Posted: Apr 13, 2012
By: Dhwanit | 0 comments
Category: Apps

amazon, aws, cloud, hosting charges

HomeBloghosting charges → Calculate your Amazon AWS Hosting Costs using Excel
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Calculate your Amazon AWS Hosting Costs using Excel

One of the most common questions that come up whenever we recommend Amazon AWS as a hosting platform is "how much would it cost me per month?" We would refer clients to the official AWS hosting calculator and they would invariably come back and say they didn't understand how to use the tool. Well, they're not alone... I have a confession to make -- I've played a bit with the tool myself and I still haven't figured out how to use it!

So, we did the next best thing... make a simplified version of the AWS calculator, which may not be absolutely accurate to the penny, but gives a ball-park range of how much it would cost per month. Based on previous projects that clients paid Amazon for & our own experience of paying Amazon for hosting, we can say that this simplifed spreadsheet is about 90-95% accurate in projecting costs for the first year.

Download the AWS Hosting Cost Calculator in Excel format. The AWS hosting prices were updated last on April 13, 2012. The prices may have changed in the mean-time. Cross-check the EC2 prices and the RDS prices before you use the Calculator.

Download Now!

Calculator: simple usage

  1. Open up the downloaded Excel sheet. The first column (A) lists the standard instance types. We have not included the other high-performance/high-memory instances for the sake of simplicity. Also, there's a good chance you may not need such specific instance types during the first year of hosting.
  2. Cells that are green in color are to be filled in by the user.
    E10 - E33: Number of On-demand instances that are required.
    M10 - M33: Number of Instances required that have been Reserved for 1 year.
    V10 - V33: Number of Instances required that have been Reserved for 3 years.
    E38: Expected amount of data (in GB per month) to be transmitted through the Elastic Load Balancer (ELB). If you're not too sure, enter 50 (GB per month). Data transfer cost through the ELB aren't very expensive.
    F39: Number of alarms configured for triggering auto-scaling. Usually, its 2 -- a scale up and a scale down. But for fine grained scaling, there may be more alarms defined. Enter 2 to use the default.
  3. As you're making changes, the price per month & year appear in cells IJ2, IJ3 and IJ4 (merged cells for columns I & J on rows 2, 3 and 4). These are the cells with a yellow background and a thick black border. This is your monthly, amortized and yearly cost.

Calculator: a bit more advanced usage

  1. If you're only making changes in the On-Demand section (E10 - E33), cells IJ2 and IJ3 will be identical (there is no reserved pricing paid). However, if you make changes in the Reservation for 1 year section (M10 - M33) or the Reservation for 3 years section (V10 - V33), the costs in cells IJ2 and IJ3 will be different. This is because when reserving instances, you pay an upfront fee to Amazon before you start paying for hosting every month. Without the reserve price included, your actual monthly outflow will be the amount in cell IJ2. However, the reservation price is amortized across 12 months resulting in the effective monthly outflow amount in cell IJ3.
  2. If you want to compare On-demand versus 1 year Reservation versus 3 year Reservation costs, first enter the relevant numbers in all three columns E, M and V. Ignore cells IJ2, IJ3 and IJ4 since this is the total cost across all three types (on-demand, reserved 1 year, reserved 3 years). Instead, scroll down to Row #41 onwards.
  3. Cells B48, C48 show the per month and per year cost of only the On-demand instances chosen. Cells B56, C56 show the per month and per year cost of only the 1 year Reserved instances; B57 is the effective cost per month when the reserve price is amortized across 12 months. Cells B65, C65 show the per month and per year cost of only the 3 year Reserved instances; B66 is the effective cost per month to amortize the 3 year reserve price across 12 months.


We use this Excel sheet all the time to set client expectations of hosting costs under AWS. We just thought we'd share it with others who might also have such a need.

Webrelational Media LLP has extensive experience in developing feature-rich, highly optimized, scalable and secure web applications. A lot of our websites are hosted on the Amazon AWS cloud. If you are looking for a web development partner to develop and host your next web project in the Amazon AWS cloud, send us an enquiry. We'll be happy to take it from there.


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