Topic: Amazon EC2 development image - huge storage requirements (and cost)

Hello everyone,

I've just received my bill for October from Amazon EC2 and I was suprised by the amount I was supposed to pay - I had only started Chumby development a few weeks ago but I already had $40 in storage costs for the Singapore region (where the NeTV image is located). That's storage for 285 GB/month!! ($0.14/GB/month).

I checked the EBS (Elastic Block Store) for that image and it showed 7 or 8 EBS snapshots, each taking 50 GB (fifty gigabytes)! It appears that instantiating the Chumby NeTV image also copied all these snapshots (although they are not used as far as I can tell), so even with no development taking place it costs between $49 and $56 per month just to store those 350-400 GB. I doubt that the development environment for the NeTV really needs 400 GB of data smile.

Could someone at Chumby look into it and remove the snapshots that are not needed?


Re: Amazon EC2 development image - huge storage requirements (and cost)

Hi Razvan,

The storage cost should be about $12/month...the core image is 50GB, and only 50 GB. You shouldn't have all those snapshots hanging around. The snapshots are local to your account, we can't do anything to create them or delete them for you.

Do you have multiple instances allocated, but running only one and leaving the others stopped? Or, have you tried to create a new AMI from your development instance? What does the description field say for the snapshot? There's a lot of things you can do from the management console that can inadvertently create a snapshot that you don't need.

The only snapshots we have on our account are the couple that we made explicitly for AMI sharing. If you're not re-sharing the AMIs or re-sizing volumes, etc. you shouldn't have any snapshots (you'll just have live volumes, not snapshots).

I think you should be able to delete the snapshots without any negative impact on the instance. I'm not sure what's making them, I've never seen that happen with anyone else....when you start our AMI, a single 50 GB volume should be allocated and that's it. We don't do anything to allocate more volumes, and I'm pretty sure only the user of an account can make snapshots (i.e. we can't reach into your instance and snapshot it -- or remove the snapshot of it -- on your behalf).

7BAA 2E53 01C1 DCFF 497B  E7F0 9699 A303 78F0 D9B9

Re: Amazon EC2 development image - huge storage requirements (and cost)

Ok, I've tried it again and it looks like the problem is this:

EBS ID:    vol-5603b638
Root device type:    ebs
Attachment time:    2011-11-15T18:18:00.000Z
Block device status:    attached
Delete on termination:    No
Snapshot ID:    snap-3639f65c

The EBS store is set to "Delete on termination: false", meaning that every time you terminate the instance, you end up with 50GB of EBS in use. When you start another instance, it allocates yet another 50GB block and it leaves it there when it's terminated. Of course, if you just start and stop the same instance, this won't happen, but if you terminate the instance you can see the problem.

There doesn't seem to a be a way to change this when the instance is started (at least from the AWS console).


Re: Amazon EC2 development image - huge storage requirements (and cost)

It's a bit like the bill shock you get when you first started using a mobile phone and didn't realize that one feature you're using isn't included in the all you can eat plan.

We just had an incident last week where a device went nuts and was in a loop downloading data from the server and ran up our bandwidth charge...

7BAA 2E53 01C1 DCFF 497B  E7F0 9699 A303 78F0 D9B9