AWS – Estimating costs with the Simple Monthly Calculator

The AWS Simple Monthly Calculator is a web application provided to help you estimate and forecast your AWS costs. By listing the resources you expect to consume, you can calculate your pay-as-you-go costs, which is how AWS bills you. There are no upfront costs involved with AWS usage. The calculator allows you to quickly get an estimate of your monthly bill, and the results can be shared with others via a unique URL.

Getting ready

In order to use the AWS Simple Monthly Calculator effectively, you need to already know the specific services and resources that you will use on a monthly basis.

You also need to know specifics about things such as monthly data transfer and the amount of data that you will need to store. In AWS, you get charged for data flowing out of AWS (for example, visitors to your website), but not for data flowing between AWS services within the same region (for example, EC2 instances to Relational Database Service (RDS) databases). Data ingress from outside of AWS into your account is free.

How to do it…

In this recipe, you will use the Simple Monthly Calculator to estimate your monthly charges:

  1. Go to the calculator website, http://calculator.s3.amazonaws.com/index.html:

The Simple Monthly Calculator
  1. Select/deselect the free usage tier option as is relevant for your accountif the account is less than 12 months old, you are eligible for the free usage tier:

The FREE USAGE TIER checkbox
  1. Make sure that you have the correct region selected before adding the resources, as they can differ in price from region to region:

Region selection
  1. Add your resources by selecting the relevant service from the left-hand menu, and filling in your details:

Service selection
  1. Continue to add resources as necessary:

Adding resources to the calculator
  1. Once you’ve added all your resources, view the estimated monthly bill on the Estimate of your Monthly Bill tab:

Estimate your monthly bill
  1. After confirming the estimate’s detail, click on the  Save  and  Share button to add some additional metadata about your report. All the fields are optional:

Save and share the report
  1. A specific, one-time URL will be generated for your report, which you can then share with others:

The calculations can be viewed by anyone who has this link

The generated URL can be used to share the results, but keep in mind that this URL is not locked down with any security.

How it works…

The accuracy of the calculator is completely dependent on your ability to forecast your requirements and usagenot an easy thing to do when you first start using AWS!

Unfortunately, not all AWS services are present in the calculator (a notable omission is AWS Lambda). For those services, you will have to do your own calculations based on the service-specific pricing pages.

The cost of services and resources can vary from region to region. In general, the us-east-1 region is the cheapest, and also has the most services (not all services are available in all regions), so use that if you want to know the lowest-cost option. Other regions’ prices vary due to supply and demand, the cost of operations, and undoubtedly many other reasons that AWS doesn’t go into.

Some services (for example, DynamoDB, Lambda, and so on) have a free tier that applies even if your account does not qualify for the standard free tier (that is, the account is more than 12 months old). These services will have a note on their specific calculator page, detailing the inclusions:

AWS Simple Monthly Calculator—FREE TIER

Keep in mind the expiration date of the free tier when calculating your total annual costs.

See also

  • The Estimating CloudFormation template costs recipe

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