Challenge – Optimizing EC2 Cost for Dynamic Workloads

BTC works with many traditional Japanese businesses that are exploring how to expand and evolve their offerings in an online and mobile world. While their customers dictate what they want to achieve, BTC is responsible for the final selection of technologies and systems to deliver a successful project with maximum ROI. 

As an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner, BTC was running many of their customers’ workloads on AWS EC2, but to ensure high ROI, was looking for a way to optimize their cloud spend as well as simplify the management of EC2 infrastructure.

Mr. Atsushi Takayasu, Lead Architect for BTC explained “our customers’ workloads change rapidly, particularly for their e-commerce sites which have high traffic during the day, but only need a few EC2 servers at night”. He added, “while the cloud gives great flexibility to scale infrastructure as needed, if it is not managed properly, it can cost more than on-premise.”

Infrastructure Team Lead at BTC, Mr. Masashi Ikeura, added, “with such dynamic workloads, committing to Reserved Instances was not really feasible, and spot instances, while inexpensive and attractive, were too risky to use with AWS able to interrupt them with just a two minute notice”.  

As a result, BTC ended up using On-Demand EC2 Instances, the most expensive pricing model, which made it difficult to achieve cost optimization within AWS’ Well-Architected Framework.

Solution – Spot’s Continuous Cloud Optimization

When the BTC team heard about Spot from their partner, Nissho Electronics, they decided to do a trial on their internal AWS environment before implementing it for their customers’ AWS deployments. While BTC was initially skeptical if Spot could really achieve such significant cost-savings while maintaining high availability, they were so satisfied with the results of the trial, that they have begun offering Spot to their own customers. Takayasu-san explained, “with Spot we don’t need to manually manage spot instances because their platform takes care of it all for us, with no problems for availability and performance”. He continued, “we know we can rely on Spot to help us and our customers be cost-efficient in the cloud”. 

Results and Benefits 

Some of the benefits that were realized by BTC include:

Simplified AWS Infrastructure Management

Daily fluctuations in EC2 consumption were completely handled by Spot’s intelligent auto-scaling which ensured that EC2 instances were available during peak demand, and were scaled down when not needed. Additionally, anytime a spot instance was terminated, Spot was able to predict it ~15 minutes in advance and would gracefully drain the instance(s) and seamlessly move the workload to a new replacement instance.

Over 70% Cost Optimization for EC2 Workloads with SLA for High Availability

Working with Spot, BTC was able to consistently reduce their EC2 spend by over 70% while enjoying high availability for production and mission-critical applications. 

Native Support for Kubernetes and ECS 

With Spot’s container-driven auto-scaling BTC is able to support customer requests for running their ECS, EKS and other Kubernetes workloads on spot instances. Additionally, Spot’s unique cost allocation for containers, allows BTC to analyze costs per nodes, namespaces, services and pods/tasks so they can understand exactly how much each team or project is spending in the cloud.

Ability to Easily Leverage Multiple Cloud Vendors

As Spot supports AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure, it will be easier to seamlessly port workloads from one cloud to another  (especially for containerized workloads) and continue to enjoy optimized cloud spend by utilizing Spot pricing for each cloud. This will help BTC avoid vendor lock-in and support each customers’ specific cloud vendor preferences and requirements.   

Immediate ROI with Quick Implementation and Service

Working together with Nissho and Spot has allowed BTC to easily and quickly achieve cost-efficiency with minimal effort and time required by their team. With Spot being a software-as-as-service company, this is completely scalable so BTC can offer this cutting-edge technology to all their Japanese customers. 

BTC Corporation (BTC) is a leading Japanese technology consultancy and system integrator, that focuses on optimizing IT’s role in a rapidly evolving technology landscape.