Minecraft Server High I/O Will Cost You on the AWS Free Tier

So, you think you’ll get away without paying a dime to AWS on the Free Tier?  Think again, especially when hosting High I/O Intensive applications like Minecraft.  As a follow up to our post: Minecraft Deployment on Amazon Web Services Micro Instance, we found some very interesting billing activity you’ll find useful when budget planning an AWS free tier instance.

When the Minecraft project was launched in August of this year, and gamers began to log on, we racked up more than 13.5 Million Read/Write requests in less than two weeks.  There are several tweaks that we could have tried to better control the I/O during peak loads, like setting swappiness=10.  But, regardless, if your Minecraft server has more than just a couple of concurrent users running on it, plan on spending money monthly on I/O.  Here rests the decision between fixed and variable cost.  There should be much less variable I/O on a more powerful AWS Instance with more Ram, but an obvious increase in fixed monthly instance cost.  Either way, it was a great learning experience!

AWS Service Charges
Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud $1.15
US West (Oregon) Region
Amazon EC2 running Linux/UNIX
$0.00 per Linux/RHEL Micro Instance (t1.micro) instance-hour (or partial hour) under monthly free tier 744 Hrs 0.00
Amazon EC2 EBS
$0.00 per GB-month of provisioned storage under monthly free tier 8.000 GB-Mo 0.00
dth="14"> $0.00 for the first 2 million I/O requests under monthly free tier 2,000,000 IOs 0.00
$0.10 per 1 million I/O requests 11,454,090 IOs 1.15


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