technology

How and Why You Should Modify Your AWS Reserved Instances

 

[originally posted on LinkedIn Pulse @ http://linkd.in/1HndUik]

You can take your reservation discount with you, *almost* anywhere you go, provided you have the insight to do so. This ability is perhaps one of the best benefits of Amazon’s Reserved Instances as it provides insurance for those hesitant to commit to 1 or 3 year reservation terms.

This way, when your usage needs change, you simply switch your reservations to carry your cost reduction and capacity reservation wherever your usage leads you.

2 m3.med for 1 m3.large modification

Let’s imagine you’ve prepaid 2 Linux m3.medium reservations in us-east-1d but your usage has shifted almost entirely to Linux m3.large instances in us-east-1e. You can make an equal exchange of 2 m3.medium instance reservations for 1 m3.large (equal in the sense that the footprint is the same) and swap the AZ to match your current On-Demand usage. This will help to close the gap between number of reservations available versus number of instances in use.

2 m3.med for 1 m3.large

By doing so, you ensure that that you receive the On-Demand pricing percentage discount you’re entitled to. Otherwise, you’re missing out on the significant hourly discount and not chipping away at the amortized upfront amount you originally made to Amazon for the reservation.

While there are some cases where reservations cannot be modified (e.g.if terminating hours do not match as well as licensing restrictions on Windows boxes, etc.), the majority of them can easily be modified in the following ways:

  • Availability Zones within the same region (us-east-1a –> us-east-1c)
  • EC2-VPC and EC2-Classic
  • Different instance type within the same instance family (2 m3.med for 1 m3.large)

As your needs change, you needn’t be held prisoner to your reservations, or write them off at a loss; however, RI modification does need to be an integral part of your RI management processes in order to maximize your return on investment. If not, you’re just leaving money on the cloud table.

Modifications can be submitted through the AWS console, the API or automatically via a cloud management platform like CloudHealth®. How often do you check for modifications?

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How To Plan an RI Purchase in 6 Steps

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[originally posted on LinkedIn Pulse @ http://linkd.in/1H5Kvvr]

Do Reserved Instances make you anxious? They shouldn’t.

A lot of people get caught up in all the different possible reservations you can purchase and wait months before making their first purchase.

Don’t do that.

Below is all you need to start saving money and take advantage of Amazon’s capacity guarantee today.

Step 1: Arrange Your Instances by Their Purpose

How do you group your infrastructure? By project, environment or application? Great. Put them all together and separate by OS and move on to step 2. If you mix Windows and Linux instances, it will complicate the entire process because of licensing and pricing differences.

Step 2: Figure Out the Cost

Once you’ve organized your instances into groups by their purpose, figure out what your current on-demand costs are and arrange your groups in descending order.

Step 3: Find Out Who Makes the Cut

Eliminate any groups or instances that won’t be running more than 65% of the time. Also eliminate any that you don’t expect to be running 1 year from now.

Step 4: Figure Out Where Your Reservations Will Reside

Once you’ve figured out the region (e.g. us-east-1 or us-west-1), you’ll need to specifically choose the availability zone where you currently have the most on-demand usage (e.g. 1a or 1b).

You’ll also have to choose whether they will reside within a VPC or in classic EC2 mode. For most newer customers your infrastructure will most likely already be in a VPC.

Step 5: Decide How Much You’re Going to Give AWS Upfront

Sometimes the increased savings you reap from all upfront reservations are not enough to justify their initial upfront fee. The table below shows how purchasing an all upfront m3.large reservation will cost $308 ($751-$443) more and only offer 2% more in monthly savings. Obviously the number of reservations will affect the dollar amount savings, so make sure to do the math regardless.

Step 6: Determine the Purchasing Account

Do you have more than one account linked to a consolidated bill?

You should:

a)   Purchase in the consolidated account if you don’t care about the capacity reservation. This option simplifies the purchase and management of reservations, but you’re not guaranteed to be able to launch an instance based on a reservation in a linked account if the reservation was made in another account.

b)    Purchase in the linked accounts if you want to receive the cost and capacity reservation of the RI, although the planning process will be significantly more complex. Note: Other accounts can still benefit from the associated discount if a valid instance isn’t running in the purchasing account.

Based on experience, the best advice I can give is to purchase reservations on an account-by-account basis.

Don’t want to spend all this time to model out your purchase? I don’t blame you. I used to do it before we released the RI Optimizer. Have it plan your most cost-optimal purchase in seconds.

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2015 and the Cloud

Cloud-Computing-cap

With the New Year just days away, I hope that everyone is enjoying the holidays in the company of family and friends.

As we near the end of an exciting year in cloud, I’d like to reflect a little on what has been and what is to come. Since its introduction in 2006, there’s no doubt that the cloud is growing up. In 2012, the cloud was still a buzzword downplayed by naysayers. In 2013, cost analysis tools sprung up to help organizations leverage the cloud the way it advertised itself: cost effectively. This year, we witnessed the rise of AWS competitors like Microsoft, IBM and Google and DevOps became a part of enterprise vocabulary.

Here at the end of 2014, it’s clear that not only is the cloud here to stay, but it is a prevailing technology changing the way that businesses operate, enabling scalability at a level never before possible.

With AWS still the dominant cloud provider (see image below), 2015 will usher in a year of increased competitiveness as many businesses look to diversify their cloud (private and public) and run them in tandem based on workload.

CIS_2014_Q3

While Microsoft and IBM’s entrance into the cloud vendor space validated the cloud’s existence, it also underlined a new shift – enterprise adoption. Although AWS built itself upon startup infrastructure, this year’s re:Invent conference featured plenty of “all-in” stories and enterprise lingo (predictability, manageability, security, availability, etc) as Amazon seeks the enterprise seal of approval. As enterprises begin the transition to the cloud in 2015, it will be interesting to see how the deeply cultivated relationships and bottomless pockets of IBM and Microsoft affect the current market share.

No matter how long the transition takes, a few things are for sure:

2015 will be full of price wars… again. Backup as a business is not sustainable on its own and the leaders are all in a race towards achieving the greatest economies of scale. The winner takes all.

Docker containers will ship everywhere. Amazon, Google, Microsoft, eBay are already onboard.

The hybrid cloud will finally be a thing. But companies will need a consolidated single pane of glass view across all of them in addition to the ability to shift workloads automatically to and from and to automate manual tasks like killing underutilized infrastructure (one ring to rule them all).

Cloud hacks will be unavoidable. Governance failures, poor management and lax security will be the biggest culprits.

8 years after the cloud’s introduction, we’re set for its biggest year yet. Hold on tight…

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