AWS To Revamp Pricing for Its IoT Platform

An upcoming change to how it bills users of its Internet of Things (IoT) platform will mean customer savings of up to 40 percent, Amazon Web Services (AWS) said this month.

Starting Jan. 1, 2018, the company will switch from its original per-message billing model for AWS IoT to one that's more "fine-grained," according to AWS evangelist Jeff Barr, who wrote about the changes in a blog post last week.

Since its launch, AWS IoT billing was based on the amount of messages that a user published and delivered through the service. While straightforward, this billing model "meant that some customers were effectively paying for parts of AWS IoT that they did not actually use," Barr said. "For example, some customers have devices that ping AWS IoT very frequently, with sparse rule sets that fire infrequently."

The new pricing model does away with the old across-the-board billing scheme, and instead sets different price points for each AWS IoT component that's used. Barr outlined some of the changes as follows:

  • Connectivity -- Metered in 1 minute increments and based on the total time your devices are connected to AWS IoT. Priced at $0.08 per million minutes of connection (equivalent to $0.042 per device per year for 24/7 connectivity). Your devices can send keep-alive pings at 30 second to 20 minute intervals at no additional cost.
  • Messaging -- Metered by the number of messages transmitted between your devices and AWS IoT. Pricing starts at $1 per million messages, with volume pricing falling as low as $0.70 per million. You may send and receive messages up to 128 kilobytes in size. Messages are metered in 5 kilobyte increments (up from 512 bytes previously). For example, an 8 kilobyte message is metered as two messages.
  • Rules Engine -- Metered for each time a rule is triggered, and for the number of actions executed within a rule, with a minimum of one action per rule. Priced at $0.15 per million rules-triggered and $0.15 per million actions-executed. Rules that process a message in excess of 5 kilobytes are metered at the next multiple of the 5 kilobyte size. For example, a rule that processes an 8 kilobyte message is metered as two rules.
  • Device Shadow & Registry Updates -- Metered on the number of operations to access or modify Device Shadow or Registry data, priced at $1.25 per million operations. Device Shadow and Registry operations are metered in 1 kilobyte increments of the Device Shadow or Registry record size. For example, an update to a 1.5 kilobyte Shadow record is metered as two operations.

The new pricing model will automatically take effect at the start of 2018. For most customers, the changes will result in invoices that are anywhere from 20 to 40 percent lower, according to Barr. He added that the AWS Free Tier will also expand to accommodate up to 50 devices on AWS IoT.

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Gladys Rama is the senior site producer for, and