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A Sampling Of CloudZero’s Automated Insights The Power Of Contextual Savings Recommendations

Getting to cloud efficiency is both an art and a science.

The art has long been CloudZero’s specialty: giving engineers complete visibility into the costs associated with their cloud infrastructure, putting it all in a business context, and helping them make proactive decisions about how to build and scale efficiently.

In other words, the art is on the human side. Giving human engineers the visibility and context to understand and control cloud costs.

The science, therefore, is on the automated side: applying algorithmic frameworks to cloud spend to identify areas of potential savings, and making it easy for cloud users to realize and track those savings.

Art + Science. Human + Automation. The size and complexity of cloud environments require both.

To this end, CloudZero is pleased to announce automated insights, a suite of controls within our Insights feature that automatically identify areas of waste. Having ingested and analyzed billions of dollars of cloud spend, CloudZero has developed highly refined standards of cloud cost normalcy, and our platform continuously compares your spend environment against those standards of normalcy to show you where you might be able to cut back.

Early adopters of this new functionality have experienced an average annualized savings of $232,000 per remediated insight.

Below is a sampling of CloudZero’s automated insights. To learn more about CloudZero’s Insights feature, visit its documentation page.

A Sampling Of CloudZero’s Automated Insights

1. Active EC2 snapshots older than 90 days

  • What is it? This insight identifies EC2 snapshots that are older than 90 days and are still actively incurring costs. Often these snapshots can be outdated and no longer needed. Cleaning them up can save money.
  • How does it work? This insight is created if the total spend for the identified snapshots exceeds $500 in real cost. When the total spend for those snapshots is reduced below $500 by cleaning them up, the insight will automatically be closed.

2. RDS snapshot costs are higher than expected

  • What is it? A typical organization’s RDS snapshot costs will represent 1% to 5% of the total cost of the entire RDS service. When it exceeds that, it may indicate that there are an excessive number of snapshots. This overspending may be due to missing or inadequate snapshot retention rules that leave a large number of automatic snapshots around, as well as manual snapshots that are not managed by the snapshot retention rules. Improved snapshot retention rules and cleaning up any unnecessary snapshots can address this issue.
  • How does it work? This insight is created if the total real cost spend for the identified snapshots exceeds 10% of the real cost for all of the RDS service and is at least $500. When the total spend for RDS snapshots falls below 10%, the insight will automatically be closed.

3. Redundant CloudTrail usage detected

  • What is it? Your first AWS CloudTrail deployment in an account is free. For the majority of use cases that single trail is sufficient. However, it is easy to mistakenly deploy multiple CloudTrails when a single one would satisfy an organization’s use case. This insight detects if you are being charged for additional trails so that you can review their usage to ensure they are necessary.  
  • How does it work? This insight is created if the total spend for the identified Cloudtrail events exceeds a sliding scale cost that depends on your total 30-day real cost for all AWS services and is at least $500. The following table shows the sliding scale.

30 Day Spend For All AWS Services

30 Day Spend Threshold For Cloudtrail

< $10,000

$100

< $50,000

$250

< $100,000

$500

< $500,000

$1,000

< $2,500,000

$2,500

> $2,500,000

$5,000

4. Unused NAT Gateways detected

  • What is it? The AWS VPC service provides NAT Gateways so that resources in private subnets can access resources outside your VPC. When using NAT Gateways, you are charged per NAT Gateway-Hour (rounded up to the hour) and per GB Data Processed. This insight detects NAT Gateways with Hourly Charges without appreciable corresponding Data Processing Charges. This may indicate unused NAT Gateways that you may want to clean up.
  • How does it work? This insight is created if the total real cost spend for the identified NAT Gateways with low data processing charges is at least $500 and will be marked as Addressed when it falls below $500.

5. Older generation instances detected

  • What is it? The Amazon EC2, RDS, and ElastiCache services continually upgrade their instances to the “current generation.” Older generation instances may be less efficient and more costly to you. It’s a good idea to periodically check your environments for older generation instances for opportunities to upgrade to AWS “current generation” to improve performance and reduce cost. Generally, you can save up to 15% of the cost of your older generation instances by upgrading them.
  • How does it work? This insight is created if the total real cost spend for the identified Amazon EC2, RDS, and ElastiCache older generation instances is at least $500. It will be marked as Addressed when it falls below $500.

6. Expensive CloudWatch logs

  • What is it? The AWS CloudWatch service should only be a small part of your cloud bill. This insight detects increases in CloudWatch costs which indicates you may be using them too extensively and may want to clean up any unnecessary CloudWatch log groups.
  • How does it work? This insight is created if the total spend for the identified CloudWatch log groups exceeds a sliding scale cost that depends on your total 30-day real cost for all AWS services and is at least $500. The following table shows the sliding scale.

30 Day Spend For All AWS Services

30 Day Spend Threshold For CloudWatch Logs

< $10,000

$50

< $50,000

$100

< $100,000

$250

< $500,000

$500

< $2,500,000

$750

> $2,500,000

$1,000

7. Upgradeable EBS volumes

  • What is it? This insight identifies older types of EBS Volumes. These instances can usually be upgraded to the latest volume type, gp3. Upgraded volumes are typically more efficient and result in an average cost savings of 15%.
  • How does it work? This insight is created if the total cost impact exceeds $500 in real cost. We estimate that 80% of older volume types can be upgraded. We will create an insight if greater than $4,166 spend is found for older volume types. When the total cost impact for this insight is reduced below $500, the insight will automatically be closed.
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The Power Of Contextual Savings Recommendations

Savings recommendations themselves aren’t new in the cloud cost management space.

What distinguishes CloudZero’s recommendations is that they’re based on complete visibility: 100% cost allocation and attribution — what’s driving cost, and who’s responsible for it.

This way, recommendations are as targeted as possible, making it easy to link potentially wasteful spending with the resources and people responsible for them.

CloudZero’s automated insights are available to all customers now. Ready to dive in? .