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You'd probably shave much more that $400 by using dedicated servers (rented monthly) rather than EC2 instances.

Example pricing (from OVH):


(You'd probably need to do some homework to find the most price effective platform for your workload. For CPU intensive workload, I usually start with https://www.cpubenchmark.net/ given than OVH gives the exact reference of the CPU they're using).

OVH isn't really production grade hosting, so it's not quite fair to use them for comparison. On the flipside, SoftLayer has been overpriced for a while now, and the IBM acquisition really didn't help any.

Thankfully, there are a plethora of dedicated server providers out there, which can easily beat Amazon's uptime record while still being considerably more cost effective without going as cheap as OVH.

Can you tell about other dedicated server providers you mention. I am on lookout for one.

Best place to look is the webhostingtalk.com forums. There are a ton of providers who are active there, and people also often post reviews and outage reports.

Just to clarify - I wasn't paying full instance prices. I was using spot instances which worked out around $7/mo each at the time.

That depends on how stable their server requirements are. EC2 comes into its own when it comes to scalability.

People tout EC2 scalability all the time, but the reality is it only allows you scale down. You can easily find dedicated servers more powerful than the hardware that EC2 runs on, for vertical scaling, with hardware specifications tailored to your workload to boot. And if your infrastructure needs require horizontal scaling, you may need more flexibility than the generic use cases that the tools Amazon provides or can easily find alternatives for less than the cost of the EC2 premium anyhow.

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