Compute spending on AWS accounts for the majority of customers’ bills and reducing compute costs is a focus for many businesses. One of the main ways that businesses can reduce their spending is to use Reserved Instances, which do provide considerable discounts but can be time consuming to manage.
Last week, AWS announced it has started rolling out a new method of cost saving – Savings Plans – that is being provided alongside RIs. Savings Plans help customers reduce their AWS bills through a much simpler process than with RIs, which can similarly reduce costs by up to 72%.
Savings Plans are described by AWS as “A new flexible pricing model which helps you save up to 72% on EC2 and Fargate usage. Customers simply commit to a consistent amount of usage (e.g. $10/hour) over 1 or 3 years, and in exchange they will receive a discount for that usage.”
All instance types have a rate for On-Demand and a Savings Plan rate. Under Savings Plan, customers will receive a discount on compute usage up to their limit, after which they will be charged at On-Demand rates. AWS assesses the Savings Plan commitment hourly, then applies the discount where the greatest savings will be made.
CloudHealth was already helping its customers optimize their cloud environments and save money on their AWS bills. The company has also been working closely with AWS to ensure the CloudHealth platform supports Savings Plans to help customers further reduce their cloud costs. Support for Savings Plans was incorporated into the CloudHealth platform at the time of the launch of the new AWS offering.
The main focus in the run up to the launch of Savings Plans was to ensure that CloudHealth customers had full visibility into Savings Plan fees, so they could see exactly how much Savings Plans could save them.
Customers can already view upfront fees, recurring fees, and credits, see their EC2 and Fargate compute spend after the Savings Plan discounts have been applied, and see which accounts are getting the benefit through Cost History Savings Plan Reports.
AWS applies Convertible RIs to EC2 usage before applying Savings Plans, so it is important to proactively manage Convertible RIs alongside Savings Plans to get the best value out of both. Cloud Health’s Convertible Reservation Exchanger can be used to determine which convertible RIs need to be exchanged and what they should be exchanged with, and then the exchanges can be executed with the click of a button.
CloudHealth has also set up a Strategic Savings Desk that is manned by expert advisors to help customers make the right decisions with respect to Savings Plans. Customers can speak to experts who will explain how Savings Plans work, how to get the best discounts, and explain best practices for managing those discounts.
CloudHealth’s engineering team is also hard at work developing new features that will help customers make data-driven AWS Savings Plan purchases. These include EC2 Instance Cost & Usage Reports to provide consolidated visibility into EC2 cost and usage across Savings Plans, Reservations On-Demand, and Spot usage. Savings Plan Granular Allocation will help customers determine which teams have benefitted from the discounts, since unlike RIs, Savings Plans can float across Regions and between instance families. The Partner Billing Engine is also being updated to ensure that MSPs can take full advantage of Savings Plans.