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Why constant monitoring helps reduce AWS costs and maintain performance

Moving applications and infrastructure to Amazon Web Services delivers a range of game changing benefits including the ability for a business to become more flexible; access and utilise resources as and when they need them; as well as being able to develop new revenue streams.

At igroup, we help companies across the UK who have moved to the cloud and want to improve performance while reducing their AWS costs. In this article we look at the steps your business can take to keep costs down by constantly monitoring your infrastructure and ensure that applications and services deliver the expected results to your customers.

You can reduce costs without affecting performance

Because it is so easy to set up new instances within AWS, it has long been recognised that without constant monitoring of your environment performance will be affected and costs will spiral.

As more resources are introduced to your environment, management tasks become more time consuming and it can become easier to overlook changes in cost until they reach a threshold where they start affecting your wider IT budget. In addition, with lack of control, your team will continually opt for an over specified new instance for their applications rather than repurpose ones that already exist

Best practice guidelines for managing AWS effectively focus on five core areas which will help maintain infrastructure performance and reduce costs.

1.         Shutdown unused resources correctly

To optimise cost, it is critical to shut down unused instances. AWS allows developers to quickly deploy new instances, but this leads to instances not being used fully or even worse, forgotten about until the invoice arrives. 

By controlling who can specify and launch new instances you are able to control costs and confirm that the specification meets the performance requirements.

2.         Select the right instance from the start

Different instances cost different amounts and developers are often guilty of over specifying when it is not required.

By planning and specifying the right instance not only will you be able to keep costs down but also will have selected the right solution for your application which will ensure it performs as expected.

3.         Active monitoring of your infrastructure

With the right monitoring and management tools for your AWS infrastructure you can see how it is performing and review utilisation levels. This information allows you to reallocate resources to areas where they are needed to improve overall operational performance and if they are not required shut them down to reduce costs.

AWS has built in tools that allow active monitoring of infrastructure and allow the creation of reports and alerts that help actively manage your AWS cloud. As your AWS support partner, igroup offer our in-house Cloud Control management tools which fine tune performance and manage costs more clearly.

4.         Auto Scaling

A key feature of Amazon Web Services is the ability to align your resources with customer demand. If your applications and services have variable demand with sudden traffic spikes, you can use auto scaling to add additional resources when required or turn them off when they are no longer needed.

By applying auto scaling not only are you able to save costs but you are also able to add resources to manage spikes and monitor the health of your instances. If they are unhealthy auto scaling will shut the instance down and relaunch another as required. This maintains operational performance of your applications and ensures that there are no disruptions in your service.

5.         Scheduling

In most cases resource demand is not consistent and there may be times when your cloud resources are not needed.

If applications are only required during working hours, they can be resourced accordingly using scheduling tools.  Combining scheduling and auto-scaling, meeting demand for out-of-hours resource can be achieved quickly.

Scheduling is one of the most effective ways of delivering significant cost savings while also ensuring that the maximum level of resource required is not compromised.

With constant monitoring of your AWS infrastructure you can improve overall operational performance, avoid disruptions for your customers, and keep costs down. If you would like to talk to our expert AWS team about how we can help your business call us today on 0203 697 0302.

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