T2 vs Spot Instances

Stav Maor
spot instances

Amazon T2 Instance Type

“AWS T2 instances are designed to provide moderate baseline performance and the capability to burst to significantly higher performance as required by your workload. They are intended for workloads that don’t use the full CPU often or consistently, but occasionally need to burst. T2 instances are well suited for general purpose workloads, such as web servers, developer environments, and small databases.”
Source: Amazon Web Services

Burstable CPU & CPU Credits

One CPU credit is equal to one vCPU running at 100% utilization for one minute. Other combinations of vCPUs, utilization, and time are also equal to one CPU credit; for example, one vCPU running at 50% utilization for two minutes or two vCPUs running at 25% utilization for two minutes.

Ok, What?

When a T2 is idle the unused CPU credits are stored in the credit balance for up to 24 hours. When your T2 instance requires more CPU resources than its base performance level allows, it uses credits from the CPU credit balance to burst up to 100% utilization. The more credits your T2 instance has for CPU resources, the more time it can burst beyond its base performance level when more performance is needed.



Amazon brands T2 as a cheap, affordable instance type for startups.
T2 was released in 2014 and can be purchased from $4(nano) – $250(2xlarge) / month. However, Is this a cheaper decision than provisioning Spot Instances? We used the online AWS calculator and created a comparison table. Check it out yourself.


Did we rest our case?



  • Nirbhab Barat


    T2 series is not available in Spot, which instance type you are comparing in Spot?
    How did you landed to a spot amount, as it varies for every instance type, region even at AZ. Also time of the year.
    Its bid based system.

    • Pavel Klushin

      Hi Nirbhab,

      You are right the T2 serious is not available in Spot market so we are comparing to M3/M4 instances that has the same specs as T2 instances.
      Let’s view the market in Ireland region, t2.large Linux on demand costs 0.101$ and has the same specs as m4.large that on Spot costs 0.0174$ which gives you in this case 82% cost reduce by using spot instance.

      The numbers we showed at the table are average numbers after years of investigating the spot market.