AWS Savings Plans FAQ: What Everyone Wants To Know

CloudHealth Tech Staff
Dec. 11, 2019
4 minute read

After talking with dozens of customers—and identifying trends AWS customers are most looking know about the new discount program—we've compiled an AWS Savings Plans FAQ to help answer your questions. 

The Top Ten AWS Saving Plans FAQs

Possibly the most frequently asked question about AWS Savings Plans is “what are they?” We answered that question in depth in our webinar “What are AWS Savings Plans? Why Should You Care about Them?” You can watch a replay of the webinar here - or for a briefer overview, visit our blog. Other than the primary question, the top ten AWS Savings Plans FAQs are:

Are AWS Savings Plans the same as Reserved Instances?

No. They are an alternative discount program to Reserved Instances with both advantages and disadvantages. To see how the advantages and disadvantages might influence the decision about which is best for your business, read our Comparison of Reserved Instances vs. AWS Savings Plans.

Are AWS Savings Plans replacing Reserved Instances?

Reserved Instances will continue to be available from AWS directly and from the AWS Marketplace. As the new Savings Plans do not yet support RDS instances, Redshift, or ElastiCache, businesses wishing to save money on these services will still have to purchase Reserved Instances.

What  types of AWS Savings Plans are available?

The two types of Plans - EC2 Instance Savings Plans and Compute Savings Plans - share many similarities to Standard and Convertible RIs respectively.  Each can be purchased in 1 and 3 year options, in all upfront, no upfront, or partial upfront terms.

Do you have to choose between Savings Plans or can you purchase both?

In the same way as you can purchase both Standard and Convertible Reserved Instances, it's possible to purchase both types of AWS Savings Plans. Splitting Savings Plans between predictable and unpredictable workloads will maximize the financial benefits of the new discount program. 

Can both Savings Plans and Reservations apply to the same usage?

No, usage is billed at an On-Demand rate, a Reservation rate, or a Savings Plan rate. In any given hour, AWS will assess the possible discount programs that usage qualifies for and will apply them in the following order: Standard Reservation, Convertible Reservation, Savings Plan. 

Are you able to reserve capacity when you purchase an AWS Savings Plan?

There are no “scope” attribute for Savings Plans like there are for Reserved Instances. However, it's possible to apply Savings Plan discounts to On Demand Capacity Reservation (ODCR) deployments. This will make ODCR much cheaper to run. 

What is the minimum monetary commitment when you purchase a Savings Plan?

The minimum monetary commitment for either type of Savings Plan is $0.001 per hour. Please remember whatever monetary commitment you make, this will be how much you guarantee to spend per hour, twenty-four hours per day, 365 days per year.

What happens if I don't spend my minimum monetary commitment?

This depends on how your business's accounts are set up. If your business uses consolidated billing, any discount not used by the purchasing account will flow to linked accounts. If your business does not use consolidate billing, please refer to the next item in our AWS Savings Plan FAQ.

What happens if I over-commit to an AWS Savings Plan?

Unlike Reserved Instances, the opportunity does not exist (yet) to resell AWS Savings Plans in the AWS Marketplace. For this reason, it's recommended to purchase Savings Plans incrementally to avoid over-committing to more than the business will use.

Does this mean I don’t have to bother rightsizing EC2 instances anymore?

Rightsizing EC2 instances will be just as important as it has always been. Under the AWS Savings Plans, discounts are applied to the cost of whatever EC2 instances have been provisioned. Therefore, if you over-provision an EC2 instance, you're not taking full advantage of the discount program.

If you still have questions about AWS Saving Plans, learn how you can be successful from our team of product experts.