AWS can now bill us if you read this far. This bit will cost us, too

Servers-by-the-second is now a thing, but you pay for the whole first minute!


Amazon Web Services has switched on per-second billing for EC2 Instances and elastic block store volumes.

The new offer applies to On-Demand, Reserved, and Spot instances running Linux. With the average person reading about 200 words per minute, if The Register ran a general purpose M4 large EC2 instance for each user, at list price of US$0.05/hour on the Spot market, here at the 79-word mark of this story you'd have cost us about $0.00028. And now that you've reached the 96-word mark, here, including headlines, you'd have cost us $0.00029.

AWS said it switched on by-the-second billing in part to help customers who have “built systems to get the most value from EC2 by strategically choosing the most advantageous target instances when managing their gaming, ad tech, or 3D rendering fleets.”

It added: “Per-second billing obviates the need for this extra layer of instance management, and brings the costs savings to all customers and all workloads.”

And also, The Register imagines, saved AWS from having to keep up with customers who make lots of rapid changes.

More importantly, servers-by-the-second mean AWS can satisfy those who fancy serverless tools like its own Lambda, but prefer a more conventional computing environment.

Servers-by-the-second kicks on on October 2nd, 2017, for all current or new Linux instances. However, instances running Microsoft Windows or Linux distributions that have a separate hourly charge don't get to play.

Another small hitch: you have to pay for the whole of the first minute.

AWS' Jeff Barr opines that the new billing plan may or may not reduce costs, but appears more interested in how it gets people thinking about the ways they use public cloud.

Here, at the 280-word mark of the story, you'd have cost us about a tenth of a cent for server time. Which would be chump change, but if we could get you to cough up would also perhaps represent a nice change to media business models! ®

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