Cloudability logo
Registration is Now Open for CloudyCon 2019
Spend Visibility

The Reserved Instance czar’s cloud cost battle station

By Leah Weitz on December 10, 2015

From the engineers in your AWS console to the executives overseeing your growth and trajectory, building and growing a complex cloud infrastructure involves stakeholders all across your organization. Ensuring that those stakeholders are equipped to make informed and deliberate decisions about your cloud means getting the right data in front of them—but when it comes to building the perfect dashboard of cost and usage KPIs, every team will have different needs.

We’ve recently shown you two dashboards that can serve as great starting points for getting your Finance Team and Ops Team the data they each need to make informed and deliberate decisions about your cloud. Today, we’d like to drill into a dashboard that can help empower a different player on your team. She’s in charge of all your Reserved Instance buying, tracking, modifying and managing so that your org can achieve maximum AWS savings; here on the Cloudability blog, we call this person the Reserved Instance czar.

The KPIs: Reserved Instance coverage and waste

As an RI czar, you’ll strive to achieve a reserved rate for as much of your infrastructure as possible. This means keeping your Reserved Instance coverage up while ensuring that you use the reservations that you pay for, even as your infrastructure shifts and grows. This dashboard can provide visibility into these KPIs. We’ll go over each widget to explain how each one can help the Czar.

EC2 on-demand vs. reserved hours, last 60 days

Reserved Instance czar battle station

Reserved Instance coverage widget

If this widget looks familiar, it’s because we’ve discussed it before as the go-to reference point for Reserved Instance coverage (we’ve previously referred to it as the “green line widget”). Check this widget to see how many of your usage hours are on-demand versus reserved, what overall portion of your infrastructure is covered by Reserved Instances, and whether that coverage is trending up or down.

Reserved coverage rate by instance type, last 30 days

Reserved coverage rate by instance type

See which of your instance types have the highest coverage and the lowest coverage, and easily identify coverage dips. Cross-reference these dips with your recently-expired reservations to see if you need to buy new reservations, or simply modify existing ones that have become suddenly inapplicable.

Instance types with less than 25% reservation coverage, last 30 days

Instance types with less than 25% reservation coverage, last 30 days

This widget will help you identify some of your biggest opportunities for increasing Reserved Instance coverage, by displaying a list of instance types that are covered at a reserved rate less than 25% of the time. Be sure to check whether modifications can help cover some of this on-demand spending first, then plan some new Reserved Instance purchases to ensure that you can secure savings for this usage.  

Reserved Instance utilization – total and unused cost (recurring charges), last quarter

RI Utilization - Total and Unused Cost

See your Reserved Instance costs broken out by each month of the last quarter, and how much of that spending went towards Reserved Instances that ultimately went unused. This can serve as a great measure of how attuned your reservations stay to your infrastructure over time.

Unused Reserved Instance hours (recurring charges), this month

Unused RI hours

You can reference this widget to see just how many Reserved Instance hours you’ve purchased, but not yet used, for the month—and how many dollars those wasted hours cost you. These instances are likely prime targets for modification or selling in the marketplace to recoup some of that lost cost.

Monthly recurring Reserved Instance costs by instance type, this month

Monthly recurring RI costs by instance types, this month

Use this widget to break out your recurring monthly Reserved Instance payments by family. This will allow you to easily see where your costliest reservations lie. You’ll want to cross-reference this widget with the previous Unused RI hours widget to be sure that these reservations are being used.

Reserved Instance hours by region

Reserved hours by region

Does your infrastructure span across multiple AWS regions? Do your reservations, in turn? Reference this pie chart to easily see how your RIs break out across regions (or don’t) and whether that matches your infrastructural spread. You can also reference this widget to see how much failsafe capacity you have reserved in other regions, should your region of choice experience an outage.

Reserved Instance ebook

A battle station worthy of a czar

Reserved Instances can have a huge impact on your AWS costs—and having a well-equipped Reserved Instance czar around to ensure that they’re being used effectively is key to securing those savings.

Building a cloud cost battle station worthy of a czar doesn’t have to be hard. Simply log in or sign up to create a new Dashboard in Cloudability and build as many of the above widgets that you’d like, customized to your own infrastructure and populated with your own cost data. Want to get started with this dashboard right away? Shoot us an in-app message to have our Customer Success team add it to your account for you.

Being in the know feels great