I'm actually running a micro instance with the Amazon free tier, and now that the final Turnkey pricings have been defined I'm a bit puzzled on which would be the cheapest solution for me - or if there is any option left that could be defined cheap at this point.

I just need a low traffic LAMP server, mainly for personal use and for demo'ing web sites to clients, so the Micro instance is more than enough.

Once the free tier period is over, according to Amazon and Turnkey, the base price for 1 year on EU/Ireland servers (not including traffic and extra options) would be:

  1. On-Demand EBS-backed Micro Instance
    Amazon EC2: $0.025 per hour (*24*365) = $219
    Turnkey Linux: $15 per month (*12) = $180
    Total: $399 / year
  2. Reserved (1 yr) EBS-backed Micro Instance
    Amazon EC2: $54 per year + $0.01 per hour (*24*365) = $141.60
    Turnkey Linux: $15 per month (*12) = $180
    Total: $321.60 / year

Is there something I'm missing? Is there not really a way to enjoy the benefits of running Turnkey Linux on a single low-traffic Micro Instance without paying a premium of 80% to 125% over the EC2 server cost? (Yes, I know I could invite a friend and if he signs up I'd be lifted of the monthly Turnkey 15$, but then the problem would be just moved on to him - how could he run a single low cost micro instance? Inviting someone else? And so on? :))

I'm not criticizing Turnkey's pricing, you guys are doing a great job and I've taken benefit from it for free for a long time and cannot complain at all, but I think it would be great if there was another option aimed at 'hobbyists' users like me that do not need to run multiple instances or high traffic servers and that could be put off by the hefty premium they'll now have to pay if they want to continue to take benefit of the Turnkey offer.

EDIT: got the reserved instance pricing wrong - now added the hourly rate to the fixed fee

Jeremy Davis's picture

Then you won't need to pay the TKL component so it would just be the $54 (assuming your calculations are correct).

IMO that's pretty cheap. It's basically a small VPS for about what you'd pay for a shared hosting site where you just get a directory.

Option #2 would cost $141.60 assuming the server is running 24/7 ($0.01 per hour has to be added to the fixed $54 one time fee).

I'm ok with that, but not so sure about the extra $180 on top of that for the Turnkey Linux subscription.

I tried to explain in my first message why right now I'm not considering the 'invite a friend' option - most friends I could think of are hobbyists like me and will face the same problem: how to run a single low traffic micro instance? Unless I could invite someone that needs to run a small instance and/or multiple micro instances I don't see this as a feasible option.

Liraz Siri's picture

I agree that if you just want to run a single micro instance paying for an additional flat-rate fee for unlimited deployment of EBS-backed images doesn't seem so attractive.

But as JedMeister mentions you can get Micro for free if you invite just one friend. They don't have to use/pay for the service, just try it. Think of it as passing the torch to someone else. If they in turn pass it along to someone else - we're fine with that. The only reason we check that you've signed up with unique payment details is to make it a bit more of a hassle to invite yourself. That way the path of least resistance is to just invite a friend.

I thought the friend that you invite had to sign up for a full offer. If he just has to sign up for the free trial, this sounds much more reasonable.

Even so, I'd be more than happy to pay for the Turnkey service on a Micro instance, if it was priced something between, say, 10%-20% on top of Amazon EC2's fee. Or a fixed $5/month for a single micro instance.

I understand there are technical and business issues that made you choose different pricing options, but hope that in the future you'll be able to offer a service more tailored to individuals/hobbyists like me.

Liraz Siri's picture

Thanks for the feedback. It helps to get your perspective on the whole experience. We can't put a usage premium on Micro because Amazon doesn't support that model. Micro are special because they're part of Amazon's free usage tier.

Anyhow that doesn't really matter because we don't think it really makes sense to charge a premium on Micro usage. Individuals/hobbyists should be able to use TurnKey for free, or as close to it as we can get...

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