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I am considering launching a high memory cluster EC2 instance for very intermittent use, which includes 240 GB SSD storage with the instance.

Most of the time, this instance will be stopped.

I would like to know if I will be charged a monthly storage fee for the 240 GB SSD storage associated with the instance, even when the instance is stopped.

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closed as off topic by Wesley, mdpc, Jenny D, Dave M, Khaled Apr 1 '13 at 11:58

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1 Answer

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Data on those instance-store drives will not survive a stoppage. They'll be blank when you start the instance back up.

If an instance reboots (intentionally or unintentionally), data in the instance store persists. However, data on instance store volumes is lost under the following circumstances:

  • Failure of an underlying drive
  • Stopping an Amazon EBS-backed instance
  • Terminating an instance

http://docs.aws.amazon.com/AWSEC2/latest/UserGuide/InstanceStorage.html

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I am perfectly happy with that. I don't need the data stored. However - I notice that the data will generally persist (it will only be wiped when there's a failure or termination, in my case). I do not want it to persist. However - from this reasoning - it now occurs to me that I will be charged assuming it does persist. –  Dan Nissenbaum Mar 30 '13 at 16:05
    
There's no storage charge for instance-store data, ever - it's part of the instance cost. It'll only persist if the stopped instance happens to start back up on the same spot on the same server - more likely on the larger instances. If it gets moved to a different host (likely if it's stopped for a while, or a smaller instance) the disks' data doesn't come with. –  ceejayoz Mar 30 '13 at 16:07
    
Thanks, this makes sense. However, if my instance is not EBS-backed (which I assume it is not if it is an instance store), then it seems that none of the three conditions will apply (if the drive does not fail, and if my instance is not terminated). Am I correct that instance-based storage is not EBS-backed? –  Dan Nissenbaum Mar 30 '13 at 16:15
    
First, if you can stop the instance, it's not instance-backed. Instance-store-backed servers can only be terminated. EBS-backed instances also (except for micros) still have instance-store drives available for use. –  ceejayoz Mar 30 '13 at 16:17
    
That must be it, thanks. aws.amazon.com/ec2/instance-types (under the section for High Memory Cluster Eight Extra Large Instance does not say "EBS-backed"; instead, it says 240 GB of SSD instance storage. Therefore, reading that official description of the instance type does not make it clear that this is EBS-backed storage. –  Dan Nissenbaum Mar 30 '13 at 16:25
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