The focus of cloud services cost optimization is to ensure that resources are used optimally at a minimal cost. While cloud environments are known to provide scalability and flexibility, organizations often face budgetary challenges due to unexpected, high monthly costs. Unutilized and underutilized resources and the selection of wrong resources often leads to high costs of cloud computing. Tech Vedika has a proven track record in helping organizations to keep their cloud services costs under control.

This blog describes a case study where Tech Vedika has helped a US-based Elderly Care Services Platform provider in bringing down the overall AWS operational costs by 50-60%.The following are some of the key initiatives implemented by Tech Vedika for optimizing the cloud services usage costs:

  1. Monitor the cloud resource utilization levels at regular intervals and downgrade / upgrade instances
    We deployed a cloud monitoring tool called OpsRamp to monitor the usage of cloud resources such as EC2 and RDS to analyze resource utilization trends. We found underused resources that were contributing to high costs. We recommended the customer to downgrade the EC2 instances for cost savings.
  1. Removed unused resources
    We noticed that AMI backups are taken in development and test environments during ongoing activities such as patching and deployment. However, the AMI instances were not deleted after successful patching/deployment. There were also unattached EBS volumes that need to be deleted. We have set up processes and jobs for releasing storage space. We also found data in S3 buckets that were not accessed for a long time. We have set up backup jobs to move historical data to Glacier to lower the storage costs.
  1. EC2 and RDS saving plan assessment
    We reviewed the resource utilization over the months and suggested the customer to opt for EC2 and RDS savings plan. AWS provides different saving plans based on the duration we can commit to for using the AWS cloud resources. There are 3 types of savings plans that AWS offers:

    • Compute Savings Plans – Applies to the usage of Amazon EC2, AWS Lambda, and AWS Fargate
    • EC2 Instance Savings Plans – Applies to EC2 usage
    • Amazon SageMaker Savings Plans – Applies to Amazon SageMaker usage
    • We have suggested the customer to use an on-demand EC2 savings plan for 1 year with monthly payments resulting in 50-60% cost savings on EC2 billing.

      For RDS, we suggested RDS reserved instances for 1-year with no upfront cost for 30% cost savings on the RDS billing.

  1. Shutting down non-production instances after business hours
    Based on our analysis, we found that many non-production instances were running during off-business hours. We recommended the automatic shutdown of these EC2 and RDS instances in development, testing, and staging environments post business hours. We have scheduled jobs to keep the instances up during business hours. This measure helped in reducing the hourly costs of running the EC2 and RDS instances.
  1. Cloud watch metric disabled to reduce redundant monitoring
    The customer was using the New Relic tool to monitor the cloud infrastructure. We have integrated New Relic with OpsRamp for unified monitoring from a single dashboard. As OpsRamp is being used for cloud services monitoring, we suggested disabling CloudWatch monitoring to save cost.
  1. Log retention
    Another challenge faced by the customer was managing different logs. We moved all the CloudTrail and VPC logs to a centralized location and configured the system to keep the logs for three months only and auto-delete the old log data. Some important logs were moved to S3. This has helped in releasing a lot of storage space and lowering overall storage costs. 
  1. S3 usage
    We identified large-size and infrequently accessed S3 buckets. Some of these buckets were more than 2TB in size. The less-used files were moved to the infrequent access tier for up to 40% savings on storage costs.

Conclusion

Cost optimization is an ongoing process and not a one-time exercise. Lack of expertise in managing cloud infrastructure can lead to high monthly billing costs and become a financial burden. Tech Vedika can help organizations in the initial assessment and setup of managed services using proven cost optimization checklists and processes to ensure that cloud resources are used optimally, and cloud usage costs are low. Tech Vedika can provide both one-time assessment services and ongoing managed services for AWS cloud optimization as per the needs of the customer.

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