DevOps best practices and cases

How to run applications in AWS cheaper

   Amazon Web Service has a big amount of services for almost every type of interaction with the cloud. Gaming solutions, development infrastructure, monitoring, and many others are available for usage. The billing policy of AWS is «You pay for individual services as long as you use them». This approach allows reducing costs because a company will not pay for resources that were not used. This approach is also good because there is no need in signing long-term contracts, or pay in advance. It gives the possibility to experiment, learn, and set up flexible resources. However, there are more ways to reduce the total bill in AWS and reduce the company's operational costs.

Seven tips that can help to reduce AWS costs

   Before starting to reduce costs, you should analyze what services you are currently using. Also, it is useful to use AWS Cost Explorer, this is a free tool that gives a detailed report about your expenses. This report contains information about services and instances and their billing. After collecting this information it would be easier for you to develop a reducing cost strategy.

Disable unused AWS resources

   During the development of an app, developers can use a variety of services and tools. For example, AWS OpWorks and Elastic Beanstalk allow them to quickly deploy and redeploy applications. But some services will work not only when they are directly addressed by developers, but that is also why it is a good practice to shut them down for a weekend or at the end of the day. Regular analysis and shutting down of unused resources can reduce the AWS bill.

Analyze and stop EC2 instances with low utilization

   EC2 service provides vast opportunities for work with virtual machines. It has a lot of variations of instances with different capabilities and pricing. Using AWS Cost Explorer, you will receive the information about instances that are slightly used, or not used at all. Shutting down or resizing these instances can save a lot of money for a business.

Analyze Amazon S3 storage usage
   Amazon Simple Storage Service offers 5 tiers of keeping your data. The prices depend on the storage amount, the number of requests, and the volume of data transferred. Thus, you can analyze the storage you used and the data that is kept there. For example, Amazon S3 Standard is for regular frequently accessed data, while Amazon Glacier is more suitable for keeping the backups and cold data. Managing data between storages will help to reduce costs.

Monitor and analyze service usage

    Amazon allows monitoring the service usage by CloudWatch and Trusted Advisor. These are monitoring and management tools. Trusted Advisor checks the infrastructure, and finds idle instances and services. It also provides recommendations on how to increase productivity and reduce costs, based on Amazon’s best practices.  CloudWatch is the monitoring solution, which helps collect data about general system parameters and custom metrics. Based on the received data it would be easier to take some actions to optimize the performance.

Use Autoscaling

   AWS allows facing the customer’s demand. Autoscaling makes it possible to handle customers’ demand, During unexpected spikes, the system will automatically increase the performance and when there is no need in it – reduce it to normal points.  It means that Autoscaling adds resources only when they need and turn off when they are no longer required. The company will benefit from this feature not only because it is a way to reduce costs, but because Autoscaling rather increases the availability of the services and as the result improve customer satisfaction.

Delete idle load balancers

   Trusted Advisor can also locate load balancers that have less than 100 connections during the last 7 days. By deleting unused load balancers you will not lose in the availability of the services, but the AWS bill can be significantly reduced. Also, AWS Cost Explorer can demonstrate how much costs can be saved by deleting these idle load balancers.

Use reserved instances

   Reserved instances, unlike on-demand instances, is the purchasing of reservation instances for a long term in exchange for lower hourly rates. As a result, the company receives flexibility with a significant discount. Reserved instances work as the discount, the company pays in advance for the availability of certain types of instances for lower hourly rates. When the system will use them, the bill will automatically count by lower rates.

To conclude, Amazon’s pricing policy is fair and gives an opportunity to significantly reduce costs. However, it is crucial to constantly control the usage of services, available reserved instances, and usage of S3 ties. Disabling unused and unaddressed services and regular analysis of the costs lets business significantly reduce the costs for AWS. Generally, for cost-saving, it is important to use AWS’s services that give information about the usage of the services and their prices. These are some of the basic recommendations on how to run applications cheaper. There are more tools and ways of analyzing and utilizing resources more efficiently.

If you feel that your AWS bill is too high and want to reduce it – contact us and we will help you or schedule the call to get your case audit.