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How to Reduce Amazon AWS Costs

StaffAWS Costs Optimization

In this article, we will describe a step-by-step process to reduce AWS costs. There are so many services inside AWS, that this process might seem overwhelming to start with. So the objective is to show the steps to follow, and how to get the highest Amazon billing cost optimization using the least effort possible.

We will also link to other articles, describing the cost optimization strategies for each of the services.

The good news

It’s important to mention that AWS customers normally can reduce around 25% to 35% of their monthly costs. This takes some initial analysis. And then the most important is taking action to complete the cost optimization.

The not-so-good news

As times passes, the following things will probably happen: Your company will need to provide new infrastructure for new services. Your traffic changes and you need to adapt your current infrastructure. AWS releases new services, new regions, or instances types. AWS reduces costs of current services. The point that your infrastructure will change over time. And hence cost optimization needs to be done periodically to achieve the best results.

Understanding monthly costs by service

First, you need to understand the monthly price for the AWS services you use. This can be retrieved from the last bill. Or from AWS Cost Explorer.

Note that you probably need a root account (or specific IAM permissions) to access AWS Cost Explorer. But then the console is straightforward. And you will find each cost easily.

For example, you could find that the main costs are related to Amazon EC2. Then Amazon EBS, and afterward Amazon RDS.

Choosing the main services to focus

The Pareto principle states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. And this also applies here. Usually, a few services are responsible for most AWS costs. So that’s where you should focus. So now you should choose the most expensive service. Then the second one, and so on. This will allow you to have a prioritized list of services to start working with.

Define the strategies for each service

There are many different ways to improve costs. They are specific to your workload and the service used. We will show the strategies for some of the main services. Hopefully, this list will increase with time.

Optimize

Then this is the last step. After considering all the strategies for your specific AWS service, you should start execution.

This is usually the most complex step. Workloads many times have live traffic. And we have limited time to make the changes without affecting the services.

In this case, you should follow all your company rules to avoid service disruption. Good planning, testing on development servers, and maintenance windows are always very good options to consider.

Repeat

Afterward, you should continue optimizing the next service. And keep going with the rest of them. You will eventually reach a point where the cost reduction is lower than the effort to accomplish it. And that’s where optimization ends.

But remember, your infrastructure will change, AWS costs will change, and new services will appear. So it’s worth making this revision again frequently.

If you need help to reduce your AWS bill, you can send us an email. We are happy to help.

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