7 Ways You Can Effectively Optimize AWS EC2 Cost
For, you don’t require to maintain local hardware resources with it, can utilize its excellent backup capabilities, or can expand your resources for deploying the cloud as per your needs, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) is extremely adored by the enterprises. As a rule, being an AWS cloud service is cost-effective too. However, there are a few best practices that if you follow, you can effectively optimize its costs even more reducing that to a considerable low. In this post, we will learn about AWS EC2 cost optimization in detail. So, let’s break it all step by step.
#1: Optimizing the Size of EC2 Instances
By rightsizing the EC2 instances you ensure the sizes correspond to their workloads. However, unfortunately, it doesn’t go exactly that way, and that the instances just double in capacity for every increase in size. But then, if they double in capacity when going up a size, they can also be halved if go down a size. So, rightsizing the EC2 instances help you save big especially when their peak utilization doesn’t surpass ~45%. Moreover, by exploring the utilization metrics, you can discover opportunities for shifting the workloads to the families that they go well with.
Use AWS Compute Optimizer to get the recommendations from AWS to downsize your ec2 instance within the specific instance family and across other instance families as well.
#2: Scheduling on/off times
You can save a lot more by scheduling on/off times for instances that are used for QA, testing, staging, and development. In short, you can schedule on/off times for all your non-production instances. You can save over 65% of running EC2 instances by applying an aggressive on/off schedule based on your working hours. For an aggressive on/off schedule, however, you will need to analyze the utilization metrics to figure out the times when the EC2 instances are used most frequently. Or else, you can also apply an always “off” schedule that can be interjected if you require to access the instances. However, one thing that you must know is you still have to pay for EBS volumes or other components linked to them, irrespective of whether the instances are scheduled to “off”.
The AWS Instance Scheduler is the simple solution provided by AWS for the configuration of automatic start and stop of the EC2 instances and AWS RDS instances. If you have dev/test environments that you use only in the office hours, by implementing this solution you can cut down the unnecessary cost. You can save upto 70% of your operational cost of the EC2 instances by scheduling them rather than running 24/7.
#3: Buying Reserved Instances and Effectively Managing Them
Most of the enterprises are aware of this best practice and purchase Reserved Instances to reduce AWS EC2 costs. However, instead of just focusing on it, you should also pay attention towards their effective management as you may end up paying more if:
- The Reserved Instances are not utilized well
- A wrong type of Reserved Instance has been purchased
- A standard Reserved Instance purchased due to lack of knowledge
#4: Removing Unused Resources
Getting Rid of Unattached EBS volumes
You all know when an EC2 instance is launched, an EBS volume is linked to it that acts as local block storage for it. You also know, the existing EBS volumes contribute to your monthly AWS bill. But did you know, even when an EC2 instance is terminated, the EBS volume still exists if you did not check the box with the option “delete on termination” while launching the instance? So, you can imagine summing up the unattached EBS volumes of all the instances launched without checking the delete option, how much it will add to your AWS monthly bill. This is one of the best practices for AWS EC2 cost optimization.
Releasing unattached Elastic IP addresses
Amazon provides a maximum of five Elastic IP addresses for every account. These IP addresses are not chargeable if you have attached them to a running service. However, if the IP address is remapped over 100 times a month or if the unattached Elastic IP address is not released after the instances are terminated, it incurs some costs. Though the cost incurred is not big in the case of one account, if you have let’s say fifty AWS account and each holds back at least two unattached IP addresses, you can imagine how much will be the total capital getting wasted every year.
Terminating Zombie Assets
We have already talked about zombie assets i.e. any unused asset like unattached EBS volumes, unattached IP addresses, etc. above that adds up to the total costs incurred in operating the AWS cloud. You must timely terminate such assets. Other examples of zombie assets include instance components activated during times when the instance failed to start or unused Elastic Load Balancers. Though at times, it’s not easy to recognize a zombie asset, you can always take the help of an MSP (Managed Services Provider) or say a trusted cloud partner as they help you have total visibility of your AWS cloud environment.
#5: Upgrading the Instances
Amazon Web Services keep announcing upgrades for its products & services very frequently. Apparently, the new generation of any instances usually has enhanced performance & functionality in comparison to their predecessors. So, either you should upgrade your existing instances to their latest generation or downsize them with marginal utilization metrics to get benefitted from the same performance at a reduced cost.
#6: Use Saving Plans
AWS Savings Plans are available in two forms:
Compute Savings Plans give the most adaptability and help to diminish your expenses by up to 66% (just like Convertible RIs). You can apply this plan to any EC2 instance type and in any AWS region, regardless of that they are part of any EKS or ECS cluster. Moreover, you are not bound to any instance type, you can change it any time you want. E.g., you can change from t2 to t3 instances.
EC2 Instance Savings Plans apply within the AWS region to the particular AWS instance family and it give the biggest rebate (up to 72%, much the same as Standard RIs). In the EC2 instance savings plans you also have the luxury to switch the operating system e.g., from Windows to Linux without disturbing your savings plan.
#7: Use Amazon EC2 Spot Instances and Spot fleets to reduce EC2 costs.
You can decrease the cost of on-demand AWS EC2 pricing upto 90% by using the spot instances. Spot instances are the additional unused compute capacity of AWS that is available to the customers at very low price than AWS on-demand price without any upfront commitments, to purchase AWS spot instances you have to place a bid and you can keep the instance until your bid price is higher than their current market price. So, for the scalable and flexible applications such as big data, containerized workloads and dev/test environments, using spot instances is the ideal scenario.
Spot Fleet – Spot fleets are even better than the spot instances, with normal spot instances you place the bid for the particular AWS instances type in the specific AWS availability zone, but with spot fleet you have the luxury to request the different AWS instance types in multiple availability zones. Additionally, spot Fleets are set to maintain the compute capacity you require by launching replacement instances after Spot Instances in the fleet are terminated.
The Final Words
Remember, optimizing AWS costs is not a one-time job. It is rather an ongoing process. Make sure, you consistently monitor your AWS cloud and identify if the assets are not utilized well, discovering opportunities to reduce costs. Moreover, you can also establish Cloud Cost Management, which is a function that helps you in aligning and developing goals, setting up guardrails for meeting financial targets, driving a cost-centric culture, and achieving greater business productivity. So, apply all the best practices we have learned in this post and reap maximum benefit from your AWS EC2 instances.
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