AWS Architecture Blog

Let’s Architect! Optimizing the cost of your architecture

Written in collaboration with Ben Moses, AWS Senior Solutions Architect, and Michael Holtby, AWS Senior Manager Solutions Architecture


Designing an architecture is not a simple task. There are many dimensions and characteristics of a solution to consider, such as the availability, performance, or resilience.

In this Let’s Architect!, we explore cost optimization and ideas on how to rethink your AWS workloads, providing suggestions that span from compute to data transfer.

Migrating AWS Lambda functions to Arm-based AWS Graviton2 processors

AWS Graviton processors are custom silicon from Amazon’s Annapurna Labs. Based on the Arm processor architecture, they are optimized for performance and cost, which allows customers to get up to 34% better price performance.

This AWS Compute Blog post discusses some of the differences between the x86 and Arm architectures, as well as methods for developing Lambda functions on Graviton2, including performance benchmarking.

Many serverless workloads can benefit from Graviton2, especially when they are not using a library that requires an x86 architecture to run.

Take me to this Compute post!

Choosing Graviton2 for AWS Lambda function in the AWS console

Choosing Graviton2 for AWS Lambda function in the AWS console

Key considerations in moving to Graviton2 for Amazon RDS and Amazon Aurora databases

Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) and Amazon Aurora support a multitude of instance types to scale database workloads based on needs. Both services now support Arm-based AWS Graviton2 instances, which provide up to 52% price/performance improvement for Amazon RDS open-source databases, depending on database engine, version, and workload. They also provide up to 35% price/performance improvement for Amazon Aurora, depending on database size.

This AWS Database Blog post showcases strategies for updating RDS DB instances to make use of Graviton2 with minimal changes.

Take me to this Database post!

Choose your instance class that leverages Graviton2, such as db.r6g.large (the “g” stands for Graviton2)

Choose your instance class that leverages Graviton2, such as db.r6g.large (the “g” stands for Graviton2)

Overview of Data Transfer Costs for Common Architectures

Data transfer charges are often overlooked while architecting an AWS solution. Considering data transfer charges while making architectural decisions can save costs. This AWS Architecture Blog post describes the different flows of traffic within a typical cloud architecture, showing where costs do and do not apply. For areas where cost applies, it shows best-practice strategies to minimize these expenses while retaining a healthy security posture.

Take me to this Architecture post!

Accessing AWS services in different Regions

Accessing AWS services in different Regions

Improve cost visibility and re-architect for cost optimization

This Architecture Blog post is a collection of best practices for cost management in AWS, including the relevant tools; plus, it is part of a series on cost optimization using an e-commerce example.

AWS Cost Explorer is used to first identify opportunities for optimizations, including data transfer, storage in Amazon Simple Storage Service and Amazon Elastic Block Store, idle resources, and the use of Graviton2 (Amazon’s Arm-based custom silicon). The post discusses establishing a FinOps culture and making use of Service Control Policies (SCPs) to control ongoing costs and guide deployment decisions, such as instance-type selection.

Take me to this Architecture post!

Applying SCPs on different environments for cost control

Applying SCPs on different environments for cost control

See you next time!

Thanks for joining us to discuss optimizing costs while architecting! This is the last Let’s Architect! post of 2022. We will see you again in 2023, when we explore even more architecture topics together.

Wishing you a happy holiday season and joyous new year!

Can’t get enough of Let’s Architect!?

Visit the Let’s Architect! page of the AWS Architecture Blog for access to the whole series.

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Luca Mezzalira

Luca Mezzalira

Luca is Principal Solutions Architect based in London. He has authored several books and is an international speaker. He lent his expertise predominantly in the solution architecture field. Luca has gained accolades for revolutionizing the scalability of front-end architectures with micro-frontends, from increasing the efficiency of workflows, to delivering quality in products.

Laura Hyatt

Laura Hyatt

Laura Hyatt is a Solutions Architect for AWS Public Sector and helps Education customers in the UK. Laura helps customers not only architect and develop scalable solutions but also think big on innovative solutions facing the education sector at present. Laura's specialty is IoT, and she is also the Alexa SME for Education across EMEA.

Vittorio Denti

Vittorio Denti

Vittorio Denti is a Machine Learning Engineer at Amazon based in London. After completing his M.Sc. in Computer Science and Engineering at Politecnico di Milano (Milan) and the KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Stockholm), he joined AWS. Vittorio has a background in Distributed Systems and Machine Learning. He's especially passionate about software engineering and the latest innovations in Machine Learning science.

Zamira Jaupaj

Zamira Jaupaj

Zamira is an Enterprise Solutions Architect based in the Netherlands. She is highly passionate IT professional with over 10 years of multi-national experience in designing and implementing critical and complex solutions with containers, serverless, and data analytics for small and enterprise companies.