Manage resource costs - Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
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Manage resource costs

There is no service charge to configure Windows AMIs for Windows fast launch. However, when you enable Windows fast launch for an Amazon EC2 Windows AMI, standard pricing applies for underlying Amazon resources that Amazon EC2 uses to prepare and store the pre-provisioned snapshots. You can configure cost allocation tags to help you track and manage the costs that are associated with Windows fast launch resources. For more information about how to configure cost allocation tags, see Track Windows fast launch costs on your bill.

The following example demonstrates how the costs associated with Windows fast launch snapshots costs might be allocated.

Example scenario: The AtoZ Example company has a Windows AMI with a 50 GiB EBS root volume. They enable Windows fast launch for their AMI, and set the target resource count to five. Over the course of a month, using Windows fast launch for their AMI costs them around $5.00, and the cost breakdown is as follows:

  1. When AtoZ Example enables Windows fast launch, Amazon EC2 launches five small instances. Each instance runs through the Sysprep and OOBE Windows launch steps, rebooting as required. This takes several minutes for each instance (time can vary, based on how busy that Region or Availability Zone (AZ) is, and on the size of the AMI).

    • Instance runtime costs (or minimum runtime, if applicable): five instances

    • Volume costs: five EBS root volumes

  2. When the pre-provisioning process completes, Amazon EC2 takes a snapshot of the instance, which it stores in Amazon S3. Snapshots are typically stored for 4–8 hours before they are consumed by a launch. In this case, the cost is roughly $0.02 to $0.05 per snapshot.

    • Snapshot storage (Amazon S3): five snapshots

  3. After Amazon EC2 takes the snapshot, it stops the instance. At that point, the instance is no longer accruing costs. However EBS volume costs continue to accrue.

    • EBS volumes: costs continue for the associated EBS root volumes.


The costs shown here are for demonstration purposes only. Your costs will vary, depending on your AMI configuration and pricing plan.

Track Windows fast launch costs on your bill

Cost allocation tags can help you organize your Amazon bill to reflect the costs associated with Windows fast launch. You can use the following tag that Amazon EC2 adds to the resources it creates when it prepares and stores pre-provisioned snapshots for Windows fast launch:

Tag key: CreatedBy, Value: EC2 Fast Launch

After you activate the tag in the Billing and Cost Management console, and set up your detailed billing report, the user:CreatedBy column appears on the report. The column includes values from all services. However, if you download the CSV file, you can import the data into a spreadsheet, and filter for EC2 Fast Launch in the value. This information also appears in the Amazon Cost and Usage Report when the tag is activated.

Step 1: Activate user-defined cost allocation tags

To include resource tags in your cost reports, you must first activate the tag in the Billing and Cost Management console. For more information, see Activating User-Defined Cost Allocation Tags in the Amazon Billing and Cost Management User Guide.


Activation can take up to 24 hours.

Step 2: Set up a cost report

If you already have a cost report set up, a column for your tag appears the next time the report runs after activation is complete. To set up cost reports for the first time, choose one of the following.


It can take up to 24 hours for Amazon to start delivering reports to your S3 bucket.

You can configure Windows AMIs that you own for Windows fast launch with the Amazon EC2 console, API, SDKs, CloudFormation, or ec2 commands in the Amazon CLI. The following sections cover configuration steps for the Amazon EC2 console and Amazon CLI.

You can also create custom Windows AMIs that are configured for Windows fast launch with EC2 Image Builder. For more information, see Create distribution settings for a Windows AMI with Windows fast launch enabled (Amazon CLI).