May 29, 2023
Cloud FinOps
Maximizing Cloud Cost Optimization: 5 Strategies for AWS Customers
To help AWS customers get the most value from their cloud spend, this article explores five effective strategies for maximizing cloud cost optimization.

In today's increasingly digital landscape, many companies are migrating their in-house operations to cloud platforms like Amazon Web Services (AWS) to reap the benefits of cost savings and flexible resource allocation. However, despite the promise of these cloud solutions, it is common for businesses to overlook the full financial potential of their cloud operations.

To help AWS customers get the most value from their cloud spend, this article explores five effective strategies for maximizing cloud cost optimization. These techniques range from understanding all AWS costs upfront to identifying and preventing unnecessary expenses, such as 'cloud cost creep' and 'zombie' resources. By implementing these strategies, companies can ensure they are making the most of their AWS investment while avoiding common pitfalls that can lead to unexpected cost surges.

Understand All AWS Costs Up Front

One of the key principles of cloud cost optimization is rightsizing AWS resources. This involves finding the perfect balance between provisioning enough cloud resources to meet user requirements without overpaying for unused capacity. However, achieving this balance can be challenging due to the multitude of AWS instance types, storage classes, and service offerings.

To illustrate the benefits of rightsizing AWS resources, let's consider the case of Subatomic Studios, a gaming vendor that experienced cost struggles during its shift from offering downloadable games to delivering games as a service via AWS. By partnering with AltoStack, an AWS Premier Consulting Partner, Subatomic Studios was able to optimize its cloud infrastructure and reduce cloud costs by over 40 percent. This enabled them to deliver the expected game playback experience to customers while focusing on their core competency of game development.

Identify and Prevent 'Cloud Cost Creep'

Cloud cost overruns, also known as 'sticker shock,' are a common challenge faced by companies deploying cloud solutions. Often, these cost overruns occur because businesses fail to apply basic cost optimization practices to their cloud operations. To contain cloud costs effectively, companies need to implement fundamental approaches such as shutting down workloads during off-hours, rightsizing instances, and leveraging the discounts offered by AWS.

AWS provides various cost-saving opportunities, including discounts of up to 47 percent on Reserved Instances, 26 percent for AWS Enterprise Discount and Spot Instances, and 12 percent for negotiated discounts. However, taking advantage of these discounts requires expertise in cloud cost optimization. Consulting partners like AltoStack specialize in helping companies prepare for increases in cloud spending to align with rising demand while maintaining optimal performance, flexibility, and user experience.

Find and Deprovision 'Zombie' Resources

A significant cost sink for companies' cloud operations is the failure to shut down unused AWS instances, particularly in development environments. By leveraging services like AWS CloudFormation, developers can create templates of resources that automate the process of shutting down and deleting unused AWS resources. These automated workflows, known as 'ephemeral workloads,' help eliminate unnecessary expenses.

One common form of 'zombie' instances in AWS is when instances are stopped but the associated Elastic Block Store (EBS) volume is still charged, along with a minimum fee for each second the instance remains running. Cloud consulting partners like AltoStack assist companies in automating the identification and elimination of unused AWS instances and resources, such as RDS and EC2, preventing unnecessary costs and optimizing resource allocation.

Be Ready to Nip Unexpected Cost Surges in the Bud

Human nature plays a role in cloud spending behavior. When individuals are aware of how much they are paying for something, they tend to be more cautious about their purchases. However, the lack of transparency in cloud resource pricing can lead to unexpected cost surges if companies are not diligent.

To avoid surprises in their monthly cloud bills, companies must carefully study the pricing options offered by AWS. AltoStack's cloud solution experts help businesses navigate the complex savings instruments provided by AWS, ensuring they take full advantage of available cost-saving opportunities while maintaining high-performance computing. By working with experienced AWS Premier Consulting Partners like AltoStack, companies can strike a balance between paying for the resources they need and avoiding unnecessary expenses during periods of increased demand.

Meet with Cloud Experts to Devise a Winning Cloud-Cost Strategy

Recognizing the importance of cloud cost optimization, Amazon provides extensive resources to help AWS customers plan their cloud budgets effectively. However, many companies struggle to determine which cost-management approaches best suit their unique cloud infrastructure needs. In such cases, consulting with a AltoStack Solution Architect can provide valuable insights.

By partnering with an experienced AWS Premier Consulting Partner like AltoStack, businesses gain access to expertise and guidance in devising a cloud cost-management plan that aligns with their specific requirements. This ensures that cloud customers and CFOs can confidently manage costs while meeting performance expectations. AltoStack expertise helps companies of all sizes strike the right balance between resource allocation and cost optimization, facilitating a successful cloud transformation journey.


Maximizing cloud cost optimization is crucial for companies leveraging AWS. By implementing the strategies outlined in this article, businesses can unlock the full financial benefits of their cloud operations. Understanding all AWS costs upfront, identifying and preventing 'cloud cost creep,' deprovisioning 'zombie' resources, and being prepared for unexpected cost surges are essential elements of a winning cloud-cost strategy.

To achieve optimal results, it is recommended to consult with cloud experts like AltoStack, who possess the knowledge and experience to guide businesses through their cloud cost optimization journey. By leveraging the expertise of AWS Premier Consulting Partners, companies can confidently navigate the complexities of cloud cost management, ensuring they make the most of their AWS investment while delivering exceptional performance, security, and cost efficiency.