Trimming KIWI’s Cloud Costs: Uncovering Savings in AWS
KIWI technology digitally opens doors and gates for you. The company is a market leader in Germany for housing associations. As with any growing business running in the cloud, KIWI was faced with an ever-growing monthly AWS bill. In order to tame the cloud costs, KIWI reached out to mkdev for the In-Depth AWS Costs Audit.
With a big backlog of infrastructure-related tasks, especially in an environment that involves IoT devices, it’s hard to properly prioritize cloud cost optimization. KIWI’s internal team is focused on keeping the platform running and always available, which is always more important than immediate monthly bill reduction.
«We knew already for some time that we could save a considerable share of our monthly AWS costs, but neither did we know how much savings we could realize nor where exactly we're wasting money. In addition, we didn't know how to best approach a cost reduction project to benefit from as many savings as possible as early as possible.»
It became clear that AWS costs are not optimal. And while the team was able to identify some of the potential areas for improvement, an external expert opinion is crucial in getting the full cloud costs picture and diving deep into various aspects of the costs.
About the company
KIWI is a company that provides digital locking systems primarily for the housing industry. Their technology allows for keyless entry into buildings and apartments, and offers centralized management of all doors, barriers, and garages through an online portal, using either an app or a transponder.
Cloud cost optimization
Pablo Inigo Sanchez
Cloud Architect with more than 20 years of experience. Experience with Google Cloud, AWS, Kubernetes, OpenShift, Jenkins, TeamCity, Linux Systems Administration and much much more
DevOps and Infrastructure Consultant, Cloud, Kubernetes and OpenShift Expert, Platform Builder, Writer, Software Developer.
Passionate Kubernetes Security Engineer and Solution Architect with in-depth understanding of IT infrastructures and networks not only in AWS cloud infrastructures, but also in highly secure air-gapped environments. Lives the mindset of blue-teams and always keeps an eye on emerging security vulnerabilities based on APTs. Observability in all its facets deep into systems is common practice for him.
As always during such an audit, the mkdev team identified two groups of AWS cost issues. The first one is something we call “quick wins”, some misconfigurations and obsolete resources that no one had time to clean up. Identifying and implementing those quick wins alone lets KIWI cut 8% of the monthly AWS bill.
While “quick wins” are always a good starting point for such a project, we always focus on bigger changes. We believe, that cloud costs and cloud architecture go hand in hand. Just by looking at the last 3 monthly invoices, we can identify the areas that might need improvement. But looking at the invoices is just the start - we proceed with conducting interviews with the internal team to better understand the environment, as well as a thorough hands-on examination of the complete infrastructure.
Some of the bigger changes that we’ve identified KIWI needs to focus on is to make the infrastructure more elastic and respond to changes faster. The benefit of the cloud is to grow and shrink based on the demand, and this kind of elasticity also results in savings - you should never pay the same amount of money off business hours as you pay during peak load times.
That, together with some other improvements in the architecture, as well as fine-tuning those parts of the system that are hard to change in the short to midterm, allows KIWI to cut up to 50% of the cloud costs. After walking the KIWI team through the report and action items that the mkdev experts team prepared, there is now a clear roadmap for reducing cloud costs and making infrastructure simpler, more scalable, and leveraging the latest tools and approaches that AWS has to offer.
«mkdev provided us with a detailed report including solid recommendations and numbers, and all of that at a blazing speed. Thereby, they helped us tremendously in shining light on our status quo, prioritizing interventions, and coming up with an executable plan for the next months. »
Cloud Costs Audit projects are among the favorite ones both for our customers and for mkdev experts. In a short period of 4 to 6 weeks, we can perform a full analysis of the infrastructure and provide a load of useful insights and action items for the internal team to start working on immediately. Being scoped to a short time frame, it’s also one of the most affordable services mkdev has to offer - and, in certain cases, we do such audits for free (contact us to learn if your company is eligible).
The beauty of cloud costs is that they say so much about your infrastructure and architecture. It’s easy to see, whether the amount of money you pay makes sense for the load and amount of data you have. With cloud costs and cloud architecture being so tightly coupled, every cloud costs audit ends up being a cloud architecture audit - something that the KIWI team learned after this engagement with mkdev.
Do you also realize that your infrastructure could use an improvement and your team could use more free engineering space? Give us a call and we'll discuss it!Schedule a call