Expanding Flexibility - Introducing the Reserved Instance Marketplace

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Today we launched a new feature that enables you to buy and sell Amazon EC2 Reserved Instances. Reserved Instances are an important pricing option for AWS customers to drive cost down. If you are able to predict the capacity required to run your application, there is likely some combination of Reserved Instance options that will help you drive you costs down significantly (up to 71%) when compared to on-demand pricing. There are three options: heavy-, medium- and low-usage options that allow you to optimize your savings depending on how much you plan to use your Reserved Instance.

However, sometimes business and architectures change so that you need to change your mix of Reserved Instances. For example, we have heard from a number of customers, that they want the ability to move to a different region, change instance types, or switch from Microsoft to Linux. With the launch of the Reserved Instance Marketplace, you no longer need to worry what to do with Reserved Instances if you no longer need them: You can sell them at a price that you set.

Customers buying on the marketplace often have a need for Reserved Instances, but at a period different from the 1 & 3 year terms that AWS offers. For example, if you anticipate increased website traffic for a short period of time, or if you have remaining end-of-year budget to spend, you will be able to search for Reserved Instances with shorter duration times.

Flexibility is a key advantage of AWS services over traditional IT infrastructure. In the old world of IT once you have purchased a physical machine (or fleet of machines) it is costly and potentially impossible to change its configuration to a different number or type of processor and memory. In the new world of cloud based IT you can change instance types whenever the need arises, exactly matching your needs at all times. The same is true for if you no longer need the capacity or your capacity needs change. In the old world you are stuck with what you have bought. In the new world of cloud based resources, you can buy a Reserved Instance to substantially reduce the cost of your cloud footprint, but if your needs change you are not locked into continuous use as you are with traditional IT. The Reserved Instance Marketplace enables you to simply sell your Reserved Instance with the single click of a “sell” button in the AWS Management Console. After a buyer purchases your Reserved Instance and Amazon Web Services has received payment from the buyer, funds will be deposited via ACH wire transfer into your bank account. By buying and selling Reserved Instances as needed, you can adjust your Reserved Instance footprint to match your changing needs, such as moving instances to a new AWS Region, changing to a new instance type, or selling capacity for projects that end before your term expires.

Customers looking for an RI at different terms than the standard ones can also browse the AWS Management Console to find an RI that closest matches their needs at the price-point they are looking for. The buying process is as simple as just hitting the “purchase” button.

The AWS team continuously works to innovate to help our customers drive their cost down and the Reserved Instance Marketplace is yet another great invention that will gives customers greater flexibility in their pricing.

For more details see the Reserved Instance detail page, the Reserved Instance Marketplace detail page and the AWS Developer Blog.