Insider Insights: EC2 Management Platform ProsperOps’ CEO on Standing Out
Cost optimization is a critical aspect of effective cloud use. Much has been written on the topic and AWS has developed a five pillars of cost optimization methodology to help customers navigate the topic. However, executing those strategies can be challenging in terms of skill, time commitment, and dependency on the application.
Helping businesses prosper in the cloud
The co-founders of ProsperOps started Rackspace’s AWS Managed Services business to help customers with cost optimization. One interesting observation was that users consistently underutilized or mismanaged Reserved Instances (RIs). It was surprising, considering RI discounts are one of AWS’ most powerful levers to reduce costs, and they pose no engineering risk to employ, unlike auto-scaling, spot instances, or instance right-sizing. ProsperOps was founded with the mission to simplify and automate the RI lifecycle to give users the savings benefit without the effort.
Reserved Instances—powerful, but nuanced
Due to the constantly changing nature of EC2 environments, managing an optimal RI portfolio can be intense across almost any use case—from small businesses with a single, moderately complex application to large enterprises with hundreds of dynamic applications across multiple accounts in a consolidated billing family. The downside for mismanaging RIs is not just the missed savings opportunity, but potentially additional costs, like paying for both unused RI commitments and on-demand usage.
To manage this risk, users have turned to combinations of spreadsheets, hand-crafted scripts, ad hoc reports, or cost reporting tools. However, all of these tools place the burden on human judgment, human execution, and ongoing human management. This work is time consuming, prone to mistakes, and inherently not as dynamic as the underlying cloud environment.
For many small and medium sized businesses, the engineering teams responsible for managing RIs are often stretched too thin to fully realize their savings potential. The problem is exacerbated in large, complex organizations, where the cost optimization responsibility is split between engineering and finance functions. Developers, primarily concerned with application performance and availability, and finance teams, responsible for cost efficiency, are often pursuing different objectives in highly dynamic environments. All of this results in sub-optimal savings outcomes.
Algorithms and automation to amplify humans
ProsperOps believes RI management is a job best accomplished by algorithms and automation that amplify the human, versus spreadsheets and reporting that inform the human. As an Autonomous Reserved Instance Management service for AWS EC2, ProsperOps algorithmically builds and maintains the optimal RI portfolio to maximize RI savings, even as the underlying Amazon EC2 instance use changes. This way, engineers can use whichever EC2 instance types are right for their application and automatically receive RI discounts without the need to evaluate and manage a portfolio of RIs. Finance teams can be redeployed to higher value work instead of spending time coordinating with engineering teams for ever-changing usage and instance forecasts.
Customers grant least privilege access to their AWS environments and provide two high-level inputs to guide the AI-enabled algorithm. ProsperOps inspects AWS environments on an ongoing, real-time basis, learns detailed usage patterns of various EC2 instance types, and programmatically purchases, modifies, and exchanges RI commitments. Users have full visibility into the actions ProsperOps takes, but no ongoing human intervention is required. This requires no access to EC2 instances or manipulation of the infrastructure or application.
To learn more, you can visit prosperops.com, where ProsperOps will tell you exactly how much can be incrementally saved on EC2 and then handle the execution if you choose to subscribe. You can also check out CEO Chris Cochran explain how the software startup works. As a two-time founder and mentor at Capital Factory, he also shares insights into the current startup environment and how effective storytelling can help founders break through the noise.