3 Things You Can Immediately do for AWS Cost Success!

August 30, 2022

Have you ever experience AWS bill shock or do you know someone who's been through this horrible experience?

Maybe you're new to AWS but you aren't new to the stories of others who received their AWS Bill and all of a sudden realized that left resources on that were only meant for a short period. Public Cloud has been around for awhile and having the power to easily deploy resources that once took weeks or even months to get setup is a huge responsibility. AWS Cost Optimization isn't something new and entire companies were created to help you visualize and minimize your cost.

This is the first of many blogs around AWS Cost Optimization efforts and we'll be diving deep in the future.

Here are my Top 3 things you could immediately do to gain visibility or to minimize unwanted cost in your AWS Environment.

1. AWS Cost and Usage Reports

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Setup your Cost and Usage Reports immediately after creating an AWS Account if they haven't been setup already. The Cost and Usage Reports (CUR) contains a comprehensives set of cost and usage data for your AWS Account. You can view or download the report and open it in your favorite CSV editor but honestly, reading the CUR file requires a PHD in "OMG". My suggestion, use Cost Explorer to help understand the data.

Within your AWS Account

In the Search area Type: Billing >> Select Billing >> On the left Select Cost & Usage Reports

Click Create Report >> Provide Report Name >> Click Next

Configure S3 Bucket >> Use existing or Create a New one (Review Additional Options but this is meant to be a quick setup)

Click Next >> And you're done.


2. AWS Budgets

In the same area that you created the Cost and Usage Report for your AWS Account, you can create a budget and set an alert when you might reach a threshold of your budget.

AWS Provides four (4) different types of budgets, from Cost, Usage, Savings Plans, to Reservations. If you're new to AWS and want to set a fix amount budget for all your resources, go with Cost. We can talk about the others at a later time.

In the AWS Console

Click Create Budget >> Click Next on Budget types to go with the Cost budget - Recommendation >> Click Next

Set your budget amount (Leave all the defaults)

I like it that AWS gives you a view or says "Hey buddy, ya know your last month's cost was $XX.XX"

Click Next >> Add Alert Threshold (75% is a good starting point, it allows you to go in and resolve issues before you're over budget)

Add your email or a group email

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3. Do Something

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This is probably my favor section of this blog post.

Actually do something about the alert you received or notification. Seriously, why waste the effort if you're going to say "Yeah, let me take a look at it this Friday". Build in some automation to do specific clean events from AWS Data Lifecycle Management, Amazon S3 Intelligent-Tiering to automatically move your data to a cost-effective access tier when access patterns change.

I'm a big fan of automation and using the Cloud for what it was meant to be, elastic and scalable.