One of the things that attracts 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, Cloud formation, 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.
Comparison between On-Demand and Reserve pricing for periods of one and three years:
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. Analyse 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.
WaitCondition Controls the Pace of AWS CloudFormation Templates
AWS's WaitCondition can be used with CloudFormation templates to ensure required resources are running.As you may already be aware, AWS CloudFormation is used for infrastructure automation by allowing you to write JSON templates to automatically install, configure, and bootstrap your ...
The 9 AWS Certifications: Which is Right for You and Your Team?
As companies increasingly shift workloads to the public cloud, cloud computing has moved from a nice-to-have to a core competency in the enterprise. This shift requires a new set of skills to design, deploy, and manage applications in the cloud.As the market leader and most mature p...
Two New EC2 Instance Types Announced at AWS re:Invent 2018 – Monday Night Live
The announcements at re:Invent just keep on coming! Let’s look at what benefits these two new EC2 instance types offer and how these two new instances could be of benefit to you. If you're not too familiar with Amazon EC2, you might want to familiarize yourself by creating your first Am...
Google Cloud Certification: Preparation and Prerequisites
Google Cloud Platform (GCP) has evolved from being a niche player to a serious competitor to Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. In 2018, research firm Gartner placed Google in the Leaders quadrant in its Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service for the first time. In t...
Understanding AWS VPC Egress Filtering Methods
In order to understand AWS VPC egress filtering methods, you first need to understand that security on AWS is governed by a shared responsibility model where both vendor and subscriber have various operational responsibilities. AWS assumes responsibility for the underlying infrastructur...
S3 FTP: Build a Reliable and Inexpensive FTP Server Using Amazon’s S3
Is it possible to create an S3 FTP file backup/transfer solution, minimizing associated file storage and capacity planning administration headache?FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is a fast and convenient way to transfer large files over the Internet. You might, at some point, have conf...
Microservices Architecture: Advantages and Drawbacks
Microservices are a way of breaking large software projects into loosely coupled modules, which communicate with each other through simple Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).Microservices have become increasingly popular over the past few years. The modular architectural style,...
What Are Best Practices for Tagging AWS Resources?
There are many use cases for tags, but what are the best practices for tagging AWS resources? In order for your organization to effectively manage resources (and your monthly AWS bill), you need to implement and adopt a thoughtful tagging strategy that makes sense for your business. The...
How to Optimize Amazon S3 Performance
Amazon S3 is the most common storage options for many organizations, being object storage it is used for a wide variety of data types, from the smallest objects to huge datasets. All in all, Amazon S3 is a great service to store a wide scope of data types in a highly available and resil...
How to Optimize Cloud Costs with Spot Instances: New on Cloud Academy
One of the main promises of cloud computing is access to nearly endless capacity. However, it doesn’t come cheap. With the introduction of Spot Instances for Amazon Web Services’ Elastic Compute Cloud (AWS EC2) in 2009, spot instances have been a way for major cloud providers to sell sp...
What are the Benefits of Machine Learning in the Cloud?
A Comparison of Machine Learning Services on AWS, Azure, and Google CloudArtificial intelligence and machine learning are steadily making their way into enterprise applications in areas such as customer support, fraud detection, and business intelligence. There is every reason to beli...
How to Use AWS CLI
The AWS Command Line Interface (CLI) is for managing your AWS services from a terminal session on your own client, allowing you to control and configure multiple AWS services.So you’ve been using AWS for awhile and finally feel comfortable clicking your way through all the services....