A DevOps Guide to AWS Cost Optimization


This guide contains a series of advanced cost-optimization techniques that can lower your AWS bill without compromising application performance or redundancy preparedness for disaster prevention. These articles are written for AWS Administrators and cloud engineering managers wanting to gain a deeper understanding of lesser-known aspects of AWS pricing. 

Have questions about other cost-optimization methods or AWS Services? Send us a request! CloudBolt adds chapters to this guide regularly as best practices and AWS products evolve.

AWS cost optimization requires understanding of EBS pricing, AWS data transfer pricing, AWS savings plan, and disaster recovery pricing.

The AWS Cost Optimization Puzzle

The Basics of AWS Cost Optimization 

At its most basic level, cloud cost optimization is a method of practice that should be broken down into the following cycle:

  1. Build asset awareness through inventory analysis, tagging, and tracking. Make sure you understand not only what resources you have, but also their relationships with one another and the applications they support.
  2. Collect key metric data to set benchmarks for month-to-month and year-to-year trend analysis. This enables you to forecast budgetary needs confidently due to the cataloging achieved in step 1. 
  3. Refresh your knowledge of available services, resources, and discount programs. 
  4. Execute a data-driven purchasing strategy that applies all previous steps. This plan should factor in right-sizing resources, analyzing existing commitments for utilization and efficacy, upgrading to relevant instance generations, and validating new commitments against a 1- or 3- year horizon. 

The following sections focus on phase 3 of the cost-optimization cycle and assume that you already have a cataloged infrastructure with historical cost and usage data.


There’s a lot of ground to cover regarding AWS services, pricing models, pitfalls, and best practices. Feel free to jump around to chapters you feel more comfortable tackling first. Remember, every organization has different needs. You can apply the cost-optimization cycle to different dimensions (data-flow routing, storage cleanup, commitment analysis, etc.) at different times to prevent concentrated (read: stressful) resource-management cliffs.

Chapter 1: AWS EBS Pricing

Discover all the ways you can improve your storage costs with our top 12 most important EBS optimization tips. 

Chapter 2: AWS Data Transfer Pricing

We’ve simplified the rates and stipulations on data transfers across all of the most popular AWS products so that you can architect your data-flow with confidence. 

Chapter 3: AWS Disaster Recovery Pricing

Understand the cost implications of the most common data replication strategies and gain insight into determining which might best suit your business needs. 

Chapter 4: AWS Savings Plans 

Round out your savings strategy with the latest AWS discount offering and see how it differs from standard AWS Reserved Instances. 

Chapter 5: AWS Cost Allocation Tags 

Learn about types of tags, naming conventions, and best practices, and how to use tags to organize and optimize your spending.

Chapter 6: EC2 Spot Instances

Reduce your AWS bill by mastering spot fleets, fleet requests, and more in our guide to spot instances.

Chapter 7: AWS Bill Analysis

Get to know all of the distinct use cases for AWS billing tools, what categories they fall in, and some best practices for using these tools.

Chapter 8: AWS Sizing Tools

Use different AWS sizing tools for your resources based on the data, goals, approach that best fits your projects.