How to Get the Most out of Your AWS Spending

Everyone in IT knows already: Amazon isn’t just selling books. The online merchant expanded into cloud services back in 2006 already. By now, the Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the world's largest cloud provider. You can get pretty much everything from virtual web servers to complex machine learning models - as a service. While the services expanded the complexity of the AWS interface followed. This left many users confused and lost. Under the millions of AWS customers are, of course, many startups and small businesses too.

The Problem with AWS

A common problem with AWS services is that we sometimes miss to track the cost - resulting in surprising monthly bill. There are many reasons like unused instances still running, expired reservations, undeleted S3 files or wrong S3 storage class. It is important to look into their billing dashboard to be on track or create budget alerts. With regular checks of the billing dashboard, one can easily lose the general overview of currently used services and with this the costs. What AWS has in power, it is missing in simplicity. One thing that I have noticed is the lack of a simple interface where I can view cost by services, along with related details like reservation utilization & coverage, forecast, recommendations.

Making sense of the information

Kamban, a maker from Chennai in India, has built a clean and simple user interface for AWS: CloudSavings.io displays you the cost for the chosen period, grouped by AWS services along with forecast, reservation coverage, reservation utilization percentage. It also shows you the cost grouped by your child accounts and regions. This allows you to have a clear overview of your AWS usage.

Cost and forecast are given on day-to-day basis helping you figure out deviations in the cost easily. All the information are retrieved from your AWS account using official AWS APIs and no data is permanently stored on the servers except your access keys. The service caches API results to keep AWS charges to a minimum. You should rarely exceed more than one or two dollars for the AWS Cost Explorer API usage - an amount easily saved by optimizing your resource usage. After two days the information is also cleared.

Identifying the potential savings

With simplistic view comes another advantage: you get suggestions to trim your spending on AWS resources. The system shows you two types of savings, one reservation recommendations and other being saving plan recommendations, again using official AWS endpoints. Savings plan is a new type of AWS option which lets you buy compute with increased flexibility than the classical reservations. Recommendations are detailed, in the sense, specific information are provided like instance type, region that need to be purchased.

We at Bring Your Own Ideas have managed to cut our AWS bill by 9% during the beta of the tool already, making the four dollar fee monthly fee an absolute no-brainer.

Closing Thoughts

Take your chance to make the most of your AWS spending. CloudSavings can help you to easily make sense of your AWS spending and optimize it. It’s worth the minimal cost for peace of mind. If you got any questions please reach out here. Thanks :)

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