Rightsizing is a term used for identifying and augmenting certain resources for greater utilization and potential cost savings. Typically, rightsizing occurs when you're over-provisioned, and can apply to a variety of services, with some examples below:

  • EC2 Instances: Oftentimes, customers will choose one EC2 Instance that is over-allocated in terms of the amount of vCPU and GBs of RAM it is allocated. As a result, customers may be paying more on a per EC2 Instance basis. Customers who are able to identify opportunities for rightsizing EC2 Instances can typically save significantly, especially if the EC2 Instance type chosen represents a large pool of instances.
  • EBS Volumes: EBS Volumes are frequently a large cost driver for many organizations, and are often heavily under-utilized. EBS charges you for the amount of storage you have allocated, not what you use, so it's important to keep an eye on volume utilization to rightsize and save accordingly.
  • RDS Instances: RDS Instances are similar to EC2 Instances in that they're often overprovisioned, but rarely utilized appropriately. While RDS rightsizing can result in significant cost savings, databases tend to be one of the services that make sense to leave overprovisioned to accommodate growth. Also, downtime for a database during a rightsizing process may ultimately not be worth the cost to your organization.
  • Container Services: ECS, Fargate, and EKS allow you to run services of containers on a pool of underlying EC2 instances either managed by you or managed by AWS if you're using Fargate. Container Services are some of the hardest services to appropriately rightsize but can represent significant saving opportunities, especially for AWS Fargate.

The first step in rightsizing is to have monitoring and observability in place to even know what your utilization is for these various services. Assuming you feel confident in your usage patterns and how they relate to utilization, your organization can begin to make some decisions for potential areas to rightsize.


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