Optimize Over Time - Cost Optimization Pillar

Optimize Over Time

In AWS, you optimize over time by reviewing new services and implementing them in your workload.

Review and Implement New Services

As AWS releases new services and features, it is a best practice to review your existing architectural decisions to ensure that they remain cost effective. As your requirements change, be aggressive in decommissioning resources, components, and workloads that you no longer require. Consider the following to help you optimize over time:

  • Develop a workload review process

  • Review and implement services

Develop a workload review process: To ensure that you always have the most cost efficient workload, you must regularly review the workload to know if there are opportunities to implement new services, features, and components. To ensure that you achieve overall lower costs the process must be proportional to the potential amount of savings. For example, workloads that are 50% of your overall spend should be reviewed more regularly, and more thoroughly, than workloads that are 5% of your overall spend. Factor in any external factors or volatility. If the workload services a specific geography or market segment, and change in that area is predicted, more frequent reviews could lead to cost savings. Another factor in review is the effort to implement changes. If there are significant costs in testing and validating changes, reviews should be less frequent.

Factor in the long-term cost of maintaining outdated and legacy, components and resources, and the inability to implement new features into them. The current cost of testing and validation may exceed the proposed benefit. However, over time, the cost of making the change may significantly increase as the gap between the workload and the current technologies increases, resulting in even larger costs. For example, the cost of moving to a new programming language may not currently be cost effective. However, in five years time, the cost of people skilled in that language may increase, and due to workload growth, you would be moving an even larger system to the new language, requiring even more effort than previously.

Break down your workload into components, assign the cost of the component (an estimate is sufficient), and then list the factors (for example, effort and external markets) next to each component. Use these indicators to determine a review frequency for each workload. For example, you may have webservers as a high cost, low change effort, and high external factors, resulting in high frequency of review. A central database may be medium cost, high change effort, and low external factors, resulting in a medium frequency of review.

Review the workload and implement services: To realize the benefits of new AWS services and features, you must execute the review process on your workloads and implement new services and features as required. For example, you might review your workloads and replace the messaging component with Amazon Simple Email Service (SES). This removes the cost of operating and maintaining a fleet of instances, while providing all the functionality at a reduced cost.