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Learn the most effective ways to reduce your cloud expenses with reservations.

Updated over a week ago

Cutting costs in the cloud is best achieved through cloud resource reservations. A Reserved Instance (RI) is a discount you get for reserving capacity at a reduced price for a fixed period in the future. Reserved Instances can offer substantial savings (up to 72%) compared to on-demand rates, making them an ideal cost-effective solution for critical applications that require high availability and predictable workloads.

You have two choices for the validity period of advance purchase commitments – one or three years. Additionally, there are three payment options, allowing you to select the one that suits you best:

  1. All Upfront: You pay the full amount at the beginning of the term, providing the highest discount.

  1. Partial Upfront: A portion of the payment is made in advance, with the remaining hours in the term being billed at a discounted hourly rate.

  1. No Upfront: You're billed at a reduced hourly rate for each hour during the contract term, with no upfront payment required.

With Uniskai, you'll receive recommendations for EC2, Lambda, Fargate, RDS, SageMaker, Redshift, ElastiCache, and Elasticsearch. All you need to do is select the resources for which you want recommendations and click ‘Apply.’

In AWS, there are two classes of reserved instances: standard RI and convertible RI.

  • Standard Reserved Instance: Provides the most significant discount but allows only modifications and can't be exchanged.

  • Convertible Reserved Instance: This can be modified and exchanged for another convertible instance but offers a lower discount than Standard Reserved Instance. Please take a look at the tables below for details.

Differences between Standard and Convertible Reserved Instances

Standard Reserved Instance

Convertible Reserved Instance

Modify Reserved Instances

Some attributes can be modified. For more information, see Modify Reserved Instances.

Some attributes can be modified. For more information, see Modify Reserved Instances.

Exchange Reserved Instances

Can't be exchanged.

Can be exchanged during the term for another Convertible Reserved Instance with new attributes, including instance family, instance type, platform, scope, or tenancy. For more information, see Exchange Convertible Reserved Instances.

Sell in the Reserved Instance Marketplace

Can be sold in the Reserved Instance Marketplace.

Can't be sold in the Reserved Instance Marketplace.

Buy in the Reserved Instance Marketplace

Can be bought in the Reserved Instance Marketplace.

Can't be bought in the Reserved Instance Marketplace.

Check the resource Tab here.

When you open the Reservation in Uniskai, you will be provided with suggestions for reservation. If you want to change the attributes of your instance, use the Wizard Option on the right.

Clicking ‘Wizard Options’ will display a list of questions, allowing you to specify changes in tenancy, type, region, etc. Reservation recommendations are subject to change based on your answers to these questions.

Below, you'll find the best suggestions for Standard RI and alternative recommendations for Convertible RI, including on-demand and discounted prices, as well as monthly percentage savings and savings per month.

To commit to a Reserved Instance, click ‘Buy reservation.’ Only the organization owner can purchase a reservation immediately. If you are not the owner, your request will be sent to them for approval and purchase.

Think carefully before clicking the ‘Buy reservation’ button, as once confirmed by the organization owner, funds are non-refundable.

To view all your committed reservations, scroll down. Here, you can see both saving plans and RI Standard or RI Convertible, depending on your reserved resources or funds.

Hiding underutilized RI

In Uniskai, we strive to optimize resource allocation within our application ecosystem to ensure optimal performance and user experience. As part of this commitment, we have implemented a resource utilization policy aimed at maintaining efficiency and responsiveness across our platform. If resources that are under AWS reservation exceed our underutilized threshold, we hide them from our Cloudsitter and Spots pages. We will not show any savings recommendations for these resources, however, you are still available to use our other platform features for them.

Another important aspect of our savings recommendation policy is that, if resources are present in the Reservation recommendation, they are not available in Cloudsitter, Spots, Rightsizing and Waste pages as savings recommendations. However, if users archive reservation recommendations on the Reservation page, they become present on other pages. The reverse logic is applied when reservation recommendations on the Reservation page in unarchived.

Saving plans

A Saving Plan is an alternative to Reserved Instances, offering a flexible pricing model to reduce cloud costs. When using a savings plan, you commit to a specific amount of money but not to specific resources. The validity period and payment options are the same as for Reserved Instances commitment.

Saving plan options include:

  • Compute Savings Plan: Provides up to a 66% discount compared to on-demand rates. Similar to Convertible RI, it allows you to change resource type, region, operating system, or tenancy.

  • EC2 Instance Savings Plan: Provides up to a 72% discount compared to on-demand rates. Similar to Standard RI, you need to specify the region, operating system, type, etc., before using this plan.

IMPORTANT: Saving plans can only be used for EC2, Fargate, and Lambda, while reserved instances can be used for nearly all AWS services.

Alternative suggestions also provide recommendations for the Saving plan. For example, you can see on-demand and discounted prices, along with monthly percentage savings and savings per month.

If you want a Saving plan recommendation, select at least one of the three options (EC2, Fargate, Lambda) in our filters.

To commit to a Reserved Instance or a Saving plan, click ‘Submit for approval.’ The organization owner must approve your purchase reservation request. The reservation will be purchased only after the organization owner confirms the purchase, and no confirmation is required if the owner makes the purchase.

Attention: Think carefully before clicking the ‘Buy a reservation’ button, as once confirmed, funds are non-refundable.

The archiving option allows you to hide recommendations that you don't plan to use soon or at all. All archived recommendations will be displayed on the ‘Archive’ tab, and you can unarchive them at any time when needed.

These recommendations by Uniskai provide a clear understanding of how you can save with this savings model. It's up to you to decide which recommendation offers the most savings. If you're unsure where to start, consider trying Savings plans first, as they are flexible but cover limited resources. If everything works as expected, you can transition to Reserved Instances and use them for a wide range of resources.

Pending Approval page

Only the organization owner can access this page, where they can view requests from other users for purchasing reservations.

To view a request, simply click the ‘View request’ button.

A request will appear as follows:

The owner can't proceed with buying a reservation without accepting the agreement:

Click ‘Buy reservation’ after applying the agreement:

The owner also has the option to reject a request by clicking the ‘Reject request’ button:

Once rejected, the request will disappear from the page:

See all the offers for your AWS accounts for reserved instance and savings plans at the same time.

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