“What do you need?”, a life lesson; courtesy Amazon Web Services


“What do you need?” is an important thing to know. It allows you to more accurately predict what your costs might be for any longer term obligation. And to be obvious, this relates to pretty much everything, from how many miles you drive to derive fuel costs and a budget for them, to how much free time you have to devote to a pet. You’ve got some quantity of a finite resource, generally it’s a good thing to have some reserves at all times. And that, dear reader, never happens by accident.

If you’ve been reading along at home, you’ve noticed that spurred on by a friend of mine’s experience migrating his web hosting to Amazon.com Web Services, on an Elastic Computing Cloud (EC2); that I have started a EC2 of my own using their Free Tier services.

My feelings on the service are quite positive, it’s pretty darn awesome to have the ability to go from a single small server with a website to a enterprise size data-center and web-farm on demand. I don’t use it for such but, that’s worth something. Personally, I love having a root ssh available and the ability to run whatever service I deem fit, feels good; real good!

However, what had happened was, I popped on over to check my account activity and was greeted with this:


What I’d like to draw your attention to is the “AWS Data Transfer (excluding Amazon CloudFront)” group. This section contains four items:

  1. Data transfer out under the monthly global free tier
  2. Region data transfer under the monthly global free tier
  3. Data transfer in per month
  4. First 10 TB / month data transfer out beyond the global free tier

And of those items, #4 is the little devil. Good ‘ole First 10 TB / month data transfer out beyond the global free tier.

I’m not going to complain about the price, $9.95 sounds reasonable for the transfers. The thing is, I’ve had this account for 20 days, and even if I did use quite a bit during the “load up” phase of server configuration, I’d say honestly it would have been under 10 GB. I did have a game server running for a week or so of that. I don’t believe the bandwidth use would have been in 60 GB. I could be wrong about that.

And there you have it, I have no idea because, I don’t know what I need. At least when it comes to pay-as-you-go computing platforms and web-enabled services. Well at least I have something to think about. I’m not really quite sure where to begin to map out my needs on this.

I’ve turned my instance off until I can sort it all out, I have time for a free experiment, but sadly not the funds. I do have an email into Amazon Web Services Support, in particular asking how I can tell if the charges are valid and identifying where my usage was to/from. Hopefully they have the capabilities and it’s just unpreparedness on my side.

Either way, the service is excellent and I highly recommend it. I probably wouldn’t run a game server on it without getting far better bandwidth usage scenarios.

3 thoughts on ““What do you need?”, a life lesson; courtesy Amazon Web Services

  1. Holy data transfer Batman!

    Do you know what was causing all that? In a month I’ve used up less than 1GB! Something doesn’t seem at all normal. 4GB a day seems abnormally high to me.

  2. Dude, I have the same issue, $11.72 for 97.626 GB in the same transfer item and still don’t know why
    Finally, did you get the reason?

  3. I had a similar issue. We set up Tomcat instance and I got 965GB usage within a few days and climbing about 10GB every hour. I don’t know where that coming from. I have contacted and waiting for the AWS technician.

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