Cloud Cost Analytics and Spending Optimization

Given the level of complexity that Amazon AWS services have risen to and the associated complexity of their pricing structure, a new business model has emerged: Trying to make sense of it all and offer potential customers visibility into their AWS spending and how to optimize it.

At Cloudways, we saw the need to offer this option to our customer a while ago. We researched the market and tried the most prominent options and finally settled with Israeli based Cloudyn. We have partnered with them to offer Cloudways customers AWS cost analytics for free  (something that pairs very well with our Managed Cloud service model).

Let's see now some of the features that Cloudyn offers applied to real life customers and the impact that this analysis and consequent actions can have.

The Dashboard

First of all, let's take a look at the first thing our customers see when they access the Cost Analytics dashboard from Cloudways member area:  

Here, with a quick glance, you can have a snapshot of your current AWS spending and possible ways to optimize it.

We can see that we are spending an average of $69/day, that we have 8 instances running and, most interestingly, that we can save up to $10k per year using Reserved Instances and close to $3k per year optimizing the sizes of the instances we use.

These are BIG savings!  

 

Cost Controller

Let's now take a closer look at our AWS spending via the Cost Controller tool:

Here you have a useful breakdown of our AWS spending. You can see how our spending spreads into the different AWS services and a projection of our monthly and yearly costs.  

 

Reserved Instance Navigator

But, although useful, not as useful as the tools that actually MAKE US SAVE MONEY. So let's check the Reserved Instances Navigator:

Now things are getting hot! Here we see that using a 1 year reservation we can save up to 32.4% on our AWS bill.

If we move to 3 year reservation, AWS savings will jump to a whooping 53.2%

 

EC2 Optimizer

All seen with a quick glance and directly actionable. But let's save more! We will now take a look at the EC2 Optimizer

Here, based on historical instance usage data captured from AWS Cloudwatch , we are advised to downsize one of our instances from m1.xlarge to m1.large with yearly savings of +$2k.

We need to be a bit more careful here and analyse if we need this spare capacity (i.e. to absorb traffic spikes) or if there are any other considerations that would made advisable to keep a larger instance than needed. Otherwise, we can just save a few more bucks again!

 

Summary

All in all, and given the level of complexity that AWS services have, we think that this will be an amazing tool to help Cloudways customers with Amazon infrastructure optimize their spending and save money to invest in other areas of the business. And remember that all this for free!.