Ep#94 Top 5 Ways to Monitor your AWS Cost & Spend

October 4, 2022

Episode Summary

Steph Gooch, Sr. Commercial Architect @ AWS joins the Jon Myer Podcast to discuss how to set up your AWS Account for Cost Optimization Success. Whether you're just getting started and it's a new AWS Account or a well-established account, there are a number of things you can do to get started to avoid "Bill Shock".

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About the Guest

Steph Gooch

Currently, I am Sr Commercial architect in the AWS OPTICS team. We serve as subject matter experts guiding customers through ways to optimize their current and future AWS spending. Our team specializes in understanding the unique complexities of large customers and diving deep into their cost and usage data to recommend and educate customers on long-term cost management and optimization strategies.

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Episode Show Notes & Transcript

Host: Jon

I clicked record because there's always some good stuff that happens now,

Guest: Steph

As always,

Host: Jon

<laugh>, you never, you know what? I have had the best conversations before anybody clicks record and I'm like, Man, I wish I had this stuff on the recording. And then at the end, we won't mention anything, but we always get some cool stuff. And everybody's like, even Alex goes, I had to wait to wear off the recording. I was like, I'm sorry. But we still, were

Guest: Steph

<laugh>. Everyone always does it. I like it. Because before Twitch we start by having a chit-chat. We have like 10-minute buffer. So if we can get online, like make sure we can share screens off the VPN. Except, but then I started doing a dad joke, which I stole from someone else who does it on Twitch. But the reactions to the dad jokes, I wish I could also record just to have them because they're just, they're always really bad, but it does make people laugh.

Host: Jon

Wait for a second, tell me a dad joke. I’ll wait.

Guest: Steph

I can't think I like said it and now I'm like, I can't think of anything. I read them off something. What? Um, wait,

Host: Jon

I'll

Guest: Steph

Wait. There's like, I've gone through so many. There was one about, um, what's blue and doesn't weigh very much.

Host: Jon

Uh, I don't know.

Guest: Steph

Light blue

Host: Jon

<laugh> <laugh>. Excuse me. I'll put that in my database.

Guest: Steph

Oh, God. This is all, this is gonna be, It's just like that dad checks back and forth.

Host: Jon

<laugh> actually. Really? Is that what we came on the record? You know what? I think that's what we came on to do. We're just gonna tell dad jokes a little bit.

Guest: Steph

Yeah, that's it.

Host: Jon

<laugh>. Okay. I got one for you. My son told to me the other day. Uh, you know who Dwayne the Rock Jonson is, right? The Rock? Yes. Okay. All right. Just checking. Um, so what happens when you touch it? Touch Dwayne's backside or the rock's backside?

Guest: Steph

I don't know what happens.

Host: Jon

You've hit rock bottom.

Guest: Steph

Oh no, no, no, no. As you started saying it, I was like, I could see what this is going on. Oh gosh. I'm gonna steal that. That's gonna go in there Thursday. Show

Host: Jon

That, that you should, You know what? I will, I'll be all wondering. Just drop me a note on Chime and say, Hey listen, Jon, I'm about to drop that. You can either listen to this, or I'm going

Guest: Steph

Oh no, but the problem is it's in the pre-chat so it never gets recorded. <laugh>.

Host: Jon

Oh, man. Okay. You gotta let me know the reaction to that <laugh>.

Guest: Steph

Oh yeah. It's my colleague Mattie. And he's probably just gonna be like, I'm disappointed in you. So that's the vibe he gonna give me.

Host: Jon

Uh, okay. Staff today we're gonna talk. We aren't gonna talk about something today. I'm not, that joke would've been pretty cool if I came prepared. This would've been a very humorous one. I'm not sure how it would've been made. Oh,

Guest: Steph

We could have had an hour of just dad jokes. Next time. Next time.

Host: Jon

Okay. I will put, We'll plan that on there. I will bring mine. You bring yours and we can go, Oh, you know what? We should do one of those recordings where you have a mouthful of water and you do that. Dad, wait a second. Can we do that now? Can we, can we take a quick

Guest: Steph

No, I need to cover my mon, my monitors, in like coding so that it gets ruined. Have you the,

Host: Jon

I'm gonna have a bucket.

Guest: Steph

Have you seen the wrap of this?

Host: Jon

No.

Guest: Steph

Okay. So you like get a mouthful of water and then you hit your partner with like Oh, yeah,

Host: Jon

Yeah, yeah. That I've seen. Uh,

Guest: Steph

<laugh> that is just, I wanna track with my friends, but they, they don't wanna do it. <laugh>,

Host: Jon

My daughter and her best friend did it on our camping trip. So they, they Oh, best. Yeah, we had to buy tortillas specifically for this and it like whacked it and like broke the tortilla <laugh>.

Host: Jon

Yes. I've seen that

Guest: Steph

So hard.

Host: Jon

<laugh>. Did you see the one with, uh, The Rock and Kevin Hart?

Guest: Steph

No.

Host: Jon

Oh, you better go watch. You have to watch that Kevin. Like literally on, I don't know how this, it just had to be a fake rap because he smacked him so hard. It didn't even break, but I would've been gripping that and like,

Host: Jon

Okay. Next time we're doing that, we're gonna do that as the intro to whatever we're talking.

Guest: Steph

Do it reinvent.

Host: Jon

Oh yes. Okay. I'm writing that down. We're gonna, since we're doing a lot of live streams,

Guest: Steph

Yeah, it sort either be like the best decision we make or the worst decision we make, one or the two.

Host: Jon

I'm guaranteeing a lot of views, whether it's good or bad. <laugh> you almost,

Guest: Steph

I'm gonna put my drinks away. It is dangerous.

Host: Jon

Oh my God. We didn't even get started yet. I'm so glad I'm recording all this

Guest: Steph

<laugh>.

Host: Jon

Its,

Speaker 3:

Oh,

Guest: Steph

Anyway. Okay, let's go. We're we talking about <laugh>?

Host: Jon

First of all? Everybody join me a welcoming Steph Gooch, commercial architect at aws. Oh Steph, thanks for joining the show. Wait a sec, we're in this like 10 minutes already and I'm doing the intro <laugh>.

Guest: Steph

I know, right? I've just literature to iera in my eye cuz I'm crying. Thank you for having me back. <laugh> I love last time. So this is starting with a whole different energy and I'm loving it.

Host: Jon

Oh, you know what? It is Monday and I needed to definitely pick me up. This is definitely my cheeks are hurting. My God. All right. Woo. We need to turn on a fan. Okay, we're

Guest: Steph

We're ready.

Host: Jon

All right. All right, let's get down to bed. <laugh> <laugh>. I'm sorry. So

Guest: Steph

The problem is the more you laugh, I'm gonna laugh. So from my, my gorgeous optics branded cup that Alex made me, I

Host: Jon

Saw it. I wass pretty good. Don't spit any of that out all.

Guest: Steph

Oh no, <laugh>.

Host: Jon

Okay, let, let, let's get to it. Uh, we're today I wanted to talk with everybody a little bit off the cusp. I've been putting out some AWS quick savings or savings, quick tips, right? And I've been posting 'em out there and these are really meant for literally one to two minutes on how you can just do some savings in aws. I wanna take a little bit of a step back and I wanna talk about folks that are starting out in aws, uh, startups, creating their first account. What are some of the things that you recommend them doing immediately when they get their account set up before they say, Oh listen, I wanna deploy out this whole new website, three tier infrastructure with a backups and all this other stuff.

Guest: Steph

So there's a couple of things, and this is very timely. I posted on LinkedIn about this kind of concept recently. Like what do you do at the start? Cause we are doing a blog series on the CFM blog about this topic following the four pillars of CFM aws. And so there was a whole debate about whether you start with accounts or you start with costs. And so the consensus was you have to start with the cost and use report. So day one, set it up. It's like the first thing you should do because it's hard to go and get the data rector actively. So number one, go and enable your cost and use report and your billing account and hopefully that will be in an organization account. And that's like step two is turn your account into an organization. Cuz that gives you access to a lot of control when you expand over lots of linked accounts and things like policies and tag policies. Um, and you can use services like control tower. So expand. So number one and number two, number one, create the care. Number two, create an organization.

Host: Jon

Wait a second, I, I think I heard the chicken before the a the egg before the shake. I'm not sure. I

Guest: Steph

Know I had such

Host: Jon

A debate just said the cost and usage and then, and you hope your account, your billing account. <laugh>. I think you're, you're right. The very first thing I always tell people to do is set up your current right. You know, set this up and then you could still set up the organization and how you want the structure. But always that first, it's not like setting it up and you can't do one without the other. You can always go back and do one versus the other or organize things. Yeah. Even if you sit down and you map out I want 12 accounts, here's the 12 accounts, how do I wanna deploy these accounts? Well before you even start with those accounts is how are you gonna control the cost and all those accounts or visualize the cost. So I'm right there with you. The curve has to be set up first.

Guest: Steph

Mm-hmm. <affirmative> also the way you set up. So a lot of people again recently have been reaching out and they're saying, someone actually messaged me I think yesterday saying, Oh I've been trying to find, find out how I find a singular database that's um, costing me money or a tag connected to it. And they hadn't actually enabled the KE to be set up in like the right format. So a couple of things to always know this is in the documentation, but I really urge people to do it because they often see things like CSV is their choice of format because they're used to csv but we don't want that for this situation. We wanna choose pathway format, we wanna overwrite the report, have resource ideas and in have it running for every hour. They're like the four things that people should always make sure that they select cuz there's lots of different options. But to get the best of it, that's what I recommend.

Host: Jon

Wow, that's some really good information because I think I've always set up mine as a CSV that's just typical. I want to download it, right? I'm gonna open it up in my spreadsheet. I wanna <laugh>

Guest: Steph

Done. Did you not listen to Alex's podcast? <laugh>? You were there. Go print out

Host: Jon

<laugh>. I know, I know. That's, I always get a little sarcastic. Sorry. Uh, but exactly And that's actually some good information really to tell him how to do it and set it up. You did indicate tagging. We will talk about tagging in a few moments because I know there's some pluses, minuses or what you should or should do with tagging. I've got my curve set up. What's the next thing you recommend?

Guest: Steph

So following that, I would make sure that you have access to it in Athena, which is kind of like following that. Um, and there's a handy file formation template which deploys, which gets put into your S3 bucket where your cur is, which would deploy out a crawler, uh, in a confirmation stack that will enable you to update your, uh, date your table in Athena. Which means that, say for example, when you first start your account, you haven't bought any savings plans or reserved instances. There will be no columns in your car then. But then you go and well done, you go buy some savings plans to cover your compute and then you want those columns to be added into your curve. So crawl needs to go through and pick up that new data. So unless you do that, you won't see the new columns in your table. So make sure you deploy that. And then following that, I mean unless you wanna jump in

Host: Jon

No, actually, well the only thing I was gonna say, can you send me a link to that document and the, the cloud formation template? That is pretty cool because I didn't even think about that where the columns and were added if you didn't have it already and now I need to update my database for it. If I'm not doing this automatically, then it's, I'm not visualizing it.

Guest: Steph

Yeah, there is a static sequel file in there, which we is the table that you can just deploy into Athena or there's the confirmation which gets the crawler. I always up for the crawler option because then you don't need to do anything. And it means that when new data and new partitions are added, so partitions just for extra information, when you look into your car, your car's gonna be split up by like month and year. And so if you go into that every partition that's added, your table needs to kind be refreshed and the crawler will do that for you.

Host: Jon

Nice. Now when you said you're setting up the cur, you, you, you said mentioned to override it, is it because it's going to the S3 and then it's going to Athena and then the data's not there? Or what were you talking about? Cuz here I'm envisioning and those who are listening or like, Oh, why am I overrid a data? I wanna save this hour over hour.

Guest: Steph

So this is the bit I, I'm not gonna say I know there's a hundred percent, but I know that there's a tick box in there that you do. And I think the concept is that when you, if you don't override it, you'll get like, so day one you'll get day one, day two, you'll get day one and day two, day three you'll get one, two, and three. Whereas if you override it or will be day one, then just one and two, then just 1, 2, 3. So it overrides the files. You don't keep duplicates of multiple days. Think that's right. I always check.

Host: Jon

Yeah, I think I'll test that out. Okay, Steph, after I've done my curve, I, I've set this up for, you know, Athena and I've set up the ation template and the crawler. What's next?

Guest: Steph

So if you really wanna see into your cost, so if you haven't spent any money yet, you might wanna spend time like setting up your organization, setting up your account structure. I think we spoke with this last time where a good account structure is things like having organizational units, having accounts set up to contain an entire environment such as production or development or an entire application. Kind of spend time doing that. If immediately you start spending loads of money and you wanna see what's happening, I'd recommend setting up one of the cost intelligent dashboards. To give you an insight, you can use tools like Cost Explorer, which are native, which will give you a good granularity of data. That's something I think you also need to enable. But getting the kudos dashboard to set up early means that you have access to that data and you kind of set that as a normal tool to start accessing information and start seeing trends.

Host: Jon

What about Control Tower? Since it sets up a number of these things automatically for you, I'm not sure, I actually have to check to see if it sets up, uh, Cost Explorer, but control Tower for deploying out your accounts and now you're having the visualization of it. Does that come into play here and should I do that whether I'm a small startup or a huge enterprise?

Guest: Steph

Well, every startup I assume wants to be a huge enterprise eventually. So you might as well start like for success. So set it up. Um, as long as there's, I think being mindful of if these things cost money, I don't, um, not but don't quote me on if Control tower does, I can't remember. But have a look and see if these services are gonna help you and think about why you're gonna be in five years time. You don't wanna have any regrets of things you haven't set up. And that's one of the common things that we see with customers is they do lift and shift, they kind of hit the ground running and they haven't done any of these small tasks first and then it means they're trying to put out fires, they're having to retroactively do things. They have to spit up a whole nother organization to move things again over to the setup correctly. So kind of read the documentation, see if you can get access to any experts at aws, but have a look at best practices for setting up an organization and definitely things that control Tower will help you down the line.

Host: Jon

Steph set up for success and that seems to be a theme you and I are actually talking about this offline is let's, what are some of the things that you should do before you actually get started? If you're a startup, you already have an AWS account, I understand going and implemented needs or a little bit of a concern. Control tower has come a long way. When it first started out, you couldn't pull in existing accounts, you had to start net new mm-hmm. <affirmative> now you can actually import existing accounts into it. There are some things you wanna work through and work with your essays at AWS to make sure you implement it correctly. But I think having you think big, right? You're a startup, everybody wants to be big. You might as well plan to be big. I don't know the exact cost, I don't think it's actually much because the resources it's using, it's only if you have the alerting turn on like AWS config, um, if you're utilizing right, that, that, that might be a little bit of stuff, but uh, maybe, um, some gateways that are implemented. But I think the cost is minimal versus the control that you have for the environment because you'll have your billing account, you'll have your whole organization and you set yourself up for success.

Guest: Steph

Exactly. Yeah.

Host: Jon

All right, Steph, after that, what's next? I mean, what are some other things that I might be able to do to keep an eye on my account to be aware of Cost manager. Uh, things that are unknown to me. I remember I'm even a startup or an enterprise, there is one person with multi hats or multiple people. Not everybody knows what's going on.

Guest: Steph

So like I was just pulling up my, the blog that I was writing cause I was like, what is key to this? Cause I was like, I've spent some time think about it. And definitely organization is key. I think the ownership thing is probably the next thing I would think of or having a strategy. So it's not necessarily seeing data, but um, like I was saying about thinking about how you expand over time, have a plan of who's gonna own what and how everything kind of sits together. Um, it's, it's similar to tagging strategy, maybe we can go onto that. Um, but I like to think of it as not necessarily tagging. The whole thing around tagging is people get really stressed about it and they become obsessed with the idea of tagging. And I think I said this last time, but I've kind of, um, gonna start pushing to have more of like an ownership strategy.

Guest: Steph

So tags are just a way to get data. They're not the be on end all, but they're really important if you need to get, understand who has ownership of what. So if we go back to that account structure concept that everything in an account is owned for a single project. For example, you can tag the account in organizations with metadata that's powerful to you. It doesn't mean you have to have everything. You can start small and add over time. It means that when you move accounts, they can kind of inherit tags from ou. It's a powerful way of being able to see what's going on. And when it comes to looking at things like your cost intelligence dashboard or even when you're trying to do reporting and things like Athena, if you have that metadata already set up, you could just pull that into those services and allow you to divvy up costs.

Guest: Steph

Or when it comes to quick site, if you wanna do your cost intelligence dashboard, you can use things like row level security, which is something that we're building at the moment for a plugin for the C I D dashboards, which is cool. Um, but yeah, having that data kind of set up at the start and decide who has ownership of what, not necessarily a person. I would maybe, um, go against putting people's names against stuff because people leave companies and then if you've got someone's name against it when they leave and you forgot to change it, there's just kind of this account floating around with all this money being spent on it. So maybe you look at teams or kind of groups that are associated to it that that kind of your question are kind of went on tangent.

Host: Jon

No, that that answers a little bit. I, I wanna touch on that because you and I talked about tagging and probably about a couple years ago tagging was like the biggest thing. Everybody's like, Oh you gotta tag everything. And anything you mentioned on one of our calls, uh, or actually our last podcast is that uh, somebody mentioned to you is like, well if I own the entire account it's dedicated to this team or whatever it is, why do I need to tag everything? I got a question for that is that I have a team, let's just say optics team, right? That's my team, right? Def deploys out some stuff, Alex deploys out some stuff. How do you know who owns what? Are you just saying that you know, how are you responsible for it and make sure that you're not deploying out too much or somebody else is not deploying out too much. Do you think you should be tagging to that so you can visually see that within the dashboards?

Guest: Steph

Yeah, I mean if you have a shared account, so for example, we do have a shared account, um, but we don't care about who's spending money in it because we're, if we're gonna charge it back, say in the world of Amazon, it would go back to like the optics group. Yeah. So it's kind of irrelevant to who it is. If we needed to do chargeback for that account and we had to share an account, then you should tag it. So it's all about thinking about what your, what the end goal of your tags is supposed to be about. Um, in that case, if we all started exploring into one account and we had to know who did what, I would say add in using the organization, add tag policies in to make sure people add the tag owner for example. Or even push people to use infrastructure as code and make that tag a variable. So when I'm deploying stuff, I don't have to constantly remember to tag my own name against services. It will just do it automatically for me. So gonna push people towards that. People have this idea of tagging their head that they have to sit there and manually type it in every time I wanna remove that and either do it at the high level or do it at low level, but automatically

Host: Jon

Automating tagging is probably one of the best things. I remember when we had to do it through a lambda function, anytime someone was deployed it figured it out, it added a tag on the owner who created it. Now there's a lot of automation built into it. Infrastructures code, I like the idea of having it a variable. Whoever deployed it, their tags on their names automatically added and it's pretty good. There's a lot of other benefits to tagging it, not just for who the owner is but for the department. Chargeback showback, if it's a production system versus an actual dev system, separate accounts or one single account and you need to monitor all of it. Plus you get this look at in the cost and cost explorer. But then also your data life cycle depends all, all of your tagging structure. So I think tags are still huge, but the right way of using and implementing 'em without spending a lot of time is key.

Guest: Steph

Yeah, and it, I think it just all boils down to why are you tagging uh, and people, it's like that question I always ask people like, do you need that? It's quite a was quite abrasive of a question sometimes. But to give people a justification of why they're putting this extra work in there needs to be a good reason. And if you can simplify it by taking it to a higher level, then do it that way. If you have to tag every resource, make sure that people are understanding what they're supposed to tag and the format for it. So things like cost categories allow people to be a bit more flexible in this now. But even like if you're gonna be using it for policies and things like that, set conventions that people understand and set kind of, I am poli uh, tag policies that allow people to do this easily.

Guest: Steph

Cuz then that's another big problem is that people don't tag because they build things quickly or they're kind of, they're trying to push things out the door because they've got pressure to avoid things quickly and fast and highly available and they think oh I'll tag it later and this means that things are kind of left behind and and kind of lost to the world about where why things have been created. And so just encouraging them on explaining developers why are they tagging to make them understand it. And for example, if you say to them, Okay, we're gonna monitor your spend to identify your spend and your ownership, you need to make sure you tag anything. We don't want you to get any blame for anybody else. We don't want you to get any praises with anybody else. Make sure you tag your stuff, they'll understand why it's important. Whereas if you just yell at people for not tagging, they're like, I didn't know how to tag in the first place. So that was a lot of words, but just if you're gonna input tagging policies, make sure you educate people on what tags they need to do and why they need to do it.

Host: Jon

I, I agree with you and you are starting to go with the IAM policies, but there's actually key with tagging because it goes all along with the cost is that sometimes you have an instance or two for security purposes as well, but you can put it in a policy that says any instance with this tag can't be deleted, terminated, touch modified or deleted. There's a key part for your tagging. It all goes around with security but it also implements a cost feature where they can't touch a resource or delete it because it, I don't want it change like the instance type. I don't want you to change anything else on this instance but tagging is huge. Now staff, I'm gonna jump over one thing we didn't mention and I'm curious as to what are your thoughts on it? Budget alerts.

Guest: Steph

Mm-hmm <affirmative>, what about them?

Host: Jon

<laugh>,

Guest: Steph

You got the same budget.

Host: Jon

Oh okay. Well that

Guest: Steph

Do them.

Host: Jon

I appreciate it. Thanks for joining

Guest: Steph

<laugh>. What do I think of budget LA just, okay, so I was watching years ago when I started getting into phone ops. I remember watching another cloud provider's conference, I won't say the cloud provider, um, cuz we're not allowed to speak of other ones at Amazon. Uh, and so I was watching their conference and someone was doing a cost chat and this guy said that overnight someone had accidentally spent something like $10,000 on some services that they spun up and they didn't know about it for like another week or something. And I was like, oh my god, I was so scared that we were gonna do that somehow. And so then I started to look into budgets and things like that and set them up for our organization for some of the big links accounts to advise developers to set them up for the links accounts and explain why this was key.

Guest: Steph

And it did make me feel safer. It makes me feel safer on my account, which I shouldn't be spending more than a dollar on. Um, and so I have a budget alert set up for that. So yeah, another thing, great point um, is to when you first set up your account, estimate your spend, it could be wrong. You might go straight over the top, might go far down but take a guess. Use the pricing calculator to estimate your resources and then set a budget and set a forecasted budget so it will alert you in advance rather than too late. You wanna kind of get ahead of the game and if you notice some servers that have been spun up that will go over your budget. But yeah, definitely please set up budgets. We don't really wanna get calls. Some people sad that they've overspent and they didn't realize because some, I dunno, graduates spun up some massive instance when they were doing uh, training that they were trying to learn from.

Host: Jon

I set them up for my account. Now being that I'm independent, I'm keeping an eye on my spinach and I wanted to make sure that I didn't go over a certain budget, sorry. But like, all right, typically I spend maybe 40 bucks a month in my AWS account. So I'm thinking, all right, let's just go 75 just in case I have 10 days left of September. And I'm like, I hit the 75 thresholds. I'm like, what the heck's going on? Oh, that's right. You purchased some additional domains. Yeah. All right. So we'll, we'll that, that's a one-time thing. But it was great because I opened up my email and I got this alert and I'm like, Oh my God, I don't wanna, I don't want to hit over if I hit like a hundred. I'm like, wow, what the heck did I leave running that should not be there?

Host: Jon

But I was doing some tests, I was doing some labs, and I had some C two instances running up for a couple of days because it would take me more time to deploy them than the cost of actually running them for a couple of days. Uh, so I kind of balanced things out. But I think budgets, works, It was key and, I set up a Slack notification as well integrated. I was like, Oh this is pretty cool. I think it's a good visual way to get quickly notified and if it's on the weekend, I think Slack might be the best way for people that'll see it to come into a group chat for those who are monitoring and email those who want to get to it. And then you get in and resolve the issue.

Guest: Steph

Yeah, the Slack integration is something that we see work well with a lot of teams, especially cuz I mean I'm sure your inbox is the same as mine. It's full of emails that just kind of get ignored and that always just happened as well when before the Slack integration would happen. I definitely know people would just get the emails and just be like, Oh, it's not my problem. Especially when the ownership is bad. So going back to what we're talking about, if you can filter through to say like, these accounts belong to this team, you can point the notification to them rather than to everybody. Because then people will see it and just ignore it and assume that's not mine. But yeah, the normally animal section as well and budget, uh, something that savanna and my team talk a lot about and I always pull her into conversations to chat about it, um, is, is very impressive. And yeah, just please set them up. Go today, go see you got one set up. And uh, I remember getting one when we asked, we thought we'd spent like a million or something crazy overnight, and I really panicked, but it turns out it was like some retrospective tax charges or something and I didn't. And I was like, okay, this is fine, but the, the budget was worked

Host: Jon

Emails, you said that uh, you got all these emails, and they kind of get blurred out. Oh somebody else will get to it. And as a distribution group going on that, I actually wanna touch about it that when we set talked about the account structure set up for success, you recommend a group email rather than an individual email. When you set up these accounts like billing and security and everything and they go to everybody in a group in case somebody leaves, you don't have to change the root user's email address. It's much easier now than it was a couple of years ago for changing it. But it is that key as well. I mean filling out all your billing information on your organization, making sure you have all the right contact information in there and that you can reach out to these individuals but also having it in in organization structure. Now for a quick interruption, a huge shout out to our friends at Veeam for sponsoring this episode. Veeam Backup for AWS can easily protect all of your Amazon EC two RDS and VPC data. Wait for a second, they can protect my VPC data too. Yep, that's right. Simplify AWS backup and recovery while ensuring security and compliance. All right, now back to our episode.

Guest: Steph

Yeah, the, I remember we would, we always created a new email address to have um, I think, I can't remember how we did it. We used to create a new email address associated with an account so it was never anybody's name cuz it happened more than once people would leave. And so it's what used to do at KPMG and definitely for your settings for when you create that account. I feel like people just do that. They wanna get excited about, they get excited about Amazon and they wanna jump in and they wanna create an account. But, I just put my name up at my, up at my Amex, that's what someone did. Um, my last company and then we absorbed their account luckily and got it under our organization, but it was just some guy who was just paying for it for months. I don't even know if he knew what they were paying for. Um, but yeah, that happened. So yeah, but go and go and check how your accounts are set up. I'm not a security or a kind of high-level organization expert and so I would recommend checking out the other resources that we have on this to make sure you get the best bet. But I feel that using people's names and using people's actual email addresses is not the way to go.

Host: Jon

Nice. All right Steph, before we wrap things up on, you know, some of the cost savings and information that's out there and a valuable resource like yourself to give everybody some insights on how they can optimize their environment. Is there anything else that you think folks should do when setting up this account or even if it's existing?

Guest: Steph

I would say the little things, if you can set up something like Compute Optimizer and export that data regularly, um, just because it's one of those things that we see or, and the same for org, uh, for S3 lens, uh, an organization level, it's one of those things when you start having a conversation with a customer and they really wanna optimize and then you tell them to go and do this thing and then they have to go and enable something and they're like, Oh, now we've gotta wait two weeks or something for days to come through. It could be just annoying. So these services are free, just go and turn them on, and then you could take advantage of things like the, in the cost intelligence dashboards there is the Cat cow dashboard, the OR cost optimization dashboard. College dashboard, Sorry, from cow or something else. So many animals. There are so many. Oh my god.

Host: Jon

Sorry, you just put that right there that I'm gonna go off. Wait, wait, wait, wait a second. So the Compute Optimizer, can you let everybody know what that is and how it can help them?

Guest: Steph

Yeah, sure. So it's a great service that uses um, machine learning to look at your instances to see if you can optimize them. So it doesn't just have to be a cost optimization that will showcase instances that are provisioned correctly over overprovision and under-provisioned. So that means that you might have services that are too small and you need to make them bigger or that they're too big and you can right-size them to make sure that you are spending them the actual amount of money that you need on an uh, service. So they're looking at EC two instances, Auto getting groups, Lambda functions, and volumes for services that you can look at. And it's a really useful tool, especially for developers cuz you could go in and see if you were to choose. It gives you a bunch of options on what servers you can change sizes to and if you wanna include Graviton or not.

Guest: Steph

And you can then click on that and see what would happen to your kind of metrics. So your CloudWatch metrics have a current kind of status line, and then if you move to this server, another kind of status line to show you the actual impact of it. So you can choose more accurately than just saying, I'm gonna guess that I need this size. Uh, so yeah, that's a really useful tool. We recommend a lot of people kind of use that. And then the dashboards that sit on top of this data, they, we have the uh, collector lab which allows you to go and grab all this data and put it in <inaudible> bucket to create a data like which I will be discussing when we do AWS Fest or it might have already happened. I can move when this goes out.

Host: Jon

I'm to get it out this week. If not, it will have already happened. And folks can follow some links in the description below because Step will be joining us on optimization. Your AWS Fest should be talking about this. This,

Guest: Steph

Yes. So you can check this out. Uh, but then, the summary of you put this data into a centralized place and then you put these dashboards over it and what the dashboards allow you to do is collect all your accounts together. So if you do own several accounts you can kind of group them together but also help you make more impactful decisions. So Compute Optimizer gives you all the recommendations for all your services, but say you have 20 kinds of T three smalls and it gives you recommendations there, there might only be like small savings but you might have some massive machines that you could make bigger savings on so you can kind of control the window of where you could save the most to spend your time wisely. Because if you're only gonna save 5 cents uh, a month on a server, it may not be worth your time doing that and spending good overtime on it. Whereas you can save a lot more money on a server you would recommend doing that. So yeah, check out the well-architected labs where all of this stuff sit

Host: Jon

Step. This is interesting that you mentioned because um, I just released something on social media today about instance types for cost savings. I didn't mention a computer optimizer because that's in an upcoming video. This is just a generic one of, Hey listen, do you know that instant types are key? Because AWS releases new instant types all the time and the newer gen is cheaper than the older gen and you might wanna take a look at those to move forward with them. But I did note that everybody should do their testing before moving forward and changing anything for their application. But if you make it really kind of, um, you know, I guess hardware agnostic, then you don't have to worry about it. But there's a huge amount of cost savings on changing these instance types from one generation to another or in the same instance family, but getting more power for your book. I mean the savings are there, everybody's so used to like T2 Micro or T2 Nano, you know, and then you go and you grab those and those are the older ones. It's like t4, T4 g I mean look at some of the newer ones. They're cheaper, uh, faster and more powerful.

Guest: Steph

Oh yeah, definitely. Because we wanna get people off of the old infrastructure, uh, so that they can, so we can replace them. That's the big thing. So that we can get faster and more efficient machines to do the work for you. And so we wanna encourage you to move to the newer ones. And so that seems like Graviton, but you know, is about depending on your service, about 20% cheaper. Um, it ranges 40% price performance on it, but we wanna encourage you to go to the ones that are not only more kind of efficient so that they're cost-efficient, but that is a better use of, have better use of energy so they're more sustainable. So graviton is a, you don't use as much power to do as much work, so they're green there, so we wanna push you towards those kinds of things.

Guest: Steph

And they come out quite a lot to just be aware of it, as you said, be agnostic to it, the infrastructure, but also make sure that you are going back to AMI earlier. Uh, try and use the infrastructure as code to deploy things so that, and use also scanning groups so that when you make these changes, when you go from a T2 to a t4, whatever, um, you just have to change a number and then let it kind of push out into your deployment. You don't have to manually go and don't snapshot things or change the type or all these manual processes. Make it as easy for you to stay up to date as possible.

Host: Jon

Nice. Thanks. Step step, anything else you wanna add to folks for cost savings?

Guest: Steph

Um, I'm trying to think of this.

Host: Jon

Anything or anything off the time, you know, whatever's on the top of your mind.

Guest: Steph

I just general, I'm trying to think. I think just generally like keep an eye on what you're doing with your spend. Um, and don't be like, try and keep an eye on what you're doing for saying try and automate as much as possible and invest the time in doing that and invest the time in kind of setting things like KPIs or tracking or dashboard time. And when you have discussions with your developers or your stakeholders, make cost a part of that discussion. So many people talk about security as you should. Severity number one obviously, but highly available. All that kind of stuff. Efficiency, but bring cost in. Every time you do a security report review, just do a cost one. I always think they should be put together because there are two of the pillars of AWS and they impact your business a lot. If you get hacked, it's gonna cost you a lot of money. If you spend an an additional million dollars in services, you didn't mean to, it's gonna cost you a lot of money. So I'm not exactly equating it to they're, they're different. Don't come from me onto Twitter <laugh>, but I just think that it's a way of tracking your costs kind of seamlessly added to your security practices and you should be able to stay on top of your spend.

Host: Jon

I think bringing all the right stakeholders into the room whenever there's a discussion or review, like one person from each of the per, you know, department's, heads, security, cost, you know, operations, uh, your performance, reliability, all of them. You bring 'em all into the same room regardless of the actual topic. Well you're looking at security, bring them in there because it affects all of them. If you have your, you know, cloud adoption framework and you call center of excellence, you're bringing them in and everybody has ownership of the changes that are being made in awareness. That's pretty much

Guest: Steph

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Definitely.

Host: Jon

All right step, thank you so much for joining me. I really appreciate it, it's been a fun conversation, including the beginning.

Guest: Steph

<laugh>. Definitely. Thank you so much for having me back. I mean this is, I you've got Myer blog that I'm writing on the start of my screen. I'm like, I forget anything. But yeah, this is, um, I think some people are joined in the cloud and even those, they've been here for a while, still can utilize some of these services and advice.

Host: Jon

Yep, definitely. Everybody. S step Gooch commercial architect at AWS. My name's Jon Myer. Don't forget to hit that, like subscribe and notify because guess what, we're outta here and step just for you. Alexa, turn off the podcasting lights. Okay. Come say something

Guest: Steph

He wants me to say. How is it, it's awesome. I need to get better. Light <laugh> podcast. Stephanie's to invest in

Host: Jon

Alexa. Stephanie would like to purchase some lines.

Alexa:

Amazon's choice is G 40. Love spring lights and balls. Five feet. Wow. It's raining. 4.5 stars. What did

Host: Jon

What does she say? She's telling you to, She's suggesting some lights for you. I gotta put these in.

Guest: Steph

That's excellent. I was watching a TikTok the other day and it was like people in a meeting and then they were like, Oh, how come we mess with this person? And then they were like, Oh, Alexa, bye. Or add this to my shopping list. It was something ridiculous. And I, and then mine did it and I was like, where's the shopping list part of the app? Because I never use it. I'm surprised mine hasn't chimed in. Oh, Chime. It's good. Pen

Host: Jon

Chime. That was good. Pretty good. I had, uh, Jeff Blankenberg on and we had to mute our devices because we said the name so often that it was coming up. I was like, darn. I did, I did a pretty cool one for the beginning. I was like, Alexa, announcement.

Alexa:

What's the Announcement

Host: Jon

Welcome to the Jon Myer podcast

Alexa:

Announcing

Alexa:

Welcome to the Jon Myer podcast.

Guest: Steph

Oh, you're like my dad who loves to do announcements when I go home. Like it's just my mum and him at the moment. I'm just like, Whom are you announcing to <laugh> yell downstairs.

Host: Jon

Was that a dad joke?

Guest: Steph

No, it was just, that was just me saying, you're like my dad.

Host: Jon

No <laugh>.

Guest: Steph

She's come full circle.

Host: Jon

Yes. I was like, wait a second. Is she going with a dad? Are you saying I'm old?

Guest: Steph

No, <laugh> like my dad. My dad loves his Alexas. He tells me about ones he's gonna buy and I'm like, Okay, cool. Invest in Amazon. That's good for me.

Host: Jon

I have them in my kids' room and lights, they're all their LEDs are powered to it. And one of 'em, one of them's name is Baby Yoda and the other one is Stitch <laugh>. And cause they each like different carrots, so we say, you know, turn on them. I have my outside patio lights on it and I have bar lights on it and I was like, man, I can walk outside and just tell her to turn 'em on and everything goes on. Yeah,

Guest: Steph

It is really like when I have, um, I have a couple of lights and smart lights in my living room, and when I do it and my friends are over, they're like, oh, and now they're bored of it. The first time it was cool. And then, yeah, we spent like half an hour doing the like colors, and then we're like, Steph, it's annoying. And then they just turn the light on by the thing and I'm like, no, now it's off. And like, so we respond <laugh>

Host: Jon

Uh, in my son's room, the light, the switch is always on. So when somebody comes in there and they try to use the switch, it's not working. And when you tell her to turn on the lights, it takes two times to say it because it has to kick back in and it's like, yeah, I just wanna turn on the switch. And it's like, you

Guest: Steph

Need like a sign that says, this is an Alexa household. Please use your voice. Robin switches.

Host: Jon

Here's a list of commands you can use <laugh>. Post it up. All right, I'll stop recording by the way, <laugh>.

Guest: Steph

Okay, I forgot.

 

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