January 24, 2024
Cloud FinOps
How Venture-Backed Startups Can Optimize AWS Spend
In this article, we will explore various strategies that venture-backed startups can employ to optimize their AWS costs and achieve their financial objectives.

In today's rapidly evolving business landscape, venture-backed startups face the challenge of effectively managing their AWS spend while driving growth and profitability. With cloud spend being one of the largest expenses for these companies, it is crucial to implement cost optimization strategies that can help curtail unnecessary expenses, optimize resource allocation, and enhance operational flexibility. In this article, we will explore various strategies that venture-backed startups can employ to optimize their AWS costs and achieve their financial objectives.

Understand the AWS Cost Reduction Landscape

To effectively optimize AWS spend, it is essential for venture-backed startups to understand the various cost reduction options available to them. Let's take a closer look at some of the key strategies that can help reduce AWS costs and maximize cost savings.

1. Reserved Instances (RIs)

Reserved Instances allow companies to reserve compute capacity on AWS for a specific duration, ranging from one to three years. By committing to a specific instance type and size, venture-backed startups can benefit from significant discounts of up to 75% on their compute resources. RIs provide stability and predictability in pricing, making them an attractive option for companies with long-term commitments and steady workloads.

2. Spot Instances

Spot Instances enable companies to leverage spare computing capacity on AWS at a significantly reduced cost. With discounts of up to 90%, Spot Instances are ideal for fault-tolerant workloads that can handle interruptions. Venture-backed startups can use Spot Instances to optimize costs for non-critical workloads and achieve substantial savings.

3. Savings Plans

AWS Savings Plans provide flexibility and cost savings for companies based on their commitment periods and spend levels. These plans offer discounts of up to 66% on AWS usage and cover various AWS services, including Amazon EC2, Fargate, and Lambda. Venture-backed startups can tailor their Savings Plans to align with their specific usage patterns and optimize costs accordingly.

4. Volume Discounts

AWS offers volume discounts for certain services, such as AWS Data Transfer and Amazon S3, based on volume pricing tiers. Companies can consolidate their usage to qualify for lower pricing tiers and save significantly on their AWS costs.

5. Enterprise Discount Program (EDP)

The AWS Enterprise Discount Program (EDP) offers significant savings for companies that commit to long-term engagements and meet minimum spending levels. The EDP provides attractive discounts on AWS services tailored to a company's commitment over a one to five-year timeframe. While the EDP requires a long-term commitment, it ensures stable and predictable pricing, enabling companies to plan their AWS expenditures efficiently.

Leveraging Savings Plans for Predictable Usage

For venture-backed startups with predictable usage patterns, AWS Savings Plans offer a practical route to optimize spending and meet financial targets. These plans combine cost savings with flexibility, allowing companies to tailor their AWS expenditures to their unique needs.

Compute Savings Plans

Compute Savings Plans offer discounts of up to 66% and apply to Amazon EC2, Fargate, and Lambda usage. The discounts automatically cover various instance families, sizes, regions, operating systems, and tenancies, making them highly flexible for companies with varied workloads and shifting resource demands.

EC2 Instance Savings Plans

EC2 Instance Savings Plans are more specific, providing discounts of up to 72%. They focus on particular instances of families within a chosen region and apply discounts irrespective of the instance size, operating system, or tenancy. These plans are ideal for venture-backed startups looking to optimize costs for specific instance families.

By committing to a fixed usage level for one or three years, companies can save costs, gain budget predictability, and adjust usage in line with business needs. Regular monitoring and adjustment of usage patterns are essential for venture-backed startups to maximize their AWS Savings Plans and achieve maximum cost efficiency.

Optimizing Reserved Instances for Cost Efficiency

Reserved Instances (RIs) present a strategic opportunity for venture-backed startups to optimize costs on AWS. Understanding the different types of RIs and utilizing Reserved Instance Optimization (RIO) programs can significantly enhance the management and benefits of RIs.

Types of Reserved Instances

There are three types of Reserved Instances: Standard, Convertible, and Scheduled. Standard RIs offer up to 72% off on-demand prices and are ideal for stable, predictable workloads. Convertible RIs provide flexibility in modifying instance attributes and offer lower discounts of up to 54%. Scheduled RIs cater to time-specific, predictable workloads, allowing companies to reserve capacity only when necessary.

How AltoStack Can Help

Partnering with an experienced AWS consulting partner, such as AltoStack, is crucial for venture-backed startups aiming to optimize AWS spend. AltoStack brings extensive expertise in AWS cost optimization, providing valuable guidance and support. Here are some ways AltoStack's services can help:

Insights and Recommendations Based on Proven Expertise

AltoStack's team of seasoned FinOps analysts has deep expertise in AWS services and cost-management strategies. They employ sophisticated tools to conduct comprehensive analyses of customers' AWS infrastructures and provide precise recommendations for rightsizing resources, evaluating modernization possibilities, and reducing costs before committing to larger contracts.

Access to Innovative Technology and Tailored Solutions

AltoStack's services go beyond cost optimization to include a comprehensive suite of solutions that help venture-backed startups architect, migrate, manage, and optimize their AWS cloud infrastructure. By leveraging AltoStack's expertise, companies can achieve cost efficiency, tailor solutions to their unique requirements, and benefit from strategic planning and expert guidance.


In conclusion, venture-backed startups can optimize their AWS spend by implementing various cost optimization strategies, such as leveraging Reserved Instances, Spot Instances, Savings Plans, and volume discounts. Additionally, by taking advantage of the AWS Enterprise Discount Program (EDP) and partnering with AWS consulting partners like AltoStack, these startups can gain insights, access innovative technology, and receive expert guidance to maximize the value of their AWS investments. With a strategic approach to cost optimization, venture-backed startups can efficiently manage their AWS spend, drive growth, and achieve long-term success.