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How Do I Use the AWS Calculator (EC2 Calculator) to Get an Accurate AWS Cost?

Using the AWS calculator to get a clear and accurate estimate for your AWS costs can often be a more complicated task than it first seems. With so many different areas to configure and think about, results can vary massively depending on the information that you enter, so it’s vital that you get it right. In this guide, we’ll take you through the key considerations when obtaining your AWS cost, ensuring you always get the best fit for what you need and avoid surprises later on.

We have also written an article about the Azure calculator with tips and tricks if you are using Azure

What to consider when using the AWS calculator:

  1. Make sure you check pricing across different regions and have yours set to the correct region, as pricing can vary across different areas (If you want to find out more about the AWS UK data centres then read our blog post here)
  2. Check that the region you’re selecting offers the services that you need, as they’re not all the same. Some are updated more regularly than others, and it’s common for different regions to have availability of service configurations e.g. EC2 available instance types vary between regions
  3. Don't forget to take into account your bandwidth needs. Its a low-cost item but it can soon add up
  4. When considering storage check the capabilities of the different types. Also, allow additional storage space for your backups and disaster recovery
  5. Have a think about the wider infrastructure of your business, including any secondary services or services from other SaaS providers. Do you require single sign-on / identity / security / VPN for your deployment?
  6. AWS costs are always shown in US dollars, so regardless of which data centre you’re using, this should be taken into account
  7. Take time over your quote and remember that you will be asked for further information once you have entered your requirements, so allow extra time for refinements. It’s worth monitoring your existing environment to find the answers you need and allow enough margin for error on things such as reads and bandwidth
  8. Review the estimates that the AWS calculator gives you, for example:
    Check the time period the result relates to, is it for daily, monthly or yearly usage
    If monthly then check what is used for a month by the calculator 
  9. Always build in some contingency to your estimate - the calculator result should be viewed as a minimum cost, so you should understand how this can be worked into your budget or business case

The calculator will allow you to price all of the services on AWS not just act as an EC2 cost calculator, although you can use it as an EC2 calculator if you want to get rough costs for virtual machines. 


You can access the AWS calculator here.

Once you have taken the AWS infrastructure live then you will need ongoing maintenance and cost optimisation to stay on track as the cloud evolves. To find out more about this read our article on cost optimisation.

How IG CloudOps can help

We have worked with a huge number of AWS clients to advise and manage their cloud performance. Our team is certified for Amazon Web Services and can help you implement, maintain and improve your AWS infrastructure.

Our CloudOps has been designed to bring together performance and cost monitoring tools, support processes and general administration functions through one single portal, which includes the following features:

We are confident that using our CloudOps service will give you the best possible value and cloud performance over time, with specially designed algorithms used to select the best performing environment at all times. To find out more, review our services or email us.