Use R3 Instances

This is documentation for AWS R3 instances. R3 instances provide sustained memory bandwidth, superior I/O performance, support for EBS optimization, as well as support for lower latency, low jitter, and very high packet per second performance. R3 instances are recommended for applications that require high memory performance at the best price point per GB of RAM.

Note: You cannot change the instance type of an existing EC2-Cloud instance to a R3 instance type.

Memory Optimized (R3)

The HVM instance types, available in all AWS regions, are:

  • Large
  • Extra Large*
  • 2x Extra Large* Hidden behind feature flag
  • 4x Extra Large* Hidden behind feature flag
  • 8x Extra Large* Hidden behind feature flag

* Extra large, double extra large, and quadruple extra large instances are also available as EBS optimized instances.

Get started with R3 instances on Engine Yard

This document describes how to use R3 instances with Engine Yard.

  • Prerequisites
  • Configure R3 instances
  • Verify R3 instances
  • FAQs
  • Troubleshooting
  • More information


  • This article assumes you already have an Engine Yard account. If not, see Sign up for an Engine Yard Account.
  • You must be on at least the September 24th, 2014 Engine Yard Gentoo 12.11 stack release to gain R3 instances support.
  • You must add a new instance to use this feature. You cannot modify an existing instance / volume.

Configure R3 instances

You can configure R3 instances when you add new instances to a new or existing environment.

Note: We recommend testing in a staging environment before applying changes in a production environment.

To add a new R3 instance

  1. Ensure that you meet all the prerequisites above.

  2. Add an instance in the usual way.

    See the database docs for more information about adding a database instance to an environment.

  3. Select the appropriate Memory Optimized R3 instance size in the list.


    Note: Some instance sizes may not be available by default. Please contact Engine Yard Supportif you do not see the necessary instance sizes.

  4. Click Add to Cluster (or Boot This Configuration, if you are re-booting an existing environment).

    See the related documentation for more information on adding instances to your environment.

    Note: If you are adding a R3 database instance, you also need to click Apply to update the database.yml file.

Verify R3 instances

Note: When you are testing in staging, consider the differences between your test and production loads.

To verify R3 instances

  1. Ensure that instance provisioning worked and the instance is running.

    In general, that is enough of an indication that the R3 instance is working fine.

  2. Review the Troubleshooting tips below for more information.
  3. If this is a staging environment and you are finished with testing, be sure and stop any R3 instances to avoid unnecessary charges.
  4. Stop any unneeded R3 instances to avoid unnecessary charges.


You might have these questions about R3 instances.

How can I use the SSDs on these instances?

You can leverage the SSDs as needed via custom Chef; be aware that there is no ability to create snapshots of SSDs.

How much does it cost?

See the pricing page for details.


This table contains troubleshooting tips related to R3 instances.

Symptom Solution
When I clicked HTTP on the app server, I received a 500 Internal Server Error. If this is the first time provisioning, wait a few minutes and try again.



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