Amazon Web Services (AWS) recently announced that Reserved Instances for Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) are now available in Europe.

For those not in the know EC2 is a virtual computing environment meaning you can customise and launch virtual servers how and when you want. You pay for this by the hour and there are no long-term commitments.

Those of you who regularly have to deal with dedicated server providers will no doubt appreciate this infrastructure-as-a-service model.

With the announcement of reserved instances you now have the option to make a one-time payment for each instance you want to reserve and in return you receive a significant discount on the hourly usage charge for that instance.

For example, we will be paying our $325 up front-fee meaning our small instance should cost around about 20-30% less if we run our instance, as we expect to, full-time.

In a nutshell this means that those of you out there with predictable usage patterns should be able to reduce your operational costs of running an EC2 instance.

As usual Europe was a little behind the US in terms of roll-out and so far only Linux/UNIX-based instances are available.

The only things that have made us think twice about signing up for a reserved instance are:

Having considered the above we can’t see them terminating the program any time soon but we can see them reducing their EC2 pricing in Europe over time.

That’s why we’ve decided to reserve an instance for 1 year only.

François Roshdy

François is director of user experience at Border Crossing UX. He specialises in helping clients continuously improve the experiences they deliver.