Using Amazon EC2 T3 Instances for Your Applications

This video looks at the performance and cost benefits of hosting app workloads on the EC2 T3 instances available from Amazon Web Services.

T3 instances are burstable, general-purpose instances offered across 15 regions worldwide. They are engineered to deliver a balance of compute, memory, and network resources, and are designed to scale, providing a baseline level of CPU performance with the ability to burst much higher as needed.

With T3 instances, you can select between 3.1 GHz Xeon Skylake processors and 2.5 GHz AMD EPYC processors, depending on your performance and efficiency needs. Overall the base cost will be 10% cheaper with AMD.

You want to use T3 burstable instances when you don’t require a high level of sustained CPU performance. The workloads by default are unlimited, which means that they won’t be throttled, but if you’re running CPU-intensive workloads, you can rack up additional costs.

At Densify, we analyze the base performance requirement of your workloads to decide whether a specific AWS T3 instance is a good match, or whether you would be better served by Amazon EC2 C5, M5, R5, or other instance family types.

T3 instances are also powered by something called the nitro system, which means they support network and EBS bursting. You need to be mindful of things like HVM virtualization (no paravirtual) and the need the launch within a virtual private cloud using an AMI that includes the elastic network adapter driver.

Densify performs comprehensive checks on CPU, RAM, Storage, and Network utilizing our patented engine to compare the requirements of your workloads against the capabilities of different cloud instances types bases on the metadata provided by AWS. We ensure that only suitable workloads are considered as migrations candidates for T3 and any additional considerations are highlighted and presented to our users.

Here are a few things to remember:

  1. A T3 running at 100% can cost 25–50% more than the equivalent M5 – the extra charges for bursting can be significant
  2. With the default setting of unlimited for T3 instances, customers inadvertently leave it as unlimited and rack up additional costs
  3. Densify can detect when unlimited bursting charges exceed a threshold and recommend different instance types
Read Our AWS T3 Deep Dive

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