How to use native AWS services to reduce cloud spend


AllCloud Blog: Cloud Insights and Innovation

AWS Cost Optimization Series, Part 1

Serving almost a third of the global Cloud market, AWS services have been designed with extreme versatility in mind to accommodate the needs of a vast variety of organizations. As a result, AWS provides almost unlimited options when it comes to types, sizes, and payment plans for cloud resources. 

To get the most out of your AWS environment, it is of utmost importance to gain a deep understanding of the endless possibilities it poses and utilize them in the most cost-efficient way. While Cloud Cost Optimization is an art in its own right, which requires in-depth knowledge and access to dedicated professionals, AWS does provide native services that can help you gain fundamental levels of financial visibility and cost control on your own. 

Later in this series we will discuss recommended best practices that will assist you in maximizing the benefits of these tools and demonstrate how relying on a dedicated FinOps team may increase them even further.  But for now, let us explore the native services AWS provides to offer its users financial Visibility, Optimization pathways, and effective Governance tools for cost-efficient success in the cloud. 

Visibility 

The foundation of every cloud optimization operation is Financial Visibility. To manage, optimize, and govern your AWS usage properly, an in-depth understanding of your monthly charges and the corresponding resource consumption is essential.   

To help customers visualize and better understand their cloud costs and usage over time, AWS offers the AWS Cost Explorer service. Cost Explorer allows users to create reports that analyze costs and usage to identify trends, pinpoint cost drivers, and detect anomalies. The service comes with a set of default reports that help users to quickly gain insight into cost drivers and usage trends. For a more comprehensive understanding, Cost Explorer allows users to access the interactive, ad-hoc analytics engine which powers it. This way, detailed custom reports can be created and cost-forecasts generated. 

Optimization

To help users provision their resources following AWS best practices, AWS offers the AWS Trusted Advisor service. Trusted Advisor provides real-time guidance and checks that help users optimize their AWS infrastructure, increase security and performance, reduce overall costs, and monitor service limits.

AWS Trusted Advisor helps you eliminate unused and idle resources and may, if appropriate, recommend making commitments to reserved capacities. Trusted Advisor can also improve the performance of services by checking service limits and ensuring that users take advantage of provisioned throughput.

Governance

To track costs and usage, and effectively enforce optimization policies, AWS Budgets allows users to set up alerts, initiated when actual or forecasted costs and usage exceed predetermined budget thresholds. To reduce unintentional over-spending, AWS Budgets also allows for the configuration of automated responses if costs or usage exceed desired limits.

To identify anomalous spend and its root causes, AWS Cost Anomaly Detection leverages advanced Machine Learning technologies to create a custom contextualized monitor that notifies users when any atypical spend is detected.   

Taking it Further

While AWS provides a comprehensive toolbox to monitor, optimize, and govern cloud spend, configuring these tools and using them in conjunction, requires a deep understanding of the inner workings of AWS. As with any complex system, the devil often hides in the minute details, and if not actively searched for will remain obscured.  

In our upcoming posts, we’ll cover best practices that will help you get the most out of AWS’ cost optimization tools and show how professional cloud architects and DevOps teams use them, in combination with various external technologies, to create a fully optimized and cost-efficient environment. 

If you already have questions about optimizing your cloud costs, send a message to our FinOps team for quick guidance.    

 

Melissa Abecasis

Head of Cloud FinOps & Customer Success

Read more posts by Melissa Abecasis