HomeOperations5 ways to reduce cloud costs for Kubernetes systems

5 ways to reduce cloud costs for Kubernetes systems

The cost of Kubernetes systems is on the rise, making it increasingly difficult for businesses to take advantage of the benefits of this powerful platform. Despite the cost, Kubernetes remains a popular choice for businesses of all sizes, as it offers several advantages that are difficult to replicate with other platforms.

If you’re running Kubernetes in the cloud, you’re likely looking for ways to reduce costs. Here are six tips to get you started. You’re likely using cloud resources if you’re running a Kubernetes system. And while cloud resources are great for flexibility and scalability, they can also be expensive. 

This article will discuss five methods: Cluster Downsizing, Workload Rightsizing, Autoscaling, AWS Spot Instances, and Quotas for reducing cloud costs. 

Understand and analyze your cloud spend 

There’s no doubt that cloud computing is here to stay. More and more businesses are moving to the cloud for a good reason. The cloud offers flexibility, scalability, and agility that traditional on-premises infrastructure simply can’t match. However, a new challenge comes with the move to the cloud: understanding and managing cloud spending. Because the cloud is so flexible, it’s easy to spend more than you need to. That’s why it’s so important to understand your cloud spending today. Understanding where your money is going can ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.

Keep track of your usage

The first step is to keep track of your usage. This can be done in several ways, but using your cloud provider’s built-in tools is the simplest. For example, AWS provides a detailed usage report that can help you track your costs.

Understand your pricing model

Once you know how much you’re using, the next step is to understand your pricing model. This is significant because different providers charge different prices for various services. For example, AWS charges more for computing than storage, while Azure charges more for storage than computing.

Use cost-effective services

Once you understand your pricing model, you can start to look for cost-effective services. There are numerous ways to do this, but using reserved instances is straightforward. Reserved instances are a great way to save money on compute costs and are available from all major cloud providers.

Strategies to reduce costs for Kubernetes systems

1. Cluster Downsizing

When you have a larger cluster, you’re paying for more machines and resources, even when you’re not using them all. By downsizing to a smaller cluster, you can reduce your overall costs. Of course, you’ll need to ensure that your smaller cluster can still handle the load and scale as needed. But downsizing can be a great way to reduce costs if you have some slack in your system.

You can save on computing and storage costs by removing unneeded nodes and reducing the number of pods and ReplicaSets. If you’re not using all the features of your Kubernetes cluster, you can also save by disabling them. For example, if you’re not using horizontal pod autoscaler (HPA), you can disable it to save on compute costs. Finally, don’t forget to delete unused pods and services. Cleaning up your cluster can reduce your resources and save money.

2. Workload Rightsizing

Workload rightsizing involves carefully assessing each workload’s resources and tailoring the cluster size to match, leading to significant cost savings, as it ensures that you are not paying for more resources than you need. 

Rightsizing simply means ensuring that your VMs, containers, and other resources are sized appropriately for their hosting workloads. This can be challenging as workloads fluctuate and change over time.

However, making sure that your resources are properly sized can have a major impact on your costs. You’re wasting money if you have too many resources allocated to a workload. On the other hand, if you don’t have enough resources allocated, your workload will suffer.

There are a few different ways to rightsize your workloads. One is to monitor your workloads and adjust your resources manually, which can be time-consuming. But it can be worth it if you have the time and expertise to do it properly. Another is autoscaling, which is discussed in the next point. 

3. Autoscaling

One way to reduce costs is to use autoscaling, where a system automatically scales up or down in response to changes in demand. Autoscaling help keep costs down by ensuring you only have the required capacity when needed.

Autoscaling can be a complex topic, but many resources are available to help you get started. The Kubernetes community is a great place to start, as many experienced users are happy to help.

If you’re unsure where to start, consider using a managed Kubernetes service, such as Google Kubernetes Engine. It can help take care of some complexities for you and can be a great way to start with autoscaling.

You can also use a tool like Cluster Autoscaler, which can automatically scale your resources up or down based on demand. This can be a great option if you don’t have the time or expertise to manually rightsize your workloads.

4. AWS Spot Instances

Running Kubernetes can be quite costly, especially if you’re using a hyperscaler like AWS. One way to reduce the costs of running Kubernetes on AWS is to use Spot Instances. Spot Instances are unused AWS instances that are available at a steep discount. By using Spot Instances for your Kubernetes system, you can save up to 90% on your AWS bill.

Of course, there is a risk that Spot Instances may be interrupted if AWS needs the capacity back, but Kubernetes is designed to be resilient to such failures. You can minimize the risk by using a mix of Spot and On-Demand instances while still achieving significant cost savings. If you’re running Kubernetes on AWS, try Spot Instances to see if you can reduce your costs.

5. Quotas

One way to reduce costs is to use quotas to limit the number of resources that a given Kubernetes system can use. You can use quotas to limit the number of CPU, memory, or storage a system can use. By limiting the number of resources that can be used, organizations can reduce their Kubernetes costs.

You can also use quotas to limit the amount of time that a given Kubernetes system can run. By limiting the time, a system can run, organizations can reduce the time they need to spend managing Kubernetes systems.


Looking to get the most out of your Kubernetes resources? Check out StormForge, the leading provider of automatic Kubernetes resource management. With StormForge, you can automatically scale your Kubernetes resources up or down based on demand, ensuring that you always make the most of your investment. Plus, StormForge integrates with all the leading Kubernetes platforms, making it easy to get started.

If you have questions related to this topic, feel free to book a meeting with one of our solutions experts, mail to sales@amazic.com.


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