The best practices for lowering cost with Amazon Web Services (AWS) is likely among the first items on the agenda for companies signing on for the first time. Others may have used AWS for a while, and want to make sure money isn’t wasted with their monthly cloud-computing costs. Either way, the cost-effectiveness of assets is a bridge that must be crossed by every company that hopes to be successful using AWS.
This blog is to help companies avoid overspending on AWS by paying for services, fees, or storage that is more than they require. If you’d like to speak with an expert about ways to optimize your AWS costs, you can also contact us directly and inquire about AWS Managed Services.
Configure AWS For Cost Effectiveness
These suggestions pertain to setting up AWS, which can also be done at any time after the initial configurations:
- Consolidated Billing for Volume Discounts – With AWS Consolidated Billing, companies combine all of their accounts under one management account. The cost upside is that AWS users can combine their cross-account usage to take advantage of Volume Discounts. AWS’s volume discounts apply to certain services like Amazon S3, which have rate tiers that provide discounts for higher volume.
- Use AWS EC2 Reserved Instances (RI) – According to Amazon, Reserved Instances can save as much as 71% on the normal on-demand rates. The only caveat is that RIs require a bit of foresight about how much capacity you’ll need for a given operation, since your usage rates need to match to receive discounts. As such, this is an option that is best utilized when you’ve already done some information gathering about capacity requirements.
- Use AWS Cloud Cost Savings Plans – AWS offers saving plans that allow customers to save by committing to a year (or more) of service with different offerings. There are currently plans listed for Compute, EC2, and Sagemaker, each of which offer varied tiers of discounts according to commitments and capacity. Savings plans for one account can be shared throughout an organization, and with the consolidated billing we mentioned earlier, can really affect the bottom line.
- Generate Cost and Usage Reports – Amazon’s Cost and Usage Reports, or CUR, are AWS’s built-in cost reports. This is the best source of cost information for those who aren’t as technically inclined. CURs are also a valuable commodity to have for seeking external help, since a third-party cost management vendor will almost certainly ask for a copy before they begin. These reports can be sent to an S3 bucket for persistent filing, and since they can be generated three times a day, users can see which items are changing and when.
Reduce Wasted AWS Assets
The first step in cost management is always to make sure that all paid resources are being used to their fullest potential, and that none of them are sitting idle. Consider these steps to help you eliminate wasted AWS assets:
- Run instances on a schedule – Since VPCs charge per hour as well as per GB, AWS users can save up to 65% of monthly fees by establishing schedules for non-production instances. These refer to those set aside for experimentation, testing, QA, and other private uses, which only need to be active when they’re in use. Most businesses would benefit from establishing dedicated hours of availability for these instances to avoid the wasted expense of running them without use.
- Clean Up Outdated Snapshots – It’s imperative to back up all states with multiple snapshots–think: restore points–in case something goes wrong. Experts advise several weeks, but some may carry snapshots from the last big changes. Since AWS charges for each GB of stored assets, hoarding snapshots you’ll never use indefinitely is essentially throwing thousands of dollars away.
- Audit for Unused Resources – Including the aforementioned snapshots, it’s a good idea to audit your own assets to make sure you’re not paying for resources that aren’t being put to use. This can include any asset that incurs a cost, such as NAT Gateways, storage volumes, and IP addresses. This includes rightsizing resources–that is, making sure the resource’s capacity gives enough room for spikes, but not so much that terabytes are being wasted each month.
Find Reliable AWS Expertise to Help Cut Cost
AWS Managed Services is also an effective way to manage AWS costs. A dependable AWS managed services provider should include cost-effective AWS strategies in their approach, essentially helping companies turn the best practices into action.
If you’d like to inquire with an AWS expert about cost-effective solutions for your infrastructure, our AWS Consulting Services provide this, and much more. Or you can look into the other services under the AWS umbrella for help with specific challenges.