I'm sorry if this isn't the right forum for this question but I read the rules and it didn't seem to imply I can't ask this...

Anyways I'm looking to get some EC2 dedicated instances because I will be hosting a HIPAA compliant site and as I understand, you are required by Amazon to get dedicated instances for this.

I read that there is a dedicated per region fee of $2 per hour, regardless of how many instances you run in that region (http://aws.amazon.com/ec2/purchasing-options/dedicated-instances/).

Does this mean that it costs a base of ~$17,520 per year to have one dedicated instance? $2 per hour x 8760 hours per year = $17,520

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    Err... You want us to check your math? Sep 19, 2014 at 1:56
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    Where did you read that Amazon requires dedicated instances in EC2 for HIPAA compliance? Their whitepaper doesn't specify- it just makes it clear that encryption is absolutely necessary, as it would be regardless.
    – Kate
    Sep 19, 2014 at 2:01
  • That's what I was told by an AWS rep when they finally called me back the next day. Unfortunately there's no number for me to call back and verify.
    – blizz
    Sep 19, 2014 at 2:06
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    @blizz I recommend signing up for their business support and asking them all the questions you have. You can cancel the support after a month if you don't need it. It's hard to get free support from AWS, but if you pay for their premium support you'll get an excellent response very quickly in my experience.
    – thexacre
    Sep 20, 2014 at 1:51
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    The reason it's so expensive is AWS has to keep at least one entire VM server sitting there reserved just for you. Even if it's only hosting a single t2.micro instance at $7/month, the entire underlying host is yours.
    – ceejayoz
    Feb 13, 2017 at 16:17

1 Answer 1


@Kate, it is actually stated in the AWS HIPAA Compliance Whitepaper that "Amazon EC2 instances that customers use to process, store, or transmit PHI are run on Dedicated Instances (Dedicate Hosts are also acceptable for BAA eligibility)"

But to answer the original question - there is no cap on how much you can spend on the Dedicated fee. The good news is that you can have your whole environment in one Region, so you can at least pay this fee for only one region.

From the AWS HIPPA Compliance white paper as at Jan 2017

Amazon EC2 instances that customers use to process, store, or transmit PHI are run on Dedicated Instances (Dedicate Hosts are also acceptable for BAA eligibility), which are instances that run in an Amazon VPC on hardware Amazon Web Services – Architecting for HIPAA Security and Compliance dedicated to a single customer. Dedicated Instances are physically isolated at the host hardware level from instances that are not Dedicated Instances and from instances that belong to other AWS accounts. For more information on Dedicated Instances click here.

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