One cool feature on the ParkMyCloud website is the little chat window we’ve added, which allows you talk directly to our team – usually Katy. Well, Katy gets a lot of random questions for sure, things like:
- Are you a car park in London? No, but mind the gap!
- Are you a cloud provider? No, but we love public cloud providers like AWS, Azure, Google, and the like, and look forward to helping you manage your resources from all of these providers.
- Do you support Azure? We will soon. In fact, we just started the dev work – expect Azure out after the New Year.
- Do you support AWS Reserved Instances?
We get that last question quite a lot, so we thought we would expand our answer here.
If you don’t know what an AWS Reserved Instance (RI) is, your best bet is to learn about this Amazon Web Services offering is directly on their site.
Let’s break it down a little more.
Can I see my AWS Reserved Instances in ParkMyCloud?
Short answer: yes.
When ParkMyCloud discovers and manages your environment, we don’t know if an instance is treated as an RI, as the RI magic happens on the backend with Amazon. When you reserve an instance, you’re not actually designating a specific instance or server. What you’re reserving is a billing structure and capacity, which is then automatically applied to running instances that match your specified parameters.
So, from third-party apps like PMC, these instances look just like any On-Demand EC2 instance. So, when PMC ingests and displays your instances, your RIs will show among your other instances.
Can I use both ParkMyCloud and AWS Reserved Instances to get savings at the same time?
Definitely. You can actually get maximum cost savings if you use RI for production instances, and PMC to manage your non-production instances. Updated November 2018: we now offer a Reserved Instance management solution to save you time and help you get the most out of your reservations – learn more here.
How can I save on my non-production servers?
For non-production environments (think test, dev, staging and QA), you can schedule servers off during nights and weekends using ParkMyCloud. Doing this typically saves PMC customers 65% or so off their monthly instance cost. The 65% range is based on a 50-hour workweek – meaning your instances run just 50 of the 168 hours in a given week – so they are parked a majority of the time to maximize savings.
How is that better than AWS Reserved Instances?
While AWS advertises RI savings as high as 75%, in reality for production RI savings typically run in the 30-40% range for the most commonly used instances (e.g., m3.medium, m4.large, m4.xlarge). Additionally, Reserved Instances require a 1-3 year upfront commitment, while PMC does not – leaving you more flexible.
If you have an AWS account which has both production and non-production in it and you have already purchased RI contracts, then using ParkMyCloud for non-production will, over time, shift the RI benefit to the production side (since those instances run 24×7) as your environment grows, the RI shift is factored in on the bill. Of course, if your environment is static then the shift does not occur – but whose AWS environment is not growing, right?
What else should I keep in mind?
Please also remember that unlike ParkMyCloud scheduling, Reserved Instances require you to specify the type, platform, payment option, instance type, offering class, and term length. You can optionally select an Availability Zone if you want to reserve capacity. Convertible RIs allow you to change some of these attributes, but at a reduced savings of around 45%.
To learn more about these different savings methods, please watch our recent webinar.
We hope this is helpful – let us know of course and remember to use RI for Production with your Reserved Instance optimizer, and PMC for Non-Production to optimize savings.