Amazon Web Services provides billing to the nearest second

As of October 2, Amazon Web Services will also offer per-second billing for EC2 Linux instances and EBS volumes. Amazon wants to make their own services for users even more attractive and facilitate other applications. Above all, services that are only active at very short notice should be able to benefit from it. However, Amazon calculates for each start first a full minute.

The Elastic Compute Cloud Instances (EC2) expects Amazon every second if started on-demand, reserved or in spot form. The same applies to storage space reserved for the Elastic Block Store (EBS).

Also Amazon EMR and AWS batch fall under the new regulation. "Many batch jobs that our clients run are completed in less than an hour," said Jeff Barr, Chief Evangelist at Amazon Web Services. "With billing to the nearest second, batch processing becomes even more cost-effective."

The shorter billing intervals should not only save costs, but also simplify the management of cloud instances. According to Barr, some EC2 customers, for example, have developed special systems to make the most efficient use of booked instances. By billing every second, such additional management instances are no longer required.

"One of the many benefits of cloud computing is the flexible way of sourcing resources when needed. By billing per second, we enable customers to increase their flexibility, save money, and take advantage of ongoing advances in computing, "added the manager.

The new pricing model is valid in all regions for Linux instances that are restarted or already running. But there are still some limitations: Per-second billing is not available for Microsoft Windows instances. Excluded are also Linux distributions, for which a separate billing after hours has been agreed.

Amazon also points out that the list and spot market prices continue to be calculated and displayed on an hourly basis, but billing takes place to the second. The bill shows the used hours with three decimal places.

Amazon currently calculates its cloud services on an hourly basis. This continues to apply to regional fees, EBS snapshots and products in the AWS Marketplace. Competitors like Google and Microsoft are counting down to the minute. Whether or not they will follow Amazon's example as with other price changes and switch to a second-by-second billing remains to be seen.