Price reductions are less common for compute resources than they were in the early days of cloud computing. But AWS customers can still find value in occasional Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) price cuts.
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In May, AWS reduced prices on a slew of one-year standard and three-year convertible EC2 Reserved Instances. AWS customers can save 9% to 17% on standard Reserved Instances, depending on the region, operating system and instance type — discounts apply to C4, M4, R4, I3, P2, X1 and T2 types. Discounts for convertible instance types range up to 21%.
Convertible Reserved Instances allow a user to change the instance family as application needs evolve, to provide an extra level of workload flexibility but still locked into a contract for instance capacity.
AWS also introduced no-upfront pricing for three-year Reserved Instances, a feature previously reserved for one-year terms. It also lowered On-Demand and Reserved pricing for M4 Linux instances.
New features and support
- Cost allocation tags for Elastic Block Store snapshots. Users can assign costs to a particular project or department via cost allocation tags. Navigate the AWS Management Console’s tag editor feature to find the necessary snapshot, or backup of an Elastic Block Store (EBS volume), and apply tags. Users can also create tags via a script command or function call. Manage and activate cost allocation tags in the billing dashboard, then monitor tagged snapshots in the Cost Explorer feature.
- Lambda support for AWS X-Ray. The AWS X-Ray service, which analyzes performance of microservices-based applications, now supports AWS Lambda. Developers can enable active function tracing within Lambda to activate X-Ray or update functions in the AWS Command Line Interface. AWS X-Ray processes traces of functions between services and generates visual graphs to ease debugging.
- New features for IAM policy summaries. Administrators can evaluate and troubleshoot AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) permissions with three new IAM policy summary features. The new resource summaries display resource types, regions and account IDs to provide a full list of defined resources for each policy action. Admins can evaluate which services or actions a policy denies, and see which possible actions remain. They also can identify typos and other errors in policies by seeing which services and actions IAM fails to recognize.
- Support for SAP clusters. AWS unveiled extended support for larger SAP clusters at SAP’s Sapphire Now conference. In addition to expanding its X1 instance type to accommodate larger SAP applications, AWS revealed plans to expand RAM on its virtual servers to better support SAP workloads in the near future.