Maximizing Cloud Cost Control with AWS Enhancements
PointFive Team
March 20, 2024

It’s no surprise that effectively managing cloud expenses is top of mind for FinOps and engineers, alike. It’s why AWS works tirelessly to offer its users improved cost-control capabilities and solutions. 

For organizations that leverage AWS as their cloud provider, take note: AWS made some recent enhancements that are designed to help maximize control over cloud expenses. In this blog, we’ll take a look at four of these updates.

Savings Plans are Returnable

AWS added a 7-day return window for Savings Plans, giving clients an opportunity to amend their cost-saving pledges. This enables consumers to choose the best Savings Plans for their requirements by permitting returns and offering a 100% refund for upfront costs. This results in the best possible cost savings and resource utilization.

In exchange for a one- or three-year hourly spend commitment, Savings Plans offers a flexible pricing strategy that can help you cut your bill by up to 72% when compared to On-Demand costs. You can return your most recent Savings Plan and, if necessary, buy a new one if you find it isn't the best fit for your needs as of right now.

Customizing EC2 Rightsizing Recommendations

AWS also allows customers to modify the memory utilization headroom for EC2 rightsizing recommendations by utilizing the memory customizability function of AWS Compute Optimizer. By defining the memory headroom, users can guarantee that Compute Optimizer suggests EC2 instances to execute their workloads below the task. 

To further illustrate the benefits of memory customizability, consider the following table:

Benefits of Memory Customizability Considerations
Improved application performance Memory headroom adjustments should align with application requirements
Enhanced cost-efficiency Smaller memory headroom can improve cost efficiency for less performance-sensitive workloads
Tailored recommendations Enable memory utilization monitoring through AWS CloudWatch Agent or preferred observability products

Configuring EC2 Rightsizing Recommendations

Users can customize EC2 rightsizing recommendations according to memory usage at various levels, such as account, organizational, or regional. Because of this adaptability, users can match the recommendations to their requirements and tastes. 

By customizing them, users can confidently embrace Compute Optimizer's rightsizing recommendations, which are optimized to meet their workload requirements.

The following steps outline the process:

  1. Activate the AWS Cloud Watch Agent or other favored observability tools to monitor memory usage.
  2. Adjust the headroom for memory use according to the application's performance needs.
  3. Indicate the level of rightsizing (regional, account, or organizational) you would like for suggestion preferences.
  4. Choose EC2 instance kinds that best suit your needs as a business or as a resource.

Worth noting is that users can use AWS SDK, CLI, or Compute Optimizer console to configure EC2 rightsizing recommendations.

Simplified Cost Categories Creation Workflows

The new AWS Cost Categories user interface makes constructing and administering cost categorization rules easier. With the split-view panel, users can concurrently build up rules and examine how those rules affect cost allocation.

Thanks to this integrated perspective, the user experience is improved overall since there is no need to flip between several screens. 

The salient characteristics and advantages of the updated user interface are outlined in the following table:

Key Features
Split-view panel for rule creation and preview Simplifies the process of setting up Cost Category Rules
Interactive preview of cost allocation based on rules Provides real-time visibility into the impact of rules on cost allocation
Consolidated view of all rules in the rules table Enables easy management and organization of Cost Categories rules

Getting Started with AWS Cost Categories

Users can take the following actions to start using AWS Cost Categories and benefit from the updated user interface:

  1. Go to the Cost Categories section of the AWS Billing Console.
  2. Cost Category rules can be created and edited using the split-view panel.
  3. See how the rules affect cost allocation in real-time.
  4. Use the rules table to manage and arrange all Cost Category rules.
  5. Use the features for searching, filtering, and rearranging to simplify rule administration.

Enhanced Visibility and Cost Control

AWS Cost Categories' redesigned user interface gives users more visibility and control over how much they spend. Customers can now retrospectively enable Cost Allocation Tags on AWS for a maximum of 12 months. 

Previously, resource tags that AWS customers activated for cost allocation purposes were only effective in the future. For instance, a cost would only be tagged as of March 10 if it was assigned to a resource in February and then activated as a Cost Allocation Tag on the same day. 

The split-view panel helps users make well-informed decisions about rule modifications and how they affect cost allocation. This expanded visibility equips Users to optimize their cost management methods.

Cost Allocation Tag Functionality

Previously, resource tags could only be applied prospectively when consumers activated them for cost allocation. With this update, clients can now submit a backfill request and indicate how long they would like the Cost Allocation Tags to be backfilled. 

After the backfill is finished, the cost and consumption information from previous months will be labeled with the current Cost Allocation Tags. Every Commercial Amazon Region has access to this feature for retroactive applications.

A Focus on Cost Control

These enhancements demonstrate AWS's dedication to providing customers with solid tools and features to efficiently manage and maximize their cloud resources. Granting more flexibility and customization options ultimately gives Users more control and insight into their cost allocation procedures.

Learn more about how PointFive’s platform works with AWS.

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