AWS ECS Pricing: 3 Pricing Models and Tips for Optimizing Costs (2023)

Amazon ECS Pricing: 3 Pricing Models and Tips for Optimizing Costs

Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) allows you to easily deploy, manage, and scale containers on AWS. It offers significant benefits such as high availability, scalability, security, deep integration with other AWS services, and more. However, pricing is also an important factor to consider when choosing a container orchestration solution.

This article describes how ECS is priced through different pricing models to help you estimate ECS costs for container workloads on AWS. The article also lists use cases for pricing models and cost optimization techniques for reducing ECS ​​costs.

Simform is aheadCloud Native Application Development CompanyHelp businesses build future-proof, cost-effective solutions using the latest technologies, including containers.keep in touchWork with our experts to design a cost-effective technology stack and estimate your project costs.

How is Amazon ECS priced?

ECSis a fully managedcontainer orchestrationAWS builds services to help you manage containers at scale. It takes care of container lifecycle, storage, networking, high availability, and more. But the good news is that it offers all of this at no extra cost.

AWS does not charge any minimum fees or upfront fees for using the ECS service. You pay only for the resources your containerized workloads use, such as Amazon EC2 instances, Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS), and more.

However, Amazon ECS has different pricing models based on the computing platform you choose to run your ECS containers on. The following sections discuss how Amazon ECS pricing varies by compute platform and what costs you need to consider.

Amazon ECSpricing model

AWS ECS Pricing: 3 Pricing Models and Tips for Optimizing Costs (1)Amazon ECS allows you to run containers at scale on:

  • AWS method
  • Amazon EC2
  • AWS Outposts or ECS Anywhere (for running containers locally)

Additionally, you can configure your cluster with a mix of both compute options for better cost optimization. We discuss the use cases for each compute option and how they are priced below. let usstart!

ECS Pricing for EC2 Launch Type

There is no additional cost to start and run containers with Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). You only pay for the resources used to run your application, such as the underlying EC2 instances and EBS storage volumes.

Additionally, you can choose from five types of EC2 instances:

  • on-demand instance
  • reserved instance
  • Spot instance
  • savings plan
  • dedicated hosting

For more details and pricing information on EC2 instances, you can refer toAmazon EC2 PricingPage.

While it has no minimum fees or upfront fees,EC2 has some disadvantages.When deploying ECS ​​containers to EC2 instances, you need to define which instance types to use and when to scale them. You are responsible for configuring, monitoring, maintaining, patching and securing the underlying EC2 instances. Also, instances have a fixed size. Therefore, you must relatively determine your container requirements and avoid choosing an instance that is too small or too large.

bright side,EC2 has its advantages.You benefit from the greater control it provides to customize your infrastructure to meet your specific needs (for example, choose network-optimized or GPU-optimized instances). Also, if you deploy the right choice of containers on EC2, it could be the cheapest option for your cloud bill. To help you choose, we discuss ideal workloads for EC2 below.

Use Cases for EC2 Instances

Amazon ECS is well suited for the following workloads:

  • This would benefit greatly from customization and doesn't require rapid scaling
  • This would benefit from a dedicated CPU or GPU not available on Fargate or Lambda
  • little or no free time
  • Data is continuously processed so you don't need to pay extra or keep your team turning instances off/on all the time
  • Large workloads for which cost can be optimized by reserving EC2 instances, orpointexample

ECS pricing for the Fargate launch type

With AWS Fargate, you pay for the compute and memory resources used by your containerized applications. butThe price is slightly higher than EC2.

reason? Because with Fargate, AWS does all the heavy lifting of configuring and managing the underlying server or infrastructure.

Fargate pricing is calculated from the time the container image is pulled until the ECS task is terminated, rounded to the nearest second. The minimum charge is one minute. For detailed pricing information and how to calculate Fargate costs, you can refer to our blog postAWS Fargate pricing. In summary, Fargate billing is based on:

  • The number of ECS tasks you run
  • The duration of each task
  • vCPUs for tasks (billed hourly)
  • Memory used for tasks (billed by GB-hours)

While you pay a premium for Fargate, it frees developers to focus on developing and managing applications. Users simply specify the resources required for the task, and Fargate will start the container. Also, it improves security because applications are isolated by design.

What are the tradeoffs?Here, the trade-off may be limited control and customization, fewer features, and higher cost.

Fargate and EC2:It also got us into the long debate about Fargate vs. EC2. With EC2, you don't pay extra, you pay for the entire instance, no matter how many instances your containers use. Fargate, on the other hand, can better match the resource requirements of containers. Both computing options have their advantages and disadvantages, and work best when deployed for their ideal use cases. For a better comparison of the two, check out ourFargate and EC2 Pricingarticle.

Use Cases for AWS Fargate

AWS Fargate is ideal for:

  • Workloads that need to scale quickly
  • Workloads that benefit from Fargate's flexibility to right-size instances
  • Large workloads can be optimized for low overhead without compromising performance
  • Small workload with occasional bursts
  • Small workloads, such as small test environments, where EC2 instances are overpowered and don't yield good utilization
  • Batch workloads or workloads that includeperiodicTask

ECS on AWS Outposts

Outposts is a fully managed service from AWS that extends its infrastructure, tools, APIs, and services to customers' premises. It enables organizations to build and run applications on-premises or on hybrid infrastructure.

ECS pricing on AWS Outposts is simple and similar to deploying in the cloud. The ECS control plane lives in the cloud and your containers run on Outposts EC2 capacity at no additional charge. You only pay for the capacity your container uses. While Outposts offers a variety of configuration options, it may incur costs for installation, upgrades, delivery, software patches, and infrastructure service maintenance. For detailed prices, you can visitAWS Outposts PricingPage.

If your use case requires data to be kept locally or your application has strict low-latency requirements, you can choose to host ECS containers on Outposts. It can be expensive compared to other compute options, but can be very useful for specific workloads, as shown below.

Use Cases for AWS Outposts

AWS Outposts is ideal for the following workloads:

  • Need low latency computing
  • For regulatory, contractual or information security reasons, the data needs to reside in a specific country, state or municipality
  • Traditional on-premises workloads can be difficult to migrate or have latency-sensitive system dependencies
  • need localdataprocessing

Amazon ECS is Everywhere

This is another AWS feature that makes it easy to manage and run workloads on customer-managed infrastructure. ECS Anywhere lets you benefit from the ease of use and simplicity of ECS, whether on-premises or in the cloud. It provides a cluster management, workload scheduling, and monitoring experience similar to Amazon ECS.

AWS ECS Pricing: 3 Pricing Models and Tips for Optimizing Costs (2)There is no minimum or upfront fee for ECS Anywhere, but you are charged for the running instances it manages. AWS charges $0.01025 per hour per ECS Anywhere on-premises instance. On-premises instances are managed by the customer, but are registered to an ECS cluster and run using the ECS container agent. you can refer toECS Anywhere Pricingpage for detailed pricing and additional fee information.

Use Cases for ECS Anywhere

It's great for:

  • Workloads that require compliance, data gravity, and similar business requirements
  • Containerize existing on-premises workloads
  • Containerized Data Processing Workloads at the Edge
  • Local Video and ML Processing Workloads
  • For running Windows container workloads across on-premises and cloud environments
  • Leverage existing infrastructure investments while taking advantage of workloads running in the cloud

Once you've determined the launch type and pricing model that's right for your application and business needs, you can use the following techniques to develop a strategy for optimizing ECS ​​costs. For more tips on how to ideally build, operate and manage containers, see our blogpostalexistContainerization best practices.

6 methodsReduce and optimize ECS costs

This section briefly discusses cost optimization techniques. For a detailed and in-depth introduction to these technologies, please refer to our articleECS cost optimization

AWS ECS Pricing: 3 Pricing Models and Tips for Optimizing Costs (3)

  • Spot instance

Fargate and EC2 offer spot instances that allow you to run ECS jobs at heavily discounted rates (for example, 70% off the Fargate On-Demand price). When you launch tasks on spot instances, AWS will run them on the extra capacity available in the cloud. When capacity needs to be restored, tasks running on Spot Instances are interrupted and scaled down. Therefore, it is well suited for fault-tolerant tasks.

  • AWS Savings Program

These plans offer lower prices than on-demand pricing if you commit to a specific amount of compute usage in dollars/hour over a one-year or three-year period. Additionally, it is a relatively flexible pricing model, as Savings Plans are automatically applied to your resource usage and allocated regardless of instance family, size, operating system, or tenancy or region.

  • auto scaling

If your ECS service or cluster runs or scales unnecessarily, it consumes more resources and incurs higher costs. andAWS' autoscaling capabilities, you can automatically increase or decrease the computing capacity of the container. It ensures your services run or scale only when necessary and helps save costs.

  • multiple load balancers

Container-based applications often need to be exposed to internal and external clients within a VPC. If you maintain separate ECS services to serve traffic from internal and external load balancers, this increases operational complexity and resource costs. But with ECSMultiple load balancer target group support, you can attach multiple target groups to a single ECS service running on EC2 or Fargate. Therefore, it simplifies the infrastructure code and reduces the computational cost.

  • the right size container

They incur unnecessary computational costs when building applications with arbitrary configurations. Resizing containers avoids overprovisioning of ECS tasks and helps optimize resource usage and cost.

  • resource tag

If you're not proactively monitoring the resources your containers use, you might not be able to spot or understand orphaned or idle resources that are incurring unnecessary costs. Tagging your ECS resources can improve visibility into your workloads. Additionally, it enables you to optimize cost allocation and quickly identify resources for containers.

At Simform, we help enterprises build cloud-native applications that balance performance and cost efficiency. For example, we recently helped a recruiting platform modernize its architecture using Amazon ECS and AWS Fargate. It allowed us to delegate scalability and within a day attracted more than 600,000 users, increasing the traffic to the platform tenfold.

Simform is aAWS Advanced Consulting PartnerHelp organizations make the right and flexible technology choices for their business applications hosted in the cloud.request a free consultationBuild the applications of the future with our cloud experts today!

Let our extended team be part of your journey and help you step into the cloud.


What are the 3 pricing models of AWS? ›

AWS Pricing Principles
  • Pay as You Go. Pay as You Go is a pricing principle that lets you rent resources on-demand. ...
  • Use More, Pay Less. Amazon provides volume discounts and tiered pricing for most of its services. ...
  • Save When You Reserve. ...
  • Free Usage Tier. ...
  • On-Demand. ...
  • Dedicated Hosts. ...
  • AWS Budgets. ...
  • AWS Cost Explorer.

Which pricing model enables the company to optimize costs and meet these requirements? ›

The cloud model enables you to optimize costs to meet dynamic needs, turning resources off when you no longer need them. Leverage the right pricing model – AWS offers various pricing models, including on-demand pricing, Spot Instances, and Reserved Instances.

Which AWS EC2 pricing model is the most cost effective and flexible with no requirement for a long-term resource commitment? ›

Spot Instances: A Spot Instance is spare Amazon EC2 compute capacity available at discounts of up to 90% off On-Demand prices with no long-term commitment required. With Spot Instances, you can significantly reduce the cost of running your applications or scale your application's compute capacity for the same budget.

Which AWS pricing model will provide the lowest costs for computing resources? ›

Compute Savings Plans provide the most flexibility and help to reduce your costs by up to 66%. These plans automatically apply to EC2 instance usage regardless of instance family, size, AZ, Region, OS or tenancy, and also apply to Fargate or Lambda usage.

What are the 3 basic pricing methods explain? ›

Pros and cons of different pricing strategies
Price skimmingIts early high prices help recoup development costs.
Penetration pricingIts significantly lower price can motivate customers to switch brands
Value-based pricingA boon to artisanal goods, high-tech products and other unique services.
2 more rows

What is 3 level pricing strategy? ›

A three-tiered pricing model is a business method of laying out three different service solutions to your customers at three different pricing points, no matter if you use fixed pricing, value pricing or a volume pricing model.

Which is the most effective approach for creating a cost optimization program in AWS? ›

In AWS, you can automatically provision resources to match the workload demand. Auto Scaling using demand or time-based approaches allow you to add and remove resources as needed. If you can anticipate changes in demand, you can save more money and ensure your resources match your workload needs.

What are the 3 major types of product pricing models? ›

The three most common pricing strategies are:
  • Value based pricing - Price based on it's perceived worth.
  • Competitor based pricing - Price based on competitors pricing.
  • Cost plus pricing - Price based on cost of goods or services plus a markup.

What can be used to generate recommendations for cost optimization? ›

Automated recommendations related to cost optimization:
  • EC2 reserved instance optimization.
  • Low utilization of EC2 instances.
  • Idle elastic load balancers.
  • Underutilized EBS volumes.
  • Unassociated elastic IP addresses.
  • Idle DB instances on Amazon RDS.

What are the three pricing models in cloud computing? ›

Cloud Computing Pricing models have been broadly classified as: Pay-as-Use, Subscription Based, Hybrid pricing model. But specifically various cloud computing providers have classified the pricing models differently. Like Amazon uses: On-Demand Instance, Spot Pricing Instances and Reserved Instances [11].

What pricing model does Amazon use? ›

Dynamic Pricing Strategy

Amazon is known for its dynamic pricing or what is also known as repricing strategy. In this strategy, the prices of products don't remain constant but change often depending on competitor prices, demand and supply, and market trends.

What is AWS price list? ›

With the AWS Price List Query API, you can query specific information about AWS services, products, and pricing using an AWS SDK or the AWS CLI. This API can retrieve information about certain products or prices, rather than retrieving prices in bulk.


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