Hands On: Spotinst Adventures

For most of my extracurricular cloud adventures, I subsist on AWS credits. I try to stay within the free tier as much as possible, but sometimes that is just not practical. I want to do everything I can to stretch the credit dollars as far as I can. You could say I’m cheap, but I like to think I’m just frugal.

My workloads are typically of the POC nature and short-lived. I’ve always known the EC2 spot market existed and there were some fairly substanial savings available by leveraging the spot market. My original view of the spot market was that it was only for HPC type of workloads where worker nodes could come and go within a cluster without an impact to the overall workload.

My POCs typically involve stateful nodes setup with fault-tolerance in mind. That really doesn’t fit the model of spot, but step in Spotinst! Spotinst offers a free getting started tier that will allow you mange up to 20 nodes which is more than adequate for my POC workloads.

After you sign up for the service, the next step is to connect to your cloud provider. Right now, I’m just concentrating on AWS but will circle back to the other cloud providers at a later date.

The steps to connect to your AWS account are straigtforward. Just follow the steps below.

We are now going to create what Spotinst refers to as an Elastigroup.

We will select the Dev/Test instances template and choose my existing running Microsoft Windows Active Directory controller. Yes, you read that right. I am running my development AD instance on spot!

Spotinst will take a machine image of your working instance and re-launch it in the spot market. There are a ton of other bells and whistles to tweak with, but I’ve at least gotten over my trepidation of jumping into the spot market!

Spotinst provides a nice dashboard for you to watch your savings add up.


So far as I saved a whole $0.05 – “Hey, I got you a dollar…”. Well if you run your own AWS account without a big bank account, then I would definitely suggest investigating Spotinst.

Cloud On!

The cloud is an architects dream. Prior to the cloud if I screwed something up there was tangible evidence that had to be destroyed. Now it’s just a blip in the bill – Mike Spence

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