The advent and development of cloud platforms have always served various goals, with cost reduction arguably one of the most important. Cloud cost optimization that Amazon made available to its customers eventually helped AWS become the most popular cloud service in the world. With Amazon Web Services, numerous organizations achieved financial efficiency and strategic cloud management.
We’ve written numerous posts on optimizing cloud costs, from various pricing models AWS offers to hidden charges associated with its pricing and billing to AWS-related Financial Operations (FinOps) best practices.
In this article, we will move from theory to practice and delve into the most notable success stories of businesses that have mastered cloud cost containment and optimized their paycheck. By adopting the principles of Financial Operations (FinOps), these companies have leveraged AWS’s capabilities, figured out complex pricing models, and gained control over their cloud expenditures.
AdRoll’s story with AWS: how they became the world advertising leaders
First, let us explore the story of AdRoll, the global leader in digital advertising retargeting, and its journey in using AWS to transform its operations and, as a result, revolutionize the world of personalized ad campaigns. They stood at the origin of a so-called Real-Time Bidding (RTB) platform, which was driven and powered by data collected from advertisers’ websites and thus allowed companies of all sizes to craft tailored ad campaigns. Moreover, the platform’s real-time auction marketplace allowed selling ad inventory on a per-impression basis across the web, social media, and mobile apps, empowering advertisers to optimize ad placement quality while minimizing costs.
In the pursuit of enhancing its services, AdRoll faced a formidable challenge in managing the ever-growing volume of data. Between 2011 and 2013, the data they collected soaked from 50 GB to 20 TB daily. By October 2014, this figure surged even more – to an unprecedented 150 TB daily. To maintain its requirement of achieving a threshold bid response time of 100 milliseconds, the company sought a solution that would be good at data processing and ensure a global presence to serve its widespread and diverse clientele with no setbacks.
AdRoll opted for AWS to make this happen because of its worldwide reach, mature platform, and ability to scale services whenever needed. Last but not least, AdRoll wanted to improve its infrastructure and customer service and change its approach to cost management:
1. AWS allowed to drastically reduce IT and operational costs compared to companies handling comparable data volumes on their premises.
2. AdRoll managed to save costs and handle the massive traffic from the likes of Facebook, Google, and Yahoo, serving over 50 billion impressions daily with the help of Amazon DynamoDB database service.
3. AdRoll combined On-Demand, Reserved, and Spot Instances to operate their RTB platform. The utilization of Spot Instances for intensive, non-time-critical computational tasks reduced their costs by an astounding 80% compared to On-Demand Instances. As a result, they ran their RTB platform on over 2,500 machines globally at an economical cost of less than $0.05 per day per machine.
4. AdRoll freed up valuable IT engineering resources previously consumed by infrastructure management. From now on, 95% of their staff could focus on innovating the platform and solving customer challenges.
5. By employing Amazon S3, AdRoll managed to cut storage expenses, as well as those related to its management, significantly. Despite generating traffic comparable to some of the most visited online properties, only two engineers – instead of eight – were more than enough for AdRoll.
As something that goes beyond mere cost optimization, the flexibility of AWS enabled AdRoll to scale capacity rapidly, helping them address unexpected surges in demand on their platform. Additionally, AWS offered them a safety net against catastrophic failures, empowering them to recreate their entire platform anywhere worldwide, ensuring business continuity even in emergencies.
To summarize, the partnership between AdRoll and AWS empowered the former to establish itself as a global leader in digital advertising retargeting. Through AWS’s features, AdRoll’s infrastructure underwent an overhaul that unleashed the potential for growth, efficiency, and customer satisfaction, ultimately reshaping the digital advertising landscape and inspiring a new era of personalized and impactful ad campaigns for companies worldwide.
The story of Wildlife Studios, a company that succeeded in the mobile gaming industry
Now, let us delve into the story of Wildlife Studios, a company not as renowned as AdRoll but still prominent in the mobile gaming industry, and learn about its journey with AWS to achieve greater agility and, more importantly, cost optimization.
Wildlife Studios, founded in 2011, has emerged as a significant player in the global gaming arena, offering popular titles like Zooba and Tennis Clash to billions of gamers worldwide. As the company experienced rapid user growth, its AWS usage expanded significantly. To gain better visibility into its AWS cost and usage and optimize expenses while accommodating thousands of new users, Wildlife Studios turned to AWS Cloud Financial Management Services.
With the AWS Cost & Usage Report and AWS Cost Explorer, Wildlife Studios could gain a detailed view of its estimated AWS charges, enabling transparency and deeper insight into cloud spend. The company could analyze AWS costs per game session, total costs per active user, and unexpected expenses using key performance indicators (KPIs). This shift in focus from absolute cost to resource usage helped the company make informed decisions and implement necessary policies and automation.
Based on the cost and usage analysis results, Wildlife Studios has decided to adopt Amazon EC2 Spot Instances with the managed service offered by Spot by NetApp. This move and other cost optimization efforts led to a remarkable 45% reduction in Amazon EC2 spend per unit. These cost savings allowed Wildlife Studios to reinvest its time, effort, and money into developing captivating games and expanding its distribution.
Wildlife Studios enhanced its business agility and cloud efficiency by introducing cloud management practices. The company could successfully navigate the competitive gaming industry with better awareness of cloud spending and improved cost management practices.
In summary, Wildlife Studios’ partnership with AWS is an excellent example of how cloud cost management empowers companies to optimize costs, boost innovation, and flourish in a rapidly evolving landscape, ultimately transforming the gaming experience for players worldwide.
Free cloud cost optimization & enhanced ML/AI resource management for a lifetime
As we can see, the success stories of AdRoll and Wildlife Studios demonstrate the immense power of AWS cloud cost optimization that spans beyond bill reduction. The companies in question leveraged Amazon Web Services capabilities to reduce operational costs, achieve global scalability, enhance customer satisfaction, and drive innovation in their respective industries.
However, there is a pressing issue for active AWS users related to their data repositories, duplicate objects, and overspending. OptScale’s latest feature, Duplicate Object Finder, promises businesses a fine-tuned approach to AWS S3 management.
As we witness the growing prominence of cloud technology in the business world, the need for effective cloud cost management becomes increasingly evident. Notable companies use solutions like Hystax OptScale to achieve complete transparency and optimize cloud costs. Hystax OptScale provides businesses with all the needed tools to establish FinOps processes, improve resource management with Power Schedules, identify budget leaks, and generate valuable cost optimization ideas. Moreover, it’s an ally for companies striving to harness the power of Machine Learning while ensuring cloud financial management remains streamlined.
With seamless integration into existing workflows, real-time notifications, and access to thorough analyses of IT infrastructure, Hystax OptScale empowers FinOps teams to make informed decisions and eliminate cloud budget overspending. By partnering with Hystax OptScale, businesses can unlock the full potential of cloud cost optimization and enhance their overall efficiency, innovation, and success in the cloud.
The stories of AdRoll and Wildlife Studios witness the potential of cloud cost optimization. With Hystax OptScale’s solutions, more companies can join the ranks of successful businesses thriving in the rapidly evolving cloud landscape.