AWS Launches Its Smallest And Cheapest EC2 Instance Type Yet

Earlier this year, at its re:Invent developer conference in Las Vegas, Amazon’s AWS cloud computing platform announced that it would soon launch a very small (but burstable) instance type for its EC2 computing service. These new t2.nano instances are now live.

Running these new instances in Amazon’s US regions will only cost $4.75 per month (or$0.0065 per hour) — making them the lowest-priced EC2 instances yet. If you pay upfront for a year, that price goes down to $0.0045 per hour with no upfront payments. Prices in other regions are somewhat higher.


The new instances will feature 512 MiB of memory and one virtual CPU core that is burstable.

Amazon says these new instances will work best for developer environments, low-traffic website hosting and running micro services — basically anything that doesn’t need a lot of memory and sustained high levels of CPU power. Amazon Chief Evangelist Jeff Barr also notes that he expects to see a lot of t2.nano usage for training and education settings.

By default, AWS’s burstable t2 instances offer a baseline CPU performance that’s lower than you would expect from having access to a full virtual CPU on AWS, but whenever your CPU usage falls under 5 percent, you get CPU credits that you can then use to burst performance over this baseline.

The nano instances can run 32bit and 64bit operating systems. Amazon doesn’t exactly recommend you run Windows on these machines (and if you do, you may want to use the Server Core AMI), but if you insist, it won’t stop you.

The new instances are now available in a number of AWS regions, including US East (N. Virginia), US West (Oregon), US West (San Francisco), EU (Ireland), Asia Pacific (Singapore), Asia Pacific (Tokyo), Brazil (Sao Paolo), and the GovCloud (US) region. Support in EU (Frankfurt) and Australia (Sydney) is coming soon.

The launch of the new t2.nano instance type rounds out Amazon’s family of burstable instances for EC2. The company already offers micro, small, medium and large t2 instances, too.