Brave New Coin Uses AWS Tools to Cut Costs by 30%
Acting Quickly with DevOps Agility
Brave New Coin is a New Zealand–based data and research company serving cryptocurrency traders and financial institutions globally. Born in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud, Brave New Coin leverages DevOps practices to remain nimble and stay ahead in an evolving market. “We are in a fast-changing industry, and AWS provides the agility to quickly respond to critical market changes,” says Knight Hou, head of market data at Brave New Coin.
Cost control has come increasingly into focus for businesses around the world. In March 2020, Brave New Coin kicked off an internal review using AWS Cost Explorer to gain insights into its cloud resource consumption. Its management team then reached out to the AWS for recommendations.
Because the business had carefully constructed its development environment and was already using infrastructure as code, it was easier to pivot and revise its cloud footprint through consolidating services within its Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS) clusters. “Our DevOps practices have allowed us to approach cost reduction with confidence,” Hou says. “We can make changes without worrying too much about how it will affect infrastructure.” In just one month, Brave New Coin was able to achieve its chief financial officer’s stretch target of 30 percent cost savings without compromising system performance or resilience.
Tools such as the AWS Pricing Calculator allow us to make the right resource decision upfront, which is key. Cost optimization has become part of our DevOps mindset.
head of market data, Brave New Coin
Intelligent Storage Tiering
Brave New Coin uses Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) to store real-time trade and order book data from more than 200 cryptocurrency exchanges. It was able to automate the allocation of such data to the most cost-effective access tier with Amazon S3 Intelligent-Tiering. Using this approach, data that is less frequently accessed is stored in a lower-cost tier.
The AWS team also prompted Brave New Coin to explore the implementation of more Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) Reserved Instances. The company was already using these instances for its databases but began wider implementation for new workloads by buying unused capacity from other AWS customers on the Amazon EC2 Reserved Instance Marketplace. To ensure there was no performance degradation when new cost controls were introduced, AWS also advised the startup to stand up databases in its development environment, which was running similar instances to its production environment.
Making More Strategic Decisions
“This exercise has given us more experience using the AWS billing tools and insight into costing,” says Hou. “With the AWS console and a few clicks, we can get a level of detail and a transparency that are very useful to report back to the business.” Everyone has become more involved in costing decisions as a result. Hou shares that even in his nontechnical role, he has started the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner online course to improve his understanding of the system and make more strategic decisions.
DevOps engineers are now looking at costing when planning for a new product, whereas previously they may not have taken this into account. Hou says, “Tools such as the AWS Pricing Calculator allow us to make the right resource decision upfront, which is key. Cost optimization has become part of our DevOps mindset.”
About Brave New Coin
Brave New Coin is a New Zealand company providing data and research for global clients in the blockchain and cryptocurrency market. Established in 2014, Brave New Coin product offerings include cryptocurrency market data, indices, benchmarking, and BNC Pro, its digital wealth management platform.
- Reduces monthly infrastructure spend by 30%
- Optimizes data storage with intelligent tiering
- Provides visibility into costing with multiple billing tools
- Enables agility to quickly respond to market changes
- Promotes a company-wide, cost-optimization mindset
AWS Services Used
AWS Cost Explorer
AWS Cost Explorer has an easy-to-use interface that lets you visualize, understand, and manage your AWS costs and usage over time.
Amazon EC2 Reserved Instances
Amazon EC2 Reserved Instances (RI) provide a significant discount (up to 72%) compared to On-Demand pricing and provide a capacity reservation when used in a specific Availability Zone.
Amazon S3 Intelligent-Tiering
Amazon Aurora is a MySQL and PostgreSQL-compatible relational database built for the cloud, that combines the performance and availability of traditional enterprise databases with the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of open source databases.
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