7 AWS cost optimization techniques

Published on November 2, 2017
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Are you a small business trying to learn more about AWS cloud cost management? Has your AWS monthly bill and usage gone up and you cannot tell if you are using all that you paid for?

The ease of creating compute resources in AWS cloud has created an environment where your AWS bill continues to grow each month. There is nothing wrong with this, provided you are using all that you have purchased. Large organizations look at various aspects like the number of AWS regions, resource types, tagging for cost allocation, cost calculation complexities, and networking layer variable costs. Understanding what you are using vs. not using is an initiative large organizations take on seriously but not smaller businesses, until now.

In this article, we will look at 7 things you can do to identify the leaks easily and then I will show you how to do this rapidly.

From my earlier article, I will use this process and you should be able to see how the sequence of steps in the process is important, specifically when to apply reservations.

5 steps in cloud cost optimization

1. Examples of the kinds of tasks:

For each of your compute instances Amazon stores metrics on CPU, memory usage that looks like:

CPU spikes hard to understand

The peaks are more important than the lows and if you are able to arrive at a usage graph like this, this you can tell how well is your utilization:

Box plot representation of CPU has benefits for Cloudwatch

The peaks are more important than the lows and if you are able to arrive at a usage graph like this, this you can tell how well is your utilization:

2. Wrong instance types or reservations used:

Newer generation systems have more horsepower for lesser costs than older ones, example:

memory of various instance types

Amazon AMI tends to be lower costs over RedHat, Ubuntu, and other Linux distros. Check out the prices for EC2 instances.

3. Failing to shutdown-related components of instances:

Shutting down an instance doesn’t free you of all costs. You are paying for storage, network IP irrespective of if your instance being up or not as your resource state is managed. Consider making an AMI of your instance for future use.

4. Wrong storage configuration:

Between storage classes available for General purpose SSDs, provisioned IOPS, HDDs, there are variations of IOPS. Check the metrics in Cloudwatch to determine the right storage category for your needs:

gp2 vs io1 provisioned iops storage choices

5. Not releasing elastic IPs:

Elastic IPs have no cost when your instance is running, but when your instance is idle you accrue costs:

  • $0.00 for one Elastic IP address associated with a running instance
  • $0.005 per additional Elastic IP address associated with a running instance per hour on a pro rata basis
  • $0.005 per Elastic IP address not associated with a running instance per hour on a pro rata basis

6. Release orphaned snapshots:

Deleting orphaned snapshots (your backups) of instances that no longer exist will save you as much as deleting the original volumes. Identify snapshots with no parents!

7. Manage data transfer costs:

Interzone traffic is charged and if your application configuration is like below, note the ways you can alter inter-zone traffic and reduce your networking layer costs.

Cloud network cost optimization

These are some of the relatively easier ways of cost management that can give 60-70% cost savings on your account before bringing in the widely held method of cost reductions – reservations. Reservations in the cloud are necessary but in the cloud where capacity is infinite use what you need when you need is a way of managing your costs.

If your AWS account expense is low (under $250/month), you can go through these steps to identify leaks in minutes for what was previously only available to enterprises!

Our vision is to use machine learning to help you navigate the cloud, specifically capacity and costs. Cost optimization is a pillar of AWS well-architected framework and Amazon knows that when you are using the resources well, chances are you will use more of AWS.

Due to the scarcity of consulting talent, the complexity of analysis the tools for cost optimization only exist for the top enterprise spend with AWS accounts with spending under $10,000/month vastly neglected. However with the emergence of deep learning, AI we believe we can find the cost savings in your AWS accounts and help you use more.

For a more in-depth webinar on these 7 secrets to cloud cost management visit:

Identify opportunities for cost savings in your AWS account in minutes with our offering in AWS marketplace. Setup takes a few minutes and it is secure. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions in comments or IM.

Download the whitepaper that explains why cloud capacity planning needs a different thought process from traditional on-premise infrastructure.

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