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Sure-fire ways to curb your AWS Bills

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Sure-fire ways to curb your AWS Bills

The bulk of companies operating from COVID-19 quarantine has acknowledged the significance of cloud computing and services. These days, more and more companies are choosing to opt for cloud service providers like Amazon Web Services; we here at Navtech are ready to help you shift your business to the Cloud and also maintain your AWS bills to a minimum.

AWS is a crowd favourite when it comes to the breadth of services they provide. Coupled with the pricing options they offer, any business can choose the capacity and performance required at quite manageable costs. Nevertheless, almost all organisations deal with certain cloud-related problems such as overuse, suboptimal application placement, and unused capacity on the cloud; all of which reflect on the AWS billing for the business.

The fundamentals for optimizing AWS costs can always be narrowed down to two: regular usage monitoring and accurate data analysis. Let’s dig a little deeper into the ways businesses can reduce our AWS bills with regards to user demands and changing business cycles.

Find the Apt Storage Class for your Cloud

There are 6 tiers of Amazon S3 object storage currently available to the market, and knowing why and when to use each class can best help you optimize costs for your business. Each cost tier is differentiated with the actual storage capacity, the volume of data transferred and number of HTTP GET and PUT requests.

  • Amazon S3 StandardS3 Standard offers high durability, availability, and performance object storage for frequently accessed data. Because it delivers low latency and high throughput, S3 Standard is appropriate for a wide variety of use cases. AWS Free Usage Tier allows customers for 5 GB of Amazon S3 storage, 20,000 Get Requests, 2,000 Put Requests, and 15 GB of data transfer out each month.
  • Amazon S3 Intelligent-Tiering The S3 Intelligent-Tiering storage class is designed to optimize costs by automatically moving data to the most cost-effective access tier, without performance impact or operational overhead. For a small monthly monitoring and automation fee per object, Amazon S3 monitors access patterns of the objects in S3 Intelligent-Tiering, and moves the ones that have not been accessed for 30 consecutive days to the infrequent access tier.
  • Amazon S3 Standard-Infrequent AccessLike the name suggests, Infrequent Access is used data that is used less frequently, however, can be retrieved whenever needed. The pricing for S3-IA is far lesser than the standard S3 tier, at retrieval fee of $0.01 per GB.
  • Amazon S3 One Zone-Infrequent Access Similar to S3-IA, but is stored in a less reliksent single availability zone, making it even less expensive. As a result, One-Zone IA is a great option for storing secondary backups.
  • Amazon GlacierDesigned for data that is retained for more than 90 days, such as backups (cold data); Glacier takes 3–5 hours with standard retrievals to restore data. AWS has two options for retrieving data from Glacier — including slower and cheaper bulk retrievals (5–12 hours), plus faster and more expensive expedited retrievals (1–5 minutes).
  • Amazon Glacier Deep ArchiveThe  lowest-cost storage class and supports long-term retention and digital preservation for data that may be accessed once or twice in a year. It is designed for customers — particularly those in highly-regulated industries, such as the Financial Services, Healthcare, and Public Sectors — that retain data sets for 7-10 years or longer to meet regulatory compliance requirements.

(https://aws.amazon.com/s3/storage-classes/)

Select the Right Instance Type

It is always crucial to select the Instance best suited to the application workload of the business.  By considering the determining factors like memory and processing unit required, you can optimize the instance resource that results in the most efficient delivery at the lowest price spent. 

Monitor and Analyze your Services Usage Data

Monitoring and Management tools such as Trusted Advisor and CloudWatch provide access to instance metrics. The data collected can help you review workloads, determine need for scaling, if any, and to identify any non production instance; all actionable insights which help make decisions for saving money, improving system performance, and closing security gaps.

Shut-down AWS Resources that are not in use

Shutting down any unused instances during extended breaks and weekends can very well help businesses optimize cost,  especially in a development environment. Developers can quickly deploy and redeploy applications using services such as AWS OpWorks, without too much concern about the underlying infrastructure.

AWS CloudFormation allows developers to create templates of AWS resources, allowing quick builds and rebuilds; making it possible to shut down and delete unused AWS instances when not needed. 

Configure Auto Scaling 

Autoscaling allows for variability; to expand or shrink based on traffic spikes or customer demand. This dynamically adds additional resources when required and retracts them when not needed. The setting lets you run on the smallest size required, also helping to optimise your costs doing it.

Use Reserved Instances and Spot Instances

A reserved instance is a 1 year commitment to purchasing a capacity reservation; yielding upto 42% discounts compared to on-demand pricing. An RI can be sold back in the RI marketplace if it is no longer required.

Tools like AWS Cost Explorer will be able to give recommendations to make RI purchase based on your RDS, Redshift, ElastiCache and Elasticsearch usage. 

Similarly, Spot Instances are something that can save you money by letting you bid on EC2 capacity which is currently not in use. This is an easy access to larger amounts of computing capacity but are prone to interuptions when put to use. The prices of these usually vary according to it's demand.

Conclusion

Resourcefulness and Adaptability are two major considerations when it comes to optimizing your AWS fleet, be it to reduce cost or otherwise. In order to make even further savings on your AWS bills, we recommend setting up budget using AWS Budgets; letting you always be on top of things when your cloud usage and costs change.

Need more AWS assistance? Navtech is ready to help you optimize your AWS environment to get the most out of your cloud systems.

Hashil Parambadan

IIM Alumni, Senior Growth Hacker and Digital Marketing Specialist

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