Reduce AWS Costs for SQL Server Storage, Compute and Database as a Service

John Grover
Problem

Three years ago, our organization made the decision to go "all-in" with Amazon Web Services. This was not purely a cost-saving effort, but one that also allowed for far greater flexibility with our IT infrastructure. We have learned a lot during our migration to the cloud, and now that we are in the operational phase we are concentrating on "financial engineering" or how we can use our dollars more efficiently in the cloud to provide a consistent level of service at a lower cost.

Solution

The team jumped into this activity assuming that compute was our biggest expense and began looking at scheduling EC2 instances to run only during business hours, maximizing our use of reserved instances (RIs), and investigating the spot market (buying Amazon's spare computing at significant savings at the expense of instance longevity and stability). Once we started running reports in the AWS billing tool, though, we realized that the biggest percentage of our spend was storage, and all eyes turned to Database Services.

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