Top 3 Areas to Automate in AWS to Avoid Overpaying Cloud Bills
Cloud Automation, Cloud Computing

AWS is one of the most used cloud services across the world. Gartner Magic Quadrant ranks AWS as the largest IaaS providers. AWS services are used by enterprises from every possible domain. Around 1000,000 companies worldwide are using AWS as their IaaS provider.

From Netflix to Unilever to Met Office everyone has moved to cloud infrastructure on AWS. Since you are reading this blog, chances are you are using AWS too, and overpaying too! !

A report suggests enterprises around the globe overpay an amount of 6.4 Billion Dollars for AWS cloud services. An amount that would make at least 6 startups a Unicorn.

Top 3 Areas in AWS Enterprises Must Automate to Avoid Overpaying Cloud Bills

Amount overpaid for AWS solutions = $6.4 Billion

What is that enterprises are getting wrong while deploying AWS services?

It is dangerously easy to get your organization to move to cloud infrastructure and more easier to get it wrong, thus overpaying in hundreds of dollars on AWS deployments. Here are a few pointers:

Top 3 Areas in AWS Enterprises Must Automate to Avoid Overpaying Cloud Bills

Idle and unused Resources

There are resources that are required only on case-to-case basis. However, enterprises end up paying for them round the clock. Areas, where such resources can be found, are development, testing, QA, staging, etc. Similarly, there are resources that are not required anymore. However, they continue to run. Some examples to elucidate would be:

  1. Unutilized or underutilized EC2 instances in sparingly used environments or regions that go unnoticed for months. Result: Your enterprise ends up paying for them.
  2. Unused RDS instances  for a long period of time, especially in a non-production environment. Result: Your enterprise ends up paying for the entire duration.
  3. Outdated snapshots that are retained longer than required. Result: Your enterprise ends up paying for the storage.
  4. Unattached EBS volumes that persist even when an instance is deleted forever. Result: Your enterprise ends up paying for them.

Inefficient Data Management, Data Archiving and Data Retrieval within AWS

With the amount of data enterprises require, irrespective of the industry/vertical, you have to be prudent in how you store and manage the data. Failing to do so can result in your enterprise compute costs flying through the roof. Some of the places where you need to efficiently manage data are S3 usage, archiving data, caching data, etc.

Security and compliance

In the early days of cloud adoption, one of the major reasons for enterprises’ reluctance to shift to a cloud was security concerns. Even today, one of the major challenges enterprises face is ensuring a secure AWS infrastructure 24/7.

Despite all measures, enterprises have been victims of security breaches. For instance, in 2017, Accenture accidentally configured four of their AWS S3 buckets as accessible to the public. This meant anyone who could access and figure out one of the bucket’s URL would be able to download the bucket’s content. In the same year, hackers got access to Uber’s GitHub data and were able to extract the AWS credentials of the company.

Automation is the key to efficiently deploy and use AWS

With the augmentation of AWS in an enterprise setup, several factors, such as instance options, management, selection, and deployment of the right solutions become more and more complex to handle.

Despite these limitations, an enterprise can scale on AWS without overpaying! How? Using AUTOMATION!

Top 3 Areas in AWS Enterprises Must Automate to Avoid Overpaying Cloud Bills

Automation of Data Storage Management

Efficient use of S3, proper data retrieval, archiving and information caching methods can help save hundreds of dollars for enterprises. So, automate the following:

  • Scheduled deleting of older backup data stored on S3 after a certain period of time
  • Management of backups and retention of your RDS, EC2 and Redshift resources with snapshots and AMIs, on S3.
  • Moving data from S3 to S3 RRS (Reduced Redundancy Storage) where data is kept in a single region, but backed up at multiple AZs.
  • Cross-region replication to replicate or back-up S3 data to other regions. This automation helps in replicating the data uploaded in the source bucket to a destination bucket in a different region.
  • Caching through services like Amazon Elasticache, which simplifies setting up, managing, and scaling a distributed in-memory cache environment in the cloud.

Automation of Resource Utilization

In an enterprise setup, managing hundreds of AWS EC2 instances poses a huge challenge. Optimizing their usage and avoiding cost wastage are of paramount importance. Autoscaling definitely helps in utilizing EC2s optimally, however, there are other areas that can be automated, to avoid overpaying, such as:

  • Shutting down unused instances
  • Righsizing EC2 instances according to the workload
  • Moving workloads to the best-matched EC2 instance types
  • Shutting down related components of EC2 instances not in use, like orphaned snapshots, EBS volumes, etc.
  • Releasing Elastic IPs of non-running instances

 Automation of security and compliance

While AWS security solutions emphasize security protocols, organizations still face challenges while ensuring a robust security infrastructure, and sometimes face security breaches like the ones mentioned earlier in the article. There are two ways in which security issues may arise – inefficient user management and unauthorized access.

In such cases, automation can help. Here’s how:

  • Using solutions like AWS CloudTrail can help track API usage, which can help in auditing and maintaining compliance controls. However, it is difficult to follow all of them manually while you need to manage an umpteen number of compliance regulations. Automation can help.
  • Tools like Amazon GuardDuty can help the enterprise to monitor your AWS accounts and workloads. It also uses intelligent threat detection to determine malicious activity, and can automatically counter them.

In conclusion:

AWS is a boon for enterprises for scaling their infrastructure into a secure platform. However, not optimizing the usage can lead to wastage of precious dollars for your enterprise. Automating the critical elements can help enterprises achieve this. And this is where cloud management automation platform like TotalCloud can help you make the most out of your AWS deployments and help you avoid overpaying your AWS bills. Know more …


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