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AWS Cost Optimization: 6 Useful Tips for Lowering Your AWS Bill

Posted by Chris Graham on Apr 14, 2021 2:49:42 PM

AWS Cost Optimization

As you might expect, leveraging the benefits that cloud services can provide is essential to the long-term success of your organization. In particular, many organizations from the world's largest enterprises to individual entrepreneurs choose to use Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Unfortunately, you can be stuck with a substantial bill if you don’t take certain steps. We’ve written a comprehensive guide that provides details on how you can lower it.

Let’s take a look at what you should know about AWS cost optimization.

1. Keep Track of Your Service Usage

One of the most straightforward ways to reduce your AWS bill is to thoroughly monitor your service usage. Fortunately, the platform comes with built-in tools to help streamline this process.

This can help you accurately review your workloads and help you determine the proper size of instances that you should be using. Additionally, you can identify areas of your service that aren’t as productive as they should be.

You also have the opportunity to identify idle resources, which can allow you to optimize your efficiency. By deleting these or turning them off when not being use, you can cut costs.

This is particularly important when monitoring applications and development and test environments, as it is not uncommon that resources for development and testing, or those underlying applications that have been overprovisioned, can be left underutilized.

2. Utilize the AWS Billing Report

Luckily, AWS has an integrated dashboard that you can consult for billing information. This will provide an accurate breakdown of the different costs of your service utilization.

You can also access this data by downloading a zip file from your dashboard. The different billable items of your service will be distributed across different lines in this spreadsheet. This is a lot of data – so be prepared that it may not be as simple to analyze as you'd hope.

The better you understand how your money is being spent, the easier it will be for you to take steps in order to reduce certain costs. For example, let’s assume that you're spending far more than you anticipated on a particular utility that AWS offers.

Unless you are getting proportionate results from this tool, you'll know that you should minimize the use of it.

3. Take Advantage of Auto-Scaling

AWS allows you to utilize auto-scaling in order to better meet the needs of your resource demand. This allows you to use the resources more efficiently.

Not only does auto-scaling ensure that required resources are available when needed, but it also scales down when not needed. You can think of this similar to how an automated home lighting system would automatically turn lights off in rooms where no motion is detected.

Additionally, auto-scaling has the added ability to terminate and relaunch instances that are not functioning properly. Put simply, auto-scaling is a great way to improve overall efficiency while minimizing your expenses.

4. Use the Right Instances Types

The type of instance that you use can have a large impact on the price of your AWS bill. To elaborate, some types of instances are not optimal for certain functions, dependent on CPU, memory, network, and storage capacity.

The type of instance that you choose will highly depend on the workload of your application. If you aren’t quite sure which one is best for your situation, take a step back and consider the use case of the application.

Additionally, you should determine the amount of required memory and the necessary type of processing unit. In general, it’s best to optimize your instances at least twice per year, but preferably this would be done on a continuous basis.

This will prevent ongoing periods of inefficient activity and ensure that you make the most out of your applications.

5. Select the Appropriate Storage Classes

Using the wrong storage class is essentially the same as storing your belongings in a location that is far larger than your needs require. In essence, you will be paying for all of this extra space without actually utilizing it.

Currently, there are five different tiers of AWS object storage that you can take advantage of. Each tier comes with a different price tag that you will need to consider.

Additionally, each tier differs in the total amount of storage, data transfer volume, and the total number of HTTP GET and HTTP PUT requests. So, you can consider these factors when determining which storage class is best for your needs.

6. Consider Outsourcing This Obligation

Although you have a large number of tools at your disposal when it comes to reducing your AWS bill, it's not always easy to optimize your level of functionality. For this reason, many users choose to outsource this obligation to a professional.

By working with a third party, you can easily recognize problem areas that contribute to an overly high bill – and how those can be eliminated without impacting application performance, which is the most challenging part. Your bill would be improved by scaling all instances down to the smallest size, but this is not a practical solution.

After eliminating resources or functionality that you don’t use, the professional you work with can then help you optimize the functionality that benefits you.

Over time, this can translate into significant savings depending on the scale at which you utilize AWS. Be sure to consider this factor when deciding whether or not you should consult a professional – it’s often an invaluable investment into your business that can provide an exponential return.

Proper AWS Cost Optimization Could Change Everything

So, be sure to keep the above information in mind when making your decision. From here, you’ll know everything that you need to know in order to improve your AWS cost optimization and make the most of what the plethora of AWS services can provide.

Of course, what we have covered in this article is much easier to achieve at a smaller scale. If you are running a large AWS environment comprised of thousands of instances, AI and automation become paramount to achieving AWS cost savings. It becomes much more challenging in a large environment to identify how changes to your resources will impact application performance – which is often what prevents AWS users from making optimization changes in the first place. Want to learn more about what we have to offer? Feel free to reach out to us today and see how we can help.

Topics: AWS, Cloud, cloud management, cloud optimization, Cost Optimization

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