AWS Data Transfer Pricing
~5 minutes read
The cost that the Data Transfer process generates might be confusing to understand as rates vary depending on multiple factors. So in this article, we look closer at AWS Data transfer costs and present cost-saving practices for moving your data in a more convenient and profitable way. But first of all, let’s understand why do you need to transfer your data at all.
Why transfer data?
If data transfer costs are higher than the cost of hosting your applications in the same regions and Availability Zones, what is the reason so many companies choose this geographic diversification?
Imagine, your application that is used worldwide started to be more popular in Asia, for example. In order to keep this growth going up and ensure the best user experience, it’s more reasonable to host your application closer to the user base, for instance, in the AWS Beijing Region (cn-north-1). This practice helps companies to avoid the latency occurring due to the data traveling between Asia and the US.
One more reason to use a specific region may be the cases when you want to conquer an outside market, for instance, a European one. Organizations there have to store their sensitive data in local data centers, according to the law. In this case, you need to comply with the local regulations, so hosting an instance of your service in the region located in Europe, for instance, Frankfurt (eu-central-1) is a possible way out.
Having several instances located around the world is also beneficial in the case of natural disasters, armed conflicts, or sanctions.
AWS Data Transfers pricing explained
AWS Data Transfer is a practice of moving the data from AWS to the Internet or shifting it from one AWS instance to another across the Regions or Availability Zones where the data is stored. Inbound transfers are free while the inter-Region and inter-Availablity Zone data transfers include additional costs (users are charged per GB).
Data transfer cost depends on how exactly data is transferred:
- Into or out of AWS regions;
- Into or out of AWS edge locations;
- Within an AWS region.
Data transferred in and out of an AWS region
In this paragraph, we compiled the information concerning the inter-regional transfer costs for commonly used AWS services.
Pricing of transferred AWS Direct Connect data
AWS Direct Connect gives companies the opportunity to provide a private dedicated network connection to the deployed AWS services. That way your network traffic remains on the AWS global network during the transit and doesn’t interfere with the public internet. It reduces the chance of unexpected latency.
Below you can see a table representing Direct Connect pricing from regions within the United States to its other regions or outside.
Pricing of transferred EC2 data
To start with, AWS EC2s provide users with a resizable computing capacity in the cloud. Talking about the EC2s data transfers, they aren’t free and the cost of transferring the data doesn’t depend on the type of the EC2 instance deployed (Spot, On-Demand, or Reserved ones). It depends mostly on the volume of data transferred and the region where the data is directed to.
1. Data Transfer from EC2 to the internet (within the US)
2. Data Transfer from EC2 to other regions
Pricing of transferred ElastiCache data
AWS ElastiCache accelerates apps’ performance and builds low-latency data stores (cache) that enable to retrieve the information faster. ElastiCache data transfer (in or out of an Amazon ElastiCache itself) is free; the traffic in or out of a given EC2 instance associated with the ElastiCache node is paid ($0.01 per GB).
Pricing of transferred RDS data
AWS RDS can speed up the setup and operation of cloud relationship databases. RDS data transfer pricing depends on the database deployed. There are six database engines to choose from, and you can follow the pricing pages for more detail:
- Amazon Aurora
- Amazon RDS for MySQL
- Amazon RDS for MariaDB
- Amazon RDS for Oracle
- Amazon RDS for SQL Server
- Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL
Notice that transfers into Amazon RDS are free up to 1GB per month (if above, it becomes paid), while outbound transfers to Amazon Cloudfront aren’t charged at all.
1. Data Transfer into RDS
2. Data Transfer out of RDS
Pricing of transferred Redshift data
Amazon Redshift is used to analyze exabytes of data and run complex analytical queries, which makes this AWS service one of the most popular cloud data warehouses. With Redshift, the process of running and scaling analytics on all the data takes minutes or even seconds. Also, users don’t have to manage their data warehouse infrastructure.
Generally, the usage of Redshift implies that you pay according to the standard data transfer rates. Data transfer to or from an S3 resource if performed within the same AWS region is the only exception here.
Data transferred within an AWS region
Data transfers in or out of services like EC2, RDS, ElastiCache, and Redshift within a specific AWS region usually cost $0.01 per GB. However, data transfers within the same AZ are free of charge (VPC Peering Connections is an exception in this case).
Data Transfers within an AWS region are charged per GB
Free Data Transfers within an AWS region
Data Transfer in and out of an AWS Edge Location
CloudFront Content Delivery Network (CDN) service includes the AWS Edge Locations that are typically used to provide a faster and more reliable delivery of content, API actions, and other data.
Data transfer into AWS edge locations from the Internet is free, while data transfer out of AWS edge locations to the Internet is billed at region-specific rates.
Data transfer into AWS edge locations from AWS regions is also free. Data transfer out of AWS edge locations to origin in AWS regions is billed at region-specific data transfer rates.
Additionally, after the first 150TB of data transfers for services in the US, the cost drops by $0.02 per GB, when compared with the standard data transfer rates and it goes down to $0.04 per GB.
Note: as illustrated in the table below, higher discounts can be achieved if you commit to a larger worth of data (10TB+). In this case, you can contact AWS and sign a private pricing agreement.
3 simple steps to reduce AWS Data Transfer costs
Previously we’ve explained the reasons why it’s worth taking into account the multi-regional infrastructure, as well as investigated pricing rates for transferring the data across the most widely-used Amazon services. The last question is how to reduce data transfer costs and cut down AWS bills.
Step 1: Examine current Data Transfer costs
To act wisely in the future, analyze all your existing resources, discover your historical cost patterns, and have the whole picture of your current spending trends.
A detailed view of Data Transfer expenditures can be achieved by filtering cost data in the AWS console. Here is a step-by-step instruction to follow:
- Open the AWS Console.
- Proceed to the AWS Cost Explorer.
- Filter the data by the “EC2 Other” service.
- After that, group by “Usage Type”.
You can recognize the data transfer line by the “USW2-DataTransfer-Regional-Bytes” code.
To improve the grouping of your spending, assign Cost Allocation Tags to your ELBs and EC2 instances. Once you apply these tags, you can identify transfers driving maximum cost and filter them by regions, availability zones, navigation (in or out), CloudFront, etc. It’s a good practice to focus on the cost trends to observe how transfer expenses are changing in time and understand the cost pattern.
Besides, estimate the hypothetical data transfers between the different regions with the help of the AWS Calculator.
Step 2: Architect your environment to optimize Data Transfers
Consider the following strategies to save budget and optimize your AWS expenditures.
Reduce the number of outbound data transfers
The easiest way to cut down AWS data transfer costs is to minimize sending outbound data. The example below illustrates the cost of inbound data transfers for the US West (Oregon) region, which is absolutely free. In comparison, outbound data transfers are charged and their cost fluctuates depending on the volume of data transferred.
There can be cases when it’s impossible to limit the outbound data transfers. For instance, when you’re delivering some media content to your customers over the internet. Transferring more data than you need to decrease the price per GB can affect your total AWS spend.
Keep your data within the same Availability Zone
AWS services users may launch their instances in different AZs without even realizing it. This results in additional costs, as the data transfer between several Availability Zones isn’t free. We recommend launching AWS services within the same AZs. The exception can be made in case your company intentionally stores data in different Availability Zones to ensure disaster recovery.
Keep your data within the same region
Keeping data in two separate AZs may be beneficial if one AZ goes offline. Then another separate building with its own network and power can save a business from possible downtimes. However, in the case of a natural disaster like an earthquake or tsunami, the data stored in different Availability Zones but in the same region can be gone for good.
Use a less expensive region
If there is a need to use the regions outside the United States, examine the rates of each region. The table below presents the data transfer pricing rates by several regions, so you can choose the most profitable one.
Step 3: Consider a third-party tool to manage AWS Data Transfer costs
Сloud cost optimization tools can help you cut down overall cloud spending. Also, you can reduce data transfer costs particularly, as third-party tools like Binadox provide features that make it possible.
One of them – Automation rules that simplify cost management processes by replacing 24/7 manual checks with customized rule-based algorithms. All you need to do is to create a set of conditions with associated values to trigger automated checks of all your resources. Once resources that are matching the parameters are identified, the system sends you a notification. Then you can take the required actions to save money.
Want to optimize your cloud cost, automate your cloud and increase profitability?