One of the things that attract start ups and enterprise customers to cloud deployments is on-demand pricing: you only pay for what you use. This is certainly the cornerstone of AWS billing principles. In fact, some AWS services, like VPC, Elastic Beanstalk, CloudFormation, Opsworks, and IAM are available at no charge at all. You will only be billed for the compute resources you actually run.
Nevertheless, accurately anticipating your monthly costs can sometimes be tricky, so here are five quick tips for managing the Billing on your AWS account.
1. Pay Less when you reserve AWS instances
If you’re currently using an on-demand EC2 or RDS instance, take a few minutes to do a review. If it turns out that your usage is fairly steady over a long period, you may find that reserve pricing can cost you quite a lot less. One up-front payment covering a period of between one and three years can go for a significant discount over the hourly usage for the same instance.
2. Bid on the Spot market for unused AWS Resources
When you launch an instance, you’re given the option of bidding for unused EC2 capacity on the Spot market. When your bid price is equal to or higher than the current Spot price, you will automatically be given use of an EC2 instance of the specified type for as long as the price doesn’t rise above your bid. Spot bidding can save you up to 90% on the cost of Ec2 instances.
Spot instances are useful for heavy lift tasks such as complex analytics, Big Data processing, scientific computing, and media processing. You just have to be confident that your application can survive unexpected terminations should the Spot price rise above your bid. It may be necessary for you to review the Spot price history in your availability zone.
3. Set CloudWatch alerts to monitor your AWS usage
Use Amazon CloudWatch to have alert notifications sent to you when your monthly charges for using AWS product reach a pre-configured threshold. This frees you from having to log in AWS Billing Console to check for yourself. More importantly, it protects you from the surprises that you can face if you never get around to checking.
How does it work? Suppose your AWS account gets hacked and the intruders decide to spin up few d2.8xlarge instances. When your usage crosses the pre-set threshold, you will receive a message from CloudWatch advising you to take the necessary action.
To get started with CloudWatch, log into the AWS Billing Dashboard, go to Preferences, and select Receive Billing Alerts.
Update: We should also note the huge value of enabling “Receive Billing Reports” alongside “Receive Billing Alerts” – the comprehensive CSV-formatted reports can be a really useful source of valuable insight (hat tip).
4. Tag your resources
When you tag your AWS resources to identify their function or association (QA, Dev, Prod, etc) you’ll be able to quickly know which environments are incurring the highest costs and which business unit is exceeding their AWS cost allocations. This can be a particularly effective way to monitor – and control – costs.
5. Analyze AWS billing reports
AWS provides monthly billing reports that highlight the costs incurred by individual AWS services, and the number of hours used in a month. But some times this isn’t enough when, for instance, you also want to see a forecast of your future expenses or when you’d like to share figures with a customer.
To get this kind of clarity, you can export your billing reports in CSV format or even build a custom application with its own analytics. You could also enable programmatic access to your AWS account and specify an S3 bucket into which you want your billing data copied. AWS will then generate estimated monthly bills several times a day and save them to your bucket. You can also use the S3 bucket data as input for your application.
New Content: Azure DP-100 Certification, Alibaba Cloud Certified Associate Prep, 13 Security Labs, and Much More
This past month our Content Team served up a heaping spoonful of new and updated content. Not only did our experts release the brand new Azure DP-100 Certification Learning Path, but they also created 18 new hands-on labs — and so much more! New content on Cloud Academy At any time, y...
AWS Certification Practice Exam: What to Expect from Test Questions
If you’re building applications on the AWS cloud or looking to get started in cloud computing, certification is a way to build deep knowledge in key services unique to the AWS platform. AWS currently offers 12 certifications that cover major cloud roles including Solutions Architect, De...
Overcoming Unprecedented Business Challenges with AWS
From auto-scaling applications with high availability to video conferencing that’s used by everyone, every day — cloud technology has never been more popular or in-demand. But what does this mean for experienced cloud professionals and the challenges they face as they carve out a new p...
Constant Content: Cloud Academy’s Q3 2020 Roadmap
Hello — Andy Larkin here, VP of Content at Cloud Academy. I am pleased to release our roadmap for the next three months of 2020 — August through October. Let me walk you through the content we have planned for you and how this content can help you gain skills, get certified, and...
New Content: Alibaba, Azure AZ-303 and AZ-304, Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) Foundation, Python 3 Programming, 16 Hands-on Labs, and Much More
This month our Content Team did an amazing job at publishing and updating a ton of new content. Not only did our experts release the brand new AZ-303 and AZ-304 Certification Learning Paths, but they also created 16 new hands-on labs — and so much more! New content on Cloud Academy At...
Blog Digest: Which Certifications Should I Get?, The 12 Microsoft Azure Certifications, 6 Ways to Prevent a Data Breach, and More
This month, we were excited to announce that Cloud Academy was recognized in the G2 Summer 2020 reports! These reports highlight the top-rated solutions in the industry, as chosen by the source that matters most: customers. We're grateful to have been nominated as a High Performer in se...
Which Certifications Should I Get?
The old AWS slogan, “Cloud is the new normal” is indeed a reality today. Really, cloud has been the new normal for a while now and getting credentials has become an increasingly effective way to quickly showcase your abilities to recruiters and companies. With all that in mind, the s...
New Content: AWS, Azure, Typescript, Java, Docker, 13 New Labs, and Much More
This month, our Content Team released a whopping 13 new labs in real cloud environments! If you haven't tried out our labs, you might not understand why we think that number is so impressive. Our labs are not “simulated” experiences — they are real cloud environments using accounts on A...
Kickstart Your Tech Training With a Free Week on Cloud Academy
Are you looking to make a jump in your technical career? Want to get trained or certified on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform, DevOps, Kubernetes, Python, or another in-demand skill? Then you'll want to mark your calendar. Starting Monday, June 22 at 12:00 a.m. PDT (3:00 a.m. EDT), ...
New Content: AZ-500 and AZ-400 Updates, 3 Google Professional Exam Preps, Practical ML Learning Path, C# Programming, and More
This month, our Content Team released tons of new content and labs in real cloud environments. Not only that, but we introduced our very first highly interactive "Office Hours" webinar. This webinar, Acing the AWS Solutions Architect Associate Certification, started with a quick overvie...
Azure vs. AWS: Which Certification Provides the Brighter Future?
More and more companies are using cloud services, prompting more and more people to switch their current IT position to something cloud-related. The problem is most people only have that much time after work to learn new technologies, and there are plenty of cloud services that you can ...
Blog Digest: 5 Reasons to Get AWS Certified, OWASP Top 10, Getting Started with VPCs, Top 10 Soft Skills, and More
Thank you for being a valued member of our community! We recently sent out a short survey to understand what type of content you would like us to add to Cloud Academy, and we want to thank everyone who gave us their input. If you would like to complete the survey, it's not too late. It ...