Blog   |   Cost Management   |   July 25, 2017

Ten Steps to Reducing Public Cloud Bills: Storage Policies and Best Practice

Cost saving opportunities in the cloud come in many forms. From purchasing Reserved Instances to rebalancing and allocating instances, organizations have their work cut out for them in terms of optimizing cloud expenses. In addition to cloud compute options, organizations should consider their strategy when it comes to cloud storage. For instance, S3 can be used instead of EC2. Leveraging storage life policy rules for S3 or other storage resources can be one of the easiest ways for an organization to optimize their cloud costs.
Gartner’s recent resource, Ten Moves to Lower Your AWS IaaS Costs, highlights this and other tactical tips for reducing cloud expenses. Over the past few weeks, we offered our take on creating a cloud management toolkit, as well as tagging resources, automating utilizationbenchmarking instances, and leveraging RIs. In this article, we look at Gartner’s recommendation to leverage storage policies to reduce cloud costs—and our tips for ensuring your cloud stays secure while doing so.

Amazon Storage Options and Benefits

In Gartner’s report, they describe one use case in which an organization with a large amount of S3 Standard Storage might recognize some cost savings due to consolidated billing accounts. However, the true opportunity to save on S3 would be through policy rules and tagging. Distributing capacity between S3 Standard, S3 Infrequent Access (IA), and Glacier Storage, Gartner explains, can save organizations more significant money—with the right management. Understanding variations in retrieval fees and times may (and should) influence storage management.
Ultimately, understanding how to leverage Amazon S3 can be a beneficial thing for cloud-based organizations on a few levels:

  • Additional durability and reliability: With the world’s largest infrastructure across AZs and Regions, Amazon S3 promises better availability and performance than ever before possible through on-premise data centers.
  • Performance at scale: Amazon S3 provides total storage capacity that dwarfs other vendors, according to Gartner. This ensures fast, consistent application performance as your organization’s needs grow.
  • Sophisticated analytic support: Organizations can easily run big data analytics on data at rest, without extraction to separate analytics systems. The ability to run vast amounts of data in a more cost effective manner are key for agile enterprises.
  • Centralized policy management: According to Amazon, S3 offers the most complete and comprehensive storage management on the market—ensuring finance goals, compliance requirements, corporate business policies, and more are met.

And finally, Amazon S3 boasts support for “more security standards and compliance certifications than any other cloud platform.” These include PCI, HIPAA, FedRAMP, and more.

Security and Compliance with S3

While Gartner highlights a few important considerations about leveraging Amazon storage for cost savings, one critical consideration should be maintaining security and compliance of S3 data. While Amazon provides the foundation for keeping your data secure, it is your job to ensure proper encryption is in place, and that S3 buckets remain private if your organization mandates them to be.
Leaving S3 resources vulnerable or publicly accessible can lead to costly data breaches—negating any hard work you’ve done in managing your storage costs.
CloudCheckr offers a free, publicly-accessible tool to check if your S3 buckets are secure. If you are already leveraging S3, now is the time to ensure their security.
Check your S3 buckets
Using a tool like CloudCheckr can help your teams manage and optimize S3, as well as other AWS services across your cloud infrastructure. With a centralized, customizable dashboard, you can receive proactive alerts and reports before costs, misconfigurations, or vulnerabilities become an issue. Additionally, automated self-healing help to clean up unused resources to reduce waste and mitigate risk.
Try CloudCheckr for 14 days free to experience comprehensive cloud management to reduce AWS costs at scale.
Next: Part 7, on saving money with CloudFront and private IP addresses.