Lowering your AWS Cloud Bill

by Jay Shah | Consultant, CG Infinity , Inc.

The three new C’sCOVID, CLOUD & COST

Over the past few months, Covid-19 has altered the norms of everyday life dramatically. At one corner, we have industries such as aviation, hospitality, tourism, entertainment, restaurants etc. which has been brought down to their knees, while at another corner, this pandemic has forced a lot of digital, team and cultural transformations to  happen within the organizations and a massive raise has been seen in cloud adoptions being AWS as a vast portion.

But let’s tackle these questions: –

  • All are moving to cloud but are we tracking the cost and budget for teams and organization?
  • Are we all going out of cash??
  • Is Cloud worth as per our financial budget???

No, answer, right!!! Let’s talk in general. A lot of C level people (CEO, CTO, CFO, CIO, CRO) and EVP/VP’s say their AWS bill shocks them, but they can’t do anything about it.  At the end it’s just a quote “The AWS Bill is high. We can’t keep track of every resource that our developers/infrastructure’s/SRE/architect’s make. We need the Cloud and that costs more Money.”

Well, during these tough economic times, all businesses need to learn how to reduce and optimize expenses, and this includes your AWS/Azure cloud bill. Without a deliberate approach to architecting in the cloud as well as best practices surrounding governance, organizations are finding themselves exposed and spending more than originally planned. 

Common Cloud Pitfalls

Several Reports say on an average 35% of cloud users express concerns about controlling cloud costs and approximately on average 10%-25% of estimated cloud range is not used

  • Uncontrolled spend
  • No track back
  • Difficulty understanding pricing models
  • Not right sized
  • Unknown security exposures
  • Lack of continued compliance
  • Shortcuts made in provisioning stages
  • Not meeting Business availability goals and design doesn’t perform as expected 

AWS- Migration

Migrating to AWS has lot of advantages and it provides lots of features in terms of – increased scalability, performance, security, and flexibility—but it comes at a lot of cost. The reality is that without a proper cost optimization strategy in place, your bills can quickly get out of hand. This can cause you to put the brakes on strategic cloud deployments to stay within budget. Not managing your cloud costs proactively not only costs you money—it costs you the opportunity to fully realize the benefits of the cloud to transform your business.

Our next article will cover more on ‘Best Practices for AWS Cloud Migration’ (blog link)

AWS – Costs Usage and Design Principles 

  1. Leverage ‘PAYG’ – Pay-As-You-Go
  2. Shutdown unused instances and resources 
  3. Select the right instance size for your workload
  4. Select the appropriate S3/Glacier storage class
  5. Use CloudWatch Alarms and Trusted Advisor to monitor costs
  6. Use Auto Scaling to align your resources with demand
  7. Consolidated Billing provides cost savings
  8. Take advantage of Reserved and Spot Instances
  9. Delete what’s not needed- eliminate waste

AWS – Cost Optimization and Monitoring Flows

1-Analyze the current state and identify potential quick saving wins (e.g. Unused EBS volumes or unused Reservations)

2-Review other AWS financial cost (e.g. Saving Plans or Private Pricing) and implement cost cutting measures

3-Convert actions to policy statements to track utilization, measure progress based on goals and limit waste

4-Monitor resources and refine as needed. Assess environment for cost effective resources (e.g cheaper storage class, right sizing, managed services)

AWS – Cost Saving Plans and some Third-Party Tools

We have AWS Budget to keep a track of your daily/monthly bill budget. Use also, AWS Cost and Usage Report which contains the most comprehensive set of AWS cost and usage data available, including additional metadata about AWS services, pricing, and reservations (e.g., Amazon EC2 Reserved Instances (RIs)). 

AWS also offers a discount model called AWS Savings Plans for flexible pricing for EC2 Instances and AWS Fargate in exchange for a usage commitment (dollars/hour) over a set time period of 1 or 3 years. 

Third Party Software Tools such as CloudHealth by VmWare, CloudChckr and ParkMyCloud also are used to track and analyze your workloads, bills and all your resource inventory and utilizations.

Time to Save Some Chunks!! 

The cloud promised to save you money, but your cloud bills may have increased drastically. To leverage the cloud fashion, you need to adopt a Cloud First attitude and mindset by using strategies and innovative ways to compute while preventing Cloud Sprawl. There are third party vendor tools as well to optimize your costs (P.S.  which is an “extra/additional overhead cost as well”)  

To conquer your cloud economics, experts from CG Infinity Inc can assist you and your company/firm/organization to make the right architectural, cost management and technology decisions, framework and tools.