In today's cloud computing landscape, optimizing costs on AWS is crucial for businesses to maximize their resources and stay competitive. This article explores 5 proven strategies for saving costs on AWS, ranging from optimizing EC2 instances to leveraging AWS Trusted Advisor.

Key Takeaways

  • Optimizing EC2 instances can lead to significant cost savings by rightsizing instances and utilizing spot instances where applicable.
  • Using S3 Intelligent-Tiering can help automatically move data to the most cost-effective storage class, reducing storage costs without sacrificing performance.
  • Implementing Auto Scaling allows you to dynamically adjust resources based on demand, ensuring you only pay for what you use.
  • Reserving instances upfront can provide substantial discounts compared to on-demand pricing, especially for stable workloads.
  • Leveraging AWS Trusted Advisor's cost optimization recommendations can help identify cost-saving opportunities and improve overall efficiency.

1. Optimize EC2 Instances

1. Optimize EC2 Instances

Optimizing your EC2 instances is a fundamental step in cost-saving on AWS. Start by identifying instances with low CPU utilization and consider autoscaling to adjust resources based on demand. Regularly review your instance sizes and types to ensure they match your current needs.

Right-sizing your instances can lead to significant savings. For example, downsizing or upgrading to a newer instance type can reduce costs without sacrificing performance. Additionally, take advantage of spot instances for non-critical, interruptible workloads to benefit from lower prices.

It's crucial to delete unattached EBS volumes as they continue to incur costs even when not in use.

Finally, adopting cloud observability tools can provide insights into your usage patterns, helping to identify inefficiencies and potential savings. By continuously monitoring and optimizing, you can maintain performance while minimizing expenses.

2. Use S3 Intelligent-Tiering

2. Use S3 Intelligent-Tiering

Amazon S3 Intelligent-Tiering is a cost-saving storage class that automatically moves your data to the most cost-effective access tier based on usage patterns. By enabling Intelligent-Tiering, you can save on storage costs without sacrificing performance or operational overhead.

Data retrieval is a significant cost factor for S3 usage. Intelligent-Tiering minimizes these costs by automatically moving data that hasn’t been accessed for 30 consecutive days to a lower-cost tier. When the data is accessed again, it is automatically promoted to the frequent access tier.

  • Monitor your S3 usage to identify eligible data for Intelligent-Tiering.
  • Review the access patterns regularly to ensure cost optimization.
  • Consider the minimum storage duration and retrieval fees when planning to use Intelligent-Tiering.

Intelligent-Tiering is ideal for data with unpredictable access patterns, ensuring you only pay for the retrieval when it's necessary.

3. Implement Auto Scaling

3. Implement Auto Scaling

Auto Scaling is a pivotal feature of AWS that ensures you only use the resources you need, when you need them. By automatically adjusting the number of EC2 instances in response to traffic demands, you can maintain application performance and minimize costs. Auto Scaling can lead to significant cost savings, especially for applications with variable workloads.

  • Define minimum and maximum numbers of instances
  • Set up scaling policies based on metrics like CPU utilization
  • Automatically add or remove instances

By leveraging Auto Scaling, you can ensure that your infrastructure scales up during demand spikes and scales down during lulls, avoiding unnecessary costs.

Remember, effective Auto Scaling requires monitoring and fine-tuning. It's not just about scaling out to handle load, but also scaling in to save costs when demand is low.

4. Reserved Instances

4. Reserved Instances

Reserving instances on AWS can lead to significant cost savings for long-term workloads. By committing to a one or three-year term, you can save up to 75% compared to on-demand instance pricing. The upfront payment is higher, but the long-term savings are substantial.

Reservation types vary, including All Upfront, Partial Upfront, and No Upfront options. Your choice depends on your cash flow and usage predictability:

  • All Upfront: Pay the entire cost at the beginning of the term for the lowest hourly rate.
  • Partial Upfront: Pay a portion upfront, and the rest is billed monthly, balancing upfront payment and ongoing costs.
  • No Upfront: No initial payment, but monthly rates are higher than the other options.

By carefully analyzing your usage patterns and forecasting future needs, you can choose the reservation type that aligns best with your financial and operational objectives.

Remember, Reserved Instances are specific to a region and instance type. It's crucial to ensure that your reserved capacity closely matches your actual usage to maximize savings.

5. Leverage AWS Trusted Advisor

5. Leverage AWS Trusted Advisor

AWS Trusted Advisor is an online tool that provides real-time guidance to help you provision your resources following best practices. By analyzing your AWS environment, it offers recommendations that can lead to cost savings and performance improvements. Make the most of these insights to optimize your spending.

Trusted Advisor categorizes its recommendations into five distinct areas: cost optimization, performance, security, fault tolerance, and service limits. Here's a brief overview of what you can expect in terms of cost optimization:

  • Identify underutilized EC2 instances for downsizing
  • Find idle load balancers and RDS instances
  • Detect unassociated Elastic IP addresses that incur costs
  • Suggest savings plans and reserved instances for long-term use

By regularly reviewing and implementing the recommendations from AWS Trusted Advisor, you can maintain an efficient and cost-effective AWS environment.

Remember, while AWS Trusted Advisor provides valuable insights, it's crucial to review these suggestions in the context of your specific use cases and workloads. Not all recommendations may be applicable or the best choice for your situation.


In conclusion, implementing these 5 proven strategies for saving costs on AWS can significantly reduce your cloud expenses while optimizing your resources. By following these strategies, you can effectively manage your AWS spending and ensure that you are getting the most out of your cloud services. Remember to regularly review and adjust your cost-saving strategies to stay ahead of any changes in your usage patterns and AWS pricing. Start implementing these strategies today and start saving on your AWS bills!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some common mistakes to avoid when optimizing EC2 instances?

Some common mistakes to avoid when optimizing EC2 instances include over-provisioning resources, not utilizing spot instances, and neglecting to monitor and adjust instance sizes based on usage patterns.

How does S3 Intelligent-Tiering help in cost savings?

S3 Intelligent-Tiering automatically moves objects between two access tiers based on their access patterns, helping to reduce storage costs by storing objects in the most cost-effective tier.

What are the key benefits of implementing Auto Scaling on AWS?

Implementing Auto Scaling on AWS helps in optimizing resource usage, maintaining application availability, and reducing costs by automatically adjusting the number of instances based on demand.

How can Reserved Instances save costs on AWS?

Reserved Instances offer significant discounts on EC2 instance usage compared to On-Demand pricing, providing cost savings for predictable workloads with steady usage.

What is AWS Trusted Advisor and how does it help in cost optimization?

AWS Trusted Advisor is a tool that provides recommendations to optimize AWS resources, improve security, and reduce costs by identifying opportunities for cost savings and performance improvements.

Are there any additional tools or services that can further enhance cost savings on AWS?

Yes, additional tools and services such as AWS Cost Explorer, AWS Budgets, and AWS Savings Plans can further enhance cost savings by providing insights, budgeting options, and flexible pricing models for AWS resources.