Amazon recently announced updates to their EC2 scheduler, responding to the already-answered question: “How do I automatically start and stop my Amazon EC2 instances?”
Been there, done that. ParkMyCloud has been scheduling instances and saving our customers 65% or more on their monthly cloud bills from Amazon, Azure, and Google since 2015. It looks like Amazon is stepping up to the plate with their EC2 scheduler, but are they?
The premise is simple: pay for what you use. It’s what we’ve been saying all along — cloud services are like any other utility (electricity, water, gas) — you should use them only when needed to avoid paying more than necessary. You wouldn’t leave your lights on all night, so why leave your instances running when you’re not using them?
Until now, Amazon had basic scripting suggestions for starting and stopping your instances. With the EC2 scheduler, you’re getting instructions for how to configure a custom start and stop scheduler for your EC2 instances. Implementing the solution will require some work on your part, but will inevitably reduce costs. Welcome to the club, Amazon? Sort of, not really.
EC2 Scheduler vs ParkMyCloud
While the EC2 scheduler sounds good, we think ParkMyCloud is better, and not just because we’re biased. We took a look at the deployment guide for the EC2 scheduler and noticed a few things we offer that Amazon still doesn’t
- This solution requires knowledge and operation of DynamoDB, Lambda, CloudWatch custom metrics, and Cloudformation templates, including Python scripting and Cloudformation coding.
- None of that is required with our simple, easy-to-use platform. You don’t need a developer background to use ParkMyCloud, in fact you can use your mobile phone (insert link) or tablet.
- There’s no UI, so it’s not obvious which instances are on what schedules.
- ParkMyCloud has a simple UI with an icon driven operational dashboard and reporting so you can easily see and manage not only your AWS resources in a single-pane but your Azure and Google resources as well.
- Modifications require code changes and CloudFormation deployments, including simple overrides of schedules.
- Again, ParkMyCloud is easy to use, no coding or custom scripting required. Users can also temporarily override schedules if they need to use an instance on short notice, but will only have access to the resources you grant. And you can use our API and Policy Engine to automate scheduling as part of your DevOps process.
- No SSO, reporting, notifications
- Check, check, check. Did we mention that ParkMyCloud added some new features recently? You can now see resource utilization data for EC2 instances, viewable through animated heatmaps.
- Doesn’t have SmartParking — automated parking recommendations based on usage data.
- You cannot “snooze” (temporarily override) schedules on parked instances. You would have to do that manually through the AWS interface.
- You can snooze schedules in ParkMyCloud with a button click.
- Doesn’t work with Azure or Google.
- Doesn’t park ASG
- No Slack integration.
Amazon — nice try.
If you’re looking for an alternative to writing your own scripts (which we’ve known for a long time is not the best answer), you’re purely using AWS and EC2 instances, and are comfortable with all the PaaS offerings mentioned, then you might be okay with the EC2 scheduler. The solution works, although it comes with a lot of the same drawbacks that custom scripting has when compared to ParkMyCloud.
If you’re using more than just EC2 instances or even working with multiple providers, if you’re looking for a solution where you don’t need to be scripting, and if you’d prefer an automated tool that will cut your cloud costs with ease of use, reporting, and parking recommendations, then it’s a no-brainer. Give ParkMyCloud a try.
Originally published at www.parkmycloud.com on December 20, 2017.