GreenFirst Forest Products
Saved $120K per year on their AWS spend plus a one-time $50K immediate savings.
GreenFirst Forest Products (GFFP) came to 2nd Watch early 2022 with provisioned legacy AWS EC2 On-Demand instances, not aware of the myriad of ways to optimize save.
The proposed solution was twofold; Develop a strategy to cover the On-Demand compute with the Amazon Compute Instance Savings Plans (ACISP) and then provide them with Manage Services to assist with the ongoing cloud operations which included performing family refreshes to more modern infrastructure and right sizing instances to experience higher utilization rates.
The ACISP was purchased, and the savings were immediate. With the new ACISP, GFFP was realizing $120,000 annually in savings by locking in a 3-year commitment.
About the Business
GreenFirst Forest Products is focused on sustainable forest management and lumber production. The company owns 7 sawmills and 1 paper mill across Ontario and Quebec. GFFP believes that responsible forest practices, coupled with the long-term green advantage of lumber, provide it with significant cyclical and secular advantages in building products.
GFFP came to 2nd Watch in early 2022 having provisioned many of their AWS EC2 instances as On- Demand, dating back to pre-2012, not aware of the myriad of ways to optimize performace and savings. Their focus was ways to save money in the cloud and to find a partner who could assist with the continuous operations and maintenance of the cloud.
The proposed solution was twofold; develop a strategy to cover the On-Demand compute with the ACISP and then provide them with Managed Services to assist with the ongoing cloud operations which included performing family refreshes to more modern infrastructure and right sizing instances to experience higher utilization rates.
In terms of immediate savings on EC2/Compute Usage, we proposed purchasing a 3-year ACISP. Continuing to review opportunities for optimization and further savings, it was determined that several instances were not heavily utilized (low memory and/or CPU utilization) and in turn were identified as being overprovisioned. The Managed Services team then implemented the necessary adjustments to right size the resources and to refresh to newer server families, to realize additional savings and better performance.
The Business Benefits
The ACISP was purchased, and the savings were immediate. With the new ACISP, GFFP was realizing $120,000 annually in savings by locking in a 3-year commitment. In terms of Right Sizing, our recommendations of smaller servers that could run the needed workloads proved to be a great opportunity for them to size down and save roughly $50,000 annually. With these adjustments in place, GFFP realized the lowest overall cloud spend, while saving $170,000 annually.
GFFP came to 2nd Watch needing help in understanding how to lower their cloud costs and maintain their cloud. By leveraging the business logic and tools developed both by AWS and 2nd Watch, they were able to optimize their spend while continuing to meet their business needs. With our guidance, GFFP saw the benefit of making a longer commitment, 3-years in this case, in order to achieve higher level of cost savings, while minimizing risk due to the flexibility in the ACISP.
In addition to the large cost savings, as of 2023, 2nd Watch Managed Services has now taken over the continuous daily operations management of GFFP cloud. The migration off of legacy EC2 instances and older operating systems has allowed them to enjoy better performance in their environment and more cost efficiency. Standard maintenance tasks such as patching, back-ups and restores, along with the continuous cost governance enforcement are all helping GFFP enjoy a more cost effective, better performing Cloud.
This exercise emphasized the importance of cost visibility. By maintaining an effective cadence of reviewing trends in their utilization data, we demonstrated it was appropriate to right size instances that were not being utilized fully.