Q: What is a Dedicated Host?
An Amazon EC2 Dedicated Host ("Dedicated Host" or "host") is a physical server with EC2 instance capacity fully dedicated to your use.
Q: What are the benefits of using Dedicated Hosts?
Dedicated Hosts can save you money by enabling you to leverage your existing server-bound software license investments (e.g., Windows Server, Windows SQL Server, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server) within EC2, subject to your license terms. Dedicated Hosts also give you more flexibility, visibility, and control over the placement of instances on dedicated hardware. This makes it easier to ensure you deploy your instances in a way that meets your compliance and regulatory requirements.
Q: Is a Dedicated Host a baremetal offering?
No, the instances that run on a Dedicated Host are the same virtualized instances that you’d get with traditional EC2 instances that use the Xen hypervisor.
Q: What is the lifecycle of a host?
A host becomes accessible after you have allocated it within your account. After you allocate a host the instance capacity will be standing by for your use. You can then launch instances with a tenancy of "host" using the RunInstances API or the AWS Management Console. When you no longer need to use a host, if it is an On-Demand Dedicated Host, you first need to stop or terminate all of the instances running on the host, and then you can release the host using the ReleaseHosts API or the AWS Management Console.
When Reservations are available, you can purchase a Reservation and assign it to a host after that host has been allocated to your account. If your host is covered by a Reservation, the Reservation first needs to expire before you can release the host.
Q: What are the general steps that I need to follow to bring my own licenses (BYOL) into EC2?
- Verify the licensing terms controlling your use of your BYOL software within EC2. We recommend that you consult with your own advisors to understand whether you comply with the applicable licensing requirements.
- Once you have verified that your licenses can be used within EC2, import your machine images using the ImportImage API made available by the VM Import/Export service. Alternatively, you may be able to download the software directly to the instance (e.g., Oracle).
- If you need a mechanism to track your images in AWS, enable host and instance recording in the AWS Config service.
- After you’ve imported your image, you can launch instances from these images onto Dedicated Hosts.
Note that when you run these instances, you may be required to activate these instances against your own KMS server (e.g., Windows Server, Windows SQL Server).
Q: Is there a limit that governs how many hosts I can allocate to my account?
Yes. For more information, visit documentation on AWS Service Limits.
Q. Should I Consider a Dedicated Host Reservation a Capital or Operational Expense?
Whether you are measured on EBITDA performance or not, you may need to understand the definition of a product before you can make an operational expense (OPEX) vs capital expense (CAPEX) classification for Dedicated Host payments. The following FAQ is helpful if you need to reach an OPEX vs CAPEX conclusion on a Dedicated Host reservation.
Q: Should I consider a purchase of a Dedicated Host Reservation as CAPEX or OPEX?
AWS does not provide accounting advice and we recommend that you ask your accountant to answer this question. We also recommend that your accountant review the definition of the EC2 Dedicated Host and a Dedicated Host Reservation before making an operational expense vs. capital expense judgment.
Q: Can I uniquely identify a Dedicated Host?
Yes, you can identify each Dedicated Host while it is allocated to your account using the Host-ID.
Q: Is the Host-ID similar to an asset-ID of a physical server?
Yes, a Host-ID is similar to an asset-ID of a physical server because a Dedicated Host can be used and identified through the use of the Host-ID. There is a one-to-one relationship between a Host-ID and a physical server while the Dedicated Host is allocated to your account.
Q: Can I release a Dedicated Host?
Yes, but only if the Dedicated Host is considered an On-Demand Dedicated Host. When a Dedicated Host is released, On-Demand billing will terminate and you will not be able to reuse the previously allocated Dedicated Host (or Host-ID).
Q: Will AWS reuse the same Host-ID for different physical servers?
No, AWS will not swap physical servers from under the Host-ID. If you get a new physical server, you will also get a new Host-ID.
Q: Can I reuse the same Dedicated Host over time?
Yes, as long as your Dedicated Host hasn’t been released, you can also reuse the same Dedicated Host over time.
Q: How am I billed for a Dedicated Host?
You pay for the entire Dedicated Host by the hour, regardless of how many instances are running on the Dedicated Host. If there are additional charges as a result of use, such as networking or software charges, they will be separated in different line items on the bill.
Q: What payment options do I have for Dedicated Hosts?
You have two payment options. The first is On-Demand, where you have the flexibility to scale up and down the number of Dedicated Hosts allocated to your account and only pay for the hours those Dedicated Hosts were allocated to your account. The second option is by Reservation, where you can purchase and assign a Reservation to a Dedicated Host and benefit from a lower rate over the term compared to On-Demand. Reservations can save you up to 70% on your On-Demand costs over the term.
Q: What are the payment options for a Reservation?
You can choose an All Upfront Reservation, where you roll all of the cost of your Dedicated Host reservation into one upfront payment. The All Upfront Reservation provides the best overall price compared to the Partial Upfront and No Upfront offerings. With the Partial Upfront payment option, you pay for roughly half of the cost of the Reservation upfront and the remaining cost is amortized (and charged hourly) across each hour in the term. The Partial Upfront payment option provides a better price than the No Upfront payment option. With the No Upfront payment option you pay nothing upfront and the entire cost of the Reservation is amortized (and charged hourly) across each hour in the term.
Q: Can I obtain a Reservation for a Dedicated Host?
Yes, after you’ve allocated a Dedicated Host to your account, you can pay for a 1 or 3 year Reservation for it. When you purchase a Reservation and assign it to the Dedicated Host, you are committing to pay for that Dedicated Host for a minimum period of time equal to the term of the Reservation.
Q: Can I pay for a Reservation without having it assigned to a Dedicated Host?
No, Reservations need to be assigned to Dedicated Hosts that have been allocated to your account.
Q: Do I maintain remote control over the use of a Dedicated Host when the Reservation expires?
Yes, when your Reservation expires, your Dedicated Host will remain allocated to your account and you can continue to use the Dedicated Host. When the Reservation expires you will be billed On-Demand unless you decide to release it. You can optionally pay for another reservation for the same Dedicated Host if you wish.