Want to Learn about Cloud Optimization? Check out These 5 AWS re:Invent Breakout Sessions

Oct 1 2015 | by Ophir Shalitin

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We recently released an article about AWS’ amazing growth where we covered 33 different numbers that reflect its revenue growth from $5B in 2014 to an expected $7B in 2015. These numbers are not surprising seeing as we’ve been tracking AWS customer costs since 2013 and now analyze usage and cost metrics for thousands of AWS accounts.

Today, things are a bit different. New AWS users are paying more attention to their bills, but earlier AWS adopters understand that while costs are important, they’re only one side of the equation—performance is the other. Optimizing usage and utilization across your environment depends on the requirements of running workloads. With business growth comes higher cloud vendor bills, the only question is, how much higher?

Our team is ready for this year’s best cloud party in the world. We will be exhibiting (as always) and welcome you to visit our booth (#635) to discuss your cloud optimization needs.

We’ve taken the liberty of creating a list of what we consider to be the top five cloud cost optimization breakout sessions for AWS re:Invent 2015.

1. Running Lean Architectures: How to Optimize for Cost Efficiency (ARC302)

Why? We love practical sessions and this seems to be one, touching on lots of AWS features and capabilities to optimize costs. We will be there to learn more and hope to see you there.

AWS Catalog Description
Whether you’re a cash-strapped startup or an enterprise optimizing spend, it pays to run cost-efficient architectures on AWS. This session reviews a wide range of cost planning, monitoring, and optimization strategies, featuring real-world experience from AWS customers. We’ll cover how you can effectively combine EC2 On-Demand, Reserved, and Spot instances to handle different use cases, leveraging auto scaling to match capacity to workload, choosing the most optimal instance type through load testing, taking advantage of multi-AZ support, and using CloudWatch to monitor usage and automatically shut off resources when not in use. We’ll discuss taking advantage of tiered storage and caching, offloading content to Amazon CloudFront to reduce back-end load, and getting rid of your back end entirely, by leveraging AWS high-level services. We will also showcase simple tools to help track and manage costs, including the AWS Cost Explorer, Billing Alerts, and Trusted Advisor. This session will be your pocket guide for running cost effectively in the Amazon cloud. Learn more

2. Enterprise Cost Optimization (SM402)

Why? Following last year’s AWS re:Invent, we received a large amount of enterprise traction with our premium services, which consist of thousands of EC2 instances. This session can be a great source of knowledge for CIOs and IT leaders that heavily utilize AWS.

AWS Catalog Description
Intended for enterprise customers who have (or will have) thousands of instances on AWS, this session is about reducing the complexity of managing costs for these large fleets so they run efficiently. Attendees will learn about common roadblocks that prevent enterprises from cost optimizing, tools they can use to efficiently remove those roadblocks, and techniques to monitor their rate of cost optimization. The session will include a case study that will talk in detail about the millions of dollars saved using these techniques. Customers will learn about a range of templates they can use to quickly implement these techniques, and also partners who can help them implement these templates. Learn more

3. This One Weird API Request Will Save You Thousands: Using Spot Instances to Lower Costs and Get More Capacity (CMP 311)

Why? Spot instances are interesting AWS products that have been opening the door to lots of new AWS capabilities this year, as reflected in one of our previous posts. We think that they are a major milestone in the cloud economy. It seems like this will be a very practical session, and as mentioned above, we love sessions we can put to use!

AWS Catalog Description
Amazon EC2 allows you to bid for and run spare EC2 capacity, known as Spot instances, in a dynamically priced market. On average, customers save 80% to 90% compared to On Demand prices by using Spot instances. Achieving these savings has historically required time and effort to find the best deals while managing compute capacity as supply and demand fluctuate.
In this session, we dive into best practices and new features that will help you realize immediate cost savings, maximize compute capacity within your budget, and maintain application availability and performance with less up-front or ongoing development effort. Attendees leave with practical knowledge of Spot bidding strategies, market trends, instance selection and benchmarking, and fault-tolerant architecture with examples taken from common Spot use cases such as web services, big data/analytics, media processing, and continuous integration workloads. Learn more

4. Efficient Innovation: High-Velocity Cost Management at Netflix (ISM309)

Why? The session description says “developing a cost-conscious culture and assigning the responsibility for efficiency to the appropriate business owners”. Netflix, the cloud poster child talks about cloud costs? What an amazing opportunity to learn from the first enterprise that adopted AWS.

AWS Catalog Description
At many high-growth companies, staying at the bleeding edge of innovation and maintaining the highest level of service availability often sideline financial efficiency. This problem is exacerbated in a micro-service environment, where decentralized engineering teams can spin up thousands of instances at a moment’s notice, with no governing body tracking cost. By developing a cost-conscious culture and assigning the responsibility for efficiency to the appropriate business owners, you can deliver innovation efficiently and cost effectively . At Netflix, the Finance and Operations Engineering teams bear the responsibility for ensuring that the rate of innovation is fast and that development is cost effective. In this presentation, we’ll explore the building blocks of AWS cost management and discuss Netflix’s best practices. Learn more

5. A Framework for IT and Business Transformation (ISM205)

Why? Again, due to enterprise cloud adoption. One of the main subjects we deal with today is the complex TCO comparison between traditional data centers and the cloud. In this session you just might learn the principles of TCO in the public cloud.

AWS Catalog Description
When customers think about moving to the cloud, one of their first considerations is cost. AWS helps lower customer costs through its “pay only for what you use” pricing model. In this session, we explain our TCO analysis methodology and explore the financial considerations of owning and operating a traditional data center or managed hosting provider compared with using AWS services. Customers also share their processes for developing the right cost savings and optimization model.

Come meet our team to continue the cloud optimization discussion. We’d be thrilled to learn about your unique AWS environment and offer optimization recommendations and support. Just drop by booth #635.

If you’d like to schedule a specific time to discuss your situation, shoot me an email at ophir@cloudyn.com

Thank you and looking forward to seeing you at the 2015 AWS re:Invent!


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