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AWS Promotional Credit program for Research


AWS Credits

Congratulations on being awarded AWS promotional credits. In order to obtain the appropriate credit code from Amazon we'll first need your existing AWS account ID#. If you do not yet have an AWS account you may follow these simple setup instructions to create an account. After login to the AWS console the account number can be found on the upper right under the dropdown menu <Account Name> > My Account: XXXXXXXXXXXX. Once we have your account number our Amazon representatives will issue a credit code that can be applied to your account.

Applying the credit code
To apply the credit code navigate to your account name in the upper right hand corner > My Account > Credits > Redeem credit. 

Budget Alerting

Budgets are useful to alert groups when there is unexpected spend in the account. It is recommended to determine your desired monthly spend thresholds based on the amount of AWS credits issued along with any preexisting budgets . Be aware that AWS promotional credits have a default lifespan of 1 year. Click here to launch an AWS Cloudformation Stack that will automatically generate tiered budget alerts to email and optionally cell phone . (Click Link > Login to AWS Console > Hit Next > Fill Parameters > Hit Next > Click Create Stack.) Note that AWS budget alert threshold values and alert contact information may be modified at any time through the AWS Console. (AWS Console > Billing > Budgets). 


AWS Regions

IMSS typically recommends that researchers stick with AWS Region US-West-2 (Oregon) as it's less expensive than the older US-WEST-2 (California) , is more decoupled from California's seismic events and receives new AWS services well before US-WEST-1. 

A powerful part of reigning in cloud costs is proactively limiting the ability to run AWS resources in other regions and countries. It's possible that resources inadvertently running outside of the primary selected region may go unnoticed adding to your monthly spend or depleting valuable credits. 

To limit your account to resources to only US-WEST-2 perform the following.


  • Log into your AWS account as the ROOT (the default) user.
  • Navigate to Service > AWS Organizations (or use search box)
  • Click Policies > Service Control Policies
  • Create Policy 
  • Add Name and Policy Description
  • In the statement box, paste the statement found at this link
  • Click Create Policy
  • Attach the Policy to your Organization. 

Amazon's own documentation on SCP usage here


Please send all Amazon web services support questions to our ticket system at amazonwebservices@caltech.edu .


Cost allocation tagging for tracking individual user spend - coming soon. 
Multi-account AWS Organizational strategy for fully isolating user spend - coming soon.