Andrew Nhem - December 08, 2017

The New AWS EC2 M5 Instance Family: A Cloud Cost Efficiency Look

New re:Invent, new announcements. AWS introduced a handful of new EC2 updates, including the M5 instance. Let’s take a look at how these instances perform from a cloud cost and efficiency perspective.

The new EC2 M5 instances feature AWS’ popular general-purpose workhorse instances, but with a modern twist. The new generation uses AWS Nitro (their hypervisor that allows for data center-like performance in the cloud), NVMe SSD for increased disk read and write speeds and AWS’ Elastic Network Adapter (ENA) for even faster networking speeds than the last generation.

Everyone loves the AWS EC2 M family for its balanced virtual computing specs. It’s often the go-to for projects and workloads that need a general amount of vCPU, memory, bandwidth and disk I/O. Once teams understand where their workloads begin to bottleneck, they migrate from the M family into other specialized instance families (e.g., R for memory, C for compute, etc.).

We’re so excited that we already support it in our platform. Read on for a cloud compute rightsizing example.

Is It Time to Migrate from the M4s?

Let’s quickly compare the m5.xlarge against the m4.xlarge.


m5.xlarge m4.xlarge
On-demand price: $00.192 per hour ($00.0032 per second) On-demand price: $00.200 per hour ($00.0033 per second)
4 vCPU (next-gen processors) 4 vCPU
16 GB Memory 16 GB Memory
EBS-optimized EBS-optimized
2120 Mbps EBS Bandwidth 750 Mbps EBS Bandwidth/td>


Digging deeper, the M5s pack much more performance with an upgraded CPU (2.5 GHz Intel Xeon® Platinum 8175 processors), faster networking speed with updated AWS ENA and NVMe storage. However, M5 users need to use AWS HVM AMIs that include drivers for ENA and NVMe. The M5 rates across the board are slightly cheaper for much more performance over the M4s, making upgrading very attractive for teams willing to move to M5s.

Optimize M5 Cost and Usage Immediately in Cloudability


Here’s a look at our rightsizing engine recommending a move to M5s.

Get the most out of the new M5 instances by visualizing its cost and usage data within a cloud spend management platform like Cloudability. With the True Cost™ of your infrastructure at hand, your teams can make better technology decisions for the business.

NOTE: We automatically support cost monitoring and rightsizing recommendations for the new EC2 M5 instances as well as others announced during re:Invent 2017, like H1, C5 and X1e.

smarter cloud begins with True Cost™ accuracy whether it’s measuring EC2 instances to the rest of your infrastructure. Get in touch for a Free Trial today.

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