The Best Way to Lower AWS Costs

The best way to lower AWS costs is to switch off EC2 and RDS instances when they are not required. This can save business up to 65% of the cost of deploying non-production instances on AWS, but can rely on developers remembering to switch off their development, staging and testing instances when they have finished using them – which may not be the most reliable way to lower AWS costs.

An alternative approach is to reassign developers to write scheduling scripts to automate the manual on-off process. This approach too has its drawbacks, because the cost of writing and maintaining scheduling scripts in terms of developers´ pay may be more than you save. Plus, scheduling scripts are not that great a solution when development teams work irregular hours or jump from project to project.

Another way to lower AWS costs by automating on-off times for nonproduction instances is to use scheduling software. Many developers with the mindset “we can build, so why buy” will be aghast at the thought of buying off-the-shelf software, but it does have its advantages in terms of reliability, cost and flexibility. Furthermore, it can also help maintain lower AWS costs once deployment has been optimized.

Scheduling Software from ParkMyCloud

ParkMyCloud is a lightweight SaaS app that system managers can use to lower AWS costs quickly and easily by scheduling on-off times for non-production EC2 and RDS instances. Unlike scheduling software bundled into cloud management solutions, ParkMyCloud only schedules on-off times; so what you pay for is what you get, rather than paying for a host of software you are never likely to use.

The first stage of using ParkMyCloud to lower AWS costs is to find out which instances are suitable for scheduling. This is done by logging into your Amazon account via ParkMyCloud´s web-based portal and creating an IAM role with limited permissions for the app. It then conducts a discovery of your resources deployed on AWS and displays them across a single-view dashboard, indicating which are suitable for “parking” based on the names and tags assigned to them.

To assign parking schedules, you click on each, some or all of the recommended instances and then select a parking schedule from a choice of preconfigured schedules. Alternatively you can create schedules that suit your specific requirements using the intuitive GUI. As each parking schedule is applied, the GUI displays the amount by which you will lower AWS costs over the next thirty days.

By How Much Can You Lower AWS Costs?

It was mentioned above that switching off EC2 and RDS instances when they are not required can save businesses up to 65% of the cost of deploying non-production instances on AWS. That percentage is based on an “on” schedule of 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday to Friday, so will vary according to the requirements of your development teams. However, it may be possible to lower AWS costs by more.

One of the pre-configured schedules is an “Always Parked” schedule. This means that instances assigned this schedule are always switched off. When access to them is required, the “Always Parked” schedule can be snoozed with the click of a mouse to allow access – as can any schedule. This is an ideal solution for development teams that work irregular hours or that move from project to project during the day.

Unlike the manual process described in the opening paragraph of this article, developers do not have remember to switch their instances off when they have finished using them (although with Amazon´s new per-second billing, it wouldn´t hurt). This is because ParkMyCloud has mechanisms in place to reactivate snoozed parking schedules after a period of inactivity.

Keep Costs Low by Maintaining Governance

One of the key factors to keeping AWS costs low after optimizing them is governance. ParkMyCloud provides governance by enabling you to implement Role-Based Access Control and organize your teams by user or credential. This increases the accountability of each user, which you can monitor in real time via the web-based portal or historically via a comprehensive reporting suite.

You also have total visibility over your Amazon accounts via the single-view dashboard, which will help identify overprovisioned resources and mismatched auto-scaling groups that can be resized, allocated to a cheaper pricing plan or terminated as necessary to further lower AWS costs. If your business operates a “blue-green” deployment schedule, ParkMyCloud makes it easy to toggle between the two and make sure your green production instances are not running at the same time as the blue instances.

In conclusion, ParkMyCloud saves you money, saves you times, and gives you the tools to maintain your savings permanently. Our scheduling software is infinitely scalable and can support an unlimited number of schedules, users, credentials or teams. Businesses can use ParkMyCloud to reduce their cloud costs on AWS, Azure and GCE, and typical payback for an annual subscription to our scheduling software is less than two months.

For a Trial Period, Lower your AWS Costs for Free

If you would like to find out more about ParkMyCloud and the cost-effective way in which it can lower AWS costs, do not hesitate to contact us. Our team of Customer Service representatives will be happy to answer any questions you have about ParkMyCloud and will invite you to take a free trial of our scheduling software without any obligation to continue using our service at the end of the trial.

The trial consists of a fully-enabled version of our scheduling software with support for up to ten teams, twenty users and five credentials. You will be able to schedule an unlimited number of instances during the trial, after which you keep however much you have saved. Throughout the trial you will be support by our industry-leading Technical Support team, who will guide you through the process to lower AWS costs and then keep your costs low by maintaining governance. To find out more, contact us today.