How to integrate AWS Saving Plans into your cloud strategy?

Saving plans: save up to 70% on your Cloud instances

AWS recently announced a new tool to optimize the management of your Cloud budget: Saving Plans. To summarize briefly, Saving Plans offer very attractive discounts on reserved AWS instances, while benefiting from greater flexibility than with Reserved Instances. This new practice is driving some cloud professionals to consider new optimization strategies, as shown by the FinOps Foundation in this article. Are you interested in managing your Cloud budget? Here are 4 tips to integrate Saving Plans into your Finops strategy.

Adopt a hybrid model, between Saving Plans and Reserved Instances

First of all, it is important to underline the fact that Saving Plans have just arrived in the AWS offer. It is a recent product, on which we have little hindsight and visibility. For users familiar with the AWS offer, SPs seem to be competing with Reserved Instances, which are already well established in many cloud architectures.

It is important to note that Saving Plans are not intended to eliminate instance booking. At least not right away. Today, Saving Plans only concern the Compute part. Reserved instances are therefore still useful for many other uses: RDS, DynamoDB, Elasticache or Redshift for example.

If you wish to benefit from the advantages of SPs today, you will not be able to completely abandon Reserved Instances for the time being. The ideal is to turn to a hybrid model and be patient to find the perfect balance.

Keep control over the organization of your Saving Plans

Integrating Saving Plans into your Cloud architecture cannot be achieved without the implementation of a real allocation strategy and of resource control. This is one of the main concerns of IT professionals according to the FinOps Foundation. In concrete terms, the question is to know who will actually use the planned resources.

Imagine that a production team sets up a precise plan for optimizing Cloud expenses, based on meticulous "rightsizing" of the instances. They then decide to subscribe to one or more Saving Plans dedicated to their project to achieve significant savings. Everything goes well, until an R&D team runs hundreds of instances using the entire reserve of the production team, until total exhaustion. The latter then revert to pay-per-use and explode their budgets, despite major efforts to anticipate.

Your production team does not expect to release its instances as easily....

To avoid this classic case, it is important to allocate resources to the right team and limit access to them. For this purpose, it is possible to grant these resources reserved only for the original account of the subscription, and not to all accounts, as is the case by default. This modification is to be done in the account settings and will allow you to avoid bad billing surprises.

Make the link between your current reserved instances and your future Saving Plans

Unless you've never touched the instance booking (and you have the right), you probably have outstanding commitments on certain reserved instances. Before you go into adoption with your head down Saving Plans, think about visualizing the state of your architecture in concrete terms to get a clear visibility on your Cloud environment. This status of the This will allow you to avoid duplicates that will only make it heavier. an invoice that is already very difficult to control.

Also, as mentioned above, the scope of the Saving Plans and reserved instances is not the same. At least not today. It is therefore impossible to consider migrating your strategy to "full Saving Plans". That's a big part of the reason why we can't to announce the end of the reserved instances.

Finally, remember that your cloud infrastructure must to be fluid and agile. A 100% early approach is difficult to envisage, it is certainly necessary to keep a minimum of variables in your projections. The important thing in allocating your investments will be to define the share of Saving Plans, the share of Reserved Instances and the share of "on-demand".

Be ready to experiment

The last piece of advice you can be given in the adoption of AWS Saving Plans is more about the vision to be adopted than the specificities technical. As with any recent product, the market still has little decline in the real beneficial impacts and good practices related to the use of the Saving Plans.

At present, there is very little comparative analysis and content around the Saving Plans. Several months will certainly be still necessary for the product to really mature. Today, we can only advise you to adopt an experimental approach and consider small-scale tests before investing too much money. 

This is an uncontrolled test....

Integrate Saving Plans gradually into your Cloud architecture will obviously allow you to keep a stricter control on your consumption, in order not to jeopardize the precarious balance of your team.  

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