How to Reduce Alibaba Cloud Costs

If you are looking for ways to reduce Alibaba Cloud costs, you have several options available to you. You could instruct developers to switch off development, testing and staging ECS instances when they are not being used, or remove the potential for human error by writing scheduling scripts to switch off non-production ECS instances automatically. Alternatively, you could try scheduling software.

Many businesses do not approve of buying software when they have the capabilities to build it themselves. However, scheduling software is generally more reliable than the manual process of stopping and restarting ECS instances and – once you take developers´ salaries into account – considerably less expensive than writing and maintaining scheduling scripts.

How to Reduce Alibaba ECS Costs Cost-Effectively

One important consideration when evaluating scheduling software to reduce Alibaba ECS costs is making sure you do not pay for more than you need. Several vendors bundle multiple pieces of software into packages and, unless you have a need for each of the pieces of software, the result is you will paying for software you do not use – much like leaving non-production ECS instances running overnight.

The key to being able to reduce Alibaba ECS costs cost-effectively by scheduling start/stop times is to only look at scheduling software and avoid the distractions of software packages. Typically, the benefits of additional “cost-saving” software will not be as great as they are made out to be; and, in many cases, the features of “cost-saving” software only replicate the benefits of scheduling software.

How ParkMyCloud´s Scheduling Software Works

An example of how to reduce Alibaba Cloud costs cost-effectively is by using ParkMyCloud´s scheduling software. ParkMyCloud is a lightweight app provided as a Software-as-a-Service. System managers log into the app with their Alibaba credentials and create a permissions-limited role for ParkMyCloud. The app then conducts a discovery of all the business´s assets deployed on Alibaba Cloud.

Once the discovery is complete, all the business´s assets are displayed across a single pane dashboard, giving system managers total visibility over their accounts. The ECS instances suitable for scheduling (or “parking” as we refer to it) are highlighted – ParkMyCloud having selected these according to the names and tags assigned to them. Thereafter, system managers have four options:

  • Apply a pre-configured schedule to all the highlighted ECS instances – for example “start at 8:00 a.m. each weekday/stop at 8:00 p.m. each weekday”.
  • Create a unique schedule for each ECS instance – or group of instances – using an intuitive grid that displays the hours of the day and days of the week.
  • Permanently park all non-production ECS instances (i.e. “off” at all times), allowing developers to snooze the schedules when access to the instances is required.
  • Run ParkMyCloud in “SmartParking” mode and allow the app to make recommendations about the most suitable parking schedule for each ECS instance.

The most appropriate option will depend on the nature of the business and the working patterns of its developers. The first option is suitable for an environment in which developers work regular hours, whereas the second and third options are more flexible and can result in greater savings. The “SmartParking” feature is also flexible, as system managers can tweak recommended parking schedules.

How Much Can ParkMyCloud Reduce Alibaba Cloud Costs?

How much ParkMyCloud can reduce Alibaba ECS costs will depend on the parking schedules applied and the proportion of non-production instances to production instances. A schedule that switches non-production instances on between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Monday to Friday will reduce Alibaba Cloud costs for non-production instances by almost 65%. Other schedules and their respective savings are indicated below:

Reduce Alibaba Cloud Costs for Non-Production ECS Instances
Schedule Start Time Stop Time Hours Saved Costs Reduced by
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%

As well as the direct savings of using ParkMyCloud to reduce Alibaba Cloud costs, there are also indirect savings. System managers can take advantage of the visibility provided by ParkMyCloud to identify zombie assets and terminate them. They can also use ParkMyCloud´s versatile policy engine in order to increase accountability, and configure our scheduling app to send notifications whenever an event in breach of a policy occurs.

Alibaba Cloud Support Coming Soon to ParkMyCloud

At this moment in time, we are in the process of developing our scheduling software to be compatible with Alibaba Cloud. If you would like to know when the final product is available, do not hesitate to contact us. We will be offering free trials of ParkMyCloud to Alibaba Cloud users so it will be possible to determine how much you could reduce Alibaba Cloud costs before committing to a level of subscription.