The Simplest Way to Optimize AWS Costs

Finding ways to optimize AWS costs has practically become an industry with the cloud services industry. Plenty of vendors are willing to offer advice about how to optimize AWS costs – some insulting your intelligence by suggesting you were remiss to over-provision assets in the first place; others over-complicating the issue to accommodate every possible scenario.

Here at ParkMyCloud, we prefer the simple approach. Sure, you might have over-provisioned some assets, launched the wrong instance type, assigned it to the most expensive region or failed to take advantage of Reserved Instances. But what the heck. What´s done is done. So let´s stop pointing the finger of blame and work things out – as simply as possible.

Using ParkMyCloud to Optimize AWS Costs

Without pointing the finger of blame, the likelihood is you are not aware which assets are overprovisioned, the wrong instance type, in the wrong region, or should be in a Reserved Instances pricing plan – so let´s start there. The procedure for using ParkMyCloud to optimize AWS costs starts with logging into your AWS account via the ParkMyCloud GUI and creating a permissions-limited IAM role for our app.

This enables ParkMyCloud to conduct a discovery of your cloud-based assets, which are displayed on a single-pane dashboard for maximum visibility. Alongside each asset is a graph icon which, when you click on it, will provide you with a Utilization Report in the form of a heatmap. The easy-to-follow heatmap indicates the average and peak utilization of each asset to help you identify which could be better configured or – in the case of unused assets – terminated.

The quickest way of using this information to optimize AWS costs is to filter the dashboard by “Recommendations”. This will leave you seeing only the assets ParkMyCloud believes should be rightsized based on the data in the Utilization Reports. The recommendations don´t take into account your future plans for each asset, only what has happened in the past; but it is a good place to start as the recommendations suggest which configuration/type/region/plan is most appropriate.

Further Help to Optimize AWS Costs

As well as making rightsizing recommendations, ParkMyCloud identifies which EC2 and RDS instances are suitable for scheduling (“parking”) based on the names and tags assigned to them. These are typically non-production instances used for developing, staging and testing, which – if left on when access to them is not required – can add a considerable amount to your AWS bill. What we need to do with these is to schedule start/stop times for when access to the instances is required.

This too is a simple process. You can either select all the EC2 and RDS instances identified by ParkMyCloud and assign a preconfigured schedule to them, or assign different schedules to different instances depending on the requirements of your development teams. A third option is to assign an “Always Parked” schedule to some or all of your instances which effectively switches them off permanently until access to them is required.

This is a fantastic solution if your development teams work irregular hours or in irregular patterns because it means you only pay for the time the instances are being used. The Always Parked schedule can be interrupted with the click of a mouse and, if your developers forget to restart the Always Parked schedule, the instances return to their dormant state by default after a period of inactivity. This is an ideal way to optimize AWS costs in most scenarios. It is quick, cost-effective and – most of all – simple.

How Much Does Scheduling Start/Stop Times Save?

This depends on the schedules you apply. One of the most commonly-used preconfigured parking schedules on ParkMyCloud is one that starts all non-production instances at 8.00 a.m. on weekdays and stops them at 8.00 p.m. on weekdays. As they are automatically switched for twelve hours a day during the week and for twenty-four hours a day at weekends, this schedule saves almost 65% on the cost of deploying non-production EC2 and RDS instances on AWS. Other typical parking schedules include:

How Much Does Scheduling Start/Stop Times Save?
Schedule Start Time Stop Time Hours Save Schedule Saves
Mon-Sun 8.00 a.m. 8.00 p.m. 84 per week 50%
Mon-Sun 9.00 a.m. 5.00 p.m. 112 per week 66%
Mon-Sat 8.00 a.m. 8.00 p.m. 96 per week 57%
Mon-Sat 9.00 a.m. 5.00 p.m. 120 per week 71%
Mon-Fri 8.00 a.m. 8.00 p.m. 108 per week 64%
Mon-Fri 9.00 a.m. 5.00 p.m. 128 per week 76%

There is a considerable amount of flexibility is what schedules you can create. If, for example, your workforce finishes at 4.00p.m. Fridays, you could schedule non-production instances to be switched on between 8.00 a.m. and 8.00 p.m. Monday to Thursday, and between 8.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m. on Friday. ParkMyCloud is designed to fit in with how you want to use it, not the other way around. The cloud is hard enough for many people to get their heads around. We don´t want to make it any harder.

One of the advantages ParkMyCloud has over other scheduling software is that it displays in advance the projected saving as you apply each schedule. This can be a big help when you are trying to optimize AWS costs on a tight budget, because you can adjust schedules as necessary to increase savings. You can also get a pretty accurate estimate of how much you could save by using our Cloud Cost Savings Calculator once you have optimized your AWS assets.

Find Out More about How to Optimize AWS Costs Simply

If the simplicity of using ParkMyCloud to optimize AWS costs appeals to you, why not give it a try? We offer all prospective customers the opportunity to take advantage of a free trial offer and then a choice of competitive subscription options with a typical payback time of two months. We also offer a free “Core Edition” of ParkMyCloud which will enable you to assign parking schedules to non-production instances, but lacks the functionality to:

  • Produce Utilization Reports to optimize AWS costs.
  • Make recommendations about optimum configurations.
  • Alert you to overprovisioned and zombie assets.
  • Suggest when Reserved Instances may be cheaper for you.

We wouldn´t point the finger of blame at you if you chose to take advantage of the free version of our software, but then you would only be able to half optimize AWS costs – and where´s the point in that? However, you won´t be able to make that decision until you have tried ParkMyCloud for free, so click on the “Start Free Trial Now” button to access our app. or do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about ParkMyCloud and how it can help you optimize AWS costs – simply.