Blog   |   Compliance   |   August 15, 2017

Ten Steps to Reducing Public Cloud Bills: Rethink Application and Database Architecture

There are many ways for organizations to be cost-efficient in the cloud. In particular, leveraging the breadth of services that AWS and its technology partners have to offer can help savvy IT teams make the most of their cloud investment. For instance, containers and microservices can support consistent, stable, scalable architecture so your organization can reach peak performance while optimizing expenses.

In Gartner’s paper, Ten Moves to Lower Your AWS IaaS Costs, several important tactics for cloud-based organizations are discussed. We shared our thoughts on several of these so far—from leveraging Reserved Instances and Spot Instances to benchmarking and tagging resources. In this article, we explore the concept of rethinking application-driven decisions to achieve cost optimization by rethinking application and database architecture as well as how to leverage Spot Instance pricing.


Infrastructure and DevOps Possibilities

As Gartner discusses in their report, there are several approaches the typical IT leader may consider to optimize cloud spend. Without redesigning an application entirely, they may consider replatforming their database, accelerating Spot Instance usage, leveraging containers and/or microservices—or opt for another strategy altogether—in order to recognize cost savings across their infrastructure.


Database Replatforming

As Gartner explains, moving databases to open source, such as MySQL, can help improve agility and create cost saving opportunities. While it may not be realistic to move an entire database, organizations that take advantage of opportunities to move smaller functions on services such as Redshift can improve the performance and cost efficiency of their applications.
The CloudCheckr platform offers cluster management for Redshift, to help reduce waste and costs. Additionally, CloudCheckr provides automatic restoring or terminating of clusters only when they are needed to enable greater cost savings. With automatic snapshots and backups, organizations using Redshift can be sure their data is secure.


Spot fleets

To optimize EC2 costs with Spot Instances, Gartner also recommends exploring spot fleets. By using Spot Instances, organizations can save up to 80 or even 90% on their EC2 costs. With Spot fleets, minor tasks can be executed on a grid of low-cost worker nodes. By enabling diversified parameters, organizations can ensure spot instances are chosen from a range of pools to reduce the likelihood of downtime.

Because Spot Instances take advantage of excess capacity based on a bidding model, the possibility of interruption on some applications due to price fluctuations must always be a consideration. With cloud management tools to optimize spot fleets, forecast interruptions, proactively migrate applications, and recommend spot purchases, organizations can more efficiently use spot fleets to reduce their EC2 costs.


Containers and Microservices

By using containers and microservices, organizations can ensure stability and performance, as well as flexibility, for their applications. With Amazon EC2 Container Service (ECS), for instance, applications can be run more easily on a managed cluster of EC2 instances. The container service is included in the cost of using EC2 instances and EBS volumes already, and offers a highly scalable and performant option for organizations looking to streamline their application workloads. This simplification can lead to greater operational efficiencies by easily integrating with Amazon EBS, ELB, VPC, IAM, and CloudTrail. As their name implies, containers can also keep any issues relatively contained so they do less harm to the overall infrastructure, and are more easily mitigated.

Additionally, microservices can be implemented to execute functionality with an API call, and are charged only when needed, to achieve greater cost savings. Leveraging containers with microservices can add a greater level of control and visibility for nuanced activities.

Ultimately, whether an organization leverages containers and microservices, or replatforms their databases, the bottom line remains: to achieve cost efficiencies in the cloud, infrastructure decisions must be well-aligned with the needs of the business (meeting application performance needs) while considering cost implications. Leveraging a cloud management platform to centralize control of many disparate cloud services can help organizations harness data for the greatest possible cost savings.

See how CloudCheckr can provide greater visibility of your cloud infrastructure with a free, 14-day trial.
Next up: the last in our series with step #10 and a summary of the whole series.