Cloud cost optimization services have hijacked every conversation in 2023 and most CIOs have their guns trained on cloud waste. Though many believe this is a conservative figure, research shows at least 30% of cloud spend is wasted. Let’s put this in raw numbers.

Gartner predicted that organizations are set to spend about $591.8 billion in 2023 on cloud computing – this includes infrastructure, platforms, and software services offered by cloud service providers. Going by the 30% cloud waste figure, a staggering $177.3 billion of the $592 billion is being wasted.  

A key reason companies are struggling to manage their cloud spend is that they haven’t taken advantage of all the discounting options on offer by their cloud provider. For instance, Amazon Simple Storage Service, popularly known as Amazon S3 or AWS S3, is more than just what its name suggests. Smart usage of this service can help you with cloud storage optimization and by extension, cloud cost optimization too.  

Understanding Amazon Simple Storage Service 

S3 is a simple storage service to store and retrieve any amount of data securely from anywhere. It is flexible, scalable, highly durable and offers various features to control your data and manage it efficiently. Amazon S3 stores all your data in “buckets”. Like the folders on your computer, you can create multiple buckets to organize mountains of data – be it documents, images, videos or backups. It automatically handles storage and retrieval, ensuring your data remains highly secure and easily available. Enterprises also have greater control over who accesses different buckets with the S3’s elite access control functions.  

Aside from its user-friendly features, Amazon S3 pricing is one of its biggest selling points. It operates on a pay-as-you-go model like most AWS services, meaning you only pay for the storage you actually use and the data transfers you perform. Amazon S3 Intelligent-Tiering is also a key feature of AWS S3 cost optimization as it automatically optimizes your storage and costs depending on how frequently or infrequently you access certain data.  

How does optimizing storage bolster your cloud cost optimization efforts?  

Studies show about 7% of overall cloud expenditure goes to waste because of unused storage volumes and snapshots/copies of storage volumes. Now, the first thing you start with is analyzing your storage requirements and usage. Not to worry, AWS has a tool to make this step easier too. Amazon S3 storage lens gives you a deep understanding of your usage, including data retrieval patterns across all the buckets within a specific AWS account. It lets you check usage bucket by bucket and if your optimization plans are really working.  

Amazon S3 Storage Classes & their role in cloud cost optimization services 

The simplest method to achieve cost optimization is by taking advantage of Amazon S3 storage classes. This is a needs-based storage tier to help you optimize cost, durability and performance. Below are the major S3 storage classes: 

S3 standard is your general-purpose object storage for frequently accessed data. It boasts of a retrieval time of milliseconds and of high data security, resilient against events that impact an entire Availability Zone (AZ).  

Amazon S3 Intelligent-Tiering takes all the manual work out of the storage and cost optimization process and is intended for data with changing access patterns. It studies access patterns to automatically move data to the most cost-effective access tier. It involves three tiers – the first is optimized for frequent access, the second is 40% cheaper and is optimized for infrequent access, while the third costs 68% cheaper and is optimized for rarely accessed data.  

S3 Standard-Infrequent Access (S3 Standard-IA) and S3 One Zone-Infrequent Access are intended for data that is not frequently accessed but must be retrieved rapidly when needed. S3 Standard-IA’s low-cost, high-performance offering makes it ideal for long-term storage, backups, and as a data store for disaster recovery files. While other S3 Storage Classes store data in a minimum of three AZs, S3 One Zone-IA stores data in a single AZ and costs 20% less than S3 Standard-IA. It can be used to store secondary backup copies of on-premises data or easily re-creatable data.  

Amazon S3 Glacier Deep Archive promises the lowest storage costs for long-term archive and digital preservation, say seven to 10 years. Retrieval takes up to 12 hours and it is an alternative to magnetic tape libraries.  

Simply categorizing your data in the right storage class puts you on the right track for cloud cost optimization. Besides enabling S3 intelligent-tiering monitoring, you can also consider S3 lifecycle management to automate migration of objects to relevant S3 storage classes. Dive deeper into AWS storage optimization with our whitepaper. This report also serves as a guide to right-sizing your architecture for cost-efficient operations without sacrificing performance or security.  

Expert cloud cost optimization services for greater ROI 

Optimization is a continuous process. Automation can ease some of the load, but regular monitoring is a necessity. As your business grows and you evolve in your cloud journey, it is important to inculcate a culture of optimization so you get the most out of your investments. Cloud cost optimization services keep you updated with the latest tools and techniques that not only help with cost savings but also improve performance and security. With expert guidance, you can unlock greater benefits from the cloud and ultimately improve your customer service and satisfaction. Aspire Systems has guided enterprises across industries on many such cloud transformation journeys. Our optimization strategies cover the three key aspects – performance, cost and security – with a DevSecOps focus so you can concentrate on innovation and take your business to new heights.