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A Comprehensive Guide to AWS Cost Optimization

Are you getting maximum value out of Amazon Web Services (AWS)? Get the most bang for your buck with this comprehensive guide to AWS cost optimization.

5 min read
A Comprehensive Guide to AWS Cost Optimization

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You love being able to use Amazon Web Services (AWS) to scale your infrastructure and applications quickly and efficiently. After all, with cloud computing, you get to pay per usage, rather than paying for more than what you need.

The challenge? It's not always easy to understand AWS's pricing models. Thus, you may not be getting the best possible ROI in the cloud.

The reality is, you could save as much as 72% of your costs by implementing some essential best practices in cost control listed below, and even more quickly by hiring an AWS consultant to perform a cost optimization for you.

Let's get started!

Rightsize Your EC2 Instances

A thorough AWS cost optimization analysis will point you to the strategy of rightsizing your EC2 Instances.

With instance rightsizing, your goal is to match your instance sizes to the demands of your workloads. After all, you don't want to pay for more compute resources than you need for the workloads they are running.

Instance sizes involve RAM, CPU, and network speed, among other things. AWS organizes EC2instances into families optimized for different use cases like compute, memory, storage, and general purpose. You'll want to analyze your application's actual resource usage to determine the right instance family and type to meet the application's needs without going too far beyond them. Sometimes it helps to over-provision the instance and then monitor it carefully for performance and actual resource usage to determine if you should downgrade it then repeat the process. It's safer to over-provision than under-provision if you're not sure which instance type to choose at first.

Besides instance type, the cost is also slightly different depending on the data centre (availability zone) hosting the instances.

An AWS cost optimization consultant can help you to analyze your instance performance, usage patterns, and usage needs to make sure that you aren't paying too much for your unique workload needs.

Buy Reserved Instances and Spot Instances

Once you've landed on the optimal instance type, another way to get the most bang for your buck with AWS? Cover the cost of your Amazon EC2 Instances either partially or fully upfront by buying Reserved Instances. Buying Reserved Instances is an excellent way to reduce your AWS costs because without one, you're paying AWS's highest on-demand prices.

However, you must use these Reserved Instances as frequently as initially expected. It's also paramount that you buy the correct kind of Reserved Instance. Otherwise, you may end up increasing your AWS costs.

With the help of a consultant, you can correctly manage your Reserved Instances to save on your AWS costs. A consultant can help you to weigh all of your variables before making any purchase. They can then monitor your utilization so that you stay on the right cost-savings path and thus more easily scale your business.

Also, you could inexpensively boost your compute power by buying EC2 Spot Instances. Spot Instances are specifically for workloads that can run on and off during odd times of the day. In this way, Spot Instances differ from Reserved Instances, which are not shut down randomly by Amazon and thus are ideal for always-on workloads.

All in all, buying Reserved and Spot Instances can help you to decrease your costs when using such services as EC2, ElastiCache, Redshift, and RDS.

Ensure You Are Using the Optimal Storage Service for Your Use Case

It's not always easy to know which service is right for a particular use case, and this is especially true of storage services. Should you use S3, EBS, EFS, or FSx for your files? If you're using EBS for infrequently access object storage for example, you have a great savings opportunity. Need a Windows file server? FSx may be for you. Make sure you're using the right storage service.

Delete EBS Volumes That Are Not Attached, Plus Obsolete Snapshots

Your consultant can likewise help you to get rid of any excess resources that you do not need -- like Elastic Block Storage, or EBS, volumes that are disused.

Removing disused volumes is essential because if you've been using the cloud for a while now, you know that thousands of old EBS volumes may be in your account costing money.

Still, deleting these volumes can be a helpful step even if you're only starting with the AWS Cloud.

Get Rid of Unnecessary S3 Objects

Boosting your cost savings is also possible if you eliminate any S3 objects that are infrequently accessed. In this way, you can pay only for what your company actively uses.

Rather than deleting objects, you can archive infrequently accessed objects by setting up automated rules to archive files to deeper levels of long-term storage in S3.

For instance, consider using S3 Glacier, which can be restored from the archive within a period of minutes to hours. Its retrieval fee is $0.0040/GB.

For very infrequently accessed archival material, consider S3 Glacier Deep Archive, where retrievals complete within a few hours. The retrieval fee with this option is $0.00099/GB.

Key Architectural Optimizations

You can also optimize your AWS costs by considering AWS Lambda functions.

If you move some of your functionality to AWS Lambda, you can cut costs significantly. You might even end up paying no money for the simple functions found under the free tiers.

With this kind of application architecture, you pay for your consumed compute time, nothing more.

An AWS cost optimization consultant can also help you with optimizing your information technology ecosystem using a cloud-native software service.

Examples of such a service are AWS Global Accelerator and Amazon CloudFront. These services enable the customizable, fast, and secure delivery of APIs, data, apps, and videos to customers worldwide.

Likewise, Amazon S3 can be used to restore, back up, protect, and store your company's critical data.

All in all, if an AWS cost optimization consultant reviews your infrastructure, they may find opportunities to delete or consolidate your resources to save you money.

Additional Cost Optimization Strategies

With the right consultant, you can also find any areas of your AWS usage that happen to be inefficient. This kind of infrastructure review is a crucial way of optimizing your AWS costs.

Perhaps you have just started using the cloud. Or, maybe you are seeking a method of optimizing your existing infrastructure. Either way, a consultant can help you to implement an economical solution.

In the end, you can experience cheaper, better, and easier ways of using AWS at your company.

A consultant can furthermore help you to optimize your Amazon payment options and service agreements. A variety of payment/service options are available, so an analysis can help you to choose the best one for your needs and usage.

Likewise, a consultant can help you to determine the AWS Credits for which you are eligible. Then, they can help you to apply for and obtain them so that you can start saving on your AWS bills.

How We Can Help with AWS Cost Optimization

The Pilotcore team would be glad to analyze your AWS account costs and then implement the right cost optimization plan for you. In this way, we can help you to save money and thus boost your bottom line by operating more cost-efficiently.

Learn more about our services and how AWS cost optimization can help you to take your business to the next level.

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