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For companies that make use of IT cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), costs can run up rather quickly – that’s why cost efficiency is crucial. This case study outline show our cloud team at Arystech helped a consumer packaged goods (CPG) company significantly lower their its Amazon Web Services (AWS) operating costs. We did this by applying leveraging strategic approaches to AWS management, including right-sizing instances, optimizing storage IOPS, terminating zombie assets, deleting old snapshots, and refining backup policies., In doing so, Arystech successfully decreased the company's monthly AWS bill from $27,818 to $9,996 -an astounding 64% reduction.
THE BUSINESS CHALLENGE:
The CPG company in focus had been running their SAP environment on AWS and had some concerns about their AWS expenses concerns about their AWS expenses for running their SAP environment on AWS. Their primary challenges included inefficient backup policies, outdated snapshots, resources that were either obsolete or unused (in other words, zombie assets), and an infrastructure that was over-provisioned were an over-provisioned infrastructure, obsolete and unutilized resources (zombie assets), outdated snapshots, and inefficient backup policies. All of these factors combined This optimization resulted in a costly monthly bill, which strained their operational budget and prevented them from allocating their resources to more critical areas of business hindered the allocation of resources to critical business areas.
OUR APPROACH TO OPTIMIZING CLOUD SERVICE COSTSTHE COST OPTIMIZATION PROCESS
Cost optimization is a process that involves careful analysis, planning, and execution. When we partner with a customer, we follow these steps to help our customers reach a price they are content with deliver effective AWS cost optimization:
Step 1: Initial Consultation and Assessment
In the first stage, we meet with customers to get to know understand their business needs, goals, and challenges. We also perform an initial assessment of their AWS usage to gauge the extent of cost optimization required. In doing so, we are able to develop a greater understanding of understanding This step involves understanding their current AWS architecture, the scale of their operations, and any specific cost-related concerns they may have.
Step 2: Detailed AWS Usage Analysis
After the initial consultation, we then perform a detailed analysis of their AWS usage. This step involves studying their resource utilization patterns, identifying underused under utilized or idle resources, evaluating their storage efficiency, and assessing their backup and snapshot policies. We also examine the customer's current AWS pricing model to search for additional cost-saving opportunities identify opportunities for cost savings.
Step 3: Recommendations for Cost Optimization
Based on our analysis, we develop a comprehensive set of recommendations to help the customer reduce their AWS costs. This step might involve right-sizing instances, optimizing storage IOPS, terminating zombie assets, deleting old snapshots, and optimizing backup policies. We also suggest the most cost-effective AWS pricing model based on the customer's usage patterns, so that they can use the model that best fits their situation.
Step 4: Customer Approval
After we have produced a list of recommendations for the customer, we present our findings and explain each strategy's potential impact on AWS costs. Once the customer understands and approves the proposed measures, we move forward with the implementation.
Step 5: Implementation
In this stage, we implement the approved cost-optimization strategies. This step might involve reconfiguring resources, adjusting policies, or switching AWS pricing models. Because we aim for a seamless transition, we strive to ensure all changes are made with minimal disruption to the customer's day-to-day operations.
Step 6: Monitoring and Reporting
After implementing our recommended measures, we monitor the customer's AWS usage to assess its effectiveness. We also provide regular reports to the customer detailing their current AWS costs, the savings achieved through our measures, and any additional cost-saving opportunities that may have arisen.
Step 7: Continuous Optimization
Cost optimization is an ongoing process; as the customer's needs and AWS usage patterns evolve, we continuously analyze their usage, recommend further cost optimization measures, and implement approved changes. That is how we are able to ensure that the customer's AWS costs remain optimized in the long run.
OUR FINDINGS AND SOLUTION:
We used several different strategies and measures to help our customers save on their AWS operating costs:
- Right-sizing instances: Here we analyzed the CPG company's AWS usage patterns and adjusted the size of their instances to match their workloads more accurately. This ensured they were not paying for resources they didn't need whilst simultaneously providing enough capacity for peak usage times. By tuning the infrastructure to match actual demand, we drastically reduced costs associated with over-provisioning, leading to considerable savings.
- Optimizing storage IOPS: The company's storage was overprovisioned with IOPS (input/output operations per second), driving up costs without actually improving performance. To fix this, we adjusted their storage IOPS, balancing operational requirements and cost efficiency. This reduced unnecessary costs while maintaining the necessary performance levels, making their storage investment more effective and affordable.
Optimizing AWS storage costs can be achieved by carefully monitoring and managing your usage of IOPS. AWS' CloudWatch service provides detailed reports on IOPS utilization that can be used to identify trends and usage patterns. If your IOPS use is consistently lower than the provisioned capacity, consider reducing the provisioned IOPS to save on costs. On the other hand, if your applications require high IOPS during specific periods, you might explore using burstable performance instances or autoscaling to handle demand peaks efficiently. Remember, optimal IOPS provisioning can lead to substantial cost savings while ensuring your applications perform at their peak.
- Terminating zombie assets: ‘Zombie assets’ are old Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) and other resources that are no longer used but still incur costs.Our team extensively audited the company's AWS assets, identifying and eliminating zombie assets.By removing these obsolete assets, we immediately and substantially impacted the company’s monthly AWS bill.
- Deleting old snapshots: Snapshot repositories consume plenty of storage space while also contributing to the monthly cost of AWS. We reviewed the company’s snapshot repository and cleared outdated, unnecessary snapshots. Deleting these unneeded snapshots freed up valuable storage space and significantly reduced the associated expenses.
- Backup optimization: The company's existing backup strategy was not aligned with its specific retention policies, Recovery Time Objectives (RTO), and Recovery Point Targets (RPT). In order to combat this, we revamped their backup protocols to match these requirements. By defining more efficient backup schedules and retention policies, we were able to minimize storage use and reduced costs, all while ensuring that the company could quickly recover from any potential data loss incidents.
- AWS Savings Plan: Finally, we transitioned the company to the AWS Savings Plan. This plan offered substantial discounts for committing to consistent use over a one or 3-year term. By switching to this plan, the company secured lower prices for their regular AWS usage, further driving down their monthly bill.
- AWS Savings Plans offer more flexibility and savings than Reserved Instances. They apply to any instance family, size, OS, tenancy, or region, so they are ideal for dynamic or changing usage. You commit to a consistent amount of usage, measured in dollars per hour, for one or three years, and in return, you receive a significant discount off the on-demand rate. This helps businesses optimize costs more effectively and adapt to their ever-changing workload requirements, providing a more efficient and adaptable cost-saving solution.
After our tailored solution was successfully implemented, the CPG company’s Amazon Web Services costs were reduced by a drastic 64%. Their monthly bill fell from a steep $27,818 to a more manageable $9,996. This directly contributed to healthier financials, enabling the company to allocate these significant savings to other operational or growth-enhancing activities.
In conclusion, our approach to optimizing cloud service costs is not a one-time effort but a continuous process. The result? Our customers can always keep their AWS costs under control while meeting their business needs efficiently and effectively.
If you are curious to hear how your company could benefit from our approach to cloud service cost optimization, contact us here for your initial consultation.
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