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Minimising cloud wastes with AWS

In the last few years, cloud services have become increasingly pervasive among enterprises. More than 78% of enterprises have already implemented cloud technology in some form and the rest plan to do so soon. As per Gartner forecasts, by 2023, cloud spending is anticipated to reach $591.8 billion, which is a 20.7% rise from 2022. It is therefore crucial to progress on to the cloud with caution and comprehend the factors that have contributed to the unprecedented expansion of the cloud before its adoption. If you as an organization are not vigilant enough to keep a check on your needs and objectives of moving to the cloud, you may easily end up in overindulgence, resource wastage, or unnecessary spending leading to towering cloud investments in addition to business inefficiency.

Not being able to utilize the cloud’s capabilities to their full potential, most enterprises suffer greatly when it comes to monitoring and controlling unexpected costs and cloud resource wastages. As per the latest reports, the cost of cloud waste is expected to reach a staggering $21 billion this year where most of the capital is being exhausted into cloud financing instead of utilizing those funds in gaining sustainable business growth and a competitive edge.

The most popular cloud service provider in the market is Amazon Web Services (AWS) and with this blog post, we will try to look at the main causes of elevated cloud wastage, the best solutions to curb it and how enterprises can strengthen their cloud management while minimizing wastes in AWS.

Lack of Awareness

One of the primary concerns that must be addressed at all levels of the workforce is cloud waste management. According to beta news, more than 62% of cloud consumers reportedly record higher costs than expected. It is crucial for enterprises to have an attentive, planned, and adaptable approach to function on cloud. A well-defined plan helps in implementing a cost-effective strategy that may result in improved cloud management procedures and waste reduction. Paying for what is required, when it is needed, and how it is needed is essentially how cloud computing must be utilized.

Challenges faced

  • Misuse of on-demand resources

Failure to plan for how enterprises will use and manage their immediate resources result in significant wastage. On-demand resources are simple to deploy but starting and stopping the use of these resources add irrelevantly to the total costs that are substantially higher than those associated with reserved or spot instances.

  • Access, Compute and Transfer costs

Businesses’ operating costs might rise quickly if they are sloppy and reckless with their cloud spending. Also, if enterprises are unaware of their infra, they may end up incurring higher data transfer costs with data transfer happening through the most efficient routes. Being unaware of how data is stored, or inefficient management of cloud assets taking place, access and computation expenses may further soar to greater heights.

  • Overuse of snapshots

It is always advisable to take EBS snapshots and back up your data to Amazon S3. The cost of cloud storage will rise exponentially if too many snapshots are taken without the Amazon S3 lifecycle rules being properly established. This results in one-two many snapshots being available, increasing the cost of cloud storage.

  • Inactive resources

Many times, some resources are largely idle and are only utilized when necessary on specific occasions. This shoots up costs as enterprises typically continue to pay for them around-the-clock irrespective of whether they are being used or not.

  • Unemployed resources

The resources that are running even when their services are no longer needed are a significant source of waste that raises the costs of cloud. Such resources lie isolated within layers and enterprises have to ensure business is not disrupted during the termination of these resources.

  • Overprovisioned resources

When enterprises overshoot the spending limits set on cloud resources, they end up amplifying cloud wastes to a large extent.  Although there is a maximum amount that is allocated to be spent on cloud management, businesses frequently end up spending considerably more than is required.

Guidelines for reducing cloud waste

Any organization must have a comprehensive understanding of its cloud workflow in order to have an effective cloud management strategy. In other words, it needs to be fully aware of how data is being saved, how it is being broken down, how it is being used, and how it is likely to evolve over time. The clearer the image is, the simpler it will be to fine-tune data to suit the ever-evolving world of cloud. Some of the best practices that must be implemented in order to reduce cloud waste are –

  • Use of correct-sized instances

Examine your data, usage trends, and capacity requirements to ensure that all of your instances are the appropriate size. Using cloud computing tools will help you ensure this. You can significantly lower your storage expenses by making sure you employ the correct instances to meet your actual performance needs.

  • Select the right instance type

Customizing how you choose your resources is a tried-and-tested method to significantly reduce your storage expenditures. By choosing the right instance types, you can calibrate the resource selection process.

  • Eliminate wasted resources

Wisely purge all unnecessary resources, including orphaned snapshots, EC2 instances and EBS volumes to name a few. Cloud costs will significantly reduce if fewer resources are engaged and paid for.

  • Clear lifecycle management

Ensure there is an appropriate implementation of crucial lifecycle management procedures for all cloud resources. For instance, set and automate policies to terminate instances at periodic intervals or retain specific resource snapshots.

  • Auto-scaling

Dynamically scaling the size of the resources based on appropriate target values, or with the aid of common scheduling tools, is one of the most crucial cost-optimization techniques.

  • Scheduling

Scheduling tools play a crucial role in bringing down cloud costs. Businesses must use these tools when they want to get rid of unused or inactive resources keeping in mind the costs involved in starting and stopping these instances.

  • Tagging

For ease of use, identify resources and ensure uniformity in their distribution across layers and regions, while strictly adhering to global tagging regulations. Tag your resources with tools that would help in providing standard naming conventions and categorization of resources as well as enhance the visibility of resources for reporting, all leading to optimization of cloud costs.

  • Evade downtime expenses

Businesses must consider the cost of downtime and be able to account for it if the need arises. A reliable backup and recovery plan should also be in place, in case of a failure.

  • Backup and recovery

An optimal corporate backup and recovery plan enables you to schedule resources effectively, lower compute costs and costs of inactive resources as well as optimize data storage.


Amazon Web Services (AWS) is known for its out-and-out computing services, its pay-as-you-go pricing model and strong customer support making it the most preferred cloud service provider today.

Keeping a check on heavy cloud bills to try to balance performance and costs is one of the biggest challenges of any AWS customer. Adapting to best practices like detecting mismanaged services, right-sizing them and moving to significantly discounted deals help in achieving considerable benefits. However, experts believe that despite implementing these methods, nearly 70% of the cloud costs are still put to waste. Therefore, over and above the industry-defined guidelines, AWS has identified some key best practices of their own to further reduce cloud spending and attain cloud cost optimization.

Here are 10 smart steps to reduce your AWS cloud spend

The primary focus must be to keep tabs on the cloud costs for which, a few cloud cost-cutting strategies have been laid down by AWS to help you significantly lower your subsequent cloud bills –

  1. Use heat maps to illustrate computing requirements:

A visual tool that aids in keeping a check on computing demands, enables specific services to be started or stopped and identifies inactive or least used resources to optimize costs.

  • Get rid of Shadow IT:

Establishing a monitoring system to track cloud activities, keeping a check on unaccounted data access and training employees on the risks of shadow IT are a few ways to cut down on cloud bills.

  • Evaluate the EC2 auto-scaling groups:

Ensure correct ways of configuring and enabling AWS auto-scaling of EC2 instances to balance capacity-to-demand ratios which, otherwise would surge costs. Review auto-scaling activities to control pricing.

  • Monitor mishandled EBS volumes and EBS snapshots:

Set techniques to Identify EBS volumes that are not in use but are being charged, and delete them. Similarly, a policy can be set to send out alerts for EBS snapshots that are saved for a set timeframe, after which, it gets automatically deleted to trim down cloud costs.

  • Enhance reserved instances:

Reserved instances help in reducing cloud spending drastically. However, it is vital for enterprises to continuously monitor these instances to evaluate and optimize benefits from them and recognize wastes if any.

  • Let go of disassociated elastic and carrier IP addresses

Keep a check on AWS elastic IPs provided for each region remain connected at all times or are re-associated with any instance or get terminated to evade additional charges.

  • Effectively manage AWS services:

Use, manage and track AWS services aptly, failing which enterprises keep paying for not using any of it. The idea is to stop resources when not in use so that the auto-healing feature does not restart these resources automatically. The focus is to manage AWS services optimally as well as not pay for unknown extra charges.

  • Recognize the restrictions of a free trial:

Ensure to set alerts on the expiry of free trials offered on AWS services and packages, to avoid being charged at standard billing rates.

  • Locate overlooked resources:

Periodically scan your AWS bills to ensure there are no overlooked unused resources that are increasing cloud costs. Also, post usage, new instances are deleted but the storage attached to them often continues to exist leading to additional billing.

  1. Restrict requests for data transmission or recovery:

Recurring requests for data access, transfer or recovery lead to a rise in cloud bills. Shifting data between multiple cloud platforms or regions incur extra costs. Hence, analyzing the charges for the same at the beginning and accordingly limiting your data access and transfer to acceptable numbers would help curb costs.


Lowering your monthly cloud bills can be simple and easy with effective cloud-management techniques. You may simply reduce the cost of your cloud infrastructure with a little optimization along with the usage of appropriate tools to cut down on losses. By fostering corporate awareness and developing a well-thought-out cloud management strategy, this wasteful habit can be eradicated across all enterprises. Implementing such measures will subsequently help bring down your overall cloud spending as well.

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