Monthly Update June 2022

Posted June 24, 2022 by CloudUtil ‐ 6 min read

Hello,

It’s been a while since my previous update in here, which was at the end of October.

I’m now trying to resume these monthly updates, so in this first post after this gap I’d like to give a few updates covering the last months, and also my plans going forward.

Personal updates

I’ve decided to finally leave my cushy full-time job and to start working full-time on a new cloud cost optimization business built around AutoSpotting and EBS Optimizer, starting from September.

There are many things I’ll have to figure out as I go, but for now the plan is to offer support for optimizing cloud costs, including hands-on and ideally by leveraging my tools whenever possible. I’m not going to be religious about the tooling, I’m open to using anything that makes sense for the customer, and only using my own tools if it they make sense for the customer and if they help me accelerate my work.

I’ll also be looking into building additional tools that automate more of my work, and open to partnering with various SaaS providers and resellers in the FinOps and cloud cost optimization space.

This means I’ll also have more time to work on AutoSpotting and EBS Optimizer on a regular basis, but at the same time that I’ll have to spend a good chunk of my time doing delivery, marketing and sales.

I’m incredibly excited but also honestly quite scared about this journey, and I’d really appreciate any help I could get. It would be great if you could refer me within your companies, or if you could start using AutoSpotting and EBS Optimizer from the AWS Marketplace instead of building them from source code.

Please reach out to me on Slack if you have any questions or suggestions on how we could work together.

AutoSpotting

In my previous blog I mentioned that I’ve been working on a large refactoring that changes the way we launch Spot instances, which offers the ability to get better uptimes. This landed in the Github open source repo sometime in October and I’ve been working on stabilizing it since. For many months I was quite busy with other things and didn’t get to work much on AutoSpotting so I made little progress on this workstream.

At the same time I wanted to launch a new stable release of AutoSpotting, since the previous release was a long time ago and it desperately needed some instance type information updates. I was reluctant to also include this new functionality, so instead I decided to build a new stable release using the previous logic, with just a few instance type information updates and a few bug fixes.

This release took much longer than I expected, but I’m happy to announce that we finally got a stable release of AutoSpotting that delivers these changes. This is as usual available on the AWS Marketplace.

In addition to the instance type updates which now cover all instance types released up to June 2022, this release also changes the way we perform instance replacements when first using AutoSpotting on an existing AWS account. This shouldn’t affect existing users in any way, but on new installations existing OnDemand instances are now simply terminated one by one at a pace of one instance every 30 minutes, leaving the Group to replace them with new OnDemand instances, which are then immediately replaced by the AutoSpotting’s event-based replacement logic.

Previously these instances were cloned by new Spot instances, which would then be running outside of the Autoscaling group for a while and replaced using a more complex workflow. This workflow was problematic, for example when the Autoscaling group would be deleted, these instances were causing failures to delete the group. The workflow was also somewhat buggy and hard to get right, and at times it was launching Spot instances that were failing to be attached to the group and just running outside, wasting money.

I therefore decided to simplify this workflow by just terminating one existing OnDemand instance at a time, and having only the usual event-based logic used for all instance replacements.

Now that this release is out, I will resume working on the main branch, continuing the work on maturing the change that landed back in October.

My plan is that the next stable release will include this functionality, especially considering the fact that I’ll be working more consistently on AutoSpotting going forward.

EBS Optimizer

No additional changes over the last months.

Websites

  • Back in November I performed a few changes on autospotting.io, mainly further cleaning up the copy and adding new testimonials.
  • cloudutil.io has also seen a few copy changes and cleanups, let me know what you think about it.
  • I’m working on a new website which will at some point become live at leanercloud.com, and will cover my new cost optimization business.

My existing websites will remain live for the forseeable future, with largely the same kind of content.

Income report

My Marketplace income has been relatively flat, at around $150/month from 6 subscribers, the vast majority for AutoSpotting. Patreon still brings about $200/month from 7 subscribers, so in total I’m making some $350/month. If you’re still using AutoSpotting from Patreon, please consider switching to using it from the AWS Marketplace, there are tons of improvements.

I’d like to extend a warm “Thank you!” to all of you who are purchasing AutoSpotting supported builds either via Patreon or the Marketplace, your continued support motivates me to keep improving it further.

If you are working on a large company that might be interested in working with me once I’m on my own, please reach out.

When it comes to expenses, besides my AWS costs of about $15/month, over the last few months I’ve been working with someone to help me with sales and marketing, paying some $200/month for his services. If you notice any emails from felix@autospotting.org, or messages from him on our Slack room, that’s him at work.

Plans for September and beyond

  • Stable Marketplace release that includes the recent AutoSpotting features.
  • Add more docs on cloudutil.io about both EBS Optimizer and AutoSpotting
  • Proactive Spot-to-Spot instance replacements in the event of instance rebalancing notifications, with ICE-proof on-demand failover across multiple instance types

I’m incredibly excited about the future and I’ll keep sharing my progress monthly as I work on them, so stay tuned for future updates.

I’m always eager to hearing from you, so feel free to reach out if you have any questions, feedback, or need any help. Just ping me on Slack and I’ll personally answer every single message I get from you.

Cristian