Optimizing AWS Costs: Practical Tips for Non-Technical Teams

Cloud solutions, like Amazon Web Services (AWS), are essential for modern technology development. They form the backbone required for enterprises and SMBs to survive with a secured set up in highly competitive times. However, improper management of these services can lead to increased costs resulting in unfavorable and expensive outcomes.

Cloud service providers like NETSOL Cloud Services ensure that organizations get the most out of AWS solutions with a detailed pricing structure, where the users are charged for specific services like storage, IO operations, and compute instances. However, this whole journey can be overwhelming for new Cloud users, resulting in higher costs, wastage, and extra spending.

Did you know?

Over 82% of US companies struggle to manage cloud costs successfully.

– Flexera State of Cloud Report, 2023

The Flexera State of the Cloud Report of 2023 confirmed that over 82% of the IT companies in the United States require help managing the overall cloud spending. Due to the inability of organizations and lack of support, these organizations end up wasting 30% of their total cloud spend!

For this reason, organizations require timely guidance and assistance in the form of AWS cost optimization. Although this may be familiar ground for cloud enthusiasts, but what if you are part of a non-technical team?

The answer is in the affirmative!  This guide is specifically tailored to answer the queries of a non-technical individual. It comprehensively provides practical tips to help you save money and increase efficiency. So, let’s dive in and explore more!

Understanding the Saga of Cost Optimization in AWS

Instead of exploring the practical tips right away, let us uncover the world of AWS and understand it better!

There are six pillars in the AWS Well-Architected Framework. Among those pillars, AWS cost optimization is the third and most important one to remember. When using AWS, aiming for the most cost-effective solution for your system/workload is essential. Businesses should consider their account requirements and balance cost optimization with factors such as performance, security, and reliability. As they transition their workloads to AWS and expand the use of its services, it’s crucial to understand the value AWS offers and manage their usage and expenses effectively.

Why is AWS so Out of My Budget?

This is the most common question many businesses and enterprises ponder upon when they witness AWS expenses drilling a hole in their pockets. Deploying AWS Cloud resources is a simple process, and their costs are directly linked to usage. Companies need to implement good governance and encourage responsible user behavior to manage and optimize expenses.

Main Sources of Wasteful Spending

The main reasons that lead to wasteful spending on AWS services include:

  • Poor management of cloud resources can lead to idle, unused, and over-provisioned resources.
  • Pricing can be complex, and predicting spending can be challenging with AWS.
  • The platform offers over 200 fully-featured services with various options, confusing the modern businessman.

At NETSOL, we prioritize optimizing cloud services costs when architecting technology solutions on AWS. We always strive to lower costs, but this can only be achieved with the proper knowledge and expertise that our team can provide.

• Right Sizing

AWS has a great Mantra that goes, “Always right-size then reserve.”

It’s a reminder to select the most suitable instance for your current and future resource requirements. To save costs, choosing an instance that meets your performance needs while being the most affordable is crucial.

A good start is to look at your CPU, RAM, storage, network, and other usage metrics to determine if you can scale down instances. Additionally, Amazon CloudWatch can help you track metrics and set alarms for dynamic responses. This way, you can ensure that your resources always align with your needs and be confident that your demands will be met.

Enhanced Elasticity

Increasing your application’s elasticity allows you to use resources only when needed and turn them off when you’re not using them. It’s a great way to make the application more flexible and cost-effective.

Did you know smaller instances can sometimes be used for your workloads instead of larger ones? This can help reduce costs even further. And with AWS Auto Scaling, you can easily schedule workloads as needed. Sometimes, businesses don’t always need their test environment instance, which is why experts recommend using AWS Instance Scheduler. This solution allows you to create custom start and stop plans for your Amazon EC2 and RDS instances.

Choose the Right Pricing Model

Choosing the perfect instance size and implementing elasticity through Auto Scaling or scheduling functions is the first step towards optimizing your workload. But, to save on expenses, choosing the right pricing model is essential. AWS offers various pricing models, including on-demand, reserved, and spot instances.

Utilizing Reserved Instances is a smart way to cut costs and decrease expenses for your specific workload. AWS config cost optimization can also provide helpful tools like Cost Explorer and Trusted Advisor to help you select the optimal pricing model. With these, you can confidently choose the best pricing model for your workload and enjoy cost savings while maximizing performance.

Storage Optimization

It can be tricky to keep your storage at the right size and cost, but with a little effort, it’s definitely doable! Here are a few things you can try:

  • Set up a system that helps you continuously optimize your storage and storage strategies. This way, you’ll always be on top of things.
  • Use AWS cost and reporting tools like AWS Cost Explorer, AWS Budgets, and Detailed Billing Reports (DBR) in the Billing and Cost Management console to monitor your expenses closely.
  • Consider establishing an S3 cost optimization lifecycle strategy and using Amazon S3 object tagging to optimize your data storage.

Measure – Monitor – Improve

It’s super important to monitor and measure your environment and to do so whenever changes occur. By defining metrics, implementing tags and cost allocation tags, and regularly reviewing your plan, you can confidently measure, monitor, and improve your costs.

AWS Cloud Cost Optimization – Tips & Tricks

For a non-technical team, considering AWS cost optimization will be overwhelming. A single misstep can cost the organization thousands of dollars in no time. And a non-technical team can easily mismanage the costing and AWS optimization, where things can spiral out of control within seconds!

But don’t worry; we got you covered! Here are a few actionable strategies, tips, and tricks for non-technical teams! They can manage AWS cost optimization service like a pro, maximizing the value and keeping the expenses in check.

1. Understand the Core of AWS Cost Structure

To truly maximize your savings on AWS, it’s vital to have a comprehensive grasp of their billing system. Their pricing structure is determined by various elements, including usage, storage, and data transfer. Non-technical teams should acquaint themselves with the critical aspects of AWS expenses, such as EC2 instances, S3 storage, data transfer, and support plans.

AWS has a phenomenal Pricing Calculator that empowers you to estimate your costs based on your usage patterns. Hence, remember to leverage this tool to gain a crystal-clear comprehension of your potential expenses. With this information at your fingertips, you can easily navigate AWS and optimize your costs.

2. Use Right Sizing as A Power Tool

Looking for a tried-and-tested tip to cut down the extra cost? Optimize your AWS resources!

For this, sit down with the experts and technical team to work harmoniously and analyze the resource utilization. Identify whether your instances are either over-provisioned or under-utilized. By selecting the right instance and storage sizes, even a non-technical team can eliminate the need to pay for resources the business doesn’t need. The end results? Significant long-term cost savings and better ROI.

3. Embrace Reserved Instanced (RI)

Do you know the fantastic cost-saving benefits of using Reserved Instances (RIs) for your AWS infrastructure? RIs offer a significant discount compared to On-Demand pricing when you commit to utilizing the instance for a set period, typically one to three years. Non-technical teams can collaborate with their IT counterparts to determine which workloads are appropriate for RIs. By reserving capacity, you can guarantee stable expenses and optimize your savings in the future.

4. Closely Monitor and Optimize Storage

Managing and optimizing your data storage usage is critical in reducing AWS expenses. Working closely with your technical teams, you should identify any seldom accessed or no longer required data and transfer it to lower-cost storage options like AWS Glacier for archiving. Regularly reviewing your storage usage is essential to ensure you only pay for the necessary data and avoid unnecessary expenses.

Additionally, keeping a detailed record of your data storage usage and expenses will help you identify areas for improvement and enable you to make informed decisions about your AWS costs.

5. Leverage the Power of Cost Allocation Tags

Utilizing cost allocation tags within the Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform can be highly advantageous in facilitating the categorization of resources. Such a practice enables more precise tracking and allocation of costs across a plethora of projects or departments. Non-technical teams can work with IT and Finance to establish a consistent tagging strategy.

By attributing costs to specific teams or projects, one can understand spending patterns comprehensively and consequently make well-informed decisions concerning resource allocation. Overall, implementing cost allocation tags proves to be a highly effective method of managing resource utilization and cost optimization in AWS within the ecosystem.

6. Save With AWS Cost Explorer

If you’re looking for a way to better understand your AWS spending, AWS Cost Explorer is a great tool to check out. It’s user-friendly and provides detailed insights into your spending, including identifying trends and generating customized reports. The non-technical teams can use it to stay informed and react quickly to unexpected cost increases. Experts recommend regularly reviewing cost reports to keep on top of your spending.

7. Set Budgets and Alarms

Non-technical teams in organizations can use AWS Budgets to help them proactively manage expenses. The personalized cost and usage budgets are customizable to fit enterprises’ needs and goals. Every tech-savvy team can work closely to develop budgets based on past spending habits, upcoming projects, and projected growth.

And there is a plus! With AWS CloudWatch Alarms, organizations can receive real-time alerts when costs exceed predetermined limits, empowering them to take control of their overall spending. Getting an early warning system for potential overspending issues is really beneficial!

AWS Cloud Cost Optimization – Easy Breezy for All!

Being a part of a non-technical team can always uphold your role in AWS optimization. Even without a technical background, you can make a significant impact by partnering with your IT and DevOps colleagues and implementing straightforward strategies. By familiarizing yourself with cost structures, utilizing reserved instances, and employing helpful AWS cost optimization tools like Cost Explorer and Budgets, you can help your team make informed decisions, increase efficiency, and achieve substantial cost savings.

Here is something you need to remember! Cost optimization is an ongoing process that requires regular review and analysis of your AWS usage. It’s essential to stay informed of new AWS services and pricing changes and work closely with your technical teams to stay ahead of the curve. With a proactive approach, you can become an essential driver of effective cost optimization, promote financial responsibility, and maximize your AWS investment.

So, let’s approach this challenge with enthusiasm and confidence with NETSOL to create a more optimized, cost-effective AWS environment that benefits everyone by working together.  To get started on this exciting journey, contact us today!

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