How to reduce costs on AWS

AWS has made it easier to deploy new services and applications. As recently most enterprises were focused on migrating to this place, they had not looked at reducing AWS utilizations and costs, resulting in over using instances and under using infrastructure.

Developers and infrastructure engineers are often very happy with their new found productivity and flexibility, until they exceed their budget.


This is why we’ve put together a handy list of some easy tools to save costs on AWS


CloudWatch Alarms:

Amazon CloudWatch provides monitoring for AWS cloud resources. By setting up a billing alarm, you can tell CloudWatch to inform you whenever your account has reached a certain amount. We recommend defining the alarm’s dollar amount by first analyzing the reports that CloudWatch provides on previous months expenses, so you can determine an average that, once reached, you want to be informed. Make sure you configure an email notification, so you can know as soon as you open your inbox.

Reserved instances:

One of the best ways to cut down your AWS spending is through AWS Reserved Instances. You can use them to lower the resources you’re already using, by allowing you to pay a lower effective rate than the price you would pay on demand, for 1 or 3 years. A single 3-year Reserved Instance is still significantly cheaper than the cost of on-demand or three 1-year reservations. You will need to choose the correct number and combination of RI types to maximize savings.

Spot Instances:

Spot instances allow a customer to purchase unused Amazon EC2 computer capacity at a highly-reduced rate. Instances are acquired through a bidding process in which the customer specifies a price per hour he is willing to pay. Spot instances prices are 75% lower than On Demand prices. Consider that Spot instances work best when your company is using hundreds or thousands or machines for a short time. They are not recommended for real-time services, like web applications.


Auto Scaling is an Amazon technology which allows to increase/decrease the number of your instances in EC2 depending on the set conditions: instance loads, traffic volume, etc. This way, you can always be sure that your project is going to live even with fast traffic growth, and even in the case of minimum number of visitors no cent is going to be wasted on idle capacities.


Botmetric is a webtool that provides Cost Management for AWS Cloud by offering smart recommendations thus allowing us to make informed decisions. It has a monthly cost, depending on your needs. This tool will keep you informed of latest trends which may impact your budget. It will break up cost per account and create comprehensive monthly spend reports for manager to analyze. You can save from 30 to 68% on long term projects. It also provides cost audits to help detect unused cloud resources.


Besides from these tools we have also made a list on some other tips to save on AWS costs:


  • Confirm idle instance times: When you’ve identified some instances that you suspect are only needed during certain hours—such as those in your dev and staging environments—you can test your hypothesis by first simply asking around. If, like us, the only person in your staging environment is your Lead QA Engineer, ask her what her schedule is. 8AM-5PM? Great—chances are, your staging instances only need to be running between those hours.
  • Eliminate unused instances: Identifying underutilized or unused EC2 instances is one of the quickest ways to reduce waste in your AWS cost. By downsizing or turning off instances that have been forgotten or overlooked, you’ll ensure that your company isn’t paying for resources that you aren’t using.
  • Elastic Block Storage used: You can back up the data on your Amazon EBS volumes to Amazon S3 by taking point-in-time snapshots. Backing up your data is not only a smart thing to do but, more often than not, it’s critical. However, EBS snapshots should be saved in moderation, or you may find yourself suffering from snapshot sprawl…which can exponentially increase your storage costs. Make sure you have an EBS Snapshots retention strategy in place (using S3 Lifecyle rules) that’s a good fit for your particular needs.
  • Enable Cost explorer: This is a billing functionality in Amazon that allows you to explore cost for each service for the current month. Make sure to check this on frequent basis so you won’t exceed your budget.


It is an important decision to choose whether to move to he cloud and to choose what kind of cloud service providers. But once you start in AWS, the benefits you can acquire for your business will show up quickly. As you can read here, one of these benefits are based in cost terms and it is a relief to know how you can apply all the tips in order to save costs in several ways.

The Cloud adoption with Amazon Web Services is the leading choice for many startups and organizations, it provides deep competitive advantages in terms of scalability, costs, disaster recovery, converge fast and security. As an AWS experts, we can provide you best practices to implement AWS solutions.

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