Keeping track of your AWS bill can be a full time job. Not only do you have to follow Amazon’s frequent AWS pricing updates – every new feature potentially opens up new savings opportunities. As you can imagine, many AWS customers are quite literally leaving frustrating amounts of cash on Amazon’s cloud.
You’ve Got Unused Reservations!
We’ve been calling attention to unused reservations for quite a while. Smart AWS customers know the value of purchasing reserved instances. Over time, the reduced reserved rates justify the one-time upfront payment when compared to on-demand pricing. Still, even customers who reserve EC2 instances for reduced long-term pricing don’t (or can’t) always cash in on smart planning.
Until just a few weeks ago, Amazon limited relocation of unused reservations. To benefit from reduced pricing for reserved instances, you were forced to bring down those instances running on-demand and then spin them back up in a different availability zone. Considering the cost of data transfer, human resources, and redundancy maintenance across multiple AZs, most DevOps teams preferred to avoid such an undertaking. As a result, the unused reservations just collected digital dust and actually decreased ROI.
Relocate the Reservation, Not the Instance
With Amazon’s recent announcement, the AWS game has changed once again – with dramatic implications for enterprises relying heavily on the Amazon cloud. Rather than relocating instances to another availability zone – you can simply relocate your reservation. This means all running instances will continue operating normally with no downtime. They will also be associated with your reservation automatically and billed according to the corresponding reduced rates.
Claim Your Reduced Rates
Not sure which reserved instances are candidates for relocation? No problem! Head over to Cloudyn’s Unused Reservation Detector to quickly review how many unused reservations you can relocate, as well as a list of matching on-demand instances running in different availability zones.
In the above screenshot from the Cloudyn application, four unused m1.large reservations are relocation candidates from AZ us-east-1b to us-east-1c. Relocating would maximize the ROI on the RIs you’ve already paid for, taking full advantage of reduced pricing for the 4 instances that were running as on-demand in us-east-1c.
Assuming 100% utilization, (as well as Linux platform and 1 year reservations) the savings for these 4 m1.large instances would amount to $296/month. Obviously, this can quickly add up to big savings, especially with larger deployments.