Updated pricing for Amazon EKS: Extended support explained

Earlier we talked about EKS at a high level in CloudAvocado article about EKS optimization. Here is real-life example: extended support for Amazon EKS. Among many other activities like monitoring cluster metrics, right-sizing nodes, and enabling autoscaling processes, surprisingly, Kubernetes version control is also important. Best practice: update Kubernetes on your EKS clusters to the latest available version once it’s released. Updates usually address security vulnerabilities, performance improvements etc., so it’s really important to check for a new versions once in a while. But not many of us did. However, that is has changed and now we need to pay more attention to it.

On April 1, 2024, Amazon announced general availability of extended support for versions of Kubernetes. It means from now on you can run your EKS clusters for up to 26 months from the date the version becomes available on EKS, instead of 14. Sounds good, however, this update produced a new pricing rule you need to know.

Standard EKS support


Kubernetes gets new features, design updates, and bug fixes with minor versions releases approximately once in four months. We already know that Amazon recommends creating new clusters using the latest version of Kubernetes and updating earlier created clusters to the latest version as well. The only thing you need to remember is that there are two support types now and the price of the cluster depends on it.

Each new Kubernetes version receives standard support for 14 months after being published on Amazon EKS.

Common billing rules are well known. You pay:

  • $0.10 per hour for each Amazon EKS cluster that you create
  • for services you use, as you use them (EKS on AWS using either EC2 you create to run your Kubernetes worker nodes or AWS Fargate)

What happens when it ends?

Amazon EKS

Extended EKS support


Immediately after the standard support term ends, Kubernetes version start receiving Extended support. It lasts for 12 more months. For example, standard support for version 1.23 in Amazon EKS ends on October 11, 2023. Extended support for version 1.23 began on October 12, 2023, and will end on October 11, 2024. It is available in all AWS regions. Exciting news – you don’t need to take any action to receive it – as soon as 14 months pass from the release date, clusters that still run it will be automatically onboarded to the extended support. 

New billing rules:

  • $0.60 (instead of $0.10) per hour for each Amazon EKS cluster that you create
  • for services you use, as you use them (EKS on AWS using either EC2 you create to run your Kubernetes worker nodes or AWS Fargate)

There are no limitations to Kubernetes in Amazon EKS extended support, so it won’t turn off or weaken your clusters’ capabilities. Clusters running Kubernetes versions released more than 26 months ago (14 months of standard support + 12 months of extended support) are upgraded to the oldest currently supported extended version automatically. It’s important to remember you still need to update cluster add-ons and Amazon EC2 nodes manually after the automatic control plane update, 

You can avoid auto-enrolling in extended support by upgrading your cluster to a Kubernetes version that’s still in standard support.

Standard vs extended EKS support: cost comparison


The price difference may not seem big at first sight. But let me prove that it’s worth your attention, especially if you use a lot of EKS. Simple calculations of monthly and full price differences between standard and extended support for one and more clusters: 

Clusters qty

Standard support monthly cost

Extended support

monthly cost

Potential waste if not updated

1 month

12 month (full length)


730h * $0.1 = $73.0

730h * $0.6 = $438.0

$73.0 – $438.0 = – $365.0

– $4 380.0



$4 380.0

– $3 650.0

– $43 800.0


$2 190.0

$13 140.0

– $10 950.0

– $131 400.0

As you can see, updating your clusters before they run into extended support can save you from spending an excessive $365 on each EKS cluster monthly! Real-life example: one of CloudAvocado’s users has 36 clusters, so in addition to monthly payment for included resources his extended support might have cost him 36 * $365.0 = $13 140.0 without any previous changes in the infrastructure. It’s good we were there to help.

You may assume it may be a big deal only for big organizations. However, I recommend setting up reminders regularly and updating Kubernetes versions before they run into extended support. Even if there are only a few clusters you can prevent unpredicted waste and keep your budget within limits.

Short FAQ


Will I get a notification when standard support is ending for Kubernetes version on my Amazon EKS? 

Yes, AmazonEKS sends a notification through the AWS Health Dashboard approximately 60 days before it ends

Are there any limitations to Kubernetes in extended support?

No, there are not.

Is AWS support available for clusters in extended support?

All clusters continue to have access to technical support from AWS.

Are there any limitations to patches for non-Kubernetes components in extended support?

Extended support will only provide support for AWS published Amazon EKS optimization AMIs for Amazon Linux, Bottlerocket, and Windows at all times. This means, you will potentially have newer components (such as OS or kernel) on your Amazon EKS optimized AMI while using Extended Support. 

Where can I update my Amazon EKS?  

Use this guide https://docs.aws.amazon.com/eks/latest/userguide/update-cluster.html

Does CloudAvocado help manage versions of EKS?

Yes, you’ll receive notifications about upcoming extended support while using the app and to your email to update them beforehand.

Follow my LinkedIn to learn more about interesting AWS updates that can help you avoid situations similar to those described above or book a calendly meeting with me if you have questions about your AWS.

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