Key Strategies for AWS RDS Cost Reduction

Handoyo Sutanto
5 min
March 9th, 2023
Handoyo Sutanto
5 min
March 9th, 2023

Strategies to Reduce Your AWS RDS Costs

Amazon’s Relational Database Service (RDS) provides a specialized Database-as-a-Service platform that allows organizations to simplify database operations and maintenance. AWS RDS, and similar services from other providers, are widely used to streamline database management but can often have high costs if improperly managed.

Databases are a critical component of most modern organizations' IT infrastructure and create a large portion of IT costs, whether operating internal systems or public-facing applications. As a result, many enterprises look towards RDS to better manage costs.

However, RDS auto scaling, inefficient usage, and many other factors can make AWS RDS lead to unexpected IT costs. These unpredictable costs can affect the overall budget, growth, and scalability of both the application and the business.

Fortunately, you can employ key RDS cost optimization strategies to reap the benefits of the service without incurring unexpected and debilitating costs. Keep reading to learn how to make the most of your RDS budget — and how Lyrid might be a better alternative.

How Does AWS RDS Pricing Work?

Before we can dive into cutting RDS costs, we must first understand how the service’s pricing works. Your RDS price reflects several aspects of your usage and chosen plan. 

Some of the different pricing models and components from AWS that will impact your overall bill are:

RDS Free Tier

The free tier is intended to allow you to gauge your needs rather than provide an ongoing free service. The RDS free tier allows you to use 750 free hours of MariaDB, MySQL, and PostgreSQL databases in the Single-Availability Zone. You’ll also receive 20 GB of general-purpose storage with backups. 

Once you run more than one instance, Amazon will begin automatically billing your total usage across all instances. 

Database Engine

Amazon supports seven database engines to accommodate your needs. Amazon’s Aurora engine allows both on-demand and reserved instances while billing storage per GB/month increments and I/O usage per million requests. 

The remaining engines are billed similarly, with PostgreSQL incurring a 10% costlier hourly increase. In addition, Oracle and Microsoft engines incur licensing costs unless you bring your own. 

All available engines are:

Purchase Type

Your database instance type and size also impact your overall bill. Options such as vCPU, RAM, and network capacity all affect the final cost. Additionally, two overall instance types significantly impact your bill:

On-Demand Instance: This type of instance bills by the hour and is the default billing option. On-demand instances don’t require upfront payments or long-term commitments. If you use less than an hour, AWS bills one-second increments with a 10-minute minimum. Billing begins when an instance starts and ends when it stops.

Reserved Instance: This instance type allows you to reserve and commit to an instance for one to three years. Three payment options are available:

Database Region

Your selected region may incur additional costs. You’ll always need to choose an Availability Zone (AZ), and you may select multiple zones. However, be aware that RDS will default to ‘Multi-AZ,’ which is a geo-redundancy option, so you don’t need to buy multiple zones for this purpose. 

Other Add-Ons and Attributes

There are a few other options that will also impact your bill. These options are:

Be Aware of These Common AWS RDS Cost Traps

You can likely already see how it’s easy for an organization to end up paying more for AWS RDS than they actually need. The pricing structure is complex, with plenty of moving pieces, most of which will impact your bill.

Let’s explore some of the most common cost traps associated with AWS RDS, including: 

Top Recommendations for AWS RDS Cost Optimization

So how can you avoid the traps we explored above? Enacting the right strategies helps you use RDS without paying more than you need. RDS aims to cut overall IT costs, and you can achieve that with these recommendations.

Some of the top strategies for RDS cost optimization are:

Right-Sizing Resources

Right-sizing your instances means turning off and eliminating anything you’re not using. 

Your monthly bill includes all of your instances, related storage, and associated infrastructure. You can investigate each instance's utilization and connections through the RDS control panel. For example, you can stop an instance entirely, and you won’t be billed for usage hours, only storage. 

Right-sizing may include downgrading your plan to a less powerful machine that meets your requirements. Depending on your needs, you can also consolidate multiple instances to minimize costs. Regularly explore any opportunities to adjust your plan to accommodate only what you use and nothing more.

Monitoring and Optimizing Data Transfer

Importing data to RDS from the Internet is free, but all other transfers incur costs. Depending on all several factors, your costs can range from $0.09 to $0.13 cents per GB. Transferring data between instances, zones, or delivering to external users significantly impacts your monthly bill. 

Adopt the right tools and processes to stay aware of your RDS data transfer usage. Frequently review your usage to identify anything that’s unnecessary or could be minimized. The goal is to provide the services you require without any data transfer that doesn’t serve an essential purpose.

Implementing Other Cost Optimization Techniques

Many other best practices to reduce your RDS costs are worth considering. Depending on your specific needs, many of the following techniques can help you optimize your RDS budget:

Explore how you can use these techniques to cut costs, improving your application's and business's scalability.

An Alternative Solution: Deploying Databases in a Kubernetes Cluster with Lyrid

Everything we’ve discussed so far allows you to stay with RDS and get the most out of every dollar spent. However, RDS isn’t the only solution for deploying scalable databases.

Lyrid is a cost-effectively alternative that sidesteps the high costs associated with RDS. Our platform leverages Kubernetes clusters to provide microservices that allow for scalability and precise relational databases.

Read on to learn how Lyrid gives you the same core functionality as AWS RDS without the high, unpredictable costs.

How Does Lyrid’s Kubernetes Replace RDS?

Kubernetes is a container orchestration system that provides precise scalability by creating or destroying individual containers as necessary. As a result, data centers and enterprises are using Kubernetes to cut costs while improving their applications' and businesses' flexibility and scalability. 

Lyrid’s Kubernetes automates database deployment, scaling, and management in a Kubernetes cluster. In addition, each cluster only exists for as long as needed, removing the possibility of paying for something unused.

Ultimately, our platform gives you more flexibility and scalability at a predictable monthly rate. We don’t charge you for the following:

Benefits of Choosing Lyrid

You don’t need to be stuck with RDS to have scalable and reliable databases. Lyrid lets you have the same benefits without a bill that may suddenly greatly exceed your expectations. 

Our implementation of Kubernetes gives you powerful benefits that enable growth, such as:

Lyrid’s specialized platform achieves these benefits by democratizing the cloud by connecting regional data centers to enterprises. Our platform gives data centers the tools to utilize their infrastructure better while giving enterprises an easy-to-use Kubernetes platform to manage everything they need.

Partner with Lyrid for Cost-Effective Relational Databases

AWS RDS provides a service many organizations will benefit from, but it can backfire, resulting in much higher costs than expected. Properly configuring, monitoring, and optimizing services is vital to truly benefit from RDS.

Fortunately, Lyrid provides a cost-effective and scalable alternative to AWS RDS that gives you more control and flexibility at a more predictable cost. Our automated Kubernetes platform costs a consistent monthly rate — instead of an unpredictable and potentially high-cost bill.

Additionally, Lyrid can make AWS RDS migration a seamless process so you can start spending less and scaling more. Ready to get started? Contact us today to speak to a Kubernetes expert to learn more.

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