Data driven decision making: Investigating the benefits of AWS spot instances
A large insurance organisation was looking for ways to minimise their cloud costs. The businesses underwrite over $11.4 billion of premium per annum, selling insurance under many leading brands. The company also has interests in general insurance joint ventures in Malaysia and India. Standard & Poor’s has assigned a ‘Very Strong’ Insurer Financial Strength Rating of ‘AA-’ to the Group’s core operating subsidiaries.
To improve their software development speed, the firm were investigating using Amazon Web Services (AWS) to provide development environments for a selection of their delivery teams. This was great for solving the common and painful problem of environment availability, however it also created a new challenge: rapidly escalating cloud costs.
Our client ran some internal initiatives to rightsize AWS usage which were successful. To evaluate further cost reductions they asked Cevo to assist in evaluating:
- If using AWS spot instances would reduce the monthly hosting bill
- If there were any other, non-monetary expenses generated from running on spot
A experiment was set up to produce a cost analysis that would outline how different AWS instance types could be used to manage the monthly AWS spend more effectively.
As a result of this investigation, our client realised there would be no cost saving for them in moving to spot. They were able to evaluate the effectiveness over a short period of time, and make a decision without affecting any of their environments or risking a spike in cost.