How to optimize your AWS costs

April 21,2020

Previously we’ve discussed the myriad benefits of migrating your work environment and data to Amazon Web Services. Amazon has made this so easy, that most new apps are being born on AWS nowadays, or some cloud environment. While many of the financial benefits are baked into a cloud-based environment, SysOps Leads will still have to put in the work to make the most out of savings. Unnecessary usage may cost quite a bit without proper monitoring. Here are some of our thoughts on making the best out of using AWS:

Pay attention to current usage

It’s not hard to identify what systems are being used and how much they’re costing you. If you find that you’ve paid monthly for a system that you aren’t using much, you can switch to hourly billing, which is entirely possible with AWS. We recommend and can deploy CloudHealth, a tool by VMWare that is basically AWS TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) on steroids. 

Utilize scheduling

After you’ve monitored closely what you’re really using, try scheduling out resources to be used during optimal times. Even if something can’t be switched on demand, you can leave it on when the right team is online or onsite. Our Certified AWS Solution Architects can gauge where you might be overemphasizing your larger EC2 instances, and not taking advantage of a cluster of smaller EC2 instances, which can mean less wasted instance scheduling. 

AWS Instance Scheduler can help you stop and restart resources. Easy to use, it can help you manage costs for both development and production environments. 

Move less important/less used data to cheaper storage tiers

Maybe customer data from 2001 doesn’t need so much security. Some tiers for not-so-use data can be managed on a separate AWS account altogether and qualify for the AWS free-tier, or be moved to AWS Glacier, drastically slashing your costs. 

S3 Analytics can be used to analyze storage access patterns to figure out the right storage for your data. 

Identify present and future demand

You could still be paying for something that isn’t actively running, and such blind spots have been known to cause tremendous unneeded expenses. While AWS Trusted Advisor can help you identify these components and get them out, we still recommend CloudHealth, and it’s part of our Starter Packages. We can help get you a bird’s eye view of all your accounts and any outstanding issues.

The cloud is flexible and scalable, allowing you to only pay for what you need with hourly billing. No need to pay massive upfront or annual costs and find little demand later down the road. When tracking your usage, turn off any unused instances and identify little-used resources and figure out alternatives. 

AWS Cost Explorer Resource Optimization can give you reports on EC2 instances with low utilization. It’ll break down your expenses by region and linked account.

Contact us today for a quote on Cloud Optimization.