How to Optimize AWS Instance Capacity

Optimizing AWS instance capacity is often described as an art due to the number of factors that have to be balanced in order to find the best practical configuration. Tools exist to help you optimize AWS instance capacity – such as Amazon´s EC2 Usage Reports – but these tend to provide help with the analysis of your cloud spend, rather than provide solutions.

ParkMyCloud is different. It not only identifies over-provisioned resources, but makes recommendations about more appropriate configurations. It can do this for most cloud-deployed resources that are charged according to the amount of time they are enabled, including auto-scaling groups and logical groups of EC2 and RDS instances.

Furthermore, ParkMyCloud can help administrators locate and terminate “zombie” instances – those that are no longer used or could be removed from auto-scaling groups – and schedule start/stop times for non-production instances so you are not paying for them when access is not required. Sounds complicated? You could optimize all your AWS instance capacity in half a day or less.

How ParkMyCloud Works 1: Right-Sizing

In order to optimize AWS instance capacity with ParkMyCloud, a person with super-admin credentials has to log into the business´s AWS account via ParkMyCloud´s management portal and create a permissions-limited IAM role for the app. ParkMyCloud then conducts a discovery of all the cloud accounts attributable to that user credential (ParkMyCloud also optimizes instances on Azure and GCE).

When the discovery process is finished, the resources attributable to the super-admin´s credentials will be listed across a single-view dashboard. Each resource has a bar-graph icon to the right of it, which administrators can click to access an “Instance Utilization Report”. This report shows the average and peak use of each resource and, where applicable, recommendations about an appropriate configuration.

ParkMyCloud does not have the authority to reassign instances, move them to a cheaper pricing plan or terminate zombie instances. But, using the information provided and the recommendations made by our app, administrators can easily identify where AWS instance capacity can be optimized and make the necessary changes quickly. Depending on the volume of resources you have deployed on AWS, the right-sizing process could reduce your cloud costs substantially.

How ParkMyCloud Works 2: Auto-Scheduling

Optimizing AWS instance capacity is not only about finding the best practical configuration for your requirements. Minimizing costs and maintaining savings are also key elements of optimization. ParkMyCloud helps business´s minimize costs by identifying instances for which it is appropriate to schedule start/stop times – typically development, staging and testing non-production instances.

The instances suitable for “parking” are highlighted on ParkMyCloud´s dashboard at the end of the discovery process. Administrators simply have to click on a highlighted instance, select (or create) a parking schedule for it, and confirm their selection. Instances can be parked individually or in groups, or all the highlighted instances can be parked with the same start/stop schedule.

As soon as the parking schedules are confirmed, a figure appears on the dashboard indicating the projected savings over the next thirty days. This figure may change if schedules are amended, or if schedules are “snoozed” to allow access to parked instances. Administrators will always be aware of what changes have been made due to ParkMyCloud´s comprehensive reporting suite. ParkMyCloud gives administrators total visibility of their accounts, increasing governance and accountability.

How Much Will You Save by Optimizing AWS Instance Capacity?

This is going to depend on the number of instances you already have with the optimum configuration and how many are found you can reconfigure. Often businesses deploy resources in the cloud with a configuration that is suitable at the time but which, as demand lessens, are now over-provisioned. ParkMyCloud will identify these, plus any that have finished serving a useful purpose.

The savings you will make by scheduling on/off times for non-production instances will also vary according to the percentage of instances that are suitable for parking and the schedules assigned to them. Most businesses will save approximately 65% on the cost of deploying non-production instances on AWS based on an “on” schedule of 8.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m. Monday to Friday.

To get a more accurate assessment of how much you could save by optimizing AWS instance capacity, we invite you to take a free trial of ParkMyCloud. Our offer gives you the opportunity to evaluate our right-sizing tool and scheduling software in your own environment, with no obligation to continue using our services at the end of the trial. To find out more about our offer, do not hesitate to contact us today.