AWS Stop Vs Terminate Vs Reboot

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From the moment you launch an instance until termination, EC2 instances transitions between different states as show in above picture. The transitions are very clear and easier to understand from above picture, we are not going to discuss about state transitions here. What we are going to discuss is, how billing will get affected when you move EC2 instances between these states.


Reboot an instance is equal to rebooting an operating system, instance remains on same host computer and maintains its public DNS name, private IP address, and any data on its instance store volumes.

Reboot an instance doesn’t start a new instance billing hour.


Each time you transition an instance from stopped to running, you will get charged a full instance hour, even if these transitions happen within a single hour.

For example:

  1. When you run an instance for 30 minutes and then terminate, you are billed for one instance-hour.
  2. When you run an instance for 10 minutes (or within an hour), stop and then start the instance again, you are billed for two instance-hours.
  3. When you run TWO instances of the same type for 30 minutes (or within an hour), you are billed for 2 instance hours. (In other words, partial instance-hours for multiple instances of the same type are NOT combined into one instance-hour).


When your instance is in stopped/terminate state, you will NOT be billed for “data transfer” and “compute”, but you will be charged for storage (if any).

So, in summary try Reboot first, before opting for Stop/Start operation to minimize your computing costs. 


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