If your organization is involved in any type of IT development on Amazon´s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) service, finding ways of how to reduce AWS costs can be an issue. Naturally you do not want to limit the resources your developers have available to them, but you also want to make sure that the projects they are working on remain within budget and are financially viable.

Solutions to Reduce AWS Costs

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There are various solutions your organization can implement to reduce AWS costs. For non-production instances that are only needed during working hours, you can ask your developers to log into the AWS console and switch these instances off when they are not using them. Or, you can have your developers take the time to develop scheduling scripts for this same purpose. For some applications, other AWS purchasing options beyond On-Demand may be useful. For example, if you’re working on an application that isn’t time-sensitive and can be interrupted, you can use Amazon´s Spot Instances service to reduce AWS costs. If you are confident in the capacity your organization will need for 1-3 years into the future, you can evaluate Reserved Instances as a less-expensive option.

None of these solutions are perfect. Your developers may only remember to switch off non-production instances for a couple of days, and developing scheduling scripts reduces the resources your IT Department needs for priority tasks. Spot instances can be terminated as soon as the market price surpasses your bid, so they’re only an option for certain applications. And while Reserved Instances are at first attractive, they require organizational foresight, significant money upfront if you want to take advantage of the best discount. They may be a good fit for production instances, and you can get better savings on non-production instances by using On-Demand and turning them off when not needed.

AWS Management Software

A more appropriate solution is AWS management software. AWS management software includes a scheduling service that can be used to “park” non-production instances when they are not in use. The process for reducing the costs of AWS EC2 is as simple as turning off an electric light to save electricity costs, and – just like an electric light – you can turn instances on again whenever they are needed.

In addition to helping reduce AWS costs, the software enables organizations to manage multiple AWS accounts in a single-view dashboard in order to maintain team visibility and governance. The versatility of the software allows for permission tiers to be created so that team members have access to their own instances, and also so that schedules can be set to account for developers in different time zones.

Reducing the Costs of AWS EC2

Reducing the costs of AWS EC2 is easy with AWS management software. You simple create an account with the software provider, and connect to your AWS service using an IAM role or an IAM user credential. The UI displays your AWS instances and makes recommendations on which ones are suitable for parking according to the tags and names you have assigned to them.

To park your organization´s non-production instances, click on the grid to indicate the times you do not want them to run. Most development, testing and staging instances can be parked at nights and at weekends – allowing your organization to reduce AWS costs by up to 60%. Immediately, the UI will display the projected savings and, as you continue to reduce AWS costs with the AWS management software, the projected savings become actualized.

By How Much Can You Reduce AWS Costs?

How much you can reduce your AWS costs depends on the ratio of non-production instances your organization has and how many hours each week they are in use. If, for example, your organization has an equal 50/50 distribution of production and non-production instances – and it is possible to park the non-production instances for 133 hours each week (168-35) – your organization would reducing the costs of AWS EC2 by almost 40%.

It is also possible to park non-production instances permanently and “snooze” the parking schedules with the click of a mouse when access to the instances is required. This is a great way to maximize cost savings, and ideal for organizations with teams that work irregular hours or who randomly move from project to project. Safeguards exist to automatically reactivate the permanently parked schedule after a period of inactivity to overcome the problem of developers forgetting to reactivate the schedule manually.

Indirect Benefits of AWS Cost Automation

As well as reducing the costs of AWS EC2, implementing a system of AWS cost automation also has several indirect benefits. All the time the instances are parked, they do not have to be monitored by network security teams or scanned for viruses. While they are parked, your organization´s instances are inaccessible, so there is no risk of them being hacked or compromised.

AWS cost automation also helps improve accountability and governance. The software to reduce AWS costs includes a policy engine, a suite of reports and access to audit logs. Administrators get total visibility over the organization´s AWS accounts to monitor activity – both real time and historic activity – and can set up alerts to advise them of any attempts to amend or override schedules. With AWS cost automation, administrators have the tools to ensure when AWS costs are reduced, they stay reduced.

Try ParkMyCloud AWS Management Software for Free

ParkMyCloud is a lightweight SaaS app that allows organizations using AWS EC2 to pay only for the computing power they use. By scheduling on/off times – or by scheduling non-production instances to be permanently turned off and interrupted/turned on when required – ParkMyCloud helps organizations reduce AWS costs by up to 60%.

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In order to discover how much AWS management software could be reducing the costs of AWS EC2 in your organization, you are invited to try ParkMyCloud free for thirty days. There are no setup costs, no credit card required, and no commitment to continue with the service once the trial period has expired. Whatever amount you reduce your AWS costs – that is yours to keep.

To find out more about this special offer, or for more information about how to reduce AWS costs, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our friendly team will guide you through the account creation process, walk you through the ParkMyCloud UI and provide advice about how to view and download reports, or how to integrate ParkMyCloud with existing automation and continuous delivery tools.

  • ParkMyCloud automates the process of switching non-production instances on and off.
  • The software makes recommendations about which instances are suitable for parking.
  • Organizations discover in advance how much each schedule will reduce AWS costs.
  • Administrators gain total visibility to increase governance and enforce accountability.
  • Take a free trial of ParkMyCloud today and see by how much you can reduce AWS costs.
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