Cloud cost optimization is essential for correctly selecting and assigning the right resources to a workload or application. When workload performance, compliance, and cost are continually and effectively balanced with the best-fit infrastructure in real time, you achieve efficiency. Cloud optimization allows CloudOps to maximize cloud value-for-spend and deliver topmost app performance and reporting thereof.
Cloud optimization helps:
- To maximize the efficiency of your servers, storage, and databases
- To drive down costs across resources
- In increasing uptime with high availability
- To future-proof your business
- To reduce risks associated with change management
- In providing improved security and compliance
Why AWS for Cost Optimization?
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is probably the biggest IaaS provider and a formidable cloud computing resource. While its sheer size and computing resources are best in class and the support is spot on, the pricing is one of the major user retaining reasons for AWS’ great success. AWS has an amazing pricing policy that all the users find remarkable. It actually releases documents on how to optimize server costs and utilize the resources efficiently in order to make the most of what you use and pay for. When it comes to AWS cloud, the philosophy attached to its pricing is simple. At the end of each month, you pay only for what you use. You can start or stop using a product at any point of time.
Let’s take a look at the cost optimization techniques on Amazon Web Services.
AWS Cost Optimization Best Practices & Strategies
- You Need to Rightsize Instances – Identify EC2 instances that are underutilized, and downgrade the instance size or move to a different instance family to save costs.
- Always Delete Zombie Resources – One of the biggest drains on your AWS bill is continuing to run unused resources that are billed continuously, not per usage.
- Better to Purchase Reserved Instances – Purchasing Reserved Instances is an easy way to reduce AWS costs.
- Go for Instance Scheduling – Ideally, instances should only be started when actually used, but this may not be practical for many purposes. A common example is EC2 instances used for ongoing development and testing.
- Scheduling On/Off Times – It’s worth scheduling on/off for non-production instances used for development, staging, testing, and QA as it can save up to 65% of running these instances.
- Compress Data Before Storage – Compressing data reduces your storage requirements. Subsequently, reducing the cost of storage.
- Always Identify and then Delete Orphaned Snapshots – Unless you are actually thinking of using orphaned snapshots for creating future EBS volumes, you should delete them as part of your cloud housekeeping.
- Select the Right Cloud Storage Option – AWS offers 5 tiers of Amazon S3 object storage available, and it is important to understand why and when to use each class to optimize your costs.
- Check Payment Options – Amazon has three options for payments – ‘All Upfront’, ‘Partial Upfront’ and ‘Pay Over Time’: The earlier you pay and the more you pay upfront, the biggest the discount will be.
- Clean up EBS Volumes – EBS (Elastic Block Store) volumes provide persistent block storage volumes for use with Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) instances. Make sure you set up to automatically delete unattached EBS volumes upon decommissioning each instance.
- Use Auto Scaling – You can adjust the auto scale whenever you want and set thresholds for performance triggers.
- Manage Data Transfer Costs – Design your infrastructure and framework so that data transfers across AWS regions or AZs are optimized.
How does AWS Pricing Work?
AWS offers you a pay-as-you-go approach for pricing for over 160 cloud services. With AWS you pay only for the individual services you need, for as long as you use them, and without requiring long-term contracts or complex licensing. You only pay for the services you consume, and once you stop using them, there are no additional costs or termination fees.
The list of resources that help you to get a monthly estimation for using AWS services are:
- Amazon EC2 Pricing – Amazon EC2 is free to try. There are five ways to pay for Amazon EC2 instances: On-Demand, Savings Plans, Reserved Instances, and Spot Instances.
- AWS Free Tier – This enables you to gain free, hands-on experience with more than 60 products on AWS platform.
- Amazon RDS Pricing – Amazon RDS is free to try. Pay only for what you use. There is no minimum fee. You can pay for Amazon RDS using On-Demand or Reserved Instances.
- Amazon S3 Pricing – Pay only for what you use. There is no minimum fee. There are four cost components to consider when deciding on which S3 storage class best fits your data profile – storage pricing, request and data retrieval pricing, data transfer and transfer acceleration pricing, and data management features pricing.
- Amazon CloudWatch– Collect and track metrics, monitor log files, set alarms, and automatically react to changes in AWS resources.
- AWS Trusted Advisor– Get real-time identification of potential areas for optimization.
- AWS Budgets– Set custom budgets that trigger alerts when cost or usage exceed (or are forecasted to exceed) a budgeted amount. Budgets can be set based on tags and accounts as well as resource types.
- Cost Optimization Monitor– Automatically process detailed billing reports to get granular metrics that can be searched, analyzed, and visualized in a customizable dashboard.
- Cost Explorer– See patterns in AWS spend over time, project future costs, identify areas that need further inquiry, observe Reserved Instance utilization, observe Reserved Instance coverage, and receive Reserved Instance recommendations.
- AWS Cost and Usage Report– Granular raw data files detailing your hourly AWS usage across accounts used for Do-It-Yourself (DIY) analysis (e.g., determining which S3 bucket is driving data transfer spend). The AWS Cost and Usage Report has dynamic columns that populate depending on the services you use.
Beneficial Features of the AWS Billing & Pricing Model
Businesses that rely on AWS seem to yield a plethora of benefits. All of them contribute to a highly optimizable infrastructure model. Some of the coveted features of the AWS model are:
- High Flexibility, Scalability and Optimum Infrastructure
- Volume-induced Savings & Reserve Options
- As AWS Grows, Your Business Grows too
- Optimize Instance Utilization via Proper Monitoring
- Boost Cost Efficiency via Smart Instance Usage and Automation
- Manage Updates and Usage Reviews on Daily/Weekly Spending
When you are just starting your migration journey to the cloud, AWS has a set of solutions that help you to manage and optimize your spend. The solutions include services, AWS cost optimization tools, and resources to organize and track cost and usage data. AWS cost optimization helps you to enhance control through consolidated billing and access permission. Cost optimization in AWS enable better planning through budgeting and forecasts, which leads to further lowering of cost and cloud spend optimization.
Fine-tuning your cloud infrastructure is critical to make sure that your overall bill stays in the limit. Proven AWS cloud cost optimization strategies will help you cut down your cloud costs by eliminating unused resources and/or choosing the right resource plan. Only through profound apprehension of one’s needs as an organization, and with a firm grasp of all AWS models, can you make an informed, data-driven decision on how to get the most out of the Amazon Web Services platform.
If you are concerned about your ever-increasing AWS cost, the above-given strategies will help you optimize the cost.
Cloud Alliance Lead, RapidValue