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.
The Insurance company 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.
Through this investigation, the Insurance company realised there would be no cost saving for them in moving to spot. Instead 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.