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Optimize Cost Savings using AWS EC2 Spot Instances as your EKS Worker Nodes

To optimize cost-savings while deploying dev/test workloads on EKS you can utilize Amazon EC2 Spot Instances and run them as your EKS Nodes.

Amazon EC2 Spot Instances let you take advantage of unused EC2 capacity in the AWS cloud. Spot Instances are available at up to a 90% discount compared to On-Demand prices. [Source: AWSDocs]


  • An AWS Account
  • An IAM user with administrator access and a EC2 Role with administrator access

We are going to deploy an EKS Cluster using eksctl from an EC2 Instance which is going to be our launchpad, you can do the same from your local machine.

Launch an EC2 Instance and install necessary packages

We shall be launching an EC2 using the Amazon Linux 2023 AMI, with t3a.small instance type and keeping the rest of the settings default, if you wish you can change them based on your requirements. I've kept the SSH Access allowed for anywhere for the sake of this demo, highly recommend you to opt granular access for the same using MyIP.

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Installing eksctl

For Unix:

# for ARM systems, set ARCH to: `arm64`, `armv6` or `armv7`
PLATFORM=$(uname -s)_$ARCH

curl -sLO "$PLATFORM.tar.gz"

# (Optional) Verify checksum
curl -sL "" | grep $PLATFORM | sha256sum --check

tar -xzf eksctl_$PLATFORM.tar.gz -C /tmp && rm eksctl_$PLATFORM.tar.gz

sudo mv /tmp/eksctl /usr/local/bin
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Source: eksctl docs

Installing kubectl
As we shall be launching the latest version of EKS (1.27) for amd64 based architecture, we will run the below commands

curl -O
chmod +x ./kubectl
mkdir -p $HOME/bin && cp ./kubectl $HOME/bin/kubectl && export PATH=$HOME/bin:$PATH
echo 'export PATH=$HOME/bin:$PATH' >> ~/.bashrc
kubectl version --short --client
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Source: AWS Docs

Launching an EKS Cluster with spot instances using eksctl


kind: ClusterConfig

    name: my-eks-cluster
    region: ap-south-1
    version: "1.27"

        id: "xxxxxxx"
        id: "xxxxxxx"
        id: "xxxxxxx"

    - name: spot-nodegroup
      ami: ami-016931097ac39b652
      amiFamily: AmazonLinux2
      overrideBootstrapCommand: |
        /etc/eks/ my-eks-cluster --container-runtime containerd
      privateNetworking: true
      minSize: 1
      maxSize: 3
      desiredCapacity: 1
      instanceTypes: ["t3.medium","t3.small","t3a.small","t3a.medium"]
      spot: true
      - private-ap-south-1a
      - private-ap-south-1b
      - private-ap-south-1c
      labels: {node: spot}
        publicKeyName: yourkeypairname
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Additionally we have to create an Admin Role for our EKS LaunchPad Server and attach it

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To create the cluster, run eksctl create cluster -f cluster.yaml

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When we create the cluster using eksctl, AWS launches two CloudFormation Stacks in the backend, one to create the control plane with additional infrastructure and the other to create the nodegroups.

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It shall take from 20-25 mins to launch the cluster.

EKS Cluster Successfully Launched with Spot Instance NodeGroup

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Delete the cluster

eksctl delete cluster -f cluster.yaml

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Terminate the EC2 Instance

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