10 Things You Should Know About AWS Cost Optimization

We asked you: what are your AWS cost optimization priorities? The survey results are in — here’s what we found.

1. Compute services dominate spend.

Almost half (48%) of the AWS spend reported was on EC2 instances. The service taking the next-biggest share of spend was storage (27%), followed by RDS/database (17%), and other services (8%). Not only are compute services growing, but they also have the tendency to quickly rack up spend.

2. Cloud management platforms are used by fewer than 1 in 8 companies.

Only 12% of respondents report using any sort of cloud management platforms. At first this may seem surprising, given the power that these platforms can have in unifying various cloud services and providing centralized control. However, from our experience, the lack of adoption in these platforms boils down to two things: they are complex, take significant resources to deploy and are expensive. So perhaps it’s not so surprising after all.

3. Scheduling EC2 start/stop times with scripts is a popular solution, but not as popular as you might think.

We’ve previously discussed the use of home-grown scripts to turn instances off when not being utilized. Some developers like the control that scripting gives them over their AWS compute infrastrucuture — about 37% reported using scripts to manage and control cost. (By the way… if you enjoy rants, maybe you’ll like this one against scripting. Thanks Dale.)

4. Most users are diligent about not paying for unused services…

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5. … But some have a long way to go.

A full 10% of respondents are using none of the most popular cost optimization strategies. That means no reserved instances, no spot instances, no turning off of instances when not being used, no deletion of unused volumes and snapshots. This group isn’t even right-sizing instances. Yikes!

6. Users want to optimize current AWS usage before diving into anything new.

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7. Governance and security are top priorities.

Will governance and security ever not be a priority? Probably not. One third of users rated governance and security as either their first or second priority over the next 12 months.

8. The burden of AWS cost optimization is on the users…

About 93% of respondents reported that Development/Engineer, IT operations, and DevOps are involved in cost reduction and optimization.

9. … but that doesn’t mean execs aren’t involved.

Even so, 25% of users reported that either the CTO or VP of R&D was involved in cost optimization, and 15% said Finance was as well.

10. AWS management presents a range of challenges.

When addressing such a prevalent and sprawling set of services as AWS, it’s not surprising that every organization has their own #1 challenge in AWS. In fact, the variety of these challenges is almost overwhelming:

  • Cost
  • Automation
  • Cloud lock-in
  • Learning new services
  • Governance
  • Educating teams unfamiliar with AWS
  • Scaling up services while maintaining control
  • Management
  • Changing focus from using the cloud for speed to using the cloud for cost control

Written by

CEO of ParkMyCloud

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