AWS Savings Plans: A Guide to Cost-Efficient Cloud Computing

AWS Savings Plan is:

  • A flexible pricing model offering significant cost savings on AWS compute services.
  • Available with a commitment to consistent usage (measured in $/hour) for a 1 or 3-year term.
  • Applicable to various AWS services, including Amazon EC2, AWS Fargate, and AWS Lambda.
  • Offers up to 72% savings compared to On-Demand pricing.

Introduction: Exploring AWS Savings Plans

AWS Saving Plan

AWS Savings Plans represent a significant shift in how cloud services are priced and utilized.

They mark an evolution in the approach to cloud computing costs, offering a flexible pricing model that is becoming increasingly relevant in today’s cloud-driven technology landscape.

  • Overview of AWS Savings Plans: AWS Savings Plans are a pricing model that allows for substantial savings on AWS compute usage. These plans provide lower prices than On-Demand rates in exchange for a commitment to a specified amount of computing power per hour.
  • Significance in Cloud Computing: The introduction of AWS Savings Plans signifies a major development in cloud cost management, offering businesses a more flexible and cost-effective way to manage their cloud services.
  • Flexible Pricing Models: This concept responds to the growing need for more adaptable pricing structures in cloud services, allowing businesses to optimize their cloud spending according to their specific needs.

Types of AWS Savings Plans

Types of AWS Savings Plans

Compute Savings Plans

Compute Savings Plans are known for their flexibility and applicability across various AWS services, making them a popular choice for diverse cloud computing needs.

  • Broad Applicability: These plans cover a wide range of AWS services, including Amazon EC2, AWS Fargate, and AWS Lambda.
  • Flexibility Across Services: They offer flexibility across instance families, sizes, and AWS regions, providing a versatile option for businesses with varied compute requirements.

EC2 Instance Savings Plans

EC2 Instance Savings Plans are tailored specifically to benefit Amazon EC2 instance usage.

  • Optimized for EC2: These plans focus on delivering cost savings for EC2 instances, which is ideal for businesses primarily utilizing EC2 services.
  • Region-Specific Benefits: They offer the added advantage of being adaptable to different EC2 instance families and regions.

Amazon SageMaker Savings Plans

Amazon SageMaker Savings Plans offer specialized benefits for SageMaker instance usage.

  • Tailored for SageMaker: These plans are designed to reduce costs for Amazon SageMaker, a key service for machine learning and data science applications.
  • Flexibility in Machine Learning Workloads: They provide an economical solution for businesses investing heavily in machine learning and artificial intelligence on AWS.

Key Features of AWS Savings Plans

Key Features of AWS Savings Plans

Flexibility in Pricing and Services

AWS Savings Plans offer flexibility similar to Amazon EC2 Reserved Instances but with additional advantages.

  • Comparable to Reserved Instances: Like EC2 Reserved Instances, Savings Plans offer significant cost reductions but with greater flexibility.
  • Adaptable to Changing Needs: These plans allow businesses to adjust their usage without being locked into specific instance configurations.

Customization Options

A key feature that sets AWS Savings Plans apart is the ability to customize them according to specific usage and budgetary needs.

  • Tailoring to Business Requirements: Businesses can choose their commitment level based on their anticipated compute usage, optimizing their cloud spend.
  • Meeting Diverse Budgetary Needs: Savings plans can accommodate various budgeting strategies, with options for no upfront, partial upfront, or all upfront payments.

In summary, AWS Savings Plans offer businesses a versatile and economically efficient way to manage their cloud computing costs.

These plans significantly advance cloud cost optimization strategies with their flexibility, broad applicability, and customizable options.

Managing AWS Savings Plans

Managing AWS Savings Plans

AWS Savings Plans require effective management to fully leverage their benefits. The key tool for this is the AWS Cost Explorer, which offers a comprehensive suite of features for plan management.

  • Utilizing AWS Cost Explorer: This tool is essential for monitoring and managing your Savings Plans. It provides detailed insights into your usage and helps identify areas where you can optimize your spending.
  • Effective Plan Management Strategies:
    • Performance Reporting: Regular reports on your AWS usage and Savings plan performance help you understand how well your plans are aligned with your actual usage.
    • Budget Alerts: Setting up alerts in AWS Cost Explorer can help you monitor your spending and avoid unexpected costs.

Financial Benefits and Cost Savings

One of the primary advantages of AWS Savings Plans is their potential for substantial cost savings.

  • Up to 72% Savings: Compared to On-Demand pricing, AWS Savings Plans can offer up to 72% savings, significantly reducing overall cloud costs.
  • Impact of Commitment-Based Pricing: By committing to a consistent amount of usage, you can significantly lower your expenses on AWS services, making it a financially beneficial option for long-term cloud use.

Top 5 Best Practices for AWS Savings Plans

To maximize the benefits of AWS Savings Plans, consider the following best practices:

  1. Strategic Commitment Planning: Base your Savings Plans commitments on a detailed analysis of your historical and predicted usage patterns.
  2. Regular Review and Adjustment: Use AWS Cost Explorer to review and adjust your plans to ensure they align with your changing usage.
  3. Leveraging Plan Flexibility: Take advantage of the flexibility offered by Savings Plans to adapt to changing business needs.
  4. Alignment with Overall Cloud Strategy: Ensure your Savings Plans align with your broader cloud strategy and business objectives.
  5. Budget Alignment: Regularly assess and adjust your plans to stay within budget while meeting your cloud computing needs.

FAQs on AWS Savings Plan

What is an AWS Savings Plan?

An AWS Savings Plan is a flexible pricing model that provides significant cost savings of up to 72% on AWS compute services in exchange for a commitment to a consistent usage level over a one —or three-year term.

How does an AWS Savings Plan work?

You commit to a specific compute usage (measured in $/hour) for a one or 3-year period. In return, you will receive lower prices on your computing resources.

Which AWS services are covered under AWS Savings Plans?

AWS Savings Plans apply to various AWS services, including Amazon EC2, AWS Fargate, and AWS Lambda, allowing flexibility in how you use compute services.

What are the savings compared to On-Demand pricing?

Savings Plans can offer up to 72% savings on your compute usage compared to On-Demand pricing, depending on the type of Savings Plan and the commitment made.

How do I choose between a 1-year and a 3-year AWS Savings Plan?

Consider your long-term usage and financial flexibility. A 3-year plan generally offers greater savings but requires a longer commitment, while a 1-year plan is less of a commitment with slightly lower savings.

Can AWS Savings Plans be used with any instance type?

Yes, depending on the type of savings plan, AWS Savings Plans offer flexibility across instance families, sizes, AWS regions, operating systems, and tenancy options.

How do I get started with an AWS Savings Plan?

Analyze your AWS usage and forecasts to determine your consistent usage level. Then, purchase a Savings Plan from the AWS Management Console based on your needs.

What happens if my usage exceeds the committed amount in the Savings Plan?

If your usage exceeds the committed amount, the excess usage is billed at the standard On-Demand rates.

Can I cancel my AWS Savings Plan if my needs change?

AWS Savings Plans are non-cancellable, and you are obligated to the agreed usage amount for the term. However, if your needs change, you can sell your plan in the AWS Marketplace.

How do I monitor my AWS Savings Plan usage and savings?

Use the AWS Cost Explorer to monitor your Savings Plan’s usage, savings, and performance against your commitment, helping you maximize your benefits.

Is it possible to adjust my AWS Savings Plan after purchasing?

While you cannot directly adjust the terms of an existing Savings Plan, you can purchase additional Savings Plans to cover increased usage needs.

Do AWS Savings Plans automatically renew at the end of the term?

AWS Savings Plans do not automatically renew. You must manually purchase a new Savings Plan to continue enjoying the savings after your plan expires.

How do AWS Savings Plans differ from Reserved Instances?

While both offer cost savings, Reserved Instances provide capacity reservation and savings for specific instance types, whereas Savings Plans offer more flexibility across various computing services without specific capacity reservations.

Can AWS Savings Plans be combined with other discount programs like Reserved Instances?

AWS Savings Plans can be used with Reserved Instances, allowing you to maximize savings across different usage patterns and commitments.

Where can I find more detailed information about AWS Savings Plans?

Visit the AWS official website and check the AWS Savings Plans page for detailed information, including pricing models, terms, and FAQs.


AWS Savings Plans are a pivotal tool in optimizing cloud costs and enhancing financial efficiency for AWS users.

By understanding and effectively managing these plans, businesses can significantly reduce their cloud expenses while maintaining flexibility to adapt to changing needs.

The strategic implementation and regular monitoring of Savings Plans can lead to substantial long-term savings and a more efficient use of AWS services.


  • Fredrik Filipsson

    Fredrik Filipsson brings two decades of Oracle license management experience, including a nine-year tenure at Oracle and 11 years in Oracle license consulting. His expertise extends across leading IT corporations like IBM, enriching his profile with a broad spectrum of software and cloud projects. Filipsson's proficiency encompasses IBM, SAP, Microsoft, and Salesforce platforms, alongside significant involvement in Microsoft Copilot and AI initiatives, improving organizational efficiency.

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