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Reduce AWS Data Transfer Costs: Don’t Get Stung by Hefty Egress Fees

Are you struggling to reduce Amazon Web Services (AWS) data transfer costs? AWS charges for the transfer of data between its platform and the Internet. You’ll also incur a charge for transfers within AWS between services, such as Amazon S3 and Amazon EC2.   In some situations, some AWS services come with the cost of moving data factored in. In others, there’s a fee to move data one way and not the other. Sometimes, AWS will charge you different costs for moving data in and moving data out.  The number of variables involved when moving data for AWS users can be mind-boggling. It’s hard to understand how your data is moving around and what charges you’re incurring.  One of the simplest ways to tame data transfer costs is to cut down on data egress. Data egress refers to exporting data out of the cloud. In short, it’s outbound data.   It’s no secret that AWS and most other cloud providers don’t charge for uploading data into your cloud environment. However, they charge for egress. Organizations often overlook this cost when they’re making a case for moving to the cloud. With this in mind, organizations must create a solid egress plan to help rein in cloud costs. This is particularly important for companies that have a high volume of data that requires constant movement. Today, we’ll go over some of the strategies organizations can employ to reduce egress fees. 

Serving Content via Amazon CloudFront

Amazon CloudFront is a CDN (content delivery network). It relies on AWS edge locations to deliver data fast, securely, and with low latency. A simple way to overcome the data egress challenge is to put this CDN service in front of your website. This way, you take advantage of the fact that it’s free to move data from Amazon EC2 and Amazon S3 to Amazon CloudFront. But remember, you’ll still have to pay to move data to customers. The fee depends on the geographical location and the volume of the data.  To save even more, you can choose a plan from CloudFront price classes. You’ll incur lower charges with lower tiers, but AWS will route your traffic via the lowest-cost edge locations. This might increase latency. It’s even worse if your server gets frequent updates because it can result in improper configuration, leading to increased costs.

Pass Your Data Through Direct Connect

The AWS Direct Connect service enables organizations to create a dedicated network between their on-premises infrastructures and their AWS deployment. The primary function of Direct Connect is to bypass the public Internet and establish a high bandwidth connection that’s secure and reliable.  Direct Connect can help lower egress costs even after taking the installation costs into account. This is because AWS charges lower transfer rates. For instance, AWS charges 2 cents per gigabyte to move data from AWS to any location in Canada or the United States. In comparison, you can pay up to 9 cents to move data out of EC2 without Direct Connect.  However, organizations must take the charges for port hours when considering Direct Connect. AWS charges between 3 cents per hour for every 1 GB and $2.25 per hour for every 10 GB. Even then, you can always use lower-speed ports to keep costs down. But you should avoid going below 1 GB if you don’t want to compromise on performance. 

Use a Snowball

Do you have an enormous amount of data to move from AWS to on-premises deployment? Then, you should consider AWS Snowball. This is an excellent option for organizations that don’t use AWS Direct Connect. Snowball is a physical storage device you can use to send data to and from your AWS deployment.  Organizations can choose from two size options: 50 TB and 80 TB. To get the device, you have to place a request from the AWS Management Console. The 50 TB device costs $200 per job, and the 80 TB option costs $250 per job. AWS ships the device to your data center. You have 10 days to load data onto Snowball and ship it back to Amazon. After 10 days, you have to pay $15 per day.  Amazon doesn’t charge to transfer data into Amazon S3. However, you’ll have to pay 3 cents per gigabyte to get data out of S3 for many regions. 

Use Third-Party Monitoring Tools to Identify Data Egress Anomalies

Using a third-party cloud management tool can help organizations tame AWS data transfer costs. The tool can send out alerts whenever there are unexpected and unforeseen data egress charges.  


It’s possible to reduce AWS data transfer costs, but that’s only one piece of the cloud cost management pie. Even more important is ensuring your cloud spend on all AWS services aligns with your business strategies and goals. Moving from controlling costs to advancing your business objectives with cloud spend allows you to focus on sustainable growth rather than penny-pinching. nOps can help your organization monitor, analyze, and optimize cost, changes, performance, security, operational excellence, and reliability.