Saving on AWS: Are Reserved Instances the Only Way?

Is using Reserved Instances (RI) in AWS services the only solution for efficiently managing costs? Spoiler: No! In today’s post, you’ll learn that there are many other strategies to save money in the AWS cloud.

3 minutes

Is using Reserved Instances (RI) in AWS services the only solution for efficiently managing costs? Spoiler: No! In today’s post, you’ll learn that there are many other strategies to save money in the AWS cloud.

Reserved Instances

They offer significant savings compared to standard instances, but their main drawback is a lack of flexibility. You have to commit to specific instance types and contract periods, which can be problematic in a dynamic environment.

Pros of Reserved Instances:

  • Significant savings compared to standard instances.
  • Long-term commitment ensures price stability.

Cons of Reserved Instances:

  • Lack of flexibility.
  • The need to predict and commit to a specific configuration.

Spot Instances

If your application doesn’t need to run non-stop, consider using Spot Instances. These are instances available when they are unused by other customers, allowing for significant cost reductions.

Pros of Spot Instances:

  • Very low costs compared to other options.
  • Ideal for applications that don’t need to run continuously.

Cons of Spot Instances:

  • Unavailability in case of higher demand from other customers.
  • Instances can be terminated unexpectedly.

AWS ECS

If your application is already containerized, another option is AWS ECS.

Pros of ECS:

  • ECS allows easy management of containers and scaling of applications based on needs, particularly useful in dynamic environments.
  • You can adjust resources available for containers, optimizing resource usage and paying only for what you use.

Cons of ECS:

  • Some organizations and developers may need to acquire new skills related to container management and using ECS.
  • Incorrect configuration or chronic errors in the application can be costly without prior preparation, so it’s better to consult with experts.

AWS Lambda

Switching to a serverless model is another option. AWS Lambda allows running code without managing infrastructure.

Pros of Lambda:

  • Saves time and effort on infrastructure management.
  • You only pay for actual resource usage, eliminating fixed costs.
  • Flexibility and automatic scaling.

Cons of Lambda:

  • Lambda functions have time and resource limitations. If a task requires longer execution time or takes long to initiate, this could be problematic.
  • Lambda’s task is only to execute code, so if you need full control over the infrastructure, Lambda may be limiting as it doesn’t provide access to machines.

Summary

Reserved Instances can be beneficial in certain situations, but there are other interesting options that may better suit your application’s needs. Spot Instances are excellent for projects that don’t need to run non-stop, while serverless provides complete flexibility without the need to manage infrastructure.

The final choice depends on the specifics of the project, budget, and application requirements. It’s important to consider which strategy best supports business goals and ensures optimal costs. However, we at Welastic, as cloud experts, are here to help plan every step in the process of migrating to the cloud or starting a new project on it.

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