Amazon Web Services has recently made available new micro AMIs ( Amazon Machine Images ) for as little as $.02 per hour for Linux images and $.03 for Windows Server. These are basically EC2 Xen based VM’s with a scaled back CPU share and 613 M of allocated RAM. I was not initially excited thinking these may not be very capable just cheap throw away test images. However after to trying these out and considering the applications, I think this function and price point opens many new applications and use cases. Besides the recommended scenarios from Amazon for low capacity web tasks I was thinking about how to use this capability to solve desktop and power user issues. Even if left on 24/7 the cost is low enough and could even go lower if the image the image is only used when needed.

22.32 $/month $.03/hr x 24 x 31 days Assuming the image is running 24/7
15.15 $/month 40 hrs/wk and save off the image to restart
5.15 $/month .03/hr x 40 hr/wk x 4.3 EC2 micro AMI
5.50 $/month $.01/hr x 128 hrs x 4.3 Reserve static IP
4.5   $/month $.15/month / G x 30G S3 Storage

( note the above does not include bandwidth or licensing above the included Windows 2008 Server cost )

At these prices it becomes practical to look at how these Micro AMI’s could be used on an individual bases, not just part of the company infrastructure. My first use case is using a Micro AMI for testing new apps that I don’t trust with my desktop work image. The more I think of it the more uses I can think of ( stay tuned for a future post ). At 3 cents per hour there are lots of possibilities, What can you think of ?

Cloud Economics 101 Part 1 – Premise vs Cloud vs Colo

Cloud Economics 101 Part 2 – Premise Plus Cloud

Cloud Economics 101 Part 3 – Amazon Reserved Pricing

Cloud Economics 101 Part 4 – Amazon EC2 vs. Terremark vCloud