90 Seconds to Parking: The ParkMyCloud Quick Start Guide to AWS Savings

Starting your 30-day free trial of ParkMyCloud is quick and easy, and you’ll start accumulating AWS savings in no time.

To guide you through the steps, we’ve put together a short video series. Let’s get started!

0. Create Your Account

We’ll call “create your account” step 0, since all you have to do is fill out the form fields – no video for this step! Simply go to https://console.parkmycloud.com/#/register/ and input your information to create an account:

sign-up

1. Connect to your AWS account

Once your ParkMyCloud account is created, you need to connect to your AWS account to bring in your instances. Watch the video below to learn how to connect to AWS using an IAM user credential:

 

2) Park your non-production EC2 instances

It’s time for the fun part! By now, you should see your AWS instances in your ParkMyCloud console. It’s time to apply some parking schedules to your non-production EC2 instances, so they will automatically turn off when not in use for AWS savings.

Watch the video 90 Seconds to Parking below to learn how:

If you’re not sure which instances to park, check out your parking recommendations. ParkMyCloud recommends instances that may be eligible to be parked based on keywords like dev, test, staging, and sandbox found in the instance’s name or tags. Learn how to find out which of your instances are “parkable”, and how you can update the keywords to match your environment, in the video below:

 

3) Connect to additional AWS Accounts

If your organization has multiple AWS accounts, you can manage all of them in a single ParkMyCloud account. Watch the video below to see how to add new accounts with AWS credentials:

4) Create teams and add new users

Now that all your instances are ingested, it’s time to add new users at your organization.

First, watch the video below to learn what permissions are designated for each user role:

Then, start adding new users at your organization, who you can organize into teams. Watch the following video to see how to add new users and teams:

5) Snooze your schedules

Lastly, let’s look at one more feature to help your team work smoothly with the “snooze button”. Snoozing a parking schedule allows you to keep an instance running when it was scheduled to be parked, so, for example, you can work outside of normal hours:

BONUS: Download your savings report

Once you’ve let your parking schedules run for a few days, download your savings report and show your boss how much you’re saving by parking your instances:

downloadreport

Now you should be up and running! You can always contact us if you have questions at any time.

ParkMyCloud Invited to Present at TechBuzz Spring

Fast-growing cloud management firm is helping early customers like Neustar, Sage Software and Avid save thousands on their AWS bills

Dulles, VA, March 23rd, 2016 – ParkMyCloud, the company that built the first programmable on/off switch for idle AWS instances, today announced that it has been selected to present at TechBUZZ Spring. Since TechBuzz was launched in 2011, presenting companies have received more than $357M in aggregate disclosed funding, with many more investments and acquisitions made under undisclosed terms.

ParkMyCloud is one of 16 handpicked companies that will share their company demo and fund-raising pitch on April 6th at PNC Place, the largest LEED Platinum building in Washington, DC.

“One of the most significant milestones for innovative new companies is the validation that comes when they secure genuine customers willing to pay for their product or service,” said Julia Spicer, Executive Director, MAVA and founder of nationally recognized TechBUZZ, “and ParkMyCloud is doing just that, having secured a number of globally recognized customers.  We look forward to welcoming them to the TechBUZZ stage this spring as one of the companies competitively selected to present.”

“Presenting at TechBuzz is truly a milestone in our development,” said ParkMyCloud CEO and Co-Founder Jay Chapel. “The program has gained a top notch reputation as a venue for high-traction companies like ours to plug into the investment and tech landscape.”

About TechBuzz and MAVA
TechBUZZ is one of MAVA’s annual flagship programs and routinely attracts more than 1000 attendees each year at one of three different pitch events held throughout the year.  MAVA is dedicated to fostering excellence in entrepreneurship by bringing together investors and entrepreneurs in a dynamic and meaningful format. TechBUZZ shines a well-deserved light on the visionary innovators and company-builders in our region, and beyond, who are actively pursuing a path toward market entry and have customer validation.

About ParkMyCloud

ParkMyCloud is a simple, single-purpose SaaS tool that enables users to automatically schedule on/off times for their idle cloud computing servers (also known as “parking”). Users save up to 60% on cloud server spend by paying only for the time they actually use to avoid wasted spending. Customers include McDonald’s, Sage Software, Neustar, Avid, Wolters Kluwer and Tristar Medical Group. For more information, visit http://www.parkmycloud.com.

How Formerly Wasteful Bob Got the New Nickname, “Mr. Bobvious”, and won an award for IT spending

You’ve no doubt been breathlessly following the exploits of Formerly Wasteful Bob, the IT Ops director who started using ParkMyCloud to automatically turn off his idle AWS instances so he didn’t have to pay for them 24×7.

Uh oh... what does Barb want?

Uh oh… what does Barb want?

A few weeks ago, Bob got a Slack message from Barb, his company’s Controller who tracks and balances all of the firm’s payments and receivables. Bob knew from experience there were only a handful of reasons a Controller would summon an IT guy – none of them good. Controllers only want to see you if something’s wrong…right?

But as far as Bob knew, he was on budget—and there had been no recent data breaches, so he felt prepared – or at least not insecure – as he jogged down one flight of stairs to Barb’s office.

“Hi,” Barb said, perfunctorily.

“Hi, Barb,” Bob responded, his anxiety spiking a bit due to Barb’s terse tone.

“What’s up with your AWS budget?” spat Barb.

“Can you be more vague?” Bob challenged sarcastically.

“Well, you’re cruising along this year at $18,000 to $21,000 per month,” said Barb, “and all the sudden the bottom drops out and you’re down to around $15,000 per month. This ain’t my first budget rodeo. I see a suspicious change and I’m on it like sponsor decals on a racecar. Where is that money? You got three seconds to confess.”

Barb rose to her feet, counting to three, and as Bob’s mouth hung open in disbelief, she proffered a pair of plastic zip tie wrist restraints like the ones he saw police use on protesters at an Occupy Wall Street demonstration. “Citizen’s arrest. Turn around.”

At that point, Matthew, the company’s CFO entered the room. “Bob,” he exclaimed. “Gotcha, big guy! Congrats!”

Bob was stunned again. “What? Congrats on what?” Bob asked. “What the heck is going on here? Has finance gone insane?”

Matthew and Barb shared a wink.

“I just got out of the senior staff meeting,” replied Matthew, “where we decided to honor you with the quarterly Parsimonious Penny Pincher Award or PiPPA. As you probably know, we bestow the PiPPA on the person who has best exemplified frugal but not shortsighted budget stewardship.”

Matthew continued, reading from his notes. “Bob’s use of a new technology, Pork in the Cloud, which automatically turns off Amazon Web Services that we don’t need, is resulting in a significant reduction in our IT spending.”

Barb cracked, “What kind of name is Pork in the Cloud? It sounds like an online food delivery service for bacon addicts.”

“Wait,” said Matthew, squinting at his notes. “That’s not right. No, it’s ParkMyCloud. That’s the one.” He turned back to Bob. “It says here that ParkMyCloud costs just $99 a month. That can’t be right, can it?”

Bob took a breath and fully embraced the moment. “That’s right. Just $99 a month and we’ll reduce our AWS spending by about $36,000 in 12 months. ParkMyCloud was just such a bobvious solution. I mean – ”

The word ‘bobvious’ hung in the air. But only for a moment.

“I mean obvious,” Bob added.

Bobvious! That's it!

Bobvious! That’s it!

“OMG,” yelled Barb. “Bob just said ‘bobvious.’ Wait ‘til I tell bookkeeping and HR.” Barb punched a few numbers on her phone activating the intercom in the hall outside her office. “Bob the IT guy just said ‘bobvious!’ That’s his new nickname. Mr. Bobvious!” Barb looked as though she absolutely lived for moments such as these.

As Bob walked past the bookkeeping bullpen towards the stairwell, he could feel the eyes on him and hear the slow chant… “Mr. Bobvious…Mr. Bobvious…Mr. Bobvious…”

As Bob sat down in his office, he thought to himself. “Mr. Bobvious. There are worse nicknames.”

How to Save Money on AWS with ParkMyCloud | Method #5 to Save Money on AWS

Today, we reach the fifth and final post in our series of ways to save money on AWS. Way #5 to save is… ParkMyCloud! Read on, or watch the video version of this post:

ParkMyCloud is purpose-built to do one thing well, and that’s to schedule on/off times for EC2 instances in non-production environments, without scripting. We call that “parking.” You can think of “parked” as a new instance state between running and stopped.

Depending on the schedule you use, ParkMyCloud can achieve savings of up to 50-73%, making it better than Reserved Instances for non-production, without the annual commitment, without concerns about price cuts, and without having to pay upfront. It provides the same savings as Spot Instances without the risk of abrupt termination.

ParkMyCloud vs. Reserved Instances

So let’s look at the comparison with Reserved Instances a little more closely. I’ll show you why I think ParkMyCloud is better than Reserved Instances for non-production.

Here’s the graph we looked at in the post on Reserved Instances:

reserved-instances-vs-pmc

You’ll notice that I’ve added ParkMyCloud this time. The first blue ParkMyCloud column shows the costs when you use a typical schedule of running 12 hours a day, parked 12 hours a day, and parked on weekends. That savings is around 64%. To match that with Reserved Instances, you would actually have to pay the three-year upfront cost for Reserved Instances. Most people, because of the concern over price cuts, don’t use the three-year contracts, they stick to the one-year term.

The concern over price cuts does not apply to ParkMyCloud. If you have the 30% cut that you see in the “On-Demand w/ Price Cut” column, with ParkMyCloud, you would still get that 64% savings, but it’s against that new price point — see the “PMC w/ Price Cut” column.

How to Use ParkMyCloud

Unlike managing Reserved Instances, ParkMyCloud is very simple to use. Essentially, all you do is create a schedule, name it and save it (and that’s if you don’t want to use one of the schedules we provide):

schedule

Then you go to the dashboard and attach that schedule to one or more of your non-production instances.

dashboard

Once you’ve attached those, we will predict what your 30-day savings will be. If you leave the schedules on for a period of time, once they start parking, you’ll see what savings you’ve achieved to date.

savings

We do all this for about a dollar an instance a month, which is more cost-effective than scripting

The 5 Ways to Save

So let’s summarize the 5 ways to save on AWS EC2 we discussed.

comparison chart

Reserved Instances will save you about 31-43%, but the downside is, you’re locked in for 1-3 years. Additionally, there’s no protection against future AWS price cuts, and it’s definitely a use-it-or-lose-it situation. Although they can be used in both production and non-production, production is probably the best place for them.

We also talked about Spot Instances, which can routinely save 70-90%. However, because of long delays in request fulfillment and termination of instances on short notice, and the need for complex mitigation strategies, these are much higher risk, but there are definite use cases for both production and non-production as we saw.

We looked at Auto Scaling, which takes advantage of all these instance purchasing options. It makes it hard to pin down the savings and the risk, which depends on the purchasing options, and the rules you have.

We talked about scripting, but honestly I don’t think scripting is particularly cost-effective. It would give similar savings to what ParkMyCloud would, but take a greater cost to get there.

Lastly, today we talked about ParkMyCloud, where you can get 50-73% savings pretty simply, without the risks of Spot or Reserved Instances. One limitation is that we don’t recommend that you use ParkMyCloud in production instances. You can’t park Spot Instances, because you can’t stop them – they just terminate. And we don’t currently park Auto Scaling groups, although we are looking into doing this. But those limitations are small compared to the amount and simplicity of savings.

 

If this is of interest to you, I encourage you to sign up for a 30-day free trial. You can create an account and pocket the savings for the next 30 days while you try it out.

 

The AWS Cost-Reduction Roadshow: ParkMyCloud Spring 2016 Events

At ParkMyCloud, we’re always working on AWS cost-reduction strategies for our customers. We want to bring the cost savings to you… so we’re going on the road!

We’ve got a full schedule of events lined up for this spring. Check it out, and see if we’ll be near you:

we're bringing AWS cost-reduction to the AWS Summit Chicago!Chicago AWS Meetup

Chicago, IL

March 22, 2016

We’re sponsoring next Tuesday’s edition of the Chicago AWS meetup. The topic will be Lambda functions and serverless architectures, including presentations on “The Serverless Framework in Action” and “Lambda-fying a Legacy Webapp.” If you’re in the Chicago area and like free pizza and beer, come on out:

RSVP Here

MAVA TechBuzz Spring 2016

Washington, DC

April 6, 2016

ParkMyCloud will be participating in this spring’s celebration of startups with the Mid-Atlantic Venture Association (MAVA). The TechBuzz event highlights up-and-coming early stage technology companies in the Mid-Atlantic, and attendees include entrepreneurs, investors, tech firms, and others interested in the region’s technology. Learn more here:

Learn More

Chicago AWS Summit

Chicago, IL

April 18-19, 2016

ParkMyCloud is one of the sponsors of the Chicago AWS Summit.  Whether you are new to the cloud or an experienced user, you will learn something new at the AWS Summit. This free event is designed to educate new customers about the AWS platform, and offer existing customers information on architecture best practices and new services. Come early to hear an exciting keynote with updates on AWS solutions, great customer stories and attend the afternoon breakout sessions covering hot topics like new services, architecture, performance, and operations. If you’re interested, please see more information:

Learn More & Register

NY TechDay

New York, NY

April 21, 2016

A few days after meeting with AWS users in Chicago, ParkMyCloud will head to New York for NY TechDay, the largest assembly of the tech community under one roof.  2016 marks the 5th anniversary of NY TechDay! Attendance is free, so if you’re in the area, come on out:

Learn More & RSVP

Triangle TechBreakfast

Raleigh, NC

5/19/2016

In May we’ll head to the Research Triangle area for Techbreakfast. At this monthly breakfast get-together techies, developers, designers, and entrepreneurs share learn from their peers through show and tell / show-case style presentations. Attendance is free (and includes breakfast!), so check it out:

RSVP

Baltimore TechBreakfast

Baltimore, MD

5/25/2016

Next up is another TechBreakfast. This time, we’ll be demo’ing ParkMyCloud in Baltimore. Again, you get breakfast and it’s free! We would love to see you there:

RSVP

NYC TechBreakfast

New York, NY

6/14/2016

For our third TechBreakfast, we’ll head to New York City in June. This free event will be held at the Microsoft building in Times Square. Check it out below:

RSVP

—–

Will you be attending any of these events? Are we missing your city on the AWS cost-reduction roadshow? We’d love to hear from you, so drop a comment in the box below!

How to Turn AWS Utilization Data
into Automated Cost Control

 

 

 

Learn how your AWS utilization data in CloudWatch
can be harnessed to optimize your cloud costs.

Register now for a chance to win
a $100 Amazon.com gift card!

June 26th | 2 PM ET