Amazon has an EC2 usage report feature called Cost Explorer that allows you to see how much you spend over time, identify areas that need investigation, and see trends you can use to understand your costs. What Amazon´s EC2 usage report feature fails to tell you is where cost savings can be made – leaving it to work it out for yourself.
Rather than telling you where your money is being spent, the purpose of an EC2 usage report should be to ensure your business is not paying more than necessary for the provisioned resources allocated to each of your AWS instances. So whereas Amazon´s Cost Explorer can be useful for justifying its Reserved Instances pricing plan, it is not much help for optimizing AWS costs.
In Order to Optimize, You Have to Reduce Overprovisioning to the Minimum
Businesses already using ParkMyCloud to reduce AWS costs will be aware our lightweight app can save up to 65% of the cost of deploying EC2 and RDS instances on Amazon´s cloud platform by automating on/off times for non-production instances. Businesses using the paid-for version of our software will also appreciate how ParkMyCloud also helps maintain cost reductions by increasing governance of their AWS accounts.
However, reducing AWS costs and optimizing AWS costs are not necessarily the same thing. In order to optimize AWS costs you also have to reduce overprovisioning to the minimum possible and ensure each instance is assigned the right type, region and pricing point. This can be time-consuming if you have a significant number of instances deployed on AWS and only have its in-house EC2 usage report to help. Fortunately, ParkMyCloud has a solution.
Accessing ParkMyCloud´s EC2 Usage Report Feature
In order to make recommendations about which instances are suitable for scheduling (or “parking” as we call it), ParkMyCloud conducts a discovery of the business´s resources deployed on AWS via a permissions-limited IAM role. Once the discovery process is finished, all the business´s resources are displayed on a single-view dashboard. It is from this dashboard administrators can access each instance´s EC2 usage report.
Provided ParkMyCloud has been allowed to access the business´s CloudWatch data (details of how to allow access can be found here), the report includes utilization metrics such as the average and peak CPU utilization, the total instance read/write operations, and the average network data in/out. This is similar to the information you can recover from Amazon´s Cost Explorer feature, except ParkMyCloud also makes rightsizing recommendations.
Rightsizing Recommendations – The Easy Way to Optimize AWS Costs
The nature of the recommendations can vary. ParkMyCloud might identify an EC2 instance with 4 CPUs and a lot of RAM (for example a c4.2xlarge instance) is peaking at less than half its capacity and only using 20% RAM. The recommendation in this case would be to rightsize the instance to a c4.xlarge instance. If you decide to act on the recommendation (you may have future utilization plans for this particular instance), you would reduce the cost by almost 50%.
In addition to identifying overprovisioned instances and making recommendations about how they should be resized, ParkMyCloud can also identify overprovisioned auto-scaling groups and instances that could be placed into a more appropriate pricing plan. Based on EC2 usage report, ParkMyCloud may also recommend an adjustment to the instance´s parking schedule so that resources are not being allocated to the instance when it is not being used.
Experience ParkMyCloud´s Rightsizing Recommendations for Free
If your business is not already using ParkMyCloud to reduce your AWS costs, we invite you to take advantage of our trial offer in order to experience ParkMyCloud´s rightsizing recommendations for free. During the trial, you will able to automate on/off times for an unlimited number of non-production EC2 instances, increase the governance of your cloud accounts via ParkMyCloud´s single-view dashboard, and be able to access an EC2 usage report for all of your AWS instances.
To experience ParkMyCloud´s rightsizing recommendations for free, click the “Try it Free” button above. Alternatively, if you have any questions about how ParkMyCloud´s EC2 usage report feature compares against Amazon´s Cost Explorer feature, do not hesitate to get in touch. Our Technical Support personnel will be happy to answer any questions, explain how ParkMyCloud can help optimize AWS costs in relation to your individual circumstances, and guide you through the process of registering for your trial of ParkMyCloud today.