Upcoming Changes to AWS Public IP Address Charges

Neal Davis
5 min readJan 8, 2024

Attention, cloud captains! A storm is brewing in the AWS seas. Starting February 1, 2024, a new surge of charges could hit your cloud bill in the form of public IPv4 addresses, potentially leaving a significant dent in your cloud budget.

In this article, we will explain the new charges and point out the new feature AWS has implemented to help you chart a course to avoid the rocky slopes of unexpected new charges.

The Calm Before the Storm: Free Public IPs are a Thing of the Past — With One Exception

Public IPv4 addresses have been like free bait — readily available for cloud anglers for years. However, these valuable resources are becoming scarce as the digital ocean becomes increasingly populated. AWS, the leading cloud provider, has decided to take action to ensure their responsible and efficient utilization.

So, what was the one exception?

The One Exception to riding out this storm: The AWS Free Tier

The only exception to this will continue to be the AWS Free Tier, which will include 750 hours of public IPv4 address usage per month for the first 12 months.

The Storm Arrives: Charges for All Public IPs

Effective February 1, 2024, AWS will implement a new pricing model for public IPv4 addresses. This means that all non-free tier public IPs will incur hourly charges, regardless of their association with EC2 instances or other AWS services.

Breaking Down the Charges:

  • EC2 Instances: All public IP addresses, regardless they are attached to a service or not, will be charged at a rate of $0.005 per hour.
  • Elastic IPs: Charges for Elastic IPs will vary depending on the region and whether the IP is associated with an instance. The minimum charge will be $0.005 per hour.
  • Service-Managed IPs: Certain AWS services, such as Amazon RDS and Amazon Workspaces, automatically allocate public IPs. These IPs will also be subject to the new charges.

Preparing for the Storm: Optimizing Your Public IP Usage

With the storm approaching, cloud captains must be ready. Here are some strategies to optimize your public IP usage and minimize the impact of the new charges:

  • Identify and remove unused public IPs: Conduct a thorough review of your cloud infrastructure to identify any public IPs that are not actively used.
  • Utilize private IPs for internal communication: Wherever possible, leverage private IPs within your VPC to reduce the need for public IPs.
  • Consider AWS NAT Gateways: If your public IP requirements are limited, consider using AWS NAT Gateways to share a single public IP address across multiple instances.
  • Explore alternatives like AWS PrivateLink: For specific services, explore alternatives like AWS PrivateLink that allow private communication without requiring public IPs.
  • Monitor your public IP usage: Monitoring all public IPv4 addresses in AWS was problematic since you would have to visit every AWS service that used public addressing (yeah, EC2 and ELBs, but also indirectly RDS, Workspaces, and so on). However, that is no more. AWS added a new feature just for this problem, and in our upcoming video on using Amazon VPC IP Manager (Amazon IPAM), we will show you how to shore up your budget from charging squalls you may soon face.

Beyond the Storm: Embracing a Sustainable Cloud Future

While the new charges might seem like a burden initially, they represent a positive step towards a more sustainable and efficient cloud ecosystem. By encouraging responsible public IP usage, AWS is paving the way for a brighter future where resources are utilized effectively and costs are minimized for everyone.

Embracing the Future: IPv6 — A Powerful New Storm Shelter Against Public IP Charges

While optimizing your public IPv4 usage remains crucial, the long-term solution lies in embracing the next generation of internet protocol — IPv6. This vast address space offers a virtually unlimited pool of addresses, eliminating the need for costly public IPv4 allocation.

However, transitioning to IPv6 is not a simple feat. Its complex structure and differing functionality compared to IPv4 requires dedicated effort and learning. This is why, despite its existence for over two decades, widespread adoption has been slow.

But with the upcoming public IP charges, the time for action is now. Engineers can start by familiarizing themselves with IPv6 concepts, exploring their cloud provider’s IPv6 support capabilities, and gradually implementing dual-stack configurations that support both IPv4 and IPv6.

The initial learning curve may be steep, but the long-term benefits of IPv6 are undeniable. By embracing this future-proof technology, engineers can not only avoid the upcoming public IP charges but also unlock a world of increased scalability, security, and connectivity for their cloud applications.

A Special Note for FinOps Teams: Navigate the Public IP Charge Storm with Knowledge and Action!

The upcoming public IP address charges present a unique challenge for FinOps teams. Not only must they understand and manage these costs within their budgets, but they must also stay abreast of evolving cloud technologies and their impact on public IP usage.

Continuous learning is essential for FinOps teams to navigate this changing landscape. This includes staying informed about new AWS services and features, understanding best practices for optimizing public IP usage, and exploring alternative solutions like AWS PrivateLink that can reduce reliance on public IPs.

By actively seeking out knowledge and adapting their strategies, FinOps teams can effectively manage public IP costs and ensure their organizations continue to optimize their cloud investments. This proactive approach will not only save money but also set a strong example for the rest of the organization in embracing a culture of continuous learning and adaptation.

So, FinOps warriors, sharpen your knowledge blades and prepare to face the public IP address storm head-on! Remember, continuous learning and a commitment to optimization are your most valuable weapons in this ever-changing cloud battleground.

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Neal Davis

Founder of Digital Cloud Training, IT instructor and Cloud Solutions Architect with 20+ year of IT industry experience. Passionate about empowering his students