Effective AWS Cost Control and How to Achieve It

Effective AWS cost control is not simply a question of reducing how much your business pays for deploying instances on Amazon´s cloud platform. In order to control AWS cloud costs effectively you need to have total visibility of your AWS account and implement a system that enables you to see what instances are deployed and what their purpose is. In effect, accountability.

Many businesses lose control of AWS cloud costs due to the “enthusiastic” deployment of non-production instances – such as those used for development, staging and testing. The cost of deploying non-production instances can be reduced using various methods but, without total visibility and accountability, the savings may only be temporary.

Ways to Reduce AWS Costs

Many articles discussing AWS cost control advocate reviewing your account to see what instances could be assigned to cheaper pricing options, regions and types. Not only is this time consuming, but you (or your developers) probably chose the most appropriate option when first deploying the instances, so the savings will not be great if there are any opportunities to save AWS costs at all.

Paying up-front for Reserved Instances will only save you money if Amazon does not drop its prices (again), so many companies consider switching non-production instances off when access to them is not required. There are three ways of doing this:

  • Instruct your developers to switch their non-production instances off manually.
  • Reassign your developers away from their core projects to write scheduling scripts.
  • Implement off-the-shelf scheduling software to do the job for you.

Why Scheduling Software is the Most Effective AWS Cost Control

Of the three options, implementing off-the-shelf scheduling software is the most effective way to achieve AWS cost control. This is because instructing your developers to switch their non-production instances off manually lacks reliability, and reassigning developers to write scheduling scripts could cost you more than your business saves depending on how much you pay your developers.

Neither of the first two options provides you with the visibility and accountability you need to control AWS cloud costs, and while the concept of implementing scheduling software may go against the notion of “we can build, so why buy”, scheduling software typically pays for itself within two months. Furthermore, with ParkMyCloud´s scheduling software, you get complete governance over your AWS accounts via a comprehensive reporting suite.

Using ParkMyCloud to Control AWS Cloud Costs

ParkMyCloud helps you control AWS cloud costs in two ways. First by allowing you to schedule flexible on/off times for your non-production instances, and then by giving you total visibility over all your business´s AWS accounts so you can monitor deployment, identify unused or underused instances, and improve accountability for the deployment and scheduling of future instances.

The scheduling process is simple. You simply create a limited-permissions role for ParkMyCloud, which then conducts a discovery of your deployed instances. The software makes recommendations about which instances are suitable for parking and provides a range of pre-configured parking schedules from which to choose. Alternatively you can create your own parking schedules based on your requirements.

As soon as the parking schedules have been applied, the single-view dashboard displays a figure indicating the projected savings over the next thirty days. Once the parking schedules become operational, a second figure indicates how much you have saved by implementing ParkMyCloud. These figures are among the many metrics you can include in on-demand or scheduled reports.

The Direct and Indirect Savings You Can Achieve with ParkMyCloud

The direct savings you can achieve with ParkMyCloud we advertise as “up to 65%”. This figure represents the saving on non-production instances you will achieve if you apply a parking schedule so that your non-production instances are automatically switched off outside the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday to Friday.

The direct savings can be much higher if you choose to park all your non-production instances permanently and allow developers to “snooze” the schedules when access to their development, staging and testing instances is required. We have built-in a safeguard to return the instances to their inactive state if the developers forget to switch them off when they have finished with them.

The indirect savings are incalculable. These are attributable to the increased accountability and effective governance you get via the single-view dashboard. The effective governance not only helps prevent the enthusiastic deployment of non-production instances and achieve effective AWS cost control, but also contributes towards the planning and budgeting of future projects, as you will have accurate figures with which to forecast future capacity requirements.

Effective AWS Cost Control Free from ParkMyCloud

If you are looking at ways to achieve effective AWS cost control, or have tried some of the other options and failed to achieve long-term results, we invite you to take advantage of a free trial of ParkMyCloud. Our trial consists of a fully-enabled version of our software so you can evaluate its benefits in your own environment and see how easy it is to control AWS cloud costs.

At the end of the trial, we offer a choice of premium paid-for subscription services depending on your requirements and a totally free option. The free option lacks the reporting options that will enable you to maintain AWS cost control, but you could still save up to 65% or more on the cost of deploying non-production instances on AWS. To start your free trial, click the “Try it Free” button. Alternatively, if you have any questions about using ParkMyCloud to automate on/off times for your EC2 and RDS instances and improve governance over your AWS accounts, do not hesitate to contact us.