Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) provides its users with a flexible, highly customizable computing solution without the need to invest in costly on-site servers. And the product’s ability to quickly scale computing capacity up or down means that, if properly utilized, AWS customers only pay for what they actually need. Not only can EC2 users easily start and stop instances on demand, but they can also use EC2 scheduling to set the start and stop times of specific instances in advance, saving time and money in the process. By some estimates, utilizing EC2 scheduling to halt non-essential instances during off hours can lower costs by as much as 70 percent.
However, depending on your specific circumstances, efficiently and effectively managing your EC2 scheduling can be tricky. While AWS does provide an EC2 Scheduler of its own, it requires a certain level of coding know-how to operate, which means it might not be a good fit for all users. So in this article, we will explain a bit more about what is needed to properly implement EC2 scheduling, as well as the benefits of using a third-party vendor like CloudRanger to manage, automate, and streamline the process.
EC2 Scheduling Options: Amazon’s EC2 Scheduler vs. Third-Party Providers
As mentioned above, the merits of EC2 scheduling are fairly obvious. By stopping nonessential EC2 instances from running during off-hours (nights, weekends, holidays, etc.), your business can substantially lower your AWS costs. But what’s the best method to go about scheduling your EC2 instances?
Amazon’s EC2 Scheduler
AWS does provide its own tool for scheduling your company’s EC2 instances. Known as EC2 Scheduler, the program allows users to create automatic start and stop schedules by applying a custom resource tag to relevant instances. Predetermined start and stop parameters are stored in Amazon Dynamo DB, and a recurring AWS Lambda function automatically starts and stops the instances you’ve tagged. You can also use a custom Amazon CloudWatch metric to keep track of your capacity and usage and to monitor costs.
However, as AWS’s own description points out, EC2 Scheduler “is intended for IT infrastructure and DevOps professionals who have practical experience with automation and architecting on the AWS cloud.” In other words, using this tool requires a certain level of technical/scripting know-how which makes it an unrealistic option for many would-be users.
Luckily, third-party services are available to help close this gap. For example, CloudRanger’s own EC2 scheduler offers all of the same features found in the AWS version, but with a much simpler, more intuitive interface, and without the need for scripting. As a result, you don’t need a high level of technical know-how to manage and schedule your EC2 instances. And even if you are an IT professional who is capable of scripting, CloundRangers’ simplified EC2 scheduler will still save you time by automating the process, allowing you to focus on more important issues affecting your business. And with prices starting at around $0.08 cents per task, the cost of a third-party service like CloudRanger will easily be offset by the money your company will save from implementing a proper EC2 scheduling plan.
Aside from EC2 scheduling, CloudRanger also offers a simple DevOps automation solution to manage your company’s AWS backups. With our easy to use interface, you can simply and efficiently schedule backups for RDS and EC2 instances with snapshots and AMIs. And best of all, these cost-cutting, time-saving features can be yours for as little as $79 per month.
With an easy to use interface, CloudRanger makes managing your routine AWS tasks a breeze. Our products save your team time and money by making the day-to-day AWS management easier and more automated.
Whether you are a small business, a medium business, or an enterprise user of Amazon Web Services, CloudRanger has features built for you. It’s easy to set up and get started, you can even manage multiple AWS accounts from one simple dashboard.
You can try CloudRanger for free, so why not check out our range of features and benefits for yourself?