What Convertible RIs Mean for You

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Amazon Web Services introduced a new Reserved Instance (RI) type called Convertible RIs. I thought it might be helpful for you to get our take on the pros and cons of this new type. Our preliminary analysis is that this upgrade will be very beneficial for you – the changes will allow us to take on more risk (given the flexibility), which means greater profits for you. Let’s dive a little deeper.

What are Convertibles Exactly?

According to an Amazon post, “With Convertible RIs, customers now have the option at any time to change the instance family, OS, or tenancy associated with their RI.” That sounds convenient, right? Well like anything, there is a time and a place where Convertibles make sense.

Pros & Cons

Pro: Convertible RIs are very good for obscure usages. For example, if you own a g2.2xlarge (Windows) RI and need to move up to g2.8xlarge, the Convertible is an ideal choice.

Con: But, you don’t get the same level of discount with Convertible RIs as you would obtain with a standard RI. So, a common instance like an M3 medium Linux wouldn’t be a good fit for a Convertible.

Pro: You have the ability to convert without penalty. Just remember: you can only trade in for Convertible RIs of an equal or greater value.

Con: That means, you don’t receive credits for unused Convertible RIs of lesser value. Unfortunately, it’s available only as a three-year reservation too. Most of the RIs you’re purchasing are probably the one-year types, so just keep this in mind so you don’t get stuck with an RI for longer than you need it.

Have additional questions on how to best leverage Convertible RIs? The team and I are happy to help. Just let us know.

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