Get cost estimates faster with Amazon Web Services Pricing Calculator bulk import

by Marcel Törpe | on

Amazon Web Services Pricing Calculator now supports the ability to bulk import Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances, dedicated hosts and Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) volumes using a structured Excel template. The new feature will allow you to estimate a fleet of EC2- or EBS-based resources at a fraction of the time and allows for quick iterations.

Amazon Web Services Pricing Calculator is a web-based tool that allows you to explore pricing of Amazon Web Services services and estimate cost for your architecture needs. You don’t have to sign up to be an Amazon Web Services customer and can use Amazon Web Services Pricing Calculator free of charge at any time. You can configure and save your cost estimates and share a unique link with your teams to revisit and analyze the cost.

Introducing Amazon Web Services Pricing Calculator bulk import

Previously, you had to add and maintain EC2- or EBS-based resources one by one. With the launch of bulk import, you can now import information about EC2 instances or EBS volumes with the upload of an Excel template file, reducing the effort and turnaround time to create estimates for large workloads. Upon import, your data is validated and an error report is provided in case of failures. Resources are automatically organized into groups (per the group structure defined within the template file) allowing granular cost analysis. Additional required services or additional configuration for your workload, e.g., detailed monitoring, can still be added afterwards. In case of changes, e.g., swap Amazon Web Services Region, simply remove the imported groups and perform a re-import.

Getting started with Amazon Web Services Pricing Calculator bulk import for EC2

Let’s walkthrough an EC2 example and learn how this new feature can ease the creation of complex pricing estimates.

Step 1: Download the template 

First, navigate to “Add Service” → “Bulk Import” to start the import flow ( Quicklink ).

Choose “EC2 Instances” for EC2 bulk import, specify your parent “Group name” and then “Download template”.

download the template in AWS Pricing Calculator

Figure 1. Start the import flow for Amazon Web Services Pricing Calculator bulk import

Step 2: Complete the Excel file

Next, open the Excel file and navigate to the “Inputs” sheet.

Start with pasting your base data, like Group, Description, Instance Type, Number of Instances, Storage Amount per Instance – anything that is specific per resource. For smaller workloads, you can group by stage, e.g., production, quality, development. For larger workloads/applications, you can group by department or application/system ID.

Important: Use the “Paste Special” → “Values” feature, available through the “Edit” menu, or right click so you don’t override any of the build-in data validation logic. To remove any data, select values in range and perform Right Click→ “Clear Contents”

Paste your base data on the "Inputs" tab of the bulk import Excel

Figure 2. Paste your base data on the “Inputs” sheet of the bulk import Excel template

Next, specify your additional requirements, such as Amazon Web Services Region, Operating System, Tenancy or additional EBS properties. Use the drag and drop or copy and paste feature to do this for any repetitive values. Note: Most fields have a dropdown menu, that helps define the right input values.

Add your requirements such as AWS Region, Operating System, Tenancy, or other EBS properties

Figure 3. Add your requirements such as Amazon Web Services Region, Operating System, Tenancy, or other EBS properties

Hit “Save” and return to the bulk import browser tab.

Step 3: Upload the Excel file

Scroll down to “Step 3: Upload the Excel file”:

  1. Choose the completed Excel file
  2. Wait for upload and processing to complete (indicated by green checkmark)
  3. Hit “Save and view summary” to finalize the import

Note: You may also check the preview/cost estimate indication in the bottom left corner of your screen.

Upload the Excel file

Figure 4. Upload the Excel file

In this example, you can now also see the grouping as well as description.

Figure 5. View grouping and description

At this stage, you can add additional services, such as Amazon Web Services Support Plan or VPC services. This concludes our sample walkthrough.

Things to know

Here are a couple of important things to know about Amazon Web Services Pricing Calculator Bulk Import feature:

  • Supported services – Currently Amazon EC2 + EBS, EC2 dedicated hosts and EBS standalone imports are supported. Other services have to be added manually.
  • Accepted values – Make sure to check the “Instructions” sheet in the respective Excel template. It contains detailed information about allowed values, e.g., Group/Description as well as mandatory fields.
  • Grouping – As part of the import, you will need to specify a group name as top level structure. This allows you to organize your estimate efficiently and makes it easy to distinguish between imported data and other manually added services. Feel free to move or rename groups as well as individual service estimates to create your desired structure. Note: You can have up to 5 levels in a group hierarchy!
  • Iterate with ease – If you want to create an estimate for a different Amazon Web Services Region, or simply swap the Operating systems, you can hit the root node in the Groups menu sidebar, select the group created during the previous bulk import, and hit delete. Now adjust the Excel template and perform a re-import. This allows for frequent iterations on your estimate.
  • Troubleshooting – The bulk import feature will validate your data. In case of an error, you will get a detailed error message per line item. You may still proceed without fixing the error, but the affected rows won’t be included in your estimate. To learn more about the root cause (like “instance type not available in selected region”), click on “View errors”:
view errors in Excel file

Figure 6. View errors in Excel file

To locate the error(s), open the downloaded Excel file, navigate to the Inputs sheet, and scroll to the far right.

locate errors in the Excel file,

Figure 7. Locate errors in the Excel file

To learn more, visit the Amazon Web Services Pricing Calculator user guide .