AWS cost-reduction practices

10 Ways to Reduce your AWS Bill

One of the main reasons why companies decide to switch from in-house hardware to cloud solutions is the major cost reduction. But, while you get rid of big upfront payments and operational costs, there still is a possibility to overspend.

Why Cost Reduction is important

A lot of small expenses can pile up over time as your infrastructure gains unused instances, retains obsolete snapshots, and keeps unattached volumes. Fortunately, it is fairly easy to keep your monthly expenditures in check by adopting a number of cost-reduction practices in your AWS Management routine.

AWS Cost Optimization

10 AWS Cost Reduction Strategies

Our AWS Consulting specialists have hand-picked these 10 cost-saving strategies to help you get acquainted with the various ways of reducing your end-of-the-month bill:

1. Use Reserved Instances (RI)

EC2 Reserved instances provide reserved storage capacity at a discounted rate. With RI’s you can save up to 72% of the original on-demand instance prices. RI’s come in two types – Standart and Convertible. The main difference is that convertible RI’s let you leverage future instance families, though they come with a smaller discount.

There are three types of payment options. They are:

  • Upfront
  • Partial Upfront
  • No Upfront

With Partial or No Upfront payment option, the remaining balance will be due in monthly increments over the term, which is rather convenient.

By purchasing Reserved Instances, you not only reduce your end-of-month bill, but also gain confidence in the amount of storage you can count on in the upcoming months.

2. Use Compute Savings Plans

AWS Compute Savings Plans can offer significantly lower prices on AWS services (EC2, Lambda, and Fargate). If you are ready to commit to a 1-3 year long agreement and are willing to pay the full price upfront, Compute Savings Plans can play a significant role in your AWS bill cost reduction as they can save up to 66% of the costs you would have had to pay otherwise.

3. Use Amazon EC2 Spot Instances

Amazon EC2 Spot Instances give you access to unused AWS EC2 compute capacity with a discount rate of 90%. The one downside is that AWS can claim their instances back anytime with a two-minute notice. Still, Spot instances are a great option for users who wouldn’t have had access to such amounts of storage without the 90% discount. And with clever monitoring combined with automation, short notice time shouldn’t be much of a trouble.

4. Use the right Storage Options

Allocating your data to different storage options is a great way to save data. The less frequently your data is accessed, the less it costs to store it. AWS is known for its diverse storage options – the current S3 storage tiers go as follows:

  • S3 Standard – for general-purpose storage of frequently accessed data
  • S3 Intelligent-Tiering – for data with unknown or changing access patterns
  • S3 Standard-Infrequent Access and S3 One Zone-Infrequent Access – for long-lived, but less frequently accessed data
  • Amazon S3 Glacier and Amazon S3 Glacier Deep Archive – for long-term archive and digital preservation

Pay close attention to your existing data and move it to different storage tiers according to it’s access frequency to reduce your AWS end-of-month bill.

5. Schedule on/off times

Schedule on/off times for non-production instances (development, testing, etc.). Only leaving such instances “on” during working hours Monday to Friday will save a lot by itself, but consider researching more and turning certain instances “off” even during lunchtime. Thorough scheduling will save even more money for projects with irregular development hours.

6. Use AWS Auto Scaling

AWS Auto Scaling is a service that allows you to automatically match your capacity with demand. Correct matching of resources and traffic helps save money and maximize efficiency. Auto Scaling is especially useful in infrastructures that often have sudden surges in traffic. AWS Auto Scaling is easy to set up and works both on resources and services.

7. Use Consolidated Billing

Consolidated billing is a feature that combines expenses from all AWS member accounts and charges them all at once from the AWS master account. This feature is free to use and has a number of benefits. For instance, you can combine usage from all accounts and take advantage of various large-volume discounts. Also, seeing the combined cost and usage data from all accounts makes it easier to track.

8. Terminate Unused Assets

It’s easy to look past some unused or underutilized assets. AWS Trusted Adviser can help greatly with monitoring such instances to later get rid of (or move to a more appropriate tier) anything that hasn’t been used in a while.

Some of those so-called “zombie assets” can be:

  • unattached EBS volumes
  • obsolete snapshots
  • unused Elastic Load Balancers
  • unattached Elastic IP addresses
  • Instances with no network activity over the last week.

Unfortunately, some of the things listed above can be notoriously difficult to locate in the AWS System Manager or AWS Console. This is where external services may come in handy.

9. Take advantage of AWS Monitoring Tools

AWS provides a number of free, useful management tools. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with them as they can provide valuable insight into your cloud infrastructure.

Here is a list of six useful AWS tools for cost reduction:

  • Billing and Cost Management Console
  • AWS Cost Explorer
  • AWS Budgets
  • AWS Trusted Advisor
  • Amazon CloudWatch
  • Cost and Usage Report

Read more:  AWS Monitoring Best Practices 

10. Assess and analyze

Cloud is meant to be a dynamic environment. To make the best of it, you need to constantly be on the lookout for things you can improve. AWS makes it incredibly easy to scale your infrastructure to meet the ever-changing demand, it just needs a bit of work put into it. A good, thorough AWS Cloud Monitoring and Management is key to a justified end-of-month bill.

Conclusion

Keeping your cloud infrastructures in check is no easy task, but the benefits it brings are definitely worth the trouble. We here at Romexsoft understand that cost savings is our clients’ primary focus and concern. Our experts can help you optimize cost by using different pricing options, right-sizing instances, implementing automation and management tools, and more. If you choose Romexsoft as your AWS provider, we guarantee that almost in no time you will see a positive impact as a result of staff productivity, business agility, and operational resilience.

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Serhiy Kozlov
Serhiy Kozlov CEO/CTO at Romexsoft - AWS Partner in Cloud Migration & Application Modernization | AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner | LinkedIn Profile
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