Discover how CloudZero helps engineering and finance get on the same team — and unlock cloud cost intelligence to power cloud profitability

Learn more Arrow Arrow

Explore CloudZero

Discover the power of cloud cost intelligence

Why Change Icon
Why Change?

Give your team a better cost platform

Services Icon

Give engineering a cloud cost coach

About Icon

Learn more about CloudZero and who we are

Pricing Icon

Learn more about CloudZero's pricing

Tour Icon

Take a customized tour of CloudZero


Explore CloudZero by feature

Cost Anomaly Detection Icon
Cost Anomaly Detection

Build fast with cost guardrails

Budgeting Icon
Budgeting And Forecasting

Drive accountability and stay on budget

Discount Dashboard Icon
Discount Optimization Dashboard

Manage all your discounts in one place

Dimensions Icon
CloudZero Dimensions

Organize spend to match your business

By Use Case

Cost Per Customer
Cost Per Customer Analysis

Understand your cloud unit economics and measure cost per customer

Kubernetes Cost Analysis
Kubernetes Cost Analysis

Discover and monitor your real Kubernetes and container costs

Unit Cost Analysis
Unit Cost Analysis

Measure and monitor the unit metrics that matter most to your business

Cost Allocation
Tagging And Cost Allocation

Allocate cost and gain cost visibility even if your tagging isn’t perfect

SaaS COGS Measurement

Identify and measure your software COGS

Engineering Cost Awareness
Engineering Cost Awareness

Decentralize cost decisions to your engineering teams

Cloud Cost Optimization
Cloud Cost Optimization

Automatically identify wasted spend, then proactively build cost-effective infrastructure

By Role

All Your Cloud Spend, In One View

CloudZero ingests data from AWS, GCP, Azure, Snowflake, Kubernetes, and more

View all cost sources Arrow Arrow


Discover the best cloud cost intelligence resources

Resources Icon Resources

Browse webinars, ebooks, press releases, and other helpful resources

Blog Icon Blog

Discover the best cloud cost intelligence content

Case Study Icon Case Studies

Learn how we’ve helped happy customers like SeatGeek, Drift, Remitly, and more

Events Icon Events

Check out our best upcoming and past events

Cost Assessment Icon Free Cloud Cost Assessment

Gauge the health and maturity level of your cost management and optimization efforts


CloudZero Advisor

Compare pricing and get advice on AWS services including EC2, RDS, ElastiCache, and more

Learn more Arrow Arrow

How SeatGeek Measures Cost Per Customer

Discover how SeatGeek decoded its AWS bill and measures cost per customer

Read customer story orangearrow arrow-right

How Skyscanner Creates A Cost-Aware Culture

Learn how Skyscanner decentralized cloud cost to their engineering teams

Read customer story orangearrow arrow-right

How Malwarebytes Measures Cost Per Customer

Learn how Malwarebytes measures cloud cost per product

Read customer story orangearrow arrow-right

How Remitly Shifts Cloud Costs Left

Learn how Remitly built an engineering culture of cost autonomy

Read customer story orangearrow arrow-right

How Ninjacat Combines AWS And Snowflake Spend

Discover how Ninjacat uses cloud cost intelligence to inform business decisions

Read customer story orangearrow arrow-right

How Smartbear Uses Cloud Cost To Inform GTM Strategies

Learn Smartbear optimized engineering use and inform go-to-market strategies

Read customer story orangearrow arrow-right
arrow-left arrow-right
View all customer stories

Serverless Cost Optimization: 4 Ways To Lower Your Costs

Are your AWS serverless costs growing considerably? Here are four solid ways to reign in your spending.

Is your current cloud cost tool giving you the cost intelligence you need?  Most tools are manual, clunky, and inexact. Discover how CloudZero takes a new  approach to organizing your cloud spend.Click here to learn more.

Serverless services save time. When you switch to serverless architecture, you offload redundant cloud management activities to your cloud provider and gain more time to focus on the most important parts of your business — development and innovation.

Even better, you only pay for what you use, so you don’t have to worry about committing to reserved instances or committing to a savings plan.

But there’s a catch.

The event-driven nature of serverless services means that if your applications are not properly architected, you could have significant expenses at the end of the month. For example, if your applications run all the time (as they would in traditional servers), your applications may not be cost-efficient in a serverless environment. So it’s essential to understand serverless pricing and the costs involved.

What makes up your AWS serverless costs?

The most obvious ones are compute and request costs. In AWS Lambda, you are charged based on the number of requests for your functions and the duration it takes to execute your code.

The harder costs to track are networking, data transfer, and API request costs. API requests can also form a significant portion of your costs, especially if your applications make a lot of API calls. In addition, you also incur networking and data transfer charges, and these are often the hardest to track down.

Below are a few ways to monitor and measure serverless costs so you can optimize your spending.

4 Ways To Lower Your Serverless Costs

1. Choose Cost Models That Match Your Usage Patterns

Amazon offers different cost models for its serverless services, including a pay-as-you-go model, provisioned throughput, and provisioned IOPS. These models are designed to help you reduce costs and optimize spending. So the first step is to understand your usage pattern. Carefully review how users interact with your platform so you can optimize accordingly.

For example, if you use your DynamoDB tables all the time, then you should choose the provision model because it’s about seven times cheaper.

But if you have a spiky workload, with peak loads at specific times during the day, then a pay-per-request model may be more appropriate. In general, if you have steady workloads that run all the time, then consider using EC2 instances because serverless services will be more expensive.

2. Use Compute Only When Necessary

Don’t use compute if you don’t have to. Take advantage of other Amazon services that can function without compute. An example is step functions, which allow you to call Amazon APIs without a Lambda function. This means you only pay for the step functions.

Another example is Amazon S3, which is primarily a storage service but it also serves web data and can be used for static websites. The key is to understand the cost implications of your choices and choose the right service.

3. Monitor Costs Proactively

One of the dangers of using managed serverless services is that it scales almost infinitely. If you have a huge surge in traffic, say up to millions of users, you could have a significant cloud bill after the fact.

So the trade-off with serverless is that, while you don’t manage any servers or underlying infrastructure, you do have to monitor costs closely to avoid unpleasant surprises with your bill.

This is why proactive cost monitoring is essential. CloudZero’s anomaly detection feature comes in handy here, because it alerts relevant engineering teams when there’s an unusual spike in costs so you can investigate immediately and take necessary action.

Using CloudZero, engineering teams can identify specific releases or code  changes that have caused a cost anomaly so they can quickly address the issue  before it costs them thousands of dollars or more.Click here to learn more.

4. Track Relevant Cost KPIs

Adopt relevant usage-based KPIs that allow you to track costs over time and see how those costs relate to your business. Ideally, your cloud costs should go flat or increase only marginally as your customers increase. But if your costs increase faster than or as quickly as your customers increase, then there’s a problem you need to address.

CloudZero is a cost intelligence platform that gives you full visibility into your serverless. With CloudZero, you can align costs directly to product features, customers, or teams and track the KPIs that are most relevant to your business. Schedule a demo today to learn more.

Cody Slingerland

Author: Cody Slingerland

Cody Slingerland, a FinOps certified practitioner, is an avid content creator with over 10 years of experience creating content for SaaS and technology companies. Cody collaborates with internal team members and subject matter experts to create expert-written content on the CloudZero blog.


Join thousands of engineers who already receive the best AWS and cloud cost intelligence content.