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How to reduce your AWS bill by up to 25%

March 14, 2022

AWS continues to innovate and dominate the cloud market across Australia and New Zealand.

AWS is often a key component in all of our customers cloud strategies. As enthusiastic and experienced AWS partners, our team at Seisma are often approached by new customers on how they can reduce their AWS bill and product complexity.

AWS offers an increasingly sophisticated array of services for many kinds of development requirements, however, it’s not always the most straightforward, fastest, or most affordable option. Ideally, customers on their cloud journey need to engage with AWS specialists who can architect their instance to optimise cost and performance before migration to the cloud.

At Seisma, we have many ways to reduce the cost of AWS instances, so we thought we’d share a few in this article.

1. Check your AWS Credits

Often a secret source of cost savings, Australian and New Zealand AWS customers can often access AWS credits for testing, POC implementation, start-up business units or innovation programs. Often this requires speaking with your AWS professional services or support team to see if there are any credit lines available for certain projects with a business case. We have worked with customers and AWS to achieve up to $50,000 NZD in credits.

2. Build an AWS cost-saving and data hygiene schedule

AWS pricing is built to increase over time, incrementally as innovation and usage moves up. We often see new customers after their AWS bill has grown 250% unknowingly and they’re suffering from bill shock. With this, we recommend building a daily usage review model that is relative to the size of your organisation and AWS usage. A simple guide to manage this is to focus on:

  • Cost saving potential - what products or services are used the most and/cost the most;
  • Complexity - how hard is it to manage this product and is it necessary; and
  • Ownership - who owns this project or programme of work and is the cost associated to their business unit.

Some of our customers benefit from the Seisma AWS support service where we work with our customers to provide daily and weekly AWS cost checks.

3. Keep an eye on your AWS EC2

Elastic Cloud Compute, or EC2, is invariably one of AWS’s most popular and fastest growing services, naturally, as enterprises move away from investing in physical servers and moving towards virtual machines with other server features such as porting, security and storage. Although hugely beneficial and more efficient than physical servers, EC2 pricing can creep up over time.

We advise our customers to shut down unused instances, reduce instance size incrementally based on data hosted and data transfer, and make the most of AWS Savings plans that are aligned directly with EC2.

4. Manage your AWS integrations and data transfers for volume and velocity

As AWS integration specialists, we see time and time again that these costs can get out of control quickly. For an overworked internal IT team, it’s very complex to manage, and hard to discover from where the data is flowing and what type it is - i.e. data transfer out, transfer between regions, transfer between AZs, S3 data transfer for example.

There are a variety of ways to reduce the cost here, however, results need to be achieved with a comprehensive data transfer and connectivity strategy that encompasses S3 data transfer cost and usage modeling, implementation of Public IP/Elastic IP Data Transfer across EC2 instances and the implementation of GraphQL and AWS API Manager to ensure correct data fetching and data transfer out.

5. Choose a local AWS support partner wisely

Although AWS offers three levels of support, we find customers achieve better performance and cost results when they go through a local AWS support team who understand inter-region pricing, connectivity and in-country requirements. Seisma’s AWS support service works closely with AWS regional account teams to shorten troubleshooting time and streamline innovation for customers, while providing a much more personalised service. Often our local expertise will advance our New Zealand and Australian teams on setting advanced security settings and NDB, GDPR and Privacy Act compliance legislation measures, as well as work towards reducing costs across multiple AWS services.

6. If in doubt, look at an AWS architecture redesign

Architecture redesign is often the last port of call with our customers who are unable to reduce their AWS costs. It is a time consuming step, however, it is not unachievable. In this type of scenario, our team at Seisma would have looked at the cost and infrastructure build of the implementation and tried the tactics listed above (plus more!) before going through a complete redesign. If a redesign is required, changes are made incrementally to provide immediate savings and return on investment without disrupting services.

AWS’s breadth of services and pricing options offer the flexibility to effectively manage your costs, and still keep the performance and capacity per your business requirement. However, costs can and still do blow out - therefore the fundamental process of cost optimization on AWS remains the same – monitor your AWS costs and usage, keep a steady eye on data transfers and renowned pricing trouble-makers and engage with an AWS specialist team locally to benefit from expertise and know-how.

Want to know more? Meet with us to talk through our AWS cost optimisation roadmap.

*This blog is sourced from acquired company Fronde.

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