Save more in Elasticache RI with Botmetric

Reserved Instances (RI) have brought in significant opportunities in cost reducing strategies in the AWS ecosystem. AWS started with EC2 Reserved Instance (RI)  and EC2 is the most reserved AWS service. Did you know that apart from EC2 there are other six services that can be reserved in AWS?

Currently Botmetric supports AWS RI for EC2 and RDS under Cost & Governance. A lot of Botmetric customers have been using Elasticache and wanted to seek better recommendations for reservations. As reservations are crucial in cost savings, we as Botmetric wanted to empower our customers with reservation planner for Elasticache.

Botmetric Cost & Governance has now extended its support for Elasticache RI’s. Currently in  Cost & Governance RI tab you can manage, track and regulate your Elasticache RI’s. Elasticache RI under Cost & Governance only supports high utilization RI’s at the moment.

Elasticache RI Dashboard

Elasticache RI has a holistic dashboard that is similar to EC2 and RDS RI, which lists out RI summary and savings recommendations for variant tenure.

Elasticache

Elasticache RI has a holistic dashboard that is similar to EC2 and RDS RI, which lists out RI summary and savings recommendations for variant tenure.

Unused Elasticache RI

Provides a list of reservations which aren’t being used by any running instance, so that you can launch a matching instance class for the reservation.

Plan RI

Provides a list of all the recommended ElastiCache reservations. Botmetric analyzes your ElastiCache on-demand utilization and generates recommendation after matching it with your current set of reservations. You can change the tenure from 1 to 3 year to understand variant savings. You also change the confidence factor to view more differentiated recommendations.

Elastic Cache Plan RI
Existing RI

This is a complete portfolio of your Elasticache RI. It lists all Elasticache RI in your account.
The chief advantage of existing RI portfolio is to identify near-expiry RI and plan for renewal or renew already expired RI.

existing ri

RI Utilization Graph

Here you can identify and understand the performance of Reserved vs On-demand Elasticache RI. You can look at the graph and identify if your On-demand hours are constant , then there is more scope for reservations.

RI Utilization We as Botmetric want to make cost savings in AWS cloud more simpler and better. We have not stopped with EC2, RDS and ElastiCache, we are working on adopting Botmetric Smart Recommendations for Redshift and DynamodB as well. Meanwhile if you wish you perform any kind of cost analysis how much ever detailed, you can achieve this through Custom Reports.

Not Only EC2, 6 More AWS Services That Can be Reserved

Cloud Cost Management through Reserved Instance option

AWS, the pioneer of Cloud Platforms, has created three different pricing models which can suit an organization based on the life cycle stage they are in regard to Cloud usage. The first and most well-known model is the on-demand model under which resources are priced based on actual usage like hourly compute or storage, I/O capacity consumption etc. This pricing model is best suited when a company is not exactly sure of its usage pattern and is getting started on the Cloud Platform. Once the company is accustomed to the Cloud Platform and its benefits, it can upgrade to the next model -“Reserved instance”, to get 30-50% price reduction by committing the resource consumption for a one or three years’ time. The third model, “Spot Instances” is for buying resources to use only in periodic surges in resource demand.

While Reserved Instance Model for AWS EC2 is quite well known, AWS also provides the same pricing model for many other services as well. Let us look in-depth into 6 More AWS Services which can be consumed under Reserved Instance price model.

  1. AWS RDS

After Computing Power, the most used resource is database. Databases are a very significant portion of an enterprise’s resource capacity and as it is often run 24/7.  Hence adopting the Reserved Instance pricing model for RDS is a worthwhile investment. Amazon RDS Reserved Instances give you the option to reserve a DB instance for one or three year term and in turn receive a significant discount compared to the On-Demand Instance pricing for the DB instance.

It is important to note that RDS will be charged for every hour during the entire reservation term one selects, regardless of whether the database instance is running or not. There are two different factors that have to be considered while planning out Reserved Instances for RDS.

Commitment Term: AWS provides two types of commitment terms durations.

1-year term which is useful for production databases with predictable workloads

3-year term which is useful for stable production databases for long running applications

Payment Options: Once the commitment term is decided, there are 3 payment options to choose from, based on the percentage of upfront payment one is willing to pay.

No Upfront: In this model, no upfront payment is required at purchase. The discount is however lower when compared to other payment options. This is not applicable if the commitment term is 3 years.

Partial Upfront: In this model, a portion of the cost is paid upfront and the remaining hours in the term are billed at the established discounted hourly rate. This model strikes a right balance between upfront and hourly.

Full Upfront: In this model, the cost of the entire term is paid to get the best effective hourly price

  1. AWS DynamoDB

Amazon DynamoDB is a fully managed NoSQL database service that provides fast and predictable performance with seamless scalability. When using DynamoDB, the pricing is a flat, hourly rate service based on how much capacity is provisioned.  Like other services, DynamoDB Reserved Capacity also offers significant savings over the on-demand price of DynamoDB if the capacity is paid for in advance. One has to choose to commit a capacity model comprising of a fixed amount of Write Capacity and Read Capacity units. However, the cost is incurred even if the resource is not utilized.

  1. Amazon CloudFront

Amazon CloudFront is the content delivery web service that helps businesses to distribute content to end users with low latency and high data transfer speeds. AWS CloudFront Reserved Capacity gives you the option to commit to a minimum monthly usage level for a year or longer to receive a significant discount. AWS CloudFront Reserved Capacity pricing metric is based on volume of data transfer. The pricing begins at a minimum of 10 TB of data transfer per month from a single region. If the users commit to higher volume usage, they are eligible for receiving additional discounts.

  1. AWS ElastiCache

ElastiCache helps developers to set up, manage, and scale a distributed in-memory cache environment in the cloud. Developers can choose their cache engine to be either Memcached or Redis protocol-compliant. The key benefit of using AWS ElastiCache is that provides a high-performance, scalable and cost-effective caching solution, without the usual complexity of managing a distributed cache environment manually.

The reserved instance price model is almost same as that of AWS DynamoDB where Reserved nodes are charged an upfront fee that depends upon the node type and the reservation term years. In addition to the upfront charge there is an hourly usage charge

  1. Elastic MapReduce 

Amazon Elastic MapReduce is BigData Platform as a Service for large volume data analysis. AWS Elastic MapReduce is based on Apache Hadoop which distributes work across different virtual servers which are in clusters in AWS Cloud.

The Unique Reserved Instance Pricing Policy of AWS Elastic MapReduce are as follows:

An On-Demand Instance should be specified in the cluster configuration that matches the Reserved Instance specification. The cluster should be launched within the same Availability Zone of the instance reservation

  1. Amazon RedShift

Amazon Redshift is a fully managed, petabyte-scale data warehouse service in the cloud. Amazon Redshift On-Demand pricing has no upfront costs and has an on-demand pricing scheme where users pay an hourly rate based on the type and number of nodes in the cluster. Users can save up to 75% over On-Demand rates by committing to a Reserved Instance for a fixed term ranging from 1 year to 3 years.

Your Cloud Strategy is optimal only when Reserved Instances are leveraged well and wherever applicable. Botmetric can help you manage your Cloud from Cloud Perspective through proactive advices based on Best Practices. Take a Complete demo of Botmetric to benefit from its capabilities.

The March Roundup @ Botmetric: Easier AWS Cloud Management with NoOps

Spring is here, finally! The blooming fresh buds, the sweet smell of the roses, and the cheerful mood all around. Earth seems to come to life again. Seasons are vital to the transition and evolution of our planet; it also serves the purpose of the evolution of human consciousness too. Likewise, transition and evolution of your AWS Cloud Management consciousness too plays a vital role in improving the lives — primarily productivity — of DevOps and cloud engineers in your organization.

Your AWS Cloud Management efforts carried out by your DevOps engineers and cloud engineers, either in silos or with an integrated approach, needs to be regularly monitored, nurtured, and evolved from time to time. And when we say AWS Cloud Management efforts, we include AWS cost management, AWS governance, AWS cloud security and compliance, AWS cloud operations automation, and DevOps practices.

There are, of course, a variety of AWS services at your disposal to engineer a fully automated, continuous integration and delivery system, and help you be at the bleeding edge of DevOps practices. It is, however, easier said than done.

Right tools at hand are what that matters the most, especially when you are swimming in a tide of several modules. With agile digital transformations catching up quickly in every arena, it’s high time you must ensure that your team’s every AWS Cloud Management effort count to get that optimal ROI and lowered TCO.

To that end, Botmetric has been evolving all its products — Cost & Governance, Security & Compliance, and Ops & Automation, with several NoOps and DevOps features that make life of DevOps engineers and cloud engineers easier.

More so, you get more out of your AWS cloud management than you think. Explore Botmetric.

In March, Botmetric rolled-out four key product features. Here’re the four new feathers in the Botmetric’s cap:

1. Define Your Own AWS Security Best Practices & Audits with Botmetric Custom Audits

What is it about: Building your own company-wide AWS security policies to attain comprehensive security of the cloud.

How will it help:  Audit your infrastructure and enforce certain rules within your team, as per your requirements. You can put the custom rules or audits on auto-pilot — no need to build and run scripts every time through cron/CLI. Above all, you can automate your AWS security best practices checks.

Where can you find this feature on Botmetric: Under Security & Compliance’ Audit Report Console.

Get more details on this feature here.

2. Increase Operational Efficiency by 5X with Botmetric Custom Jobs’ Cloud Ops Automation

What is it about: Writing Python scripts inside Bometric to automate everyday, mundane DevOps tasks.

How will it help: Empowers DevOps engineers and cloud engineers to run desired automation with simple code logic in Python, and then schedule routine cloud tasks for increased operational excellence. Help engineers free up a lot of time.

Where can you find this feature on Botmetric: Under Ops & Automation’ Automation Console.

Get more details on this feature here.

3. Unlock Maximum AWS RDS Cost Savings with Botmetric RDS Cost Analyzer

What is it about: It is an intelligent analyzer that provides complete visibility into RDS spend.

How will it help: Discover unusual trends in your AWS RDS usage and know which component is incurring the significant chunk of the cost. Get a detailed breakup of RDS cost according to AWS instances, instance types, AWS accounts, AWS sub services, and instance engine.

Where can you find this feature on Botmetric: Under Cost & Governance’ Analyze console.

Get more details on this feature here.

4. AWS Reserved Instance Management Made Easy with Botmetric’s Smart RI

What is it about: Automatically modify reservation as soon as there is a modification available without going to AWS console.

How will it help: Reduce the effort involved in modifying the unused RIs. Automate modification of RIs that occur multiple times a day as soon as the unused RIs are found. Saves that much amount of cost that could have been wasted due to unnecessary on-demand usage, along with wasted RIs.

Where can you find this feature on Botmetric: Under Cost & Governance’ RI console.

Get more details on this feature here. You can also read it on AWS Week-in-Review.

Knowledge Sharing @ Botmetric

Continuing our new tradition to provide quick bites and snippets on better AWS cloud management, here are few blogs that we covered in the month of March:

The Road to Perfect AWS Reserved Instance Planning & Management in a Nutshell

98% of Google search on ‘AWS RI benefits’ shows that you can get great discounts and save tremendously compared to on-demand pricing. The fact is, this discounted pricing can be reaped provided you know what RIs are, how to use them, when to buy them, how to optimize them, how to plan them, etc. This blog covers all the details how to perfect your AWS RI planning and management.

DevSecOps: A Game Plan for Continuous Security and Compliance for your Cloud

DevOps makes it possible for the code to deploy and function seamlessly. And where does “security” stand in this Agile, CI/CD environment? You cannot afford to compromise on security and turn your infrastructure vulnerable to hackers, for sure! So, here comes the concept of “DevSecOps” — the practices of DevSecOps. If you’re looking to bring Security Ops into DevOps, then bookmark this blog.

3 Effective DDoS Protection & Security Solutions Apt for Web Application Workloads on AWS

NexusGuard research quoting 83% increase in Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks in 2Q2016 compared to 1Q2016 indicates that these attacks seems to continue being prevalent even beyond 2017. Despite stringent measures, these attacks have been bringing down web applications and denying service availability to its users with botnets. Without a doubt, DDoS mitigation is pivotal. If you’re a security Ops engineer, then this blog is a must read.

5 Interesting 2017 DevOps Trends You Cannot Miss Reading

In 2017, there is a lot of noise about what will be the future of DevOps. Here is a look at five interesting 2017 DevOps trends  you cannot miss reading and what our thought leaders think.

Don’t Let 2017 Amazon AWS S3 Outage Like Errors Affect You Again

On February 28th, 2017, several companies reported Amazon AWS S3 Cloud Storage Outage. Within minutes, hundreds and thousands of Twitter posts started making rounds across the globe sharing their experiences how their apps went down due to this outage. No technology is perfect. All technologies might fail at some point. The best way forward is to fool-proof your system against such outages in the future, as suggested by Team Botmetric.

To Conclude:

Rain or shine, Botmetric has always striven to improve the lives of DevOps and cloud engineers. And will continue to do so with DevOps, NoOps, AIOps solutions. Get 14-Day Exclusive Botmetric Trial Now.

If you have missed rating us, Botmetric invites you to do it here. Until the next month, stay tuned with us.

The Road to Perfect AWS Reserved Instance Planning & Management in a Nutshell

Ninety-eight percent of Google search on ‘AWS reserved instance (RI) benefits’ shows that you can get great discounts and save tremendously compared to on-demand pricing.The fact is, this discounted pricing can be reaped provided you know what RIs are, how to use them, when to buy them, how to optimize them, how to plan them, etc.

Many organizations have successfully put RIs to its best use and have the optimal RI planning and management in place due to the complete knowledge they have.

This overarching, in-depth blog post is a beginner’s guide that helps you leverage RIs completely and correctly, so that you can make that perfect RI planning and management. It also provides information on how to save smartly on AWS cloud.

Upon completely reading this post, you will know the basic 5Ws of AWS RIs, how to bring RIs into practice, types of AWS Reserved Instances, payment attributes associated with instance reservations, attributes to look for while buying/configuring an RI, facts to be taken into account while committing RIs, top RI best practices, top RI governance tactics that help reduce AWS bill shock, and common misconceptions attached to RIs.

The Essence: Get Your RI Basics Right to Reduce AWS Bill Shock

The Backdrop

Today, RIs are one of the most effective cost saving services offered by AWS. Irrespective of whether the reserved instances are used or unused, they will be charged. And AWS offers discounted usage pricing for as long as organizations own the RIs. So, opting for reserved instances over on-demand instances might waste several instances. However, a solid RI planning will provide the requisite ROI, optimal savings, and efficient AWS spend management for a long term.

 

AWS RIs are purchased for several reasons, like savings, capacity reservation, and disaster recovery.

Some of them are listed below here:

1. Savings

Reserved instances provide the highest savings approach in AWS cloud ecosystem. You can lower costs of the resources you are already using with a lower effective rate in comparison to on-demand pricing. Generally, EC2 and RDS RIs are contenders of projecting highest figures in your AWS bill. Hence, it’s advisable to go for EC2 and RDS reservations.

A Case-in-point: Consider an e-commerce website running on AWS on-demand instances.Unexpectedly, it started gaining popularity among customers. As a result, the IT manager sees a huge spike in his AWS bill due to unplanned sporadic activity in the workload. Now, he is under pressure to control both his budget and efficiently run the infrastructure.

A swift solution to this problem is opting for instance reservation against on-demand resources. By reserving instances, he can not only balance capacity distribution and availability according to work demands, but it can also reap substantial savings due to reservation.

P.S: Just reserving the instances will not suffice. Smart RI Planning is the way forward to reap optimal cost savings.

[mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”12″ align=”left”]Botmetric helps you make wise decisions while reserving AWS instances. It also provides great insights to manage and utilize your RIs that ultimately lead to break-even costs. Get a comprehensive free snapshot of your RI utilization with Botmetric’s free trial of Cost & Governance.[/mk_blockquote]

2. Capacity Reservation

With capacity reservation, there is a guarantee that you will be able to launch an instance at any time during the term of the reservation. Plus, with AWS’ auto-scaling feature, you will be assured that all your workloads are running smoothly irrespective of the spikes. However, with capacity reservation, there will be a lot of underutilized resources, which will be charged irrespective of whether they are used or unused.

A Case-in-Point: Consider you’re running a social network app in your US-West-1a AZ. One day you observe some spike in the workload, as your app goes viral. In such a scenario, reserved capacity and auto-scaling together ensure that the app will work seamlessly. However, during off season, when the demand is less, there will be a lot of underutilized resources that will be charged. A regular health check of the resource utilization and managing them to that end will provide both resource optimization and cost optimization.

[mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”12″ align=”left”]Botmetric performs regular health check of your usage of reservations and presents them in beautiful graphical representation for you to analyze usage optimally. Further, with the metrics, you can identify underutilization, cost-saving modification recommendations, upcoming RI expirations, and more from a single pane.[/mk_blockquote]

3. Always DR Ready

AWS supports many popular disaster recovery (DR) architectures. They could be smaller environments ideal for small customer workload data center failures or massive environments that enable rapid failover at scale. And with AWS already having data centers in several Regions across the globe, it is well-equipped to provide nimble DR services that enable rapid recovery of your IT infrastructure and data.

The Point-in-Case: Suppose, East coast in the U.S. is hit by a hurricane and everybody lines up to move their infrastructure to US-West regions of AWS. If you have reservation in place beforehand in US-West then your reservation guarantees prevention from exhaustion. Thus, your critical resources will run on US-West without waiting in the queue.

[mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”12″ align=”left”]Botmetric scans your AWS infra like a pro with DR automation tasks to check if you have configured backup on RDS and EBS properly[/mk_blockquote]

How to Bring RI into Practice

The rationale behind RI is simple: getting AWS customers like you to commit to the usage of specific infrastructure. By doing so, Amazon can better manage their capacity and then pass on their savings onto you.

Here are the basic information on RI types, options, pricing, and terms (1 and 3 year) for you to leverage RIs to the fullest. These will help you bring RI into practice.

Types of AWS Reserved Instances

1. Standard RIs: These can be purchased with one year or three-year commitment. These are the best suited for steady state usage, and when you have good understanding of your long-term requirements. It provides up to 75% in savings compared to on-demand instances.

2. Convertible RIs: These can be purchased only with three year commitment. Unlike Standard RIs, Convertible RIs provide more flexibility and allows you to change the instance family and other parameters associated with a RI at any time. These RIs also provide savings but up to 45% savings compared to on-demand instances. Know more about it in detail.

3. Scheduled RIs: These can be launched within the time-span you have selected to reserve. This allows you to reserve capacity in a stipulated amount of time.

Types of AWS Reserved Instances and their charecteristicsTypes of AWS Reserved Instances and their characteristics

Payment Options

AWS RIs can be bought using any of the three payment options:

1. No-Upfront: The name says it all. You need not pay any upfront amount for the reservation. Plus, you are billed at discounted hourly-rate within the term regardless of the usage. These are only available for one year commitment if you buy Standard RI and for three years commitment if you opt for Convertible RI.

2. Partial Upfront: You pay a partial amount in advance and the remaining amount is paid at discounted hourly rate.

3. All Upfront: You make the full payment at the beginning of the term regardless of the number of hours of utilized. This option provides the maximum percentage of discount.

Attributes to be looked at while buying/configuring RI

Committing RIs

From our experience, a lot of stakeholders take a step back while committing towards reservation, because it’s an important investment that needs lot of deliberation. The fact is: Once you understand the key attributes, then it gives you all the confidence to commit on RIs.

Realize: How to?

  • Identify the instances, which are running constantly or having a higher utilization rate (above 60%)
  • Estimate your future instance usage and identify the usage pattern
  • Spot the instance classes that are the possible contenders for reservation

Evaluate: How to?

Once you know how to realize the RIs, you can identify possibilities and evaluate the alternatives with the following actions:

  • Look for suitable payment plans
  • Monitor On-Demand Vs. Reserved expenditure over time
  • Identify break-even point and payback period
  • Look for requirements of Standard or Convertible RIs

Select: How to?

Once you know how to evaluate, you can analyze and choose the best option that fits your planning, and further empower your infrastructure for greater efficiency with greater savings.

Implement: How to?

Once you know what your requirements are to commit for a RI purchase, implementation is the next stage. It is very crucial you do it right. For the reason that: Discounts might not apply in all cases. For instance, if you happen to choose the incorrect attributes or performs incorrect analysis. At the end of the line, your planned savings might not reflect in your spreadsheets (*.XLS) as calculated.

How to Implement the Chosen RI Like a Pro

The key parameter to reserve an EC2 instance is the instance class. To apply reservation, you can either modify or go for a new RI purchase by selecting platform, region, and instance type to match the reservation.

For Instance:

Consider a company XYZ LLC, where it has an on-demand portfolio of

  • 2*m3.large Linux in AZ us-east-1b
  • 4*c4.large Linux in AZ us-east-1c
  • 2*t2.large Linux in AZ us-east-1a

And XYZ LLC now purchases standards RIs as below:

  • 4*c4.large Linux in AZ us-east-1c
  • 2*t2.large Linux in AZ us-east-1b
  • 4*x1.large Linux in AZ us-east-1a

Based on the above on-demand portfolio and purchases, the following reservations are applied for XYZ LLC:

  • 4*c4.large Linux in AZ us-east-1c. Here’s how: This matches exactly the instance class the reservation was made, so offers discounts
  • 2*t2.large Linux in AZ us-east-1b. Here’s how: The existing instances class is in a different AZ but in the same region, so no discount is applied. However, if you change the scope of RI to region then the reservation will be applied but there is no guarantee of capacity
  • 4*x1.large Linux in AZ us-east-1a. Here’s how: The instance family, region, and OS don’t match. In this case, reservation will not be applied for these instances. However, if XYZ LLC had purchased Convertible RIs, modifying reservation will never be a problem but they have to commit for 3 years with a lesser discount.

Making Sense of the RIs for Payer and Linked Accounts

AWS bills, evidently, includes charges only on payer account for all utilization. However, in larger organizations, where the linked accounts are divided into business units, reservation purchases are made by these individual units. No matter who makes the purchase, the benefits of RI will float across the whole account (payer + its own linked accounts).

For Instance: Let’s assume X is the payer account and Y and Z are its two linked accounts. Then in an ideal situation:

$- Purchase

U-Can be applied

X($) then Y (U) or Z (U)

If Z($) then Y(U) or X(U) or Z(U)

Hence, in a group, reservation can be applied in any instance class available.

How to Govern RIs with Ease

Monitoring just a bunch of RIs are easy when the portfolio is small. However, in case of mid-sized and large sized businesses, RIs generally don’t get proper attention due to the dynamic environment and the plethora of AWS services to manage. This causes a dip in efficiency, unexpected minimal savings, and many more such issues. Nevertheless, this dip in efficiency and bill shock can be assuaged with few tweaks:

Make a regular note of unused and underutilized RIs:

[mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”12″ align=”left”]Unused and underutilized states of RIs are key issues that lead to inefficiency.[/mk_blockquote]

In case of unused RIs: The reservations were intended to be bought for determined constant utilization but somehow the utility ended just after few months of purchase and the reservation is now in dormant state or unused. If you modify and eliminate them, then they will add to cost savings.

In case of underutilized RIs: Few RIs are bought with the intention to use them for continuous workload but somewhere in the timeline the utility reduced and the reservation is not clocking to its ideal utilization. If you start reusing them, then they will add to cost savings. Read this blog post by Botmetric Director of Product Engineering Amarkant Singh’s post on how to go about unused and underutilized RI modifications and save cloud cost intelligently.

Finding the root cause of unused and underutilized RIs:

1. Incorrect analysis: While performing the analysis to determine RI purchase some miscalculations or lack of understanding of environment can be cause of trouble in management of RIs.

a. Wrong estimation of time (1 year/ 3 years): If you couldn’t understand your projected workload time then purchasing reservation for a longer interval e.g.: 3 years may bring RI into unused state

b. Wrong estimation of count: This could be due to overestimation/underestimation of the number of reservations required. If it’s too many, then you may modify them for DR capability. But if it’s too less, then you may still not satisfy your savings

c. Wrong estimation of projected workload: If you have not understood your workload, then chances are that you could have bought RIs with incorrect attributes like time, number of instances bought, etc. In such cases, RIs either go unused or underutilized

2. Improper Management: RIs, irrespective of the service, can offer optimal savings only when they are modified, tuned, managed, and governed continuously according to your changing infrastructure environment in AWS cloud.

You should never stop at reservation. 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.

[mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”12″ align=”left”]FACT: Almost 92% of AWS users fail to manage Reserved Instances (RIs) properly, thus failing to optimize their AWS spend.[/mk_blockquote]

If you find all this overwhelming, then try Botmetric Smart RI Planner, which helps with apt RI management, right sizes your RIs and helps save cost with automation.

Top RI Best Practices to Live By

There are few best practices you should follow to ensure your RIs work for you and not the other way around.

Get Unused RIs back to work

If you have bought the recent Convertible RIs, then modifying them for desired class is now a child’s play. However, if you have older RIs, then getting them back to work is not so easy as Convertible RIs. But with just few modifications like breaking them into smaller instances /combining them for a larger instance according to your needs will do the trick.

Keep an eye on expired and near-expiry RIs in your portfolio

Always list your RIs in three ways to keep a constant check on them:

Active: RIs that are either new or will expire in 90 days

Near-expiry: RIs that are nearing to 90 days of expiration. Analyze these RIs and plan accordingly for re-purchase

Expired RIs: RIs that are expired. If there is an opportunity for renewal go ahead with it

Be sure of your workload demands and what suits your profile the best. 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, or operating system at your disposal in minutes without resetting the term.

[mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”12″ align=”left”]Botmetric has found a smart way to perform the above. It uses the NoOps and AIOps concept to put the RIs back to work. Read this blog to know how.[/mk_blockquote]

Compare on-demand Vs. reserved instances to improve utilization

If you want to improve your utilization of reservation, the game plan is to track on-demand Vs. reserved instances utilization. It is evident from our experience that RI cost over a period of time offers the greatest discounted prices. Read this blog post to know the five tradeoff factors to consider when choosing AWS RIs over on-demand resources.

Compare on-demand Vs. reserved instances to improve utilization

For further benefits, a report on RI utilization that can throw the below insights will help:

1. Future requirement of reservation

2. Unused or underutilized RIs

3. Opportunities to re-use existing RIs

Here is a sample Botmetric RI Utilization Graph for your reference:

AWS Reserved Instance Management Now Made Easy with Botmetric’s Smart RI

Before wrapping-up, here are few common RI misconceptions that you must know.

Common RI Misconceptions You Must Know

  • If you buy one EC2 instance and reserve an RI for that type of EC2, then you don’t own two instances but you own only one
  • RIs are not only available in EC2 and RDS but in five other services as well that can be reserved
  • Purchasing RIs alone and not monitoring and managing them may not give you any savings.
  • Managing and optimizing them is the key
  • Never purchase instance for an instance ID, but for an instance class
  • Buying a lot of RIs will not bring down the AWS bill
  • Managing RIs is very complex. It’s a continuous ongoing process. Few key best practices — if followed — can give desired savings and greater efficiency
  • Older RIs cannot have Region benefit
  • RIs can’t be re-utilized, if you fail to understand your workload distribution RIs can’t be returned, instead
  • AWS RI Marketplace facilitates you to sell your RIs to others

The Wrap-Up

RIs, as quoted earlier, are the highest saving option in your dynamic cloud environment. Buying RIs is not sufficient. A proper road map and management coupled with intelligent insights can get you the desired savings.

AWS is always coming up with new changes. Hence, understanding its services and knowing how to use them for greater benefit will always prove beneficial for your cloud strategy irrespective of your business size, above all for the startup world. And if you find all this overwhelming, then just try Botmetric’s Cost and Governance.

Get Started

AWS Reserved Instance Management Now Made Easy with Botmetric’s Smart RI

AWS users using more than 75% RIs in AWS realize the best savings, reveals an internal customer survey by Botmetric. One of the most expensive mistakes that AWS customers make is not using Reserved Instances (RIs) aptly. Just reserving instances does not reap optimum cost savings. A well maneuvered AWS Reserved Instance management plays a major role in reducing the overall cloud spend. But it takes a lot of effort and time when done manually. Don’t worry. Botmetric has your back with its AWS RI Planner.

With much delight, I’d like to introduce Botmetric Smart RI. Using Algorithmic IT Ops (AIOps), it analyzes, modifies, and monitors RIs automatically without you logging into AWS console, thus saving you time and effort that goes in manually modifying the RIs. It does all the heavy-lifting for you using automation so that you save cost optimally, which would have been impossible if done manually.

Simply put, by configuring this app on Botmetric, you can reduce the effort involved in modifying unused RIs, automate modification of RIs as soon as the unused RIs are found (that occur multiple times a day), and above all save cost that could have been wasted due to unnecessary on-demand usage, along with wasted RIs.

Key Objective Behind Building Botmetric Smart RI

Team Botmetric’s motto is to save your cloud cost as much as possible, and also help you govern your RIs and the cost associated with it optimally. Working day-in day-out on RIs, Botmetric team has observed that RIs go unused for two main reasons:

1. Changing Infrastructure Needs: Because, usage patterns change. At times, new instances are added, or few instances need upgradation from time to time as new modules, new features, or new projects are being launched. Sometimes, due to changing business strategy RIs go unused. This leads to wasted RIs and unnecessary on-demand usage and cost. 

2. Miscommunication: Most of the times, the engineer who purchased the RI and the engineer who is launching them and monitoring them are different. In such cases, there are high chances of miscommunication between both of them. When instances are launched without the alignment with the purchased RIs, it leads to RI mismatch.

To get the discounted reserved pricing, it is pivotal that it matches the defined rules. For EC2, these rules include Availability Zone (AZ), Scope of Reservation, Platform, Instance Size, and Instance Type. Botmetric scans through your infrastructure for any on-demand instances that are matching two of the three rules required to take price discount of any unused RIs and highlights those instances.

One amazing thing about AWS RIs is you can modify AWS EC2 RIs any number of times at no cost. AWS has introduced this new flexibility in reservations by providing the support for modifying reserved instances, so that you get better savings.

On the other hand, the only solution for unused reservations (RI discount not being applied) is to: reallocate the RI by modifying the RIs to different zones, changing the scope of RIs, or selling the reservations on the marketplace at loss. If you have purchased reserved instances as the newly launched Convertible RI, then you have the ability to convert the instance types as well as platforms, but it may involve fresh cost.

Essentially, modifying RIs involves changing the factors about your reservation with no cost, unless you have new Convertible RI and you are upgrading/downgrading the reservation. In a typical day-to-day AWS reserved instance management, instances needs to be checked one by one and then change the factors accordingly. Few of you might even follow the scheduled monitoring and analysis of RI from time to time too.

It’s critical that you check and evaluate hourly data and create the right modifications. To this end, you will have to create a list of unused reservations and possible modifications. In simple words, you need to create an analysis report of RI in some form and then act upon it.

It is, however, easier said than done!

Here’s why: you need to look for all the probabilities by having the context of list of instance types you are running within a family, then figuring out if there are unused reservations, then figuring out the combination for modifications matching with running on-demand instances. To ease this, Botmetric built Smart RI.

How does Botmetric Smart RI help?

Botmetric Smart RI automatically modifies the reservation as soon as there is a modification available. It smartly manages RIs, which are aligned for discounts, by analyzing the usage, planning, helping with modifications, and monitoring them from time to time.

Essentially, Botmetric Smart RI helps reduce the effort involved in modifying the unused RIs. It automates modification of RIs that occur multiple times a day as soon as the unused RIs are found. It saves you that much amount of cost that could have been wasted due to unnecessary on-demand usage, along with wasted RIs.

AWS Reserved Instance Management Now Made Easy with Botmetric’s Smart RI

To leverage these benefits, you can easily enable Smart RI by providing the permission of “ec2:ModifyReservedInstances” in the policy you attached with the cross account role created for Botmetric.

AWS reserved instance management

Apart from helping with AWS Reserved Instance management, Botmetric also provides the capability to track the modified RI details from “Modify History.” You can get details like the time when the reservation was modified, the new combinations created by modification, etc.  

Furthermore, Botmetric AWS RI Planner also features other cool capabilities, which not only saves time and weeks of effort but also adds cloud intelligence that helps you with apt RI management, evaluates your cloud utilization, and saves RI cost.

Here they are below, if you’d like to explore them:

Make Confident & Smart RI Plans and Decisions

Using Botmetric AWS RI Planner, you can quickly identify key data that helps with RI planning from your existing infrastructure, all from one single console. Botmetric performs intelligent AIOps on your RI usage, on-demand utilization and existing reserved instances. For each AWS account, Botmetric runs various analysis for all relevant EC2 or RDS machines, and provide you with recommendations on what kind of RI purchase should be done for a specific server.

AWS Reserved Instance Management Now Made Easy with Botmetric’s Smart RI

Analyze Existing Reserve Instances Portfolio

Using Botmetric AWS RI Planner, you can get a complete view of all the reservations across multiple accounts and multiple AWS regions. It also suggests whether a particular reserved instance is recommended to be renewed or not. Among the list of reservations, you can also know about the RIs that are expiring soon. Additionally, Botmetric also sends a RI expiry alert with the list of reservations expiring in the next 45 days. Furthermore, Botmetric also throws warning messages for RIs that are going to expire in the near future.

AWS Reserved Instance Management Now Made Easy with Botmetric’s Smart RI

Get Recommendations for Unused RIs and Manage them Smartly

Botmetric, using machine learning (ML), keeps track of your RI utilization on a daily basis using your billing data and metadata of current infrastructure. If you have any unused RIs in your accounts, Botmetric detects them and provides recommendations on how these unused RIs of EC2/RDS can be utilized, essentially to reduce your monthly RI spend. Above all, it facilitates you govern and manage unused RIs aptly for maximum savings using Smart RI.

AWS Reserved Instance Management Now Made Easy with Botmetric’s Smart RI

Export Reports to Plan RI Better

With CSV export option, you can download the reports of Plan RI recommendations, so that you can share it with your team. This will allow you to analyze what should be planned for RI purchase based on your utilization patterns and business needs.

AWS Reserved Instance Management Now Made Easy with Botmetric’s Smart RI

EC2 Reserved Instance Change History

With the EC2 RI Change History, you can get a list of all the EC2 RI modifications performed on Botmetric. Apart from the details associated with each modified EC2 RI, the console also allows you to filter data by Linked Accounts, status, and action initiated, for better understanding of modified EC2 RIs.

AWS Reserved Instance Management Now Made Easy with Botmetric’s Smart RI

Analyze RI Utilization Data

Using Botmetric AWS RI Planner, you can quickly analyze your entire RI portfolio and utilization from single graphical view in a matter of minutes. Botmetric recommends you to purchase RI for more machines to reduce your monthly spend, and the top RI recommendations, along with a visualization on on-demand vs. reserved hours.

AWS Reserved Instance Management Now Made Easy with Botmetric’s Smart RI

Concluding Thoughts

You can access the Smart RI app and RI Planner from Cost & Governance product in the Botmetric Cloud Management Platform. If you are looking for that one AWS Reserved Instance management that can help you save optimally, then Botmetric AWS RI Planner is the one. Do take the 14-day trial to experience it first hand. If you are already a Botmetric customer, then do try it and share your feedback below in the comment section or tweet to us @BotmetricHQ . We’d be happy to know how it’s working for you and what we can do to make it better to suit your needs.

A free copy of RI guide is up for a grab, if you’re looking to know about RIs in-depth. Hurry!

Why You Need Cloud Garbage Collection in 2017?

Most of us while learning high level programming languages would have studied dynamic memory allocation as an important function of programming paradigm. As engineers, we were all thrilled when we no longer had to manage the memory resources of our programs due to emergence of high level programming languages like JAVA, Python, PHP, .NET and GO, etc.  as the runtime management systems like JRE and Interpreters took care of memory garbage collection.

I still remember Garbage Collection was sold like a killer feature of these programming languages to free up engineers time and develop applications faster. While it’s an obvious thing for today’s programmers; but those who wrote programs in C & C++ are fairly aware of the fact that managing memory allocation and deallocation is an important task that will have serious repercussions on your application performance and reliability if not done properly. Even modern high level languages like Python & Go still expose Garbage Collection interfaces to let engineers control the key GC functions for best performance.

But today, programmers and DevOps engineers are building applications using Cloud resources through API model. And hence there is a new dimension to these resource usage in terms of dollars($$$$) instead of memory as the primary attribute. For the reason that cloud offers pay-per-use model. One of the most common complaints that I hear from Botmetric customers is that their engineers are not de-provisioning cloud resources after their usage, which is causing direct financial leakage as businesses are adopting cloud at a rapid pace. It’s a painful problem as companies scale their usage across teams and business units causing the cost leakages to go out of spiral.

We have been working hard on bringing intelligent solution through Botmetric for solving this problem. Based on our experience and learnings from the customers, I want to share top 5 cloud garbage collection areas that can help save money (real $$$$) for your company:

  • Unused Cloud Resources: Based on the hundreds of Botmetric customers data analysis, we have observed that 2% to 5% of customers’ cloud spend is wasted on unused cloud resources. These are the compute, storage, IPs, services and databases provisioned but not used. You can get rid of this using cloud management and governance tools like Botmetric to save $$$ for your company and make your CFOs happy.
  • Underused Cloud Resources: Our observation from Botmetric data is that 95 out of 100 cloud customers have provisioned larger capacity than they need in-terms of servers, storage and databases used by them on the cloud. It’s like provisioning Large or Extra Large size virtual machines by engineers for Dev or QA or even production use cases, but hardly using 25% to 50% of the capacity. This typically costs anywhere from 5% to 15% financial loss on overall cloud spend for the businesses.
  • Idle RI Capacity: Many companies plan their cloud spend based on budgeting cycle and purchase reserved capacity from the cloud vendors. This RI capacity purchased should be used efficiently as each purchase is related to specific region/zone, operating system, instance family & size, etc. However, the application workloads in the cloud world are dynamic. And we have repeatedly seen idle RI capacity across customers due to changes in the provisioning or application deployment configurations.  This typically comes to as large as 10% of idle RI for large customers resulting in double the loss as it was paid for and not used while paying full price again. The best way forward to assuage this situation is to plan RIs.
  • DEV & QA Workload Usage: In 95% of the companies, the development and QA resources are not used during off hours like 10 PM to 6 AM and weekends. During these hours, resources are mostly idle and cause extra hours of billing despite not being used. It’s important to deploy a smart automation that can Turn OFF the Dev/QA workloads during off peak hours and and Turn ON during peak hours. By doing so, you can easily save 25% to 40% of the cost related to your Dev/QA cloud usage.
  • Instance Family Upgrades: Most cloud providers are ramping up their virtual compute offerings through different slice and dice of instance families & sizes. Many customers who have been using cloud for 2 or more years would have started with older instance families and continue to use them, despite cloud providers launching a better performant and slightly low cost alternatives. This is especially true for AWS customers using older generation instance families like T1, M1, C1, etc. Just flip over to new instances to take advantage of better hardware and slightly less price, this can save 1% to 5% of the costs.

As engineers, in the new cloud world, we are responsible for programming and production. At Botmetric, we are bringing all of these cloud garbage collection mechanisms for our customers to ensure they take advantage of the cost savings and leverage intelligent automation to tame the leakages and thus control their business’ cloud spend.

Do share your thoughts and comments with us below or tweet to us @BotmetricHQ.

The January Roundup @ Botmetric: Solidifying DevOps with NoOps on the Cloud

The first month of 2017 at Botmetric has ended on a good note. We launched one of most sought after feature every DevOps engineer on the cloud seeks to have it: Alert Analytics.

Plus, we have been contemplating more around how DevOps and NoOps on private cloud looks like in 2017 and beyond. We spoke about how DevOps drives cloud more than ever. Likewise, the DevOps community, for long, has been speaking about the emergence of NoOps. Especially around continuous software delivery, continuous security, and high-end business contribution.

But there seems to be a lot of confusion among the DevOps community, as most DevOps guys believe ‘NoOps’ is an Utopian paradise; and more so it is a threat to IT operations and would downsize the resources-in-line. However, the fact is NoOps is just minimizing the amount of time spent on Ops by a DevOps guy. To give a perspective to it, we spoke about what NoOps is through the eyes of a DevOps engineer.

Besides to further help the DevOps community, Botmetric is conscientiously working on improving its Ops & Automation product around it, to further define the future of cloud computing.

Alert Analytics: A new feather in the Botmetric’s cap

Enhancements are an essential part of growth. This month, Botmetric product engineering team took cloud management a notch higher with the release of Alert Analytics in its Ops & Automation product.

What is it about: Managing operational email alerts generated by systems  

How will it help:  It provides DevOps engineer with a bird’s eye view of all the system generated email alerts from multiple monitoring systems like DataDog, NewRelic, etc., and detects anomalies across a cloud infra, thus helping manage alerts.

Where can you find this feature on Botmetric: In Ops & Automation.

Know more about it on this blog post.

Knowledge Sharing @ Botmetric

Botmetric published several blogs to help make your cloud management a breeze. Do check out some of the trending blogs posted on Botmetric this month.

Cloud Computing in 2017: An Op-Ed From the Cloud Geeks

Know the trends that will reign cloud computing in 2017: Microservices, NoOps, Serverless Computing, Machine Learning, and more.

Blue Whale Docker on AWS as CaaS, and How Enterprises Can Use it!

Docker Datacenter (DDC) on AWS as Container-as-a-Service (CaaS) is changing the delivery process of containerized application among the enterprises; and Docker wants to make it easy to set up internal CaaS operations. Know more.

7 Blind Spots to Watch Out for in Your Public Cloud Strategy

Public cloud, today, is all about driving business innovation, agility, and enabling new processes & insights. And for this to happen, a practical public cloud strategy is the cornerstone. A strategy that is based on your own unique landscape and requirements while also taking all the critical blind spots into account. Read this blog to know these top blind spots.

11 Hard-Won Lessons We’ve Learned about AWS Auto Scaling

AWS Auto scaling, even though one of the powerful tools leveraging the elasticity feature of public cloud, it is a double-edged sword. Because it introduces higher level complexity in the technology architecture and daily operations management. Without the proper configuration and testing, it might do more harm than good. So, we’ve collated few lessons we learned over a period – to help you make the most of Auto Scaling capabilities on AWS.

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. Besides, we’ve an exclusive cloud engineer’s guide for you. This guide demystifies RIs, and covers all the pro tips & tricks and best practices one need to know to make successful RI planning that helps save thousands of dollars. Grab your free copy now.

There are many more insightful blogs populated on public cloud and cloud management at Botmetric. Do read them here.

Rain or shine, Botmetric will continue to provide many more AWS cloud management features. And, if you have not caught-up with all the 2016 AWS re:Invent announcements, we have a cheat sheet ready for you. Until the next month, stay tuned with us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

By the way, have you rated Botmetric, yet? Rate it now.

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!

 

Expert Speak: What’s New in Botmetric 2.0?

Editor’s Note: This exclusive blog post is by our zealous Customer Success Manager, Richa Nath. Includes featured excerpts of an interview by her with Amarkant Singh, Head of Product, Botmetric.  

2017 is the year the cloud will zoom like a rocket, says an IDG  report. To that end, organizations, big or small, will have to be ready for challenges in getting the processes, technology, and people required to proceed in the cloud-driven and cloud-first journey. This is where Botmetric has been helping cloud users manage their public cloud as a unified cloud management platform, since 2014.

As a Customer Success Manager at Botmetric, my team and I have put our best foot forward (and will continue) to help several customers manage & optimize public cloud easily. From the time Botmetric launched till date, we have not shifted our focus a tad in achieving what we have believed — “We want to be the best friend in managing your cloud.’

On the occasion of Thanksgiving day, we released a new version of Botmetric. Our previous blog post, a cover story by Botmetric CEO Vijay Rayapati, already threw light on why the new Botmetric was built when the platform already had good feedback from the customers.

Today, I would like to share few excerpts of an exclusive tech talk I had arranged with Amarkant Singh, Head of Product, Botmetric, on the day of launch. These excerpts will spill more beans on what’s new in Botmetric 2.0!

Here it goes:

[mk_mini_callout title=”Richa: “]

The new Botmetric platform now has three applications: Cost Management & Governance, Security & Compliance, and Ops & Automation. What else should our customers know about the new Botmetric?

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Amar: The new Botmetric is ingrained with cutting-edge cloud intelligence that will further help manage, optimize, and govern the cloud in the easiest way possible. Moreover, it is now customer centric. As you already know, a CIO will rarely be interested in Ops and Automation, while a CISO always wants to look into only security and compliance. In short, I can say that the new Botmetric is now user-targeted within a company, it is unified, and an intelligent cloud management platform.

[mk_mini_callout title=”Richa: “]

There is a new feature called Smart RI Management in the Botmetric Cost Management & Governance app. And under this feature, there is Confidence Score. How does this matter in RI planning for businesses on AWS?

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Amar: The new Smart RI Management is the GenNext of the previous RI management module. This new feature is built with intelligence and has the Confidence Score. This Confidence Score is a wise metric that adds more insights in decision making while reserving cloud capacity for the businesses. We always wanted to give our customers the opportunity to make intelligent RI decisions to increase their Cloud ROI. The Confidence Score is that number calculated considering multiple factors like number of days a server was used, CPU usage, network I/O, etc. In essence, the Smart RI Management allows customers to filter confidence score accordingly to suit their RI planning.

[mk_mini_callout title=”Richa: “]

The new Cost Management & Governance app has EC2 Cost Analysis. How does it help Botmetric customers in understanding their AWS Cloud utilization?

[/mk_mini_callout]

Amar: In my experience, EC2 is the highest contender towards a customer’s AWS expenses. And it’s hard to analyze various related items in EC2 cost for customers. With the launch of EC2 Cost Analysis app, Botmetric customers can now find out various insights like which instances they are spending the most, what is the split cost for various sub services like EBS/EIP, etc. In addition, there are other involved costs such as subscription, NAT-Gateway and more. These costs needs to be taken care of too. We are very excited to offer EC2 cost analytics to our customers for simplifying their analysis.

[mk_mini_callout title=”Richa: “]

I’ve several customers asking me, if there is anything Botmetric can do about Data Transfer cost insights? Now that it’s included in the new Botmetric, can you throw some light on it? And tell our customers how does data transfer analysis help in cost reduction?

[/mk_mini_callout]

Amar: This is one of the most requested feature by our users because Data Transfer is a gray area for even AWS cloud power users. If you are a business with high data transfer nature in your infrastructure, then you would definitely want to realize which services contribute more towards data transfer expenditure and how it’s spread across different bandwidth costs of AWS. This realization of data transfer cost analysis through AWS bills is a tedious and manual task. With Botmetric’s new AWS Data Transfer Analysis feature, customers can understand their bandwidth costs at ease.

[mk_mini_callout title=”Richa: “]

RI recommendations was one of the most favorite feature of our customers. The new Botmetric has ‘Smart’ RI recommendations. How do you think it will add more value than the previous RI recommendation feature?

[/mk_mini_callout]

Amar: Yes, we received a lot of good feedback for the AWS Reserved Instance planning module in Botmetric. With the new Smart RI recommendation, like its predecessor, is also a process defined within Botmetric to simplify the cloud capacity purchases by businesses. It starts from identifying the capacity to be reserved (EC2 RIs in term of instances) and then identifing what kind of RI financial model provides the best ROI for the customers. It computes an intelligent Confidence Score to help customers take decisions for their AWS RI purchase. Within the detailed RI planner, customers can now filter in the Confidence Score, view type of RIs that are lined up for recommendations and add them to the plan. This plan can then be downloaded as CSV report and can be consumed offline to get approvals and plan budget. We are working on further simplifying this task so our customers with large cloud infrastructure can do this quickly.

[mk_mini_callout title=”Richa: “]

Before I move to other questions on Security & Compliance, do you want to talk about any other cool features available in the new Cost Management & Governance app?

[/mk_mini_callout]

Amar: Yes. We have also included Eliminate feature in Cost Management and Governance app, where customers can perform multiple clean-ups in their cloud account with 0% error, that too with just one click. This will definitely save hours of manual work and save money for our customers.

[mk_mini_callout title=”Richa: “]

In the new Security & Compliance app, we have introduced Health Score there. How does it help customers in understanding the security of their infrastructure?

[/mk_mini_callout]

Amar: Our thought of creating Health Score was to help our customers to reach a score of 100 for a fully secure and compliant infrastructure. This score is computed based on our security and compliance analysis with respect to customer known history from previous audits & our recommended best practices for securing infrastructure on the cloud. In essence, it will help customers keep track of their cloud security compliance.

[mk_mini_callout title=”Richa: “]

Many customers who tried Beta have asked me about the custom policies for audits. So, how does custom policies help customers in Security & Compliance?

[/mk_mini_callout]

Amar: We created various categories in audits to make it easy for customers to understand their network security and disaster recovery compliance, etc. If a customer feels that the pre-defined policies are not tailored to their needs, then Botmetric provides an opportunity for them to create custom policies by selecting various audits related to security and compliance with specific configuration suited for their business. It is not as complicated as it sounds at least for cloud security engineers 🙂

[mk_mini_callout title=”Richa: “]

In Security & Compliance app, there is an exclusive Security Group(SG) audit? What is it?

[/mk_mini_callout]

Amar: AWS Security Group (SG)  is the most used network services in AWS infrastructure for defining the access security (using virtual firewall) for a customer’s cloud infrastructure.  Most of the network access rules are  handled by it. The SG determines network access rules to define the inflow/outflow traffic and also regulates the access to specific IPs in a customer’s cloud infrastructure. Since the security groups are at the core of network security in AWS cloud, a dedicated audit section for such a critical service was much required so that our customers have a higher vigilance and easy way to locate any critical vulnerabilities quickly.  I strongly recommend this feature for network engineer responsible for managing the access security for their AWS cloud.

[mk_mini_callout title=”Richa: “]

Under the Ops & Automation app, there is a Resource Analyzer, which has a new visual map-view feature. What is the thinking behind it and how it will help?

[/mk_mini_callout]

Amar: Many customers have asked for a single view of their global cloud infrastructure in AWS. With Resource Analyzer, a customer can get an aggregated view of cloud resources distribution across the globe, discover various key cloud services consumed by them, and eliminate unused resources. We are working on making this much more intelligent to pinpoint problems and detect issues in customer cloud environment. Many of our beta customers have heavily used this feature to download reports by 1st, 2nd, and 3rd most utilized regions.

[mk_mini_callout title=”Richa: “]

What are the major features in the new Ops & Automation application that you think customers should be aware of?

[/mk_mini_callout]

Amar: Firstly, the new Ops and Automation application has an execution history feature that tracks every action taken by Botmetric on your behalf for automating operational jobs and handling any alert events. It is one of our most requested feature by our customers, as many wanted to view the previous executions and track the changes in Automation. This feature will help a lot of our customers who are performing internal audits & need to have visibility into their cloud automation changes. Secondly, we have included extensive filters in Resource Analyzer to help customers explore all resources across various cloud accounts and regions. Moreover, it will help customers drill down details to a cloud availability zone and their custom tag, and then allow them to download the report so that they can consume it offline.

If you’re on AWS, then do explore the new Botmetric platform for intelligent cloud management, for free, with an exclusive 14-day trial, and do give us a shout out on TwitterFacebook, and  LinkedIn  to tell us what you think about it. Stay tuned for other interesting news from us!

 

What’s New in Botmetric ? Enhanced AWS Reserved Instance Planner

Reserved Instance Planning on AWS is one of the most important tasks for a AWS cloud IT team with respect to cost optimization and savings. It is also one of the most complex tasks. Botmetric, with its AWS Reserved Instance Planner helps you in resource reservation planning for EC2 and RDS. To further help you in optimizing cost, Botmetric also finds out the unused reservations. It also goes a step ahead and recommends possible modifications within reservations in order to save more efficiently.

We, at Botmetric, understand the importance of reserved instance planning for our customers and constantly work towards enhancing our offering. Botmetric’s AWS reserved instance planner is one of our most used and sought after feature. We received multiple requests from our customers. As always we have listened and acted upon them. We are happy to announce multiple updates to our RI Planner:

EC2 Reserved Instance Portfolio

This was one of the most requested feature. A simple but powerful one. A kind of essential one, so that our customers need not go to AWS console to get the details of the current existing and recently retired reservations while they are planning for their reservations on Botmetric. Also this will eliminate the need to switch across multiple accounts to gather reservation info. What if you have more than 20 Linked accounts! We could feel our customers pain here and acted on it swiftly. Result is brand new EC2 Reserved Instance Portfolio.

botmetric-aws-ec2-reservation-portfolio

We now have a dedicated section for complete EC2 reservations information. You can now do the following with this update:

  1. Get the holistic list of active and retired EC2 reservations across all the Linked accounts under a Payer account. On AWS you need to switch between accounts to get this. And as you may already know, reserved instance planning is something which must be taken up at the payer account level. Hence, the information of all the existing reservations across all Linked accounts at one place becomes very powerful and useful.
  2. Get the list of reservations expiring in near future. You can sort the list as per number of days left for expiring. This can help you in planning your renewals.
  3. Get a list of recently retired reservations and check if any of them is required to be renewed.
  4. You can also look out for old generation AWS instance-types and ensure that you upgrade the corresponding running EC2 instances to a newer generation and renew the reservation accordingly.

RI Planner New Reports

Botmetric’s AWS reserved instance planner now has few more reports added. You can now download three new reports:

    • EC2 Reservation Recommendation CSV Report
    • Existing Reservation CSV Report
    • Expiring RI CSV Report

botmetric-aws-reserved-instance-planner-reports-list

RI Expiry Email Alert

We have now released Unused RI Email Alert , which updates you with the unused reservations every week. This is an extension of our Unused RI Analyzer. Unused reservations are one of the places where you must definitely optimize. You can modify unused reservations to match existing running instances and save.

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There are many updates which you can expect in near future on optimizing unused reservations.

Apart from these updates on our AWS reserved instance planner , we have a few more for you:

  1. You can now analyze cost in Cost Explorer by excluding/including Subscription Cost.
  2. You can now add the emails of multiple Botmetric users in your cloud automation jobs. In case of job failure, all the configured users will get notified. Earlier, only the job creator used to get these email notifications. You asked for it, we heard and delivered!
  3. We have redesigned and improved our summary and alert emails, made them look better.

We believe that with these latest enhancements and additions, our customers AWS cloud management experience on Botmetric will be enriched.

To stay updated on news and views regarding Botmetric, follow us on Twitter.

As always, many of the features and updates in Botmetric are Customer driven. You can share your suggestions or feature requests here.

Are you using AWS for your business and still not using Botmetric?

Don’t wait up. Start optimizing, take control of your cloud infrastructure cost. Try Botmetric for free.

7 Stepping Stones to Bulletproof Your AWS RI Planning

AWS Reserved Instances (RIs), time and again, have proved to be very useful for enterprises across verticals. However, the AWS RI Planning  — the process of orchestrating and reserving instances to lower AWS infrastructure costs — consumes a lot of time and effort. For the reason that, it involves various dynamics of AWS cloud, including careful selection of instances with apt configurations.

Primarily, the ingenuity lies in planning, reserving and right-sizing the instances at the right time with a right platform. Just like our Botmetric comprehensive cloud management platform! It facilitates enterprises to plan these RIs like a pro strategically. Above all, it helps enterprises of all sizes to optimize their cloud cost by up to five times in the shortest time possible.

Here’s how you can bulletproof your RI Planning with Botmetric, and gain optimal cost savings:

1) Run Botmetric on your AWS cloud

Perform a complete check of your AWS cloud using Botmetric, and review all the insights you get from the dashboards. By doing so, you precondition and bulletproof your AWS cloud for optimization and effective RI Planning. If you still have not used Botmetric, sign-up for a trial here.

2) Use Botmetric’s Cost Optimizer

To make your AWS RI Planning a well-oiled and well-orchestrated process, you need to identify unused resources first. Upon identification of these unused resources, perform the following actions using Botmetric and optimize your AWS cloud:  

    1. Remove unused Elastic IPs and ELBs
    2. Delete old, unattached EBS volumes
    3. Delete old and or excessive snapshots for EC2 and RDS
    4. De-register old AMIs

Botmetric uses AWS best practices and performs more than 80 audits and helps you perform the above tasks with just a few clicks.

3) Use Botmetric’s unused RI recommendations

Your AWS RI Planning can be more productive only when on-demand servers are allocated to  already paid but unused RIs. With Botmetric, you can use its unused RI recommendations and perform the allocation of on-demand servers in the shortest time possible. This action ultimately leads to savings with no infra changes.  

Additionally, modify current RI definition(s) to move from on-demand to already paid RI plan. This can be performed by switching AZ, moving from classic to VPC, and/or by changing instance types within the same instance families.

4) Use Botmetric’s Cost Insights to review underutilized resources

Make your AWS RI Planning more effectual with Botmetric’s Cost Insights that can identify all AWS resources with low utilization. Review all the EC2, EBS/RDS PIOPS, DynamoDB, ElastiCache Cluster, EBS Volumes, and ELBs identified by Botmetric. Post review, analyze and plan for downgrades of all the underutilized resources.

5) Use Botmetric’s Instance Family Recommendation

The success of your AWS RI planning also depends on the type of instance families used. Use Botmetric’s instance family recommendation feature to plan for new target instance types — for improved price performance. We, at Botmetric, also recommend our users to migrate t1/m1 to t2, m1 to m3, c1 to c3, m2/cr1 to r3,hi1 to i2, and hs1 to d2 to make your RI planning top-notch.

6) Avoid paying for Dev-Test environments

We, at Botmetric, recommend not to pay for Dev-Test environments/resources that are not in use. Why? To save more than 60 percent of the cost. How? By automating the Start-Stop process of the resources in this environment easily using our Botmetric.

7) Plan for Reserve Instances for all resources

Upon completion of resource optimization and initial analysis, you can start planning for RIs for underutilized resources and previous generation instances. Finally, perform RI planning for all other resources and save significant costs.

To know more about the benefits of AWS Reserved Instances, do read our blog Top Insights On AWS Reserved Instances.

As always, we would love to hear your feedbacks and questions. Tweet them to @BotmetricHQ!

Until we come up with the next blog post do keep in touch with us on social media. If you do not have a Botmetric account, signup for a 14-day trial here.

This exclusive product insight blog post is written by our Chief Delivery Officer, Anindo Sengupta. To read one of his Linkedin Pulse posts on automating governance on AWS using tags, click here.