5 AWS Tips and Tricks to Solidify your EC2 and RDS RI Planning in 2017

Almost 92% of AWS users fail to manage EC2 and RDS Reserved Instances (RIs) properly, thus failing to optimize their AWS spend. An effective AWS cost optimization excise starts with an integrated RI strategy that combines a well thought out AWS EC2 and RDS planning. To this end, we have collated top 5 tips and tricks to solidify your EC2 and RDS RI planning.

  1. Continuously Manage and Govern Both EC2 and RDS RIs Effectively. Don’t Stop at Reservation

RIs, irrespective of EC2 or RDS, can offer optimal savings only when they are modified, tuned, managed, and governed continuously according to your changing infrastructure environment in AWS cloud. For instance, if you have bought the recent Convertible RIs, then modifying them for the desired class. And, if you have older RIs, then get them to work for you either by breaking them into smaller instances or by combining them for a larger instance as per the requirement.

  1. Take Caution While Exchanging Standard RIs for Convertible RIs

Standard RIs work like a charm, in regards to cost saving and offering plasticity, only when you have a good understanding of your long-term requirements. And if you have no idea of your long-term demand, then Convertible RIs are perfect, because you can have a new instance type, operating system, or tenancy at your disposal in minutes without resetting the term.  

However, there is a catch here: AWS claims there’s no fee for making an exchange to Convertible RI. True that. But when you opt for an exchange, be aware that you can acquire new RIs that are of equal or greater value than those you started with. Sometimes, you’ll need to make a true-up payment to balance the books. Essentially, the exchange process is based on the list value of each Convertible RI. And the list value is simply the sum of all payments you’ll make over the remaining term of the original RI.

  1. Don’t Forget to Use the Regional Benefit Scope for Older Standard RIs

The new regional RI benefit broadens the application of your existing RI discounts. It waives the capacity reservation associated with Standard RIs.  With Regional scope selected, the RI can be used by your instance in any AZ in the given Region. Plus, you can have your RI discount automatically applied without you worrying about which AZ. If you frequently launching and terminating instances, then this option will reduce the amount of time and effort you spend looking for optimal alignment between your RIs and your instances in different AZs. In cases of new RI purchases, the Scope selects Region by default, however, with older RIs, you need to manually change the current RIs scope from AZ to Region.

  1. Leverage Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) to Reinforce EC2 RI Planning

CDNs reduce the reliance on EC2 for content delivery while providing optimal user experience for your applications by leveraging edge locations.  With CDNs, the cost of delivering content is limited to the data transfer costs for the services. In AWS, static content such as images and video files can be stored in S3 buckets. Your application EC2 instances can be configured in the CDN to be used to cache the dynamic content so you can reduce the dependency on the backend instances.

For CDNs that have a minimum monthly usage level of 10TB per month from a single region, AWS provides significant discounts. When the capacity request is higher, the discount also increases. If CDNs are included in the capacity planning for EC2, the usage requirement for EC2 itself can go down for your business thus reducing the need for RIs.

  1. Complement RDS RI Planning by Opting for Non-SQL Database and In-memory Data Stores

Just like CDN, in-memory data stores and data caches can reduce the reliance and utilization of RDS. AWS also provides RI option for AWS ElastiCache (the in-memory data store and cache service) and DynamoDB (the NoSQL database). The technical advantages of these database technologies over relational databases will contribute indirectly to cost optimization of RDS. Leveraging in-memory data stores can also speed up your application performance.

To Wrap-Up

You might have heard this several times: Effective RI planning optimizes AWS cost by 5X. True that. And the fact is there is no universal formula, a magic wand or a one-solution-fits-all that can provide perfect EC2 and RDS RI planning. Be it 2017 or 2020, the secret recipe to solid AWS RI planning lies in understanding your long term usage, application requirements and of course planning reservations for all resources. To know more, read Botmetric’s expert blog, 7 Stepping Stones to Bulletproof Your AWS RI Planning.

And if you find this overwhelming, then you should try Botmetric Cost & Governance that can optimize your cloud spend with smart RI capacity planning, without you managing RIs from your AWS console. And if you think, we have missed any of the key points that can help bolster up EC2 and RDS RI planning, then just drop in a comment below, or on any of our social media pages, Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. We are all ears!