Amazon Web Services (AWS) has dozens of tools in its belt that allow businesses to leverage cloud computing for more efficient infrastructure and extended reach. AWS Fargate fits in the modern mold of a pay-as-you-go SaaS solution, which provides infrastructure and automation for container-based applications. The underlying power of Amazon’s compute platform is to ensure the compatibility of applications on different platforms, which is the main draw of containerized applications.
This guide provides a primer on AWS Fargate’s costs, with a few tips to maintain favorable cost-benefit margins for all the convenience it provides. If you find that speaking to an expert about AWS Fargate or any other AWS-related topics is in order, feel free to contact us directly.
What Is AWS Fargate?
AWS Fargate is a “serverless compute engine” that allows users to manage and deploy containers without hands-on orchestration, many of the technical and time-consuming parts of provision out of the hands of administrators. The result is increased efficiency with provisioning, but also the inherent benefits of freeing personnel resources while eliminating some of the risks of human error.
AWS Fargate works with Amazon Elastic Container Services (ECS) and/or Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS). ECS is AWS’s fully-managed container service that uses Amazon’s own proprietary structure to help businesses deploy more quickly and scale more effectively. EKS is also a fully-managed container service, except it uses Kubernetes–
How Does AWS Fargate Calculate Cost?
AWS Fargate pricing follows the on-demand model, where you are charged for the services that you use rather than a flat rate. The Fargate platform itself is free, meaning there are no upfront costs for setting up an account, nor incremental charges for reserving an account.
Costs are based on three requests: vCPU (virtual CPU), memory (virtual RAM or vRAM), and storage (in GB). Amazon’s official page for AWS Fargate allows you to configure a quote based on the following attributes:
- Region – Your location relative to AWS’s Availability Zones (AZ)
- Operating System – A choice between Linux and Windows
- Arhitecture – x86 or ARM
- Number of tasks or pods – A task is a JSON file that presents details about one or more containers; a pod can be a single container, or a group of containers that are combined to serve a purpose.
- Average Duration – This represents how long your tasks or pods will run before they complete. Intervals round to the nearest second, and 15 minutes is the minimum. Time starts when the container image download does, and stops when it terminates.
- Amount of vCPU allocated – This is a number between 0.25 and 16, an abstract representation of GHz in a physical CPU.
- Amount of ephemeral storage allocated for Amazon ECS – A number between 20 and 200 GB that represents virtual hard drive space allocated for each task. The first 20 GB are free, and AWS only charges for additional space beyond this point.
How Much is AWS Fargate?
Fargate charges different rates for different regions and architectures. Since Linux is the ‘native’ operating system for AWS, the rates for Linux/x86 and Linux/ARM are considerably cheaper than Windows/x86.
As these numbers are subject to change, the best source of the current rate is Amazon’s official AWS Fargate pricing page, which can be found here. AWS Fargate costs are broken down to three types of rates:
- per vCPU per hour –This number represents the amount of vCPUs consumed by each task each hour. Charges vary according to region and architecture, where Linux’s x86 and ARM are cheaper than running on Windows by more than half. The suggestion to use Linux ($0.041 in US Virginia zone) is implied, but the Windows rates ($0.091 in US Virginia zone) aren’t necessarily prohibitive. Fees range from 3-9 cents per vCPU per hour
- per GB per hour – This represents the storage space used by your tasks and pods. These rates are usually a fraction of a penny, with rates as low as 0.003 per GB per hour.
- OS license fee – Only Windows/x86 users are subject to this rate. It is essentially an additional ‘per vCPU per hour’ charge, with about the same cost.
AWS Fargate: Ways to Save Cost
Amazon rewards its consumers for using only the resources they need. Not counting the periodic discounts and coupons, these are the savings options that are always available with the platform:
- Fargate Spot – This provides up to 90% discounts for interrupt-tolerant systems like big data stores and CI/CD. Incentive discounts will vary based on long-term trends of storage availability that informs AWS about how valuable the fault-tolerant setup is.
- Compute Savings Plan – This plan offers discounts of up to 50% off for users who commit to a specified amount of usage for one or three years.
If you’d like to speak with an AWS expert about Fargate or any of their other tools, feel free to click the button below and contact Foghorn Consulting.