How to Reduce AWS Spend

There is a specific point in the “cloud awareness journey” at which organizations start considering ways to reduce AWS spend. This point usually arrives after the organization has adopted Amazon´s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), enthusiastically deployed instances onto the platform, and has now realized how much it costs.

At the point at which organizations ask how to reduce AWS spend, the real question should be how to control AWS spend. This is because, without any control, any knee-jerk measures taken to reduce AWS spend may only be temporary. If so, the same question will be getting asked again six, twelve or eighteen months further into the cloud awareness journey.

Consequently, heading over to the Amazon web site and comparing instance types, region costs and prepayment discounts via Reserved Instances is not the answer – particularly Reserved Instances if Amazon continues to reduce its cloud compute prices as it has done in recent years. An alternative way to reduce AWS spend is to switch off non-production AWS instances when they are not in use.

There are three ways to switch off non-production instances – manually, using a scheduling script, or using off-the-shelf scheduling software. The first two are not necessarily cost-effective and do not give you the tools necessary to control AWS spend. Indeed, reassigning developers to write and maintain scheduling scripts may indirectly cost more than what the organization actually saves.

How to Reduce AWS Spend with Scheduling Software

Some organizations are reluctant to consider off-the-shelf scheduling software as a way to reduce AWS spend – using the argument “why buy when we can build”. However, using scheduling software to automate on/off times for non-production instances typically pays for itself within two months, provides organizations with effective governance over its AWS accounts, and helps improve accountability.

To use the AWS spend automation software, administrators sign into their Amazon account via a scheduling app. The software conducts a discovery of all the organization´s instances and makes recommendations about which are suitable for scheduling based on their names and tags. Administrators can apply a default scheduling policy or assign instances to development teams in order to create their own schedules.

Using AWS Spend Automation Software

When development teams sign into the AWS spend automation software, they see the instances assigned to them and the recommendations about which non-production instances are suitable for scheduling (or “parking” as we refer to it). The teams can select a parking schedule from an existing pre-configured schedule or create new schedules to match the times they will be using the non-production instances.

With AWS spend automation, the instances recommended for parking do not have to be assigned the same schedule. AWS spend automation software is incredibly versatile – so much so it has a “snooze” function to take instances out of their parked state when access is needed “out-of-hours”. It also has safeguards in place to automatically switch the instances off if developers forget to return the instances to their parked state.

How Much Does Parking Reduce AWS Spend?

How much parking reduces AWS spend will depend on the number of instances deployed on AWS EC2, their pricing structure and how long the instances are parked for. If, for example, all of an organization´s development, staging and testing instances were parked from 8:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. and on weekends, the organization would reduce AWS spend on its non-production instances by almost 65%.

You can get an accurate illustration of how much parking reduces AWS spend by using our Cloud Cost Savings Calculator or by starting a free trial of ParkMyCloud. With the ParkMyCloud scheduling software, you get a savings projection once the parking schedules have been confirmed; and, once the parking schedules are operational, you also get a running total of your actual savings.

How ParkMyCloud Helps Control AWS Spend

At an administrator level, ParkMyCloud provides a single dashboard view of all instances deployed on AWS EC2. Administrators can use this level of IT governance to identify underused or unused resources and reassign underused resources to a cheaper pricing option or retire unused resources. It is also possible to monitor activity on the instances and download reports.

Reports can also be pulled about how much developers are saving by parking their non-production instances when not required. These reports can be ordered by user, team or credential to improve accountability, prevent the over-enthusiastic deployment of further instances on AWS EC2, and to provide accurate data for future project, capacity and budget planning.

Take Control and Reduce AWS Spend Permanently

As mentioned above, we offer a free trial of ParkMyCloud in order that organizations can evaluate our scheduling software in their own environments without any contracts to sign, set up costs or commitment to continue using our service at the end of the free trial. You can start your free trial now by clicking any “Try it Now” button on this page – but that is not all we offer.

Our free trial consists of a fully-enabled version of ParkMyCloud with features such as single sign-on using SSO / SAML 2.0, API access, and multi-cloud deployment. If you do not need so many features, you have the option to continue using ParkMyCloud free of charge for as long as you wish – and you get to keep the money you save.

To find out more about how to take control and reduce AWS spend permanently with ParkMyCloud, do not hesitate to contact us. Our fully-informed and helpful Customer Support team will be happy to answer any questions you have, and explain more about how you could reduce AWS spend by up to 65% permanently by using ParkMyCloud to schedule on/off times for non-production instances.