EC2 instance completely bare but usage is large

Grayson: 02 February 2022

A couple of months ago I started up a micro instance of "Microsoft Windows Server 2012 RTM with SQL Server Express" AMI. I checked to see I could see the default page in IIS. And that was it. Then I forgot about it for 2 months.

When I check back I see that I've been charged about $50 each month for it. I can see that the CPU utilization has hovered around 60%, periodically spiking to 100%.

Could anybody explain to me the reason for this usage? I have ubuntu instances which have actual sites on them but their cost is nowhere near this (also micro instances).

My first thought is that it is doing windows updates. But from the CloudWatch monitor I can see that only CPU and data in is doing much of anything. There is no disk reading/writing at all.

Any light shed on this or how I might mitigate this usage would be appreciated.

Mateo: 02 February 2022

Well, first - you are charged by working hour, IIRC.

so CPU is irrelevant. Letting it running for a month due to carelessness means pay for it. Mitigating this is simple - take responsibility for the VM's you are starting.

Second - you have to tell us. As in: this is something to analyze. It is definitely not normal. I manage a lot of VM's - some of the mwith various SQL Servers on them - and one show a high CPU usage without actually being used. COuld be a driver issue. You have to at least do baseline adminsitration and figure out which process used the time to make a sensible answer possible. It may be your box - due to bad patching - is now part of a botnet.