11 ways to save you money on your AWS account

11 Ways to save money

11 ways to save you money on your AWS account

Managing your AWS account is one of the most important things you will need to keep under control. Anyone or organisation could very quickly exceed budget if there is not a focus on keeping costs in check.

This article will go through 11 ways to save you money on your AWS Account.

Here is a list of some of the things we at awsforbusiness.com think you can do that will save you money on your AWS account:

1. Use spot instance pricing

Spot Instance pricing usage will allow you to save as much as 85% on some of your EC2 resources.
Spot instances allow customers to bid on unused EC2 capacity and run those instances for as long as their bid exceeds the current Spot Price. The Spot Price can change occasionally based on supply and demand, and customers whose bids meet or exceed it get access to the available Spot instances.

You can use spot instance pricing when launching Elastic Beanstalk, EC2, Autoscaling groups and AWS CloudFormation. Accessing amazing savings has become a lot simpler now that the spot fleet api is readily available too.

AWS Spot instances

2. Tag Everything

Being able split apart your bill so you have the detailed granularity you need to track your costs it vital. Tagging allows you to do this so you can immediately spot your high cost services. Use tags everywhere you can.

Within the AWS console you can have as many as ten tags – remember that these tags are case sensitive. I find it easier to come up with a central theme for your tags as standard and sticking to it – it will make your life a lot easier when you are auditing your environment.

3. Enable CloudTrail

Use CloudTrail to track every call to your AWS API environment. Once this is done anytime you or your team members make a change that will affect your costs in your cloud infrastructure (for example, creating a new EC2 instance) a log event is stored. Doing this mean you can you to debug failures or investigate security events too.
Enabling CloudTrail will give you the option to go through the log files when needed later and track the source of cost overruns.

AWS Cloudtrail

4. Power cycle instances and auto scaling groups

Power cycling instances and autoscaling groups are another quick way to save money in AWS. Most staging and deployments environments are not operational 24 hours a day. Consider shutting them off out of hours – and turn them back on during working hours.

This can easily be done, by grouping your tagged resources into development and staging. Then you can run scheduled jobs to shut them all off and power them back on as required within your pre-set time windows.

5. Use Trusted Advisor

Trusted Advisor helps you reduce cost, increase performance, and improve security by optimizing your AWS environment, Trusted Advisor gives real time guidance to assist you in setting up your resources in line with AWS best practices.

AWS Trusted Advisor 2

6. Find and Eliminate All Abandoned EC2 Instances

Many organizations create development and test servers that end up never being used and then forgotten entirely. Because, its simple to set up these instances we often don’t remember to terminate them when we are done.

Review your servers and check what is still relevant to your operations. If the number of servers is too large to make this a simple process, look into creating automated alerts to notify you of abandoned instances. Monitoring EC2 instances and setting up alerts for Low CPU utilisation over an extended period of time could be an option.

7. Set Billing Alerts

Billing alerts set up on Cloudwatch are a must, I cannot emphasise this enough. The size of your organisation is immaterial.
Loosing your API Key could be a costly mistake if they get into the wrong hands. Having billing alerts in place could act as an early warning mechanism for the business if that ever happens.

Cloudwatch Billing alerts are for the whole account only, however these can be a lot more detailed and have set budgets with alerts set on a per tag basis.


AWS Cloudwatch Billing Alerts

8. Use regions wisely

Check for hidden instance that may reside in different regions. You will be surprised how many may have been set up and left running in different regions from the default, racking up costs.
Use cheaper regions to set up resources that don’t need lower latency.
Also use trusted advisor or other third party tools you may have readily available to do this for you.

9. Use smart accounting

Always use AWS Organisations (formerly consolidated billing) with multiple accounts – one bill, and leverage volume usage discounts, e.g. S3. Reserved instances are active across AWS organisation accounts.

AWS Organisations

10. Design For Cost

In the planning stages as well as security, Design with cost in mind. Where possible
Consider using cheaper alternatives like containers to drive up utilisation and on socket provisioning.

11. Analyse your costs and usage with Cost Explorer

AWS Cost explorer, which is part of the billing dashboard, gives you the ability to analyse your costs and usage.
Using the default reports provided, you can quickly get started with identifying your underlying costs and usage trends.

One of the other benefits is that you can leverage resource tagging to filter and group your Cost Explorer data. Tagging gives you the ability to create resource groups that match your business entities, simplifying the mapping of your resources and workloads to the appropriate cost centres.


AWS Cost Explorer

In Conclusion one thing I will add is that to a very large extent AWS have several tools already built into its platform that will help in saving you money and enhance you user experience. Now its up to you to use them as best you can. Check out my other post on AWS Management tools

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You can ask any questions in the comments section of this article.