Challenges and business needs
Our client, a financial services company, sought to optimise their cloud infrastructure expenses while maintaining the necessary functionality of their systems. The firm has recently revised its capabilities and service levels and decided to maintain only those leveraged by the majority of its clients, choosing to shut down the less popular ones. Consequently, they no longer required the same level of cloud resources.
The primary objective of this project was to drastically reduce the firm’s cloud infrastructure costs from an initial monthly expenditure of $18,000. Additionally, the solution should be sustainable for several years as the firm’s business needs evolve.
Before getting started
We started our work with a thorough analysis of the existing situation. During workshops, we identified areas of improvement and worked with the client on a cost-cutting approach that would achieve the desired outcomes without compromising the quality of the product and service.
Our solution and responsibilities
To achieve the project objectives, we implemented the following strategies:
The instance types for RDS and EC2 instances were meticulously evaluated and downsized to the minimum required size. Additionally, we migrated the provisioned storage to general-purpose storage, which is more cost-effective for less frequently accessed data.
Autoscaling groups were configured to dynamically adjust the number of instances to match the actual demand. Such action ensured that resources were only utilised when needed, minimising unnecessary resource consumption.
- Backup optimisation
The backup policy was thoroughly reviewed and optimised to reduce unnecessary storage costs. We also implemented a new rotation policy to ensure that older backups – not needed anymore – got deleted.
- Static content migration
The web page was migrated from a dynamic architecture (hosted on an Auto Scaling Group of EC2 instances, with an Application Load Balancer and RDS) to a static content architecture hosted on S3 and CloudFront. This significantly reduced the need for EC2 instances and load balancing, resulting in substantial cost savings.
- Environment optimisation
The number of test environments was reduced to align with the decreased development process. Additionally, the remaining test environments were configured to start only on demand, further reducing unnecessary resource consumption.
- EKS to ECS migration
Existing EKS clusters were migrated to ECS, a more cost-effective and managed container orchestration service. This transition eliminated the need for EKS-specific infrastructure and reduced overall management overhead.
- Active Directory controller consolidation
The number of Active Directory controllers was reduced, minimising the need for redundant infrastructure and associated maintenance costs.
- Monitoring solution optimisation
The self-hosted monitoring solution was replaced with a cloud-based monitoring solution with only necessary checks. This eliminated the need for on-premises infrastructure and reduced management overhead.
The implementation of these strategies resulted in an impressive 68% reduction in the firm’s cloud infrastructure costs, surpassing the project’s objective by a significant margin. The firm’s monthly cloud expenses were reduced from $18,000 to $5,700, representing a substantial cost savings of $12,300 per month. All that was achieved in a record time of 10 months.
The firm achieved remarkable benefits from this project, including:
• significant reduction in cloud infrastructure costs,
• optimised resource utilisation and reduced waste,
• enhanced cost predictability and budgeting efficiency,
• a scalable solution to accommodate future growth requirements,
• simplified infrastructure management and reduced operational overhead.
The aforementioned outcomes were achieved while preserving essential application functionalities.
This case study serves as an excellent example of how cloud infrastructure cost optimisation strategies can lead to transformational changes. By carefully examining business needs, rightsizing resources, implementing cost-saving measures, and adopting cloud-based solutions, organisations can achieve significant savings on their cloud computing expenses without compromising performance or availability. The firm’s successful journey towards reducing costs demonstrates the potential for cloud optimisation to deliver exceptional value and financial benefits.
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