AWS Cloud Cost Management Best Practices to Achieve Spend Efficiency

There are many reasons for big companies to move into AWS cloud services. This helps them in reducing their spending on infrastructure and also provide the elasticity and scalability to their IT infrastructure. Some of the main reasons for companies to opt for AWS is to achieve high cloud cost optimization, to boost their profit, to reduce the importance given in maintaining infrastructure and to focus more on strategy and development, reinvestment of money into business strategies and other innovative works.

Even while operating on cloud, there are certain factors to be kept in mind before choosing the service (IaaS, SaaS, PaaS) and the instance types. If the right service is not chosen, cost incurred on operations will be more and hence the business will not be cost effective. This article deals with few insights on how the cloud operations can be made more cost effective. Few points to be kept in mind before making use of cloud effectively are listed below.

  • Firstly an analysis should be conducted on the benefits and costs of different cloud strategies by involving the stake holders, after this such cloud strategy should be chosen that fulfills the IT service requirement.
  • Monitoring of cloud services and the costs should be done on a regular basis. Budget should be set for each cloud account so that an alert can be issued if the spending exceeds the budget. At the end of the month, a complete cloud cost analysis needs to be done. Conclusions should be drawn about the costs incurred. Accordingly, a spend decision should be taken based on whether it is affordable or not.
  • To achieve better results from cloud operations, a cost allocation strategy should be set up which helps in splitting the amount among services such as products, cost centers, business etc. AWS makes provision to achieve this objective and helps in providing a tagging policy to label the sources of spending. It provides tools such as cost analytics AWS cloud cost management.
  • Many cloud users purchase instances that have higher storage capacity than which they require. This is a case of under utilized storage and is not desirable. For example, there are many users who purchase medium instances while they require small instance and this lead to wastage of storage space. This should be avoided.
  • The most number of instances purchased are EC2 instances. These instances can be purchased as reserved instances and the cost can be saved. But if the user is doubtful about his needs, he can experiment with on demand instances by scheduling them appropriately and later shifting to reserved or scheduled reserve instances.
  • As the business expands, the amount spent on cloud operations also increases, this might not be a bad thing as the amount spent on cloud is proportional to the business expansion. The right way to evaluate the spending is by calculating the unit costs. Unit cost metric should be used to find the amount spent on instances. Using ECU based cost analysis would inform you better about your cost optimization efforts.
  • Spot instances are very helpful in avoiding cost on cloud operations. These instances allow you to bid on spare Amazon EC2 instances. This helps in reducing AWS cloud cost as they are cheaper than reserved instances and perform the same operations as reserved instances but at lesser amount.

The above points are few steps towards reducing the cost on cloud services. There are many more best practices that can be followed in doing the same. The companies opting cloud have their main objective as cost savings. Though cloud operations help them in achieving this step, if they are not aware of how to invest and on what instances to invest on, it can prove costlier. Hence, it is necessary to be completely aware of cloud products, their costs and use cases before making any decisions.

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