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Navigating Changes in AWS: A Guide to Spot Instances and the SpotInstanceBid Parameter

By Brian Galura -

Navigating Changes in AWS: A Guide to Spot Instances and the SpotInstanceBid Parameter

In the dynamic landscape of AWS, recent shifts from Launch Configurations to Launch Templates necessitate an understanding and adjustment for users employing the SpotInstanceBid parameter. This blog post will articulate the implications of these transitions and offer practical guidance to ensure your services continue to function efficiently.

With AWS’ recent migration to Launch Templates and deprecation of Launch Configurations(link), users utilizing the SpotInstanceBid parameter may need to adjust their set values due to evolving changes in how AWS handles Spot Instances. As a first step, we encourage you to check the AWS EC2 > Spot Requests > Pricing History page to find specific values for your instance types. Please remember this is region and AZ specific.

Spot Request

Spot instance pricing history

To avoid any unexpected interruptions, please ensure your SpotInstanceBid parameter is set appropriately, ideally rounding up to the nearest hundredth of a cent.

The adjustments required for the SpotInstanceBid parameter is are due to the general evolution of AWS Spot Instances pricing and management. Initially, AWS employed a bidding model, but later transitioned to a more predictable model based on long-term market trends. During this transition, AWS didn’t immediately depreciate the older bidding formats used with the old Launch Configurations, hence allowing inaccuracies in the SpotInstanceBid parameter to function.

However, with the introduction of AWS Launch Templates in 2021, AWS began enforcing the newer bidding mechanism more strictly. Unlike with Launch Configurations, AWS doesn’t offer the same leniency for imprecise bid values in the new templates. Therefore, inaccurately set SpotInstanceBid parameters, which previously might have been overlooked, can now lead to unexpected issues. As a result, staying updated with the latest pricing history and aligning your SpotInstanceBid parameter accordingly has become a vital practice. Given the historical stability of these values, this step should be straightforward to maintain, providing an effective way to ensure cost-effectiveness and uninterrupted instance availability.

In conclusion, AWS’s transition to Launch Templates from Launch Configurations profoundly impacts the management of Spot Instances, and by extension, the deployment of the SpotInstanceBid parameter. It’s imperative for users to remain aware of these changes and adapt their strategies to maintain service continuity and cost-effectiveness. Regular monitoring of pricing history and adjusting the SpotInstanceBid parameter accordingly is a crucial practice in this context. Keeping pace with these modifications is an integral part of engaging with a service like AWS that persistently innovates to improve user experience.