The surge in demand for utilizing public Cloud resources has introduced many trade-offs between price, performance and recently reliability. Amazon's Spot Instances (SIs) create a competitive bidding option for the public Cloud users at lower prices without providing reliability on services. It is generally believed that SIs reduce monetary cost to the Cloud users, however it appears from the literature that their characteristics have not been explored and reported. We believe that characterization of SIs is fundamental in the design of stochastic scheduling algorithms and fault tolerant mechanisms in public Cloud environments for spot market. In this paper, we have done a comprehensive analysis of SIs based on one year price history in four data centers of Amazon's EC2. For this purpose, we have analyzed all different types of SIs in terms of spot price and the inter-price time (time between price changes) and determined the time dynamics for spot price in hour-in-day and day-of-week. Moreover, we have proposed a statistical model that fits well these two data series. The results reveal that we are able to model spot price dynamics as well as the inter-price time of each SI by the mixture of Gaussians distribution with three or four components. The proposed model is validated through extensive simulations, which demonstrate that our model exhibits a good degree of accuracy under realistic working conditions.
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