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Table of Contents

Introduction

Unlike traditional IT models, AWS services do not require any upfront payments or capital investments. The main advantage of using a cloud service is that you can significantly reduce your IT expenditure. AWS charges only for the services you use, the storage you consume, and the data transfer that you perform in a particular billing cycle or when subscriptions or one-time purchases are made.

To run a cost-optimized cloud environment, you need to understand how to reduce your AWS costs efficiently. One way to reduce your cloud cost is to find smart ways to reduce your AWS data transfer costs. In this article, we will explore 4 ways to reduce your data transfer costs.

How to reduce AWS data transfer costs?

In a cloud environment, data is transferred from the internet to AWS sources or vice versa. Data transfer also occurs between one AWS service to another, or it is moved to a different region or a different Availability Zone. If left unchecked, AWS Data transfer costs can accumulate quickly, causing a huge financial burden to your business. Reducing AWS data transfer costs involves strategic planning, choosing proper optimization techniques, and utilizing cost-effective services provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS). Here are several effective strategies to help reduce data transfer costs:

Optimize Outbound Data Transfer in AWS

In AWS, there are two types of Data transfers: Inbound and Outbound. Inbound refers to data transfer to AWS sources from external networks/internet and outbound refers to data transfer to the external networks from AWS services. AWS does not charge any fee for Inbound data transfer, whereas Outbound data transfer is billed depending on the data volume.

To save outbound data transfer costs, compress your data, files, images, and videos, thereby reducing the data volume without compromising the data quality. Choosing file formats optimized for data retrieval can also reduce data transfer costs. For example, choosing a columnar storage format like Apache Parquet or Apache ORC for analytics workload can reduce your data transfer costs efficiently.

Take advantage of AWS services like Amazon CloudFront, a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to cache static data like images, videos, and Javascript files in edge locations closer to your end-users. This reduces latency and data transfer costs. Additionally, consider moving your data processing tasks closer to your data source, instead of transferring it to your main computing resources. This can be achieved using services like AWS Lambda or AWS Outposts.

AWS CloudFront, CDN, AWS Data Transfer, AWS edge locations, CDN cache
Source: AWS Docs

Strategize Regional and Inter-AZ Data Transfer

The charges are higher for data transfer between two different regions or availability zones than between the same region or availability zone. An Availability Zone is an isolated environment with its own network and data centers within an AWS region. AWS has 105 Availability Zones within 33 geographic regions. Hence, analyze your user base and traffic patterns, and place your data centers in regions closer to your user locations.

Utilize services like AWS PrivateLink to connect between VPCs and other AWS services. It establishes a private connection between your Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) and other AWS services and your on-premise networks, without exposing your traffic to the internet. This helps to reduce your egress cost.

AWS PrivateLink, AWS Data transfer between VPC, AWS cloud
Source: AWS Docs

Utilize cost-effective services and features for AWS Data Transfer

AWS provides several services and features that support data transfer at optimal costs. AWS Direct Connect is one such dedicated global network beneficial for enterprises that require high-throughput, low-latency data connectivity. It connects your on-premise resources with AWS, and it is accessible across any AWS region.

AWS Direct Connect, reduce AWS data transfer cost, VPC and on-premise data transfer
Source: AWS Docs

AWS Transit Gateway is another network connectivity service, that connects VPCs in the same region. It enables efficient data transfer between VPCs at minimal charges. Transit Gateway can integrate with AWS Direct Connect, thereby extending the connectivity between your on-premises network to multiple VPCs across different AWS regions. VPC peering allows you to connect VPCs within the same or different AWS accounts without incurring high data transfer costs over the public internet.

You can use AWS DataSync to transfer large volumes of data between on-premise storage to AWS storage services like Amazon S3, EFS, and FSx for Windows File Server. It can transfer data over the internet or integrate with AWS Direct Connect. DataSync uses optimized network protocols and multi-threaded transfer mechanisms to achieve high-speed data transfer at optimal bandwidth consumption, with minimal cost.

AWS DataSync, AWS data transfer cost, Data migration, on-prem to AWS data transfer
Source: AWS Docs

Other cost-saving features from AWS include volume discounts and committed usage discounts for in-region and outbound data transfers. Optimize data storage features for long-term, infrequently accessed data, by pushing it to Glacier Deep Archive, which is an S3 storage class that offers low cost for both storage and data retrieval.

Monitor and Optimize your AWS Data Transfer

Proactive monitoring and analysis play a major role in reducing AWS data transfer costs. AWS offers a suite of monitoring and analysis tools that help businesses gain insights and find ways to reduce data transfer costs in their AWS environment.

AWS Cost Explorer is one such tool that provides comprehensive visibility into your AWS usage, which includes data transfer costs across regions, services, and accounts. It provides customized reports and dashboards to identify resources or services that procure high costs and optimize them based on cost-efficiency metrics. You can also utilize cost allocation tags to categorize your data transfer expenses. These tags help you gain greater visibility and control over your data transfer expenses.

Set up AWS Budgest to establish cost limits and receive notifications when the data transfer costs exceed your predefined limits. This helps users to gain insights into their AWS data transfer expenses and take actions to optimize them. Additionally, set up AWS Cost Anomaly Detection to identify unexpected spending patterns and anomalies in your AWS billing data.

Remember to schedule regular cost optimization reviews to assess your AWS data transfer costs, and identify cost optimization opportunities. Optimizing data transfer routes and defining data transfer cost allocation policies also helps you to reduce AWS data transfer costs.

Conclusion

By implementing these strategies, businesses can effectively reduce their AWS data transfer expenses. As cost efficiency and sustainability are important in cloud operations, managing your AWS data transfer cost is essential to maintaining an optimized cloud infrastructure. Through constant monitoring, evaluation, and optimization, you can bring down your cloud bill significantly, and maximize your cost efficiency.

Looking to cut down your AWS costs?

In a cloud-based business model, understanding how to cut down your cloud cost is crucial to running a profitable business. Economize can assist you in reducing your cloud spending, without compromising on your cloud performance. Book a free demo with us today and we will help you to reduce your AWS costs by up to 30% within 10 minutes.

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