ParkMyCloud has helped dozens of SMBs and enterprises control and reduce AWS spending. ParkMyCloud’s EC2 scheduler lets customers set automatic stop/start times (we call it “parking”) for EC2 instances.

Two primary implications of scheduling EC2 start/stop times are:

(a) determining what the “parking” schedule is; and

(b) communicating the schedule to your internal AWS users.

There are two basic ways our customers determine and communicate parking schedules. Let’s call them “Federalist” and “States’ Rights.” (These are our nicknames for what you might think of as centralized versus de-centralized IT.)

ec2 scheduler federalist or states rightsFederalist: Maintain control of the parking schedules at the organization level.

  • IT leaders must come to a consensus with their teams to determine the “right” schedules. This is based upon the typical hours their developers work.
  • They put policies in place to govern how schedules are set and named, and who has authority to change them.

NOTE: Sometimes developers work after (or before) hours because of an important deadline. ParkMyCloud easily allows them to suspend a schedule and then start it with a single click. We call this our “snooze” feature.

States’ Rights: Set a default “lights outs” state for all non-production instances so they are “always off.”

(Note that this is the opposite of AWS’ approach, which is a default “lights on.”)

  • With this approach there is just one schedule to maintain at the organizational level. (“Always Parked 24×7”). Hence there is no time wasted on arguing over the “right” schedules.
  • Each developer can work on his/her schedule using the “snooze” capability mentioned above. They can suspend the schedule for the amount of time they will be working and run the EC2 instances they need. When they leave for the day, the snooze expires and the schedule goes back into effect. (I.e., the instances automatically turn back off.)

Both of these approaches seem to work well within different corporate cultures. We have built ParkMyCloud to be flexible and simple enough to accommodate either one.

Is your approach more like Federalist or States’ Rights? Or neither? Let us know in the comments below.

About Dale Wickizer

Dale brings over 30 years of technology and engineering experience to his role as co-founder and Chief Technology Office (CTO) at ParkMyCloud. After experiencing the problem of growing cloud spend first-hand, and discovering that there was no simple way to solve it, Dale teamed up with co-founder Jay Chapel to create ParkMyCloud to solve the problem of cloud waste. Before founding ParkMyCloud, Dale was the CTO of the U.S. Public Sector at NetApp, Inc. where he set the future technology and product direction and managed key customer relationships. Prior to NetApp, Dale was an Associate Partner and IT Infrastructure Architect at Accenture, where he helped large enterprises plan and execute IT transformations, data center consolidations, and application deployments. Dale holds both a Bachelor's and a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He and his wife, Barbara, reside in Springfield, VA.