Loyal readers may recall that when we last left Wasteful Bob, as part of his transformation from being careless and wasteful to efficient and prudent, he was about to attend a webinar titled, “5 Ways to Reduce Your AWS Spending.”
The webinar (which you can view here) turned out to be helpful; Bob came away with a better understanding of the various (and confusing) AWS cost management options – Reserved Instances, Spot Instances, Autoscaling Groups. And he got more info something new called “parking,” from a clever company he met at AWS re:Invent called ParkMyCloud.
Bob was now looking forward to the Thanksgiving break…a four-day stretch away from work during which his only task was to monitor Slack a couple times a day. If an issue popped up, hopefully he could solve it remotely without having to trek into the office. The development team was off as well, so all should be quiet. Yup, for Bob, Thursday through Sunday was going to be about turkey, fixin’s, football–and a few well-timed, hibernation-style naps.
Monday of Thanksgiving week, Bob stopped by the office of Matt, the Director of Development, to confirm that this team would not be working during the break.
Matt saw Bob in the doorway and said, “Hey Bob. Good weekend?”
Bob replied: “Yeah. Friggin’ Ravens though.”
Matt: “So what’s up?”
Bob: “My understanding is that the developers are shut down from Thursday through the weekend?”
Matt: “Yup, actually we’re letting them go early on Wednesday–around 3 pm.”
Bob: “OK, and what are the odds of someone needing to access the AWS EC2 instances?”
Bob: “How’s that possible? Someone always needs to do something.”
Matt: “Not this holiday. People have been complaining about getting burned out, so we are giving them a no-work mandate. A code-out.”
Bob: “Code-out. Like a smoke-out. Haha. OK, so dev and testing are completely shut down. Glad I checked.”
(Bob thinks to himself: “Yahoo! I’m not getting ANY alerts from Thursday to Sunday. This is going to be the best Thanksgiving ever!”)
Matt: “Yeah, our dev servers are going to get a lot of rest this holiday too, haha.”
Matt: “I was just saying, no one’s going to be using our AWS dev servers for like four days. So it’s like they’re getting a vacation too.”
Bob: “Oh, right. Haha. OK, sounds good. Have a good break if I don’t speak to you before then.”
Matt: “Rightbackatcha my friend.”
As Bob left, he felt a twinge of anxiety and guilt. Matt had inadvertently made an interesting point. “Our AWS dev and test servers are going to be completely dormant for several days. But we’ll still be paying for them. Servers don’t get paid vacation. What a waste of money.”
Then he thought back to the ParkMyCloud webinar: “What if we turn off our AWS EC2 instances during the holiday. This is a real opportunity to test ParkMyCloud’s automated on/off scheduling tool.”
Bob logged into his ParkMyCloud free trial and followed the instructions to automatically turn off his AWS dev and test instances at 6 p.m. on Wednesday (the day before Thanksgiving) and back on Sunday afternoon at 5 p.m.
Bob was a bit nervous. “This is like asking for a wake up call at a hotel you’ve never stayed at when you have a huge meeting the next morning,” he thought. “Will the servers really come back on when they’re supposed to?”
After a moment of reflection, he decided this was a no-lose, low-risk proposition. “If we need the servers during the holiday, we’ll just log into ParkMyCloud and turn the instances back on.”
“Best case,” Bob imagined, “is that I come in Monday showing my VP that I saved us $2,500 by turning off our idle instances for a few days.”
Satisfied with his decision, Bob set off to purchase himself a nice, big Thanksgiving turkey. He winced as he thought back to last year when he leased an entire turkey farm for three months even though he only needed one bird. “Boy, what a waste that was. But that was then. No more Wasteful Bob for me.”
Who is Wasteful Bob? He’s the IT infrastructure guy who leaves his home AC blasting away while he’s at work, his car running all night, and the water on in the bathroom after he leaves. Before he discovered ParkMyCloud, Bob was also squandering thousands of dollars a month at work because there was no easy way to automatically turn off his non-production AWS instances when they’re not being used by his company’s developers and testers.
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