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4.8 min to readCloud ServicesPublisher Advisory ServicesFinOps Services

10 ways to optimise your AWS spend

Justin A. Timmers
Justin A. TimmersConsultant & Solution Architect
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Redefine your AWS ROI!

AWS is a powerful cloud platform that can offer businesses significant cost savings and agility. However, it's important to optimise your AWS spend to ensure you're getting the most value for your money. Here are 10 ways to do just that:

10 ways to optimise your AWS spend

1. Analyse your current cloud costs

The first step to optimising your AWS spend is to understand where your money is going. Use the AWS Cost Explorer tool to analyze your current cloud costs and identify areas where you can save.

2. Choose license fee free

License fees are often a significant part of your monthly spend. Choosing Linux over Windows or MySQL over Microsoft SQL will result in sizable cost savings. An additional benefit is that AWS Savings Plans will give you a bigger discount percentage over Windows and MS SQL, because they can’t discount those license fees.

3. Select the right instance size and type

When you're choosing an instance, it's important to select the right size and type for your workload. If you're overprovisioning your instances, you're wasting money. If you're under-provisioning your instances, you'll experience performance problems. Rightsizing can be performed by looking into the instance’s maximum CPU and memory usage over a 4-week period, if the maximum usage is less than 40%, the instance resource can be halved with relative safety.

4. Turn-off idle resources

When you're not utilizing an instance, make sure to stop it. With a stopped instance you only pay for EBS storage and for Elastic IP reservations. You can also use Auto Scaling to scale your resources up or down based on demand, this will remove idle resources. Many non-production environments are not used outside of office hours; a significant waste of resources. In these cases, consider making use of instance scheduling.

5. Delete unattached EBS volumes

Unattached EBS volumes are not in use, but you're still paying for them. Delete them to save money.

6. Use Reserved Instances

If you have a predictable workload, it’s worth looking into purchasing Reserved Instances. Reserved Instances offer significant discounts, up to 75% over equivalent on-demand capacity, on services such as Amazon EC2 and Amazon RDS.

7. Use Spot Instances

Spot Instances are unused EC2 capacity, available at a discounted price; up to a 90% discount compared to On-Demand prices. Spot Instances can be a good option for workloads that can tolerate interruption, such as image resizing, data analytics and reporting.

8. Use AWS Savings Plans

Savings Plans offer discounts on EC2, Fargate, Lambda and SageMaker compute costs. If you have a predictable workload, you can save up to 72% compared to On-Demand prices, in exchange for a one- or three-year hourly spend commitment. AWS currently has three plans available: Compute Savings Plans, EC2 Instance Savings Plans and SageMaker Savings plans.

9. Optimise your storage costs

AWS offers a variety of storage services, including S3, EBS, EFS and FSx. Choose the right storage service for your workload and use lifecycle policies to automatically move data to lower-cost storage tiers.

10. Use AWS tags

Tagging is available on most resources and allows you to track and allocate your cloud costs. Tag your resources with meaningful information, such as project name, environment, and department. The Billing and Cost Management console allows you to activate selected tags, after which AWS generates a cost allocation report as a comma-separated value (CSV file) with your usage and costs grouped by your active tags. Cost Explorer allows tags to be leveraged to filter views, this will help you to identify and optimise your costs.

Final thoughts

There are many ways to optimise your AWS spend, some are easier than others. SoftwareOne, is a Premier AWS Partner and an AWS Marketplace Skilled Consulting partner and co-founder of the FinOps foundation. SoftwareOne, experts in cost optimisation and FinOps, can help you:

  • Simplify the procurement process: choose the right AWS services and pricing models for your needs and consolidate your spend across multiple accounts and regions.
  • Maximise value: accurately size your AWS resources and commitments and identify opportunities to save money.
  • Optimise your AWS spend: implement cost optimisation best practices and provide ongoing support to ensure that you are getting the most value from your AWS investment.

With SoftwareOne Essentials for AWS, we also offer customised billing so you can proactively manage and optimise your AWS spend with ease.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you optimise your AWS spend.

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SoftwareOne and AWS

Interested in how SoftwareOne can help your business optimise spend on AWS and streamline procurement?

SoftwareOne and AWS

Interested in how SoftwareOne can help your business optimise spend on AWS and streamline procurement?


Justin A. Timmers

Justin A. Timmers
Consultant & Solution Architect

Building on AWS for 5+ years