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AWS Cost Optimization: Cutting Your Spend by up to Half.

Updated: Jun 22, 2021

AWS cost-cutting is more than just "Discounts"

Many businesses rely on Amazon Web Services (AWS) for their cloud storage and computing, and a large percentage of them are spending much more than they need to on AWS costs. Cutting your AWS spending means utilizing only the resources and services that are necessary for your business—here’s how you can optimize your AWS costs and cut your spending by up to half.

Choose the Right S3 Storage Class

Amazon S3 is a storage service that helps make your cloud services reliable, scalable, and secure. You can use S3 to store and retrieve data to utilize for a range of things, from IoT devices to websites.

By choosing the right S3 storage class, you can get the right level of data access for your budget and resources. Amazon Web Services introduced an S3 Intelligent Tier storage class that more inexperienced developers can use to optimize the costs of their cloud-based storage.

On/off Times Scheduling

Another way to help cut AWS costs is to schedule on/off times for instances of non-production, like ones used for developing, testing, and QA. Doing this can help you save a lot if you have your processes automatically turn on during working hours and off when they don’t need to be running. For example, applying an on schedule of 8:00 to 8:00 Monday through Friday would save you approximately 65% running those instances.

Although, managing the on/off times may become problematic if your processes work more dynamically and your schedules fluctuate. A better option might be to leverage an AWS optimization service like Liftoff IT that can customize process management to maximize savings.

Purchase Reserved Instances

Buying reserved instances is a simple, effective way to reduce your AWS costs. They work by letting you purchase a reserved capacity for one to three years. You’ll pay a significantly lower hourly rate for a reserved instance over an on-demand one—as much as up to 75% off of your cloud computing costs. Even if you don’t use the reserved instance as much as you thought you would, the savings can be substantial.

Delete Unattached EBS Blocks

Elastic Block Storage (EBS) volumes get attached when you launch an instance, and they act as a local block storage for it. When you terminate the instance (and don’t delete the EBS volume), that EBS block still exists and contributes to your monthly AWS cost.

If you don’t delete your EBS volumes upon terminating your instances, there could be thousands of them floating around in your AWS cloud, causing your costs to continue rising each month.

While this can save money, you should use caution when deleting EBS blocks because if you don’t know what you’re doing, you could accidentally delete valuable data. Unless you have dedicated IT personnel who can do this, you’re better off using a third-party AWS management service with the expertise and tools to manage EBS volumes carefully.

Assess Your Cloud Usage Metrics

There are a range of tools designed to help you assess your cloud usage metrics. Using these tools to gain an understanding of your data usage will allow you to budget and plan accordingly. Assess your workloads, and you’ll be able to choose the right instance to meet your scaling needs and other demands.

Another option is to leverage an AWS optimization service like Liftoff IT that can continually monitor, analyze, and proactively scale your system for optimal performance and dramatic cost savings. An AWS management service also has all the tools and routinely updates its tools for cloud optimization. Some of these more critical tools include:

  • Densify

  • Cloudability

  • ParkMyCloud

  • CloudHealth

  • CloudChekr


With Liftoff IT, you get all these tools and more for a better price than investing and managing each of these tools on your own. By running the latest in cloud software management apps, Liftoff IT can ensure your AWS is optimized for performance while saving you significant money.

Liftoff IT can help you collect the right data and analyze your metrics to find the best opportunities for you to cut your AWS costs. Get your free AWS cost assessment here.

Cloud computing metrics

Use Auto-Scaling

Using auto-scaling to monitor and adjust your cloud resources is an excellent way to optimize your performance and costs. Sometimes, certain services will require more resources than others, and you can use auto-scaling to give them those resources borrowed from idle instances.

When you use this option, the auto-scaling tool will automatically scale down resource provisions as demand goes back down. You can also set different performance thresholds that will trigger when certain requirements are met to help with unexpected demand changes.

Delete Unneeded Snapshots

Snapshots are an excellent way to back up data on EBS volumes since they only back up the data that has changed since the previous snapshot, preventing duplications. But, each snapshot contains all of the data you need to restore information to a new EBS volume.

Since you’ll likely only need the most recent snapshot, you can potentially save thousands by deleting the ones you don’t need anymore. We do advise that you keep previous snapshots for at least a few weeks, though, to ensure you can restore all of your data if something goes wrong.

While it can save money, it can be very tedious, which then begs the question: are you working smarter? A better alternative would be to utilize a managed AWS cost optimization service that optimizes your EBS volume to reduce your costs by 40-50%. They cut your bill for a small fee, allowing you to focus on your core business needs.

Upgrade Your Instances

AWS offers a vast array of services and products, and it’s not uncommon to see frequent announcements about upgrades to products that support certain services. When optimizing your AWS costs, you should watch out for upgrade announcements pertaining to the latest generation of instances.

When they release these new instances, they usually come with better performance and functionality. Typically, when you upgrade an instance, you get the same (or better) features with lower performance costs.

Delete Idle Load Balancers

When you want to cut AWS costs, you should check your idle load balancers and look for ones with RequestCounts of less than 100 in the past week. Deleting those load balancers can significantly reduce your costs.

Additionally, you can review your data transfer costs at this stage. If your data transfer costs seem too high, you can look into a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to eliminate potential, unnecessary traffic spikes.

Don’t have time to comb through load balancers or have a CDN to eliminate traffic spikes? Liftoff IT has all tools and apps necessary to manage this process for you.

Move Non-Critical Data to Lower-Cost Storage

AWS offers six different tiers of storage at various price points. By storing data that you don’t need to access frequently to a lower storage tier can save you substantial amounts each month. There are two things to consider before moving to a lower tier, however:

  • Data retrieval fees may apply to lower storage tiers.

  • It takes more time to transfer data from the lower tiers in the event that a business loses important data and needs to restore it.

Cut your AWS spending in half with Liftoff IT

cloud data upload/download

There are many ways to cut your AWS costs, but the best way is to consult with the experts. Not only will they have the tools and resources to optimize your cloud-computing costs, but they also have the expertise to do it right—you don’t want to make a mistake and lose critical data, causing major setbacks to your operations.

AdvancedWhat if we told you that you could cut your AWS spending by up to half over the next year? Get in touch with us at Liftoff IT, and we can make it happen.

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