4 steps to tame your AWS bill

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Author:  Nick Underwood – Partner

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One of the things I love about AWS is that they are always looking for ways to save you money. Even if you do nothing, sooner or later you will see savings as AWS has a long history of regular, substantial price reductions–sometimes upwards of 20-40%! How are they able to drive costs lower and lower? It boils down to one thing: scale.  AWS’s massive global footprint, automation, and economies of scale allow them to continuously push costs lower.  But you don’t have sit around and wait for the savings to come to you. If are willing to put some effort into your cost management strategy, you can save even more.  

 

  • Reserved Instances (RI):  This is by far the easiest way to reduce your AWS hosting bill.   RIs get you lower rates for committing to use certain resources for 1 or 3 years.  In fact, RIs can save you up to 75% when compared to “On Demand” rates. There are several different types of RIs you can choose from that give you the flexibility to modify the size of your instances over the term of your reservation (1-3 years), as well as the option to guarantee the servers you need will always be available to you within a specific availability zone or region.  You can do your own analysis, or work with a managed billing specialist to determine the type of reserved instances that will give you the right combination of savings and flexibility.

 

  • Rightsizing your instances:  A common mistake we see when helping new customers migrate to AWS is they configure their AWS servers will similar specs as the on-premise servers they’re replacing. In a world where you can resize a server with a click of a mouse, you no longer need to over-provision your servers to account for future growth. By monitoring the performance metrics for your instances over a period of time, we can identify exactly how much capacity you should purchase to satisfy your requirements right now, and “rightsize” your instances accordingly.  

 

  • Unused resources:  What’s worse the paying for an overprovisioned resource is paying for resources that aren’t even in use! We see this all the time.  This may sound like common sense, but unless you are monitoring for unused resources, it can be difficult to know if something can safely be removed.  Using something like Privo’s AWS Managed Billing service, you have clear visibility into unused resources and what your potential monthly savings could be once you remove them.

 

  • Use a reseller: This may sound counterintuitive, but you can realize substantial savings when you engage with an authorized AWS channel reseller like Privo.  By using a reseller, you immediately get access to buying power that you may not be able to achieve on your own. AWS offers tiered discounts for services like S3, CloudFront, Data Transfer, Support that we pass on directly to our customers. In addition, some resellers give you access to powerful cost management tools that allow you to take your cost management strategy to the next level!  Privo offers our customers free access to CloudCheckr which provides additional benefits beyond cost management. For example, you can use CloudCheckr to check your AWS account against over 500 security best practices! Even with all of documentation AWS provides and the many tools at your disposal, it can still feel like you need a Ph.D. in AWS Cost Management to make sense of it all. That’s why we provide our AWS Managed Billing customers free access to a team of dedicated specialists who can walk you through it–or better yet, just do it for you!

 

The bottom line is don’t feel overwhelmed. Once you get started optimizing your cost, you will find it’s actually quite addictive!

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