Maximize your value: How to Improve AWS Cost Optimization

25/11/2022 Benjamin van der Maas

Computing power, database storage, content delivery: Amazon Web Services (AWS) has what organizations need to innovate and transform. While AWS is designed to right-size resources and optimize business value, it does demand that users stay on top of things and employ best practices to do so. Here are some of the main things to keep your eye on to improve cost optimization:

Taking control of your AWS costs

Since the AWS cloud provides over 200 services, sometimes organizations lose track of the big picture when it comes to costs. Underutilized instances, unused EBS volumes, skipping on saving plans, unimplemented autoscaling: these are some of the major culprits that lead to bloated bills.

Luckily there are plenty of ways to cut the fat and get the most out of AWS. AWS has the tools to allow you to take control of your costs and optimize your spend. The beauty of AWS is the flexibility to manage your costs while keeping the capacity you need to build modern, scalable applications. AWS Cost Explorer is a useful tool to help you visualize, understand, and manage your AWS costs and usage over time. To help optimize your costs, actions can be grouped along the following five pillars.

5 keys to AWS cost optimization

  • Right-size your resources: Scale your instances to the right size. Get a good overview of your usage using AWS Cost Explorer Resource Optimization to get a report of EC2 instances that are either idle or have low utilization, and stop or downsize these instances. Use the AutoScaling feature to automatically scale (in and out) your DynamoDB table. Review networking and reduce costs by deleting idle load balancers. Identify Amazon EBS volumes with low utilization and delete them.
  • Stretch your elasticity: Turn resources off when you don’t need them. That’s the advantage of the cloud model over hardware! One tip is to create schedules to turn off unused instances during idle times with the help of usage metrics. Keep an eye also on EBS quantities when your instances are not in use.
  • Choose the right pricing model: AWS offers various pricing models to manage your costs, including on-demand pricing, Spot Instances, and Reserved Instances. Compare the pros and cons of each for your requirements. For example, Spot Instances can save you up to 90% but are not ideal for mission-critical use as they can be reclaimed and terminated last-minute. They are ideal for applications that are fault-tolerant, scalable, or flexible. You can also save up to 72% by signing up to Savings Plans, a flexible pricing model that offers lower prices on Amazon EC2 instances usage.
  • Optimize storage: AWS offers a choice of storage tiers that provide different performance and costs. Optimize storage while maintaining performance and availability by identifying the right destination for different data types. Essentially you want to have easier access to certain priority data and use another tier for archives and other data that you rarely need to access. Use S3 Analytics to analyze storage access patterns on the object data set and reduce cost by leveraging lower cost storage tiers.
  • Measure, monitor & improve: establish metrics and monitor the cloud environment for continuous cost optimization. Set specific targets and review your metrics on a regular basis. Support teams in architecting for cost and identify team members responsible for optimization. Define and enforce cost allocation tagging for more visibility among teams.

We can help

Optimizing your AWS costs takes expertise. AWS managed service providers like Cloudar know all the tricks and can help you pricing models and stay on top of your usage and resources. To improve cost optimization and maximize your business value, it pays to partner up!

Want to get a better idea for how we could help you get the most out of AWS? Reach out to us!



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