The Challenge 

The customer wanted to gain visibility into its monthly AWS costs and have the ability to map back each internal application’s cost. In addition, the customer wanted to optimize its current AWS environment to maximize its return on investment in the Cloud.

The customer lacked the expertise and knowledge of cost optimization best practices, capacity to govern cost-saving policies, and ability to execute on cost-saving measures so needed an experienced partner with expertise managing AWS infrastructure on an ongoing basis. With the help of Cloudreach Cost Control, the customer gained the expertise that the Cloudreach team offered, providing a range of recommendations and solutions to its cost and visibility problems. It also gained access to best in class tooling and fully optimized its AWS spend.

DevOps Intro

The Solution

Part one of the customer’s Cost Optimization Journey was to unravel its monthly AWS expenditure and allow for costs to map back to specific internal applications. Using CloudHealth, perspectives (a grouping of resources) were deployed dynamically. Dynamic perspectives adjust and dynamically grow with the increase or decrease of resources and or tags. This allowed the customer to filter and deep dive into each application’s cost and match budgets with the true cost. Cost Control set up the customer’s monthly budget and helped define each application’s budget.

Part two of the customer’s Cost Optimization Journey was to identify any spiraling cost trends. Specifically, unattached AWS EBS volumes, unattached elastic IPs, spiraling Amazon S3 storage, and exponential growth in Amazon EC2 snapshots were identified. With the help of Cloudreach Core Operations, the recommendations were carried out with the customer’s approval, ultimately saving them approximately $4,210.90 (16.58% reduction) per month. The majority of the savings were attributed to implementing proper EC2 snapshot retention policies and identifying and repairing an architecture issue with database backups that were stored in Amazon S3 without a retention policy. 

Part three of the customer’s Cost Optimisation Journey was to upgrade its current Amazon EC2 instance fleet and reserve both EC2 and RDS instances to further reduce costs. Cloudreach worked closely with the customer to understand what was running where, and identified which instances were best suited for upgrading. The assessment criteria for upgrade suitability were monthly potential savings, performance improvements, level of effort required to upgrade, and anticipated longevity of future use. With the help of Cloudreach’s DevOps-on-Demand service, the customer was able to upgrade all high priority instances and are realizing approximately $528.48 (2.1%)  in monthly savings. The analysis also highlighted several instances that would immediately benefit from having EC2 reservations applied. To date, Cloudreach has purchased EC2 reservations for the customer that have a utilization rate of 100% and are saving them approximately $1,102 (4.34%) per month.

Finally, part four of the customer’s Cost Optimisation Journey included purchasing additional reserved instances and rightsizing its existing EC2 fleet. Currently, a reservation strategy is being developed that will have 60% of EC2 and RDS instances reserved in addition to helping the customer adjust its instance types to best match its varied workloads.

outsource devops

The Outcome

One of the most valuable aspects of Cloudreach’s Cost Control service that the customer has benefited from is the flexibility of the monthly reporting and recommendations. By listening to and directly addressing the customer’s main concerns, Cloudreach FinOps experts were able to provide a service that was tailored to the customer’s specific needs and go the extra mile helping to facilitate support for implementing cost-saving recommendations that the customer did not have the capacity to do themselves.

Since September 2018, the customer was able to save approximately $5,841.38 (23% reduction) on a monthly basis. In addition, the company has modernized its fleet by upgrading previous generation instances, resolving a spiraling database backup architecture, implementing  EC2 snapshot retention policies, deleting unattached/unused resources, and gaining visibility into each application’s costs. 

Moving forward, further EC2 rightsizing and EC2 and RDS reservations are to take place for approximately $1,954 (7.7%) per month in additional savings.

About The Customer

The customer is a growing energy provider, headquartered in the USA, who procures and supplies electricity and natural gas for retail and commercial customers across the world.