AWS Cloud Financial Management

Key ways to start optimizing your AWS cloud costs

Voiced by Amazon Polly

With AWS, you can take control of your cost and continuously optimize your cloud spend, while building modern, scalable applications to meet your needs. Sounds simple enough, right? But, there will be a learning curve to understand what tools and resources to use for specific purposes.

To help you get started, or to improve your current cost optimization processes, here are the answers to the top 3 questions we hear from customers and the top 3 things you can do to start saving on your cloud bill.

Top 3 customer questions

1. How do I start my cost optimization process?

There are several options available to optimize your cloud costs. We usually recommend that customers use a two-stage prioritization framework to help draft a path forward.

  • Prioritize your efforts based on implementation time, commitment level, and knowledge required. Start with those on the lower end of that spectrum, like compute rightsizing, scheduling, waste removal, and Amazon S3 Intelligent Tiering.

  • Assess potential risk and savings to begin with resources in your non-critical environments (e.g. development, staging, testing), as well as those initiatives that bring you the highest savings in the shortest time possible.

Learn more about Getting Started with Cloud Financial Management, and how AWS can help you transform your business with cost management and optimization.

2. Are we spending more than we should? How do we know?

It’s important to improve the ROI of your cloud investments. When it comes to cloud costs, there are two areas users should explore: ‘Usage’ and ‘Rate’.

  • Usage: Your goal is to ‘use only what you need’ by having cost transparency and accountability, which will help you more effectively leverage the elasticity of the cloud (e.g. compute rightsizing, non-critical workloads scheduling, services fine-tuning, and overall waste removal),
  • Rate: There are a number of opportunities to ‘pay less for what you use’ by exploring modernization opportunities (e.g. AWS Graviton), taking advantage of unused compute capacity (e.g. Amazon EC2 Spot), and committing to stable resource usage (e.g. AWS Compute Savings Plans, AWS Reserved Instances).

Take action to help you use only what you need and pay less for what you use by watching the 9 Ways You Can Reduce Your AWS Bill presentation on AWS CFM Talks.

3. What tools are there available to help us keep our costs under control?

Keeping costs under control takes discipline, and an understanding of what and how AWS tools can help you cost optimize based on your organization’s specific needs. While there are a number of AWS tools that can help you manage and control your AWS spend, we usually recommend starting with these:

  • AWS Cost Explorer: First, it is critical to understand what is driving cost, and AWS Cost Explorer can give you a holistic view of your cloud estate — what, when, who, and how much. You can use also use its rightsizing recommendations and recommendations for the reserved instances and savings plans according to your historical usage to accelerate your savings on AWS.
  • AWS Budgets: With cost visibility and initial optimizations in place, AWS Budgets can help you define specific budget thresholds that drive automated action (from notifications, to increasing restrictions and stopping resources) so you can avoid surprises and provide an initial layer of control over your AWS spend.
  • AWS Cost Anomaly Detection: To enhance visibility and control over your AWS spend, you can use AWS Cost Anomaly Detection, which uses advanced Machine Learning technologies to identify anomalous spend and root causes, so you can quickly take action. With three simple steps, you can create your own contextualized monitor and receive alerts when any anomalous spend is detected.

Get started today!

Top 3 Takeaways

  1. Choose right pricing model
  2. Match capacity with demand
  3. Implement process to identify resource waste


Using AWS’s services and pricing options, you’ll have the flexibility to effectively manage your costs and still keep the performance and capacity you require. Explore how you can start transforming your business with cost transparency, control, forecasting, and optimization.

Carlos Galan

Carlos Galan

Carlos is a Business Development Manager within the Cloud Financial Management (CFM) practice where he leads the scaling function by empowering customers’ senior leadership on CFM essentials through events, driving thought leadership in advanced CFM best practices, and enabling third parties (AWS and Partners) to help drive support at scale. Prior to joining AWS, Carlos spearheaded Cloud adoption for B2B multi-tenant analytics solutions in the customer engagement space.

Gena Chung

Gena Chung

Gena is a Digital Campaigns Manager for AWS Billing and Cost Management services. She focuses on helping customers understand and adopt cloud financial management solutions to harness the value of the AWS cloud, and transform their business through cost transparency, control, forecasting, and optimization.