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AWS Instance Scheduler: Tips and Tricks for Optimizing Costs

I wanted to take a moment to first acknowledge that many of you out there are feeling the economic and emotional impact  of COVID-19 and are trying to cope with the many changes and adjustments we are seeing because of it. I know that cost optimization is top of mind in these challenging times, and we here at Mission would like to support you in any way we can.

We specialize in finding ways to help companies reduce their spend on AWS. While there are a lot of ways to go about this, one quick tip is to turn off or suspend instances that you don't need when you don't need them. If you have workloads that have regular or scheduled demand, then using the AWS Instance Scheduler may help you spin down some of these instances when that demand is lowest.

Using the Instance Scheduler, you can define when specific instances should be activated based on time and day, and then aggregate those periods together into a schedule. You would then apply that schedule to EC2 or RDS instances based on tags. 

The AWS Instance Scheduler is deployed as a CloudFormation template, and uses Lambda, AWS Key Management Service, DynamoDB, and IAM. You can also configure SNS topics and CloudWatch for notifications and logging. Once deployed, you can create and manage periods and schedules using a custom resource in CloudFormation, editing DynamoDB tables directly, or using the AWS Instance Scheduler CLI tool.  You can also configure IAM roles to manage resources in other accounts from a single scheduler stack. This is helpful if you need to run multiple schedulers, and don't want to increase complexity by then having to deploy those multiple schedulers across multiple accounts.

If you would like assistance in analyzing your usage and infrastructure to identify instances and workloads that would be a good fit for using the AWS Instance Scheduler, please reach out to us and we will be glad to help. As I said earlier, we are really good at helping folks save money on their AWS bills, so if you would like to look at other options in lieu of addition to scheduling instance downtimes, please let us know and we will be glad to help you out. 

Wishing health and safety to all of you and yours, from everyone here at Mission.

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