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Amazon Web Services or AWS may be the largest cloud computing source and laaS provider. Along with the computing resources and the sheer size being the best in the world, what attracts users to AWS is its pricing.

Using AWS services efficiently comes with the practice of AWS cost optimization. And the great thing about it is that Amazon Web Services release information about how to use their resources effectively and efficiently and how to optimize the costs of the server.

The principle of pricing is simple in AWS. The users can start or stop using the product whenever they want, and they only pay for the amount they use at the end of each month. Here is a list of solutions and best practices that AWS users can benefit from to save their time, energy, and revenue.

Best Practices for AWS Cost Optimization

1)    Shifting rarely-accessed data to lower the cost levels of storage

Organizing the information that is stored in AWS is the primary task that every user must do. Determine the kind of stored data, the purpose of storage, and the frequency of its retrieval. AWS currently offers storage at six levels and with six price points.

Users can optimize their storage by knowing which level is the most suitable for their data. Taking this factor into consideration is also important because if any data is lost from the company, then the storage tier that they have picked allows for easy access to their work saved in the service later.

2)    Terminate unused assets

Unused assets or ‘zombie assets’ contribute to the overall cost of the cloud web services used. Zombie assets are those that have not been accessed or would be accessed for a long time, like obsolete snapshots, unattached Elastic Block Storage (EBS) volumes, cached data, or the components that were activated when a program failed to launch.

These take up a significant amount of space in the cloud and can be removed to optimize the storage space and hence the cost.

3)    Upgrade to the Latest Features

One of the plus points about Amazon Web Services is that they offer security and other storage upgrades along with features frequently. These upgrades help optimize support-specific services over a large variety of objects and run the applications in the best possible condition at a lower cost.

4)    Rightsizing Instances of EC2

Rightsizing essentially involves matching the instance sizes to the workloads. But the complication comes when the instances double in their capacity when there is an increase in the size or go down by half their capacity when there is a decrease in the size.

Users can take advantage of this factor by reallocating and rightsizing their data to optimizing their peak utilization. They can analyze the utilization metrics and find the instances that can be moved to different categories that better suit the needs, thus being cost-effective.

5)    Purchasing Savings Plans and Reserved Instances

One of the easiest ways to reduce AWS costs is to purchase Reserved Instances. Not purchasing Reserved Instances, purchasing the wrong kind of Reserved Instance, or purchasing only the ‘standard’ Reserve Instance provided by AWS can affect the cost more than the savings.

Therefore, users must ensure that they buy the right kind of Reserve Instances and also effectively manage them by weighing all the variables and monitoring the usage. This will help with the cost optimization of AWS throughout the usage lifecycle.

6)    Scheduling on/off times

On/off times can be scheduled or non-production-based instances such as QA, staging, developing, testing, etc. This can help save 65% or more of the running time if they are scheduled to be accessed (on) between 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM from Monday to Friday, or the timings suitable for the working hours of the developing teams.

By analyzing the utilization metrics, the companies can apply strict schedules to access instances that help cut unnecessary costs. But it must be noted that, even when the access is turned off, the users will be charged for the EBS components and other volumes that are attached to the data.

7)    Deleting Unused EBS Volumes

When a user launches an EC2 instance, an Elastic Block Storage (EBS) volume is attached along with it, acting as a local storage block.

When they no longer need the EC2, they have the option of deleting the EBS volume along with the termination of EC2, which will reduce the unwanted contribution to the AWS monthly bill.

Long-running companies can keep track of the EC2 instances used and delete the unattached EBS volumes from the cloud to optimize costs. AWS cost optimization is a continuous process that must be done by constantly monitoring the usage and identifying the best ways to achieve it.


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