvin Hendryx-Parker — hosted an engaging presentation and discussion on Amazon EC2 Spot Instances and their use cases.

During his presentation, AWS Solutions Architect Dave Crumbacher:

  • explained the difference between Spot Instances and On-Demand pricing models,
  • demonstrated best practices for utilizing Spot Instances to their full capacity, and
  • shared a real-world demo of how to use EC2 Spot Instances.

Watch the presentation:


Meetup Highlights:

  • Amazon EC2 Spot Instances consist of spare Amazon EC2 capacities that can save up to 90% off On-Demand prices
  • The Amazon EC2 bidding model for pricing is no longer in use as of 2017. There is now a more consistent and predictable pricing model for new Amazon EC2 instances.
  • There is a right place and a right time to use Amazon EC2 Spot Instances, but when done appropriately, they can result in large cost savings, scalability and speed.
  • While Amazon EC2 Spot Instances are made for “set it and forget it,” if AWS needs to reclaim a Spot Instance, you will get a two-minute warning before it is reclaimed.
    • Note: less than 5% of instances are interrupted/reclaimed.
  • While there are over 300 instance types for nearly every workload and business need, the Amazon EC2 Instance Selector can review your list of requirements to suggest the best instance type for your needs. Plus, this is an open source tool!
  • Amazon EC2 Spot Instances are perfect for fault-tolerant workloads such as: 
    • Containers
    • Big Data
    • CI/CD
    • Batch
    • Web Services
    • Machine Learning
    • High Performance Computing (HPC)

Did you know? 

  • EKS and ECS examples using Spot Instances: There is an EC2 Spot workshop at https://ec2spotworkshops.com/ that includes modules on EKS and ECS. There are also other workshops available which cover other use cases and services with Spot.
  • Warm Pools for EC2 Auto Scaling: There was a question of whether warm pools support Spot Instances. The answer is no. You cannot add a warm pool to Auto Scaling groups that have a mixed instances policy or that launch Spot Instances. More info here. Another option to consider is predictive scaling, which increases the number of instances in an Auto Scaling group in advance of daily and weekly patterns in traffic flows. More info here.

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