Blog   |   Cost Management   |   August 1, 2017

Ten Steps to Reducing Public Cloud Bills: Avoid Fees with Private IP Addresses and CloudFront

As we often say, cloud management is an ongoing, proactive initiative. Ensuring costs are appropriately forecasted and accounted for can mean the difference between barely meeting budget and saving $2M in cloud costs. One public cloud expense that can sometimes lead to headaches in the finance department is due to data transfer fees—yet these are manageable, with the right resources.

In Gartner’s recent industry report, Ten Moves to Lower Your AWS IaaS Costs, they break down the cost drivers behind data transfers. In this article, we offer our take on the opportunity to reduce AWS costs with private IP addresses and CloudFront.


Data Transfer Costs in a Nutshell

Data transfer costs are incurred when an organization moves data between AWS services and EC2. Occasionally, the cost of transferring data is not charged as a separate fee, but rather included in the cost of the service itself. It is important to note which services incur fees, and which do not.

Transfers to and from the following services will cost your organization nothing:

  • EC2
  • RDS
  • Redshift
  • ElastiCache

However, data transfers across those services are only cost-free if they occur within the same Availability Zone (AZ) and with a private IP address; using a public or elastic IP address will cost you. Moving data across or outside Regions will cost you, as well. Additionally, transferring data from EC2 to the internet can range in price, based on tiers (per GB).

Understanding the specifics of data transfer costs proactively can lead to a more efficient cloud architecture.


Using CloudFront for Fast, Secure Data Transfers

Leveraging AWS CloudFront can enable accelerated content delivery. Additionally, because it is supported by the constantly-growing AWS infrastructure, CloudFront offers global scalability to enable low latency and consistent performance.

Organizations looking for a reliable cloud delivery network (CDN) to handle confidential data can rest assured with CloudFront, as it promises infrastructure and processes to support PCI, HIPAA, DSS, and ISO compliance.


Managing CloudFront Data

As with any AWS service, ensuring governance and proactive management is in place will help your organization make the most of CloudFront. A few key pieces of information you should stay on top of:

  • Number of streaming and download distributions within CloudFront
  • Number of enabled distributions
  • Number of download distributions created
  • Number of streaming distributions created
  • Number of distributions that have logging enabled
  • Number of distributions that have logging disabled

When you understand what distributions are running, you should then be aware of the associated pricing classes, including edge locations that will serve your requests and the number of distributions that are assigned to a price class.

Understanding and monitoring activity with CloudFront can help ensure your organization is not spending unnecessary costs on supporting cloud data distribution. CloudCheckr offers this information in the CloudFront Summary Report, to enable quick and easy actions to address and optimize your environment.

CloudCheckr offers several reports to offer additional visibility and control across CloudFront. Additionally, the List of CloudFront Distributions report provides a detailed look at each distribution created within CloudFront, as well as each the origin of received content from S3 or the web. This additional visibility and control will ensure your organization is most efficiently using CloudFront.

Explore CloudCheckr to see the significant difference actionable insights can make when managing your cloud.

Next part: Steps 8 and 9 in our series, on leveraging spot pricing and rethinking application and database architecture.