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3 Hacks to Reduce Your Cloud Computing Bill

1\. Reduce waste, 2. Optimize what you’re using, and 3. Move towards reserved instances (RIs)

Here are 3 ways you can lower your cloud computing bill:

1. Reduce waste

Waste might be an instance that someone spun up to test some scenario and then forgot to shut it down.

Another form of waste is when the instances are up even when people are not working, like over the night and weekend.

You can end up saving a lot by just shutting those down.I run a mark and sweep algorithm where we:

  • mark the things that are idle by putting in the tag
  • wait for people to squawk if they don't want it taken away
  • if no one complains, we shut it down after a day or so

(Ideally, you can do something more calendar-based, but that alone works.)

2. Optimize what you’re using.

You might be using instances that are over-provisioned for what you're doing.

E.g., if your instances are using only 25% of their capacity, take it down one click, and now they're using 50%, saving you 50% on the bill.

Modernizing your instance types, such as moving to Graviton, is another way to optimize your instances.

3. Moving towards reserved instances (RIs)

Many of us know that you can get a 40% discount for one year and a 60% for three years.

But, not many people use convertible RIs, probably because they have lower discounts than the regular RI.

They give you the ability to shift from one thing to another.

And doing that – in services like RDS, where customers can decide the instances they want to run – can get you ~90% reservations, reducing my bill by a big margin.