How to Achieve a Lower RDS Bill

In June 2017, Amazon gave companies the opportunity to achieve a lower RDS bill by adding the ability to stop instances on its Relational Database Service without losing S3 transaction logs or automatic backups. Alongside the announcement, Amazon provided instructions on how to stop and restart RDS instances using the AWS Management Console or Command Line Interface.

One problem many companies may have with the Amazon-prescribed process for stopping and restarting non-production RDS instances is that it is manual. In order to achieve a lower RDS bill, companies will have to rely on developers remembering to stop their development, staging and testing instances when they are not required.

A further problem is that Amazon will automatically restart RDS instances after they have been stopped for seven days. Therefore, if a developer stopped an instance, and then forgot about it, the instance would be restarted seven days later and companies would only have a lower RDS bill for just seven days. Although more convenient than the previous copy-delete-create-restore method to stop and start RDS instances, Amazon´s “opportunity” is hardly a long-term solution to cut RDS bills.

Scheduling Scripts May Not Help Cut RDS Bills

Although it is now possible to write scheduling scripts to stop and restart AWS RDS instances, this is not necessarily the most cost-efficient way to cut RDS bills. Writing scheduling scripts will be the favored option for companies with a “we can build, so why buy” mentality, but the cost of developers´ time to write and maintain the scripts may be more than the company saves.

This is particularly true if different instances have to be stopped and restarted at different times, or if developers want access to an instance at irregular intervals or outside of normal working hours. In these cases, not only will the writing and maintenance of scheduling scripts be expensive and delay the delivery of other core projects, but the process may not result in a lower RDS bill.

Achieve a Lower RDS Bill with ParkMyCloud

ParkMyCloud is a lightweight SaaS platform that AWS account managers can use to schedule stop/start times for RDS instances, gain visibility over all their AWS accounts (as well as Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform), improve IT governance and cut RDS bills. The process for using ParkMyCloud to achieve a lower RDS bill is simple:

  • Create an AWS IAM role for ParkMyCloud so it can conduct a discovery of all the company´s RDS instances.
  • When the discovery is complete, the UI will display a list of instances that are suitable for scheduling (or “parking”).
  • Choose from a series of preconfigured parking options for all or some of the recommendations – or easily create unique schedules to match your requirements.

ParkMyCloud is extremely versatile. Parking schedules can be set using company-wide policies or by individual development teams. Different schedules can be applied to different instances at the click of a mouse or with automated policies, and – if access to a parked instance is needed at any time – another click of a mouse “snoozes” the parking schedule. Safeguards exist to ensure the parking schedule is automatically restarted once access to the instance is no longer required.

ParkMyCloud can also be used to schedule stop/start times for EC2 instances and auto scaling groups and, in order to achieve an even lower RDS bill, logical groups can be created to stop multiple constituent parts of an application simultaneously. With regard to Amazon automatically restarting stopped instances after seven days, that scenario is avoided when you park the instances using ParkMyCloud. Parked instances stay parked!

How Much Can I Cut RDS Bills with ParkMyCloud?

The answer to this question is going to depend on a variety of factors such as the number of non-production instances deployed on AWS RDS, their type, their regions, and the pricing plans assigned to each. If they were scheduled to be parked outside the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday to Friday, you would cut RDS bills – or at least the cost of database instance hours – by almost 65%. If you created a permanently parked schedule for your non-production instances, and “snoozed” the schedule when access was required, the potential savings could be much higher.

You will also achieve a lower RDS bill due to the total visibility and increased IT governance mentioned above. The total visibility provided by ParkMyCloud gives AWS managers the opportunity to  terminate unused instances, while the improved IT governance increases accountability. Network managers can see what parking schedules are applied to each instance, how much each parking schedule is saving, and whether the opportunity exists to adjust the parking schedule and cut RDS bills further.

Try ParkMyCloud Free for Fourteen Days

Achieving a lower RDS bill with ParkMyCloud is quick and easy – and now you can test out the merits of our scheduling software in your own environment free for fourteen days. Simply click on any “Try it Free” button, enter a few details about yourself, select a password and you will be connected to ParkMyCloud within minutes. There are no contracts to sign, no credit card required and no obligation on you to continue using ParkMyCloud at the end of the trial period. Best of all, whatever you save during the trial period is yours to keep.

At the end of the trial period, you have a choice of three options. You can subscribe to one of our competitively priced plans in order to continue achieving a lower RDS bill with enhanced control and IT governance. You can continue using a free version of ParkMyCloud to cut RDS bills with fewer features available to you, or you can return to paying for database instance hours you are not using. For further information on either of the first two options, do not hesitate to contact us.