As the party responsible for managing your client’s IT infrastructure, it’s up to you as the MSP to keep up with what’s going on in the field. As your clients move deeper into the cloud, you want to make sure that you’re getting them the most up-to-date features and pricing.

There are generally two types of cloud infrastructure pricing. You can pay the on-demand price, or you can plan ahead and save some dough.

All of the cloud vendors let you buy what’s called “reserved instances.” These enable you to purchase a bunch of cloud resources for a one to three year period, and get a discounted rate for buying ahead, while letting the cloud vendor know you’ll be purchasing a certain amount of resources in that time period.

It’s kind of like in a hotel when you buy a block of rooms for an event. The hotel is happy to give you a price break because it knows that you’re going to fill up a bunch of rooms in the hotel. You get a discount and they get assurance their building will be used during that time period.

The same goes for reserved instances. You get a discount and some cost certainty, while the vendor can be sure someone will be putting their expensive resources to work. In exchange, they are willing to take a little something off the price. In some cases, that discount is actually substantial, running as high as 72 percent, so it pays to see if you could buy resources in this way.

Amazon’s new pricing solution

As much as the savings can be substantial using reserved instances, Amazon decided to shake things up a bit this week when it announced a new discounted product called Savings Plans. While reserved instances aren’t going away, at least for now, the company believes that customers will like the Savings Plans better.

As Amazon’s Jeff Barr wrote in a post on the AWS blog announcing the new products, the new plans come in two forms:

Compute Savings Plans provide the most flexibility and help to reduce your costs by up to 66 percent (just like Convertible RIs). The plans automatically apply to any EC2 instance regardless of region, instance family, operating system, or tenancy, including those that are part of EMR, ECS, or EKS clusters, or launched by Fargate. For example, you can shift from C4 to C5 instances, move a workload from Dublin to London, or migrate from EC2 to Fargate, benefiting from Savings Plan prices along the way, without having to do anything.

EC2 Instance Savings Plans apply to a specific instance family within a region and provide the largest discount (up to 72 percent, just like Standard RIs). Just like with RIs, your savings plan covers usage of different sizes of the same instance type (such as a c5.4xlarge or c5.large) throughout a region. You can even switch from Windows to Linux while continuing to benefit, without having to make any changes to your savings plan.”

The new plans are available now, and are an example of the kinds of products you want to keep up with to be sure your clients are paying the least possible money for their cloud services. They will no doubt be grateful you for your diligence.

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Posted by Ron Miller

Ron Miller is a freelance technology reporter and blogger. He is contributing editor at EContent Magazine and enterprise reporter at TechCrunch.

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