19st December, 2020

Three free AWS announcements or services to save you money

It is the end of the year, which means AWS have held their re:Invent conference and dumped a metric ton of features, services and new releases.

I do not know of everything that have come out, but here are three free services that will directly save you money or give you an operational overview so you can then save money. I should say, there are ways in which these services cost you money, but the default or minimum setup is free.

1. AWS gp3 EBS volumes

If you are using EBS volumes, they are likely to be of the gp2 type. The new gp3 volumes provide higher performance and can save you up to 20%.

So how do you switch from gp2 to gp3? It is actually really simple, and you can change active EBS volumes from gp2 to gp3 without any downtime!

I have switched all our volumes and you should too. It is basically free money that you are leaving hanging on the three if you do not.

AWS announcement.

2. S3 Storage Lens

This service gives you an overview of where stuff is stored in S3 across all of your accounts. It will give you information such number and size of objects, as well as encryption and storage tiers.

You will need to enable the cross account settings to get the information from all your accounts, but with the default metrics this is still free.

I operate in an org with a small AWS footprint, and I already found some surprising usage in S3 from development artifacts that we might as well clear out once newer versions exists.

Check it out, it might save you some money, and if you have certain compliance requirements it can help you track down un-encrypted buckets across your organization from a single dashboard.

Link to AWS blog.

3. AWS Cost Anomaly Detection

Admittedly I do not know how well this service performs. When the preview was announced, I was reluctant to try it out until I got confirmation that the general available version would be free as well. The service is now GA and it is still free, so there is no excuse to not enable it in your organization.

I have enabled it but I have not had a chance to look at what it might have found. I also suspect the environment I work in is still too much in flux for it to gather any significant information.

Link to AWS blog for the preview.

Plenty of other things were announced by AWS recently, and every AWS customer will have a few new features or services that matches their need, but in my opinion these three services are universally useful for all AWS accounts out there.