COST06-BP03 Select resource type, size, and number automatically based on metrics - Cost Optimization Pillar

COST06-BP03 Select resource type, size, and number automatically based on metrics

Use metrics from the currently running workload to select the right size and type to optimize for cost. Appropriately provision throughput, sizing, and storage for compute, storage, data, and networking services. This can be done with a feedback loop such as automatic scaling or by custom code in the workload.

Level of risk exposed if this best practice is not established: Low

Implementation guidance

Create a feedback loop within the workload that uses active metrics from the running workload to make changes to that workload. You can use a managed service, such as AWS Auto Scaling, which you configure to perform the right sizing operations for you. AWS also provides APIs, SDKs, and features that allow resources to be modified with minimal effort. You can program a workload to stop-and-start an Amazon EC2 instance to allow a change of instance size or instance type. This provides the benefits of right-sizing while removing almost all the operational cost required to make the change.

Some AWS services have built in automatic type or size selection, such as Amazon Simple Storage Service Intelligent-Tiering. Amazon S3 Intelligent-Tiering automatically moves your data between two access tiers, frequent access and infrequent access, based on your usage patterns.

Implementation steps

  • Increase your observability by configuring workload metrics: Capture key metrics for the workload. These metrics provide an indication of the customer experience, such as workload output, and align to the differences between resource types and sizes, such as CPU and memory usage. For compute resource, analyze performance data to right size your Amazon EC2 instances. Identify idle instances and ones that are underutilized. Key metrics to look for are CPU usage and memory utilization (for example, 40% CPU utilization at 90% of the time as explained in Rightsizing with AWS Compute Optimizer and Memory Utilization Enabled). Identify instances with a maximum CPU usage and memory utilization of less than 40% over a four-week period. These are the instances to right size to reduce costs. For storage resources such as Amazon S3, you can use Amazon S3 Storage Lens, which allows you to see 28 metrics across various categories at the bucket level, and 14 days of historical data in the dashboard by default. You can filter your Amazon S3 Storage Lens dashboard by summary and cost optimization or events to analyze specific metrics.

  • View rightsizing recommendations: Use the rightsizing recommendations in AWS Compute Optimizer and the Amazon EC2 rightsizing tool in the Cost Management console, or review AWS Trusted Advisor right-sizing your resources to make adjustments on your workload. It is important to use the right tools when right-sizing different resources and follow right-sizing guidelines whether it is an Amazon EC2 instance, AWS storage classes, or Amazon RDS instance types. For storage resources, you can use Amazon S3 Storage Lens, which gives you visibility into object storage usage, activity trends, and makes actionable recommendations to optimize costs and apply data protection best practices. Using the contextual recommendations that Amazon S3 Storage Lens derives from analysis of metrics across your organization, you can take immediate steps to optimize your storage.

  • Select resource type and size automatically based on metrics: Using the workload metrics, manually or automatically select your workload resources. For compute resources, configuring AWS Auto Scaling or implementing code within your application can reduce the effort required if frequent changes are needed, and it can potentially implement changes sooner than a manual process. You can launch and automatically scale a fleet of On-Demand Instances and Spot Instances within a single Auto Scaling group. In addition to receiving discounts for using Spot Instances, you can use Reserved Instances or a Savings Plan to receive discounted rates of the regular On-Demand Instance pricing. All of these factors combined help you optimize your cost savings for Amazon EC2 instances and determine the desired scale and performance for your application. You can also use an attribute-based instance type selection (ABS) strategy in Auto Scaling Groups (ASG), which lets you express your instance requirements as a set of attributes, such as vCPU, memory, and storage. You can automatically use newer generation instance types when they are released and access a broader range of capacity with Amazon EC2 Spot Instances. Amazon EC2 Fleet and Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling select and launch instances that fit the specified attributes, removing the need to manually pick instance types. For storage resources, you can use the Amazon S3 Intelligent Tiering and Amazon EFS Infrequent Access features, which allow you to select storage classes automatically that deliver automatic storage cost savings when data access patterns change, without performance impact or operational overhead.


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