In the current economical climate, all Cloud users are constantly on the look out for optimization techniques to improve performance and reduce costs. We have curated some of the best AWS optimization strategies that will gain businesses better outcomes in terms of cost, security and performance. Let’s take a look:  

Scheduling on/off times

Statistics suggest that scheduling on/off times for non-production instances like development, staging, testing, QA from 8am to 8pm Monday through Friday can help enterprises save approximately 65% of running costs. They will be able to save even more if the work is distributed in irregular patterns at irregular hours.

A thorough analysis of utilization metrics can help you figure out the periods when the instances are most used. Moreover, you can also use this technique to apply an always-stopped policy until you need to access the instance.

Moving infrequently used data to cheaper tiers

With AWS you can currently access 6 storage tiers at different price points to assist you in AWS optimization. Two factors are essential in determining suitable tiers for your data. The first is the frequency at which you will need to access the data and the second is the speed at which you’d need to retrieve data in case of a disaster.

Storing 50TB of data in a standard S3 bucket is $0.023/GB and on the other hand, storing the same data in an S3 glacier deep archive storage is $0.00099/GB per month. Therefore, you can save a substantial amount by storing rare-use or non-critical data in a cheaper tier.

Deciding between reserved instances and savings plans

An effortless way to reduce AWS costs is to purchase reserved instances. However, the purchases must be planned to perfection to avoid rising expenses. Ensure that you calculate your utilization and buy the right type of instances for your business. Moreover, effective management of RIs, considering all the variables before making a purchase, followed by utilization monitoring throughout the reservation lifecycle is extremely important.

Rightsizing EC2 instances

Rightsizing allows matching instance sizes with their workloads. However, you must ensure that the instances do not exceed their peak utilization by 45%. It is important that you analyze the utilization metrics and move workloads to different families to better suit their needs.

Network and web application security

You can use an IDS (Intrusion Detection System) or IPS (Intrusion Prevention System) to prevent attacks on critical infrastructures. Enabling VPC (Virtual Private Cloud) flow logs are a good choice when it comes to monitoring network traffic. It is also essential to restrict access by security groups such as EC2, RDS, elastic cache, etc. along with monitoring AWS accounts continuously using guard duty.

WAF (Web Application Firewalls) can prove to be very useful in providing deep packet inspection for web traffic. These can also help in preventing app-specific/protocol sanity attacks or unauthorized user access. You can make use of AWS Cognito to authenticate application user pools and federated access from Google, Amazon, and Facebook. With services like Amazon Inspector, you can also improve the security and compliance of applications on AWS.

Choosing the correct pricing models

It’s crucial that you invest in the right pricing models according to the requirements of your business. Customers tend to save up to 72% over equivalent on-demand capacity with reserved instances. Spot instances allow customers to avail an approximate discount of 90% off on-demand prices. Moreover, with savings plan (a flexible pricing model) you can save up to 72% on AWS compute usage.


The two methods of encryption in cloud computing are in transit and at rest. The key management service or KMS is used for storing at rest encryption keys (These can be generated by AWS or the customer. In transit end-to-end encryption is usually provided with https endpoints by most AWS services. Ensure that you do your research about the provider’s policies and procedures for encryption.

Visible access keys

In a recent case study, it was seen that the developer posted the account credentials in the script on the public Git repository. This lets the attackers use multiple resources to create dummy resources. An amount of approximately $5000 was racked up by the attackers in a period of 6-8 hours. However, such an incident can be easily prevented by using an IAM (Identity Access Management) instead of hard coding access keys in the code. IAM and Access Management Services allow users to monitor and control AWS access securely.

Using EC2 spot instances to cut EC2 costs

Spot Instances can be used as AWS cost optimization tools to get a discount of up to 90% for on-demand prices without requiring a term-based commitment. This is an ideal choice for fault-tolerant, flexible or scalable apps like big data, containerized workloads, web servers, performance-oriented computing, testing, and development environments.

Using the right volume type of Amazon EBS

EBS volumes with less than 1 IOPS per day for a week are considered a low activity and show that they are out of use. You must identify to snapshot these volumes for the time being and later delete if you don’t need them. You can also use the Amazon data lifecycle manager to snapshot and delete volumes.


Your cloud has to be monitored at all times to identify underused assets to keep AWS optimization process ongoing. This process includes refinement and improvement of the system throughout, starting from the first proof of concept to the entire production and operation of workloads.