AWS offers dozens of managed services to enhance your cloud journey and reduce your overall cloud-operating spend. Using these services can be more cost effective than building and managing your own, home-rolled, versions.
For example, does your application, or its processes, have short-lived runtimes? Would it be better to move those processes, or the entire application, to AWS Lambda? Lambda functions reduce cloud costs and operational overhead. With Lambda, you don’t have to manage any backend services—simply configure your workflow, upload your code, and AWS handles scaling and availability. You’ll pay only for the compute time, services, or data transfers you use.
Let’s look at a few specific AWS services that can help you reduce costs:
Amazon Route 53: Amazon’s DNS web service is highly scalable, reliable, and tightly integrated with existing services like EC2 and S3. It provides critical DNS capabilities such as health checks, resolver endpoints, and credential-based access control. AWS cloud-based DNS is cost-effective and your costs are tied only to the resources you use. More specifically, Route 53 pricing is based your number of hosted zones, the number of DNS queries you process, and your traffic flow policy.
Amazon RDS: Instead of hosting your own PostgreSQL, MySQL, or Oracle database, consider Amazon’s relational database service, which includes engines for a number of popular databases. Amazon RDS is designed to reduce your operational database costs, and it offers scalable, secure, and highly available instances. In the section on Right-sizing your EC2 instances, we explained a bit about RDS instance types, but your RDS cost will also depend on the database engine you use. You’ll also pay for data storage and transfer, prices of which vary by region.
As more and more teams embrace microservices architectures, container orchestration workflows and services are becoming indispensable. AWS offers two managed services for your container-based workflows:
- Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS): This Docker-based container orchestration service deploys your container-based applications onto EC2 instances you pre-configure, or deploys them via AWS Fargate, which abstracts away all infrastructure management. ECS integrates with AWS services like Elastic load balancing, AWS CodeDeploy, and AWS App Mesh to manage and schedule your container orchestration workflows. ECS pricing depends on whether you’ll deploy containers on EC2 instances or via Fargate: Pricing for the latter is based on CPU and memory usage needed to execute your pre-defined launch tasks.
- Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes (EKS): EKS is a fully managed Kubernetes infrastructure running on top of EC2. Kubernetes is a highly dynamic container orchestration platform, but it can be challenging to deploy and manage. EKS manages that complexity for you in a way that’s fully compliant with existing Kubernetes standards; you can trust that your applications deployed in EKS are compatible with any Kubernetes environment or workflow. EKS pricing varies based on the number of Kubernetes clusters you’re managing, and on the type of EC2 instances you use for your worker nodes.
In his 2018 AWS re:Invent keynote address, AWS CTO Werner Vogels said that 95% of AWS services and features are based directly on customer feedback. In other words, they’re trying to build tools to make your cloud existence easier—and that includes tools for cost optimizing your cloud usage. Route 53, RDS, EKS, and ECS are just a few examples of how you can adopt AWS services to help reduce your operational costs.
There are plenty of others. For example, Amazon Redshift reduces the burden of managing your own data warehouse; Amazon CloudFront is a managed content delivery network (CDN) that integrates seamlessly with your existing EC2 infrastructure and S3 storage; and Amazon CloudFormation provides automation capabilities to help you create, deploy, and manage your entire AWS cloud infrastructure from templates written in YAML or JSON. You definitely won’t need every AWS service, but you should look for those services that will reduce your operational overhead wherever possible.
As always, be sure to check out the available AWS economics resources—whitepapers such as Introduction to Cloud Economics explain the how and why of reducing your operating costs in the cloud.