How to Save RDS Costs without Issues

In June 2017, Amazon announced it was possible to save RDS costs by temporarily stopping RDS instances via the Management Console. Prior to the announcement, it had been possible to stop and start RDS instances without losing transaction logs and backups, but only by copying and deleting the instances, before creating new instances and populating them with data saved from the original copy.

However, there are issues with this process. The first issue with stopping and starting RDS instances via the Management Console is that the process is manual. The process relies on developers remembering to go into the console and switch off their non-production instances – such as those used for development, testing and staging – before restarting them manually when they next want access.

A second issue is that temporarily stopped RDS instances are automatically restarted after a week of inactivity. This could result in a company trying to save RDS costs switching off its RDS instances and then being charged for the reserved compute power after seven days. Although it is possible to write scheduling scripts that can overcome these issues, the costs involved in writing and maintaining scheduling scripts to automate stop/start times are often more than the potential savings.

How ParkMyCloud Helps Save RDS Costs

ParkMyCloud is an easy to use platform, through which companies can reduce their cloud computing costs by scheduling start/stop times for non-production resources deployed on AWS, MS Azure and Google Compute Engine. More than just scheduling software, ParkMyCloud gives system administrators total visibility over their accounts in order to improve governance, increase accountability and ensure the savings achieved through ParkMyCloud are long term savings.

The process for scheduling start/stop times for non-production RDS instances is straightforward. System administrators create a limited-permissions IAM role for the ParkMyCloud platform and allow it to conduct a discovery of the company´s accounts. Once completed, the single-view dashboard lists the RDS instances deployed on AWS, and makes recommendations about which are suitable for scheduling (“parking”).

System administrators can create company-wide parking policies for the recommended instances or delegate the scheduling process to each development team. In this way, teams can create their own schedules to suit their working patterns. As ParkMyCloud can be used to automate stop/start times for EC2 instances and auto-scaling groups, it is possible to create logical groups of related instances and apply the same parking schedule for all the constituent parts of an application.

Maximize Your Savings with Our Snooze Feature

Here at ParkMyCloud, we believe that a company scheduling its non-production instances to be parked outside of normal working hours should be able to save almost 65% on the cost of deploying its non-production instances on AWS (or MS Azure or Google Compute Engine). However, due to our snooze feature, it is possible to save RDS costs by more and overcome the issue of Amazon restarting parked instances after seven days.

The snooze feature was originally developed so that developers could access a parked instance by temporarily suspending the parking schedule with the click of a mouse. Companies have since worked out that, by parking their non-production instances permanently and temporarily suspending the parking schedule when access to an instance is required, it is possible to save RDS costs by far more than the 65% we advise.

Naturally the amount saved will vary from company to company, and a permanently parked schedule may only be suitable for companies whose developers require periodic access to certain non-production instances. However, as the snooze feature includes a safeguard to return the instance to its parked state after a period of inactivity, it is ideal to overcome the seven-day RDS restarting issue and a bonus for companies with forgetful developers who do not want to be paying for unused compute resources.

Try ParkMyCloud Free for Fourteen Days

The total visibility of a company´s accounts provided by ParkMyCloud has additional benefits. System administrators have an oversight of which parking schedules are assigned to which instances, how much each schedule is saving, and if the possibility exists to save RDS costs further. This information – along with the opportunity to identify underused and unused resources – can help with future capacity planning, budgeting, and reporting.

If you would like your organization to benefit from this level of governance in order to save RDS costs in the most cost-effective way possible, we invite you to take advantage of a fourteen day trial of ParkMyCloud, during which time you will have the opportunity to evaluate the merits of our scheduling software in your own environment. There is no credit card required nor contract to sign. Simply click on any “Try it Free” button, enter a few details about yourself, and get ready to save RDS costs today.

However much you save on the cost of deploying non-production RDS instances during your trial is yours to keep; and, at the end of your trial, we offer a choice of competitively-priced subscription packages – including a free, feature-limited option. To learn more about this opportunity before starting your free trial, do not hesitate to get in touch. Our Customer Support team will be happy to answer your questions about how to save RDS costs without the issues by using ParkMyCloud.