AWS Cost Efficiency

Save AWS CloudWatch Log Costs with Infrequent Access Log Classes

Amazon CloudWatch Logs Infrequent Access (IA) Storage offers a cost-effective solution for storing logs that are accessed less frequently. Ideal for compliance, auditing, and historical analysis, IA storage can reduce your CloudWatch log costs by up to 50% while ensuring critical data remains accessible when needed.

In this post, we will learn about CloudWatch log classes, pricing details, and some use cases for utilizing Infrequent Access log classes.

Understanding AWS CloudWatch Log Classes

AWS CloudWatch offers two primary log storage classes designed to help you manage and optimize your log data efficiently[1]:

  • Standard Storage: This class is ideal for logs that need to be accessed frequently. It incurs a higher cost for both ingestion and storage but offers quick and easy access to your log data.
  • Infrequent Access (IA) Storage: This class is designed for logs that are accessed less frequently. It offers lower storage costs, making it a cost-effective solution for logs that you need to retain for compliance, auditing, or historical analysis but do not need to access regularly.

By choosing the appropriate log storage class based on your access needs, you can significantly reduce your CloudWatch log costs while ensuring that your log data is available when you need it.

Pricing Details

The table below outlines the pricing structure for data ingestion and log delivery services, categorized by standard and infrequent access.[2]

 Aspect  Standard Access Log Class  Infrequent Access Log Class
 Pricing Structure  Manage Logs Collect (Data Ingestion)
 $0.50 per GB

 Vended Logs (Delivery to CloudWatch Logs)
 
First 10TB per month-$0.50 per GB
 Next 20TB per month-$0.25 per GB   
 Next 20TB per month-$0.10 per GB
 Over 50TB per month-$0.05 per GB
 Manage Logs Collect (Data Ingestion)
 $0.25 per GB

 Vended Logs (Delivery to CloudWatch Logs)
 
First 10TB per month-$0.25 per GB
 Next 20TB per month-$0.15 per GB
 Next 20TB per month-$0.075 per GB
 Over 50TB per month-$0.05 per GB
 Storage Cost  Higher per GB  Lower per GB
 Retrieval Cost  No additional cost  Additional retrieval cost
 Use Case  Frequently accessed data  Infrequently accessed data
 Availability  Immediate  May take longer
 Retention  Optimized for frequent access  Optimized for cost-effective long-term storage
 Access Frequency  High   Low

Use Cases and Examples

1. Log Management

Scenario: TechSolutions, a technology consulting firm, manages log data from various client projects hosted on AWS. As part of their services, they monitor system performance, track user activity, and analyze application logs to ensure optimal performance and security.

Currently, TechSolutions handles log data from multiple client projects, totaling approximately 1500 GB per month. They utilize AWS CloudWatch Logs for data ingestion and storage. The standard data ingestion cost is $0.50 per GB, while storage costs amount to $0.03 per GB.

Logs required for compliance, auditing, or historical analysis often need to be retained for long periods but are rarely accessed. The Infrequent Access class is designed for such long-term storage needs, providing a cost-effective solution without the need for immediate retrieval capabilities. For this purpose to match their needs, TechSolutions should use  CloudWatch Logs' Infrequent Access class. This strategy aims to reduce costs by categorizing logs based on their access frequency and storing less frequently accessed logs in a more cost-effective manner.

Cost Calculation

1. Ingestion Charges

- Infrequent Access: 1495GB * $0.25 = $373.75

- Standard: 1495GB * $0.50 = $747.50

2. Storage Charges

- Assuming the data compresses to 300GB after ingestion.

- Infrequent Access: 295GB * $0.03 = $8.85

3. Total

- Infrequent Access: $373.75 + $8.85 = $382.60

- Standard: $747.50 + $8.85 = $756.35

By opting for the Infrequent Access class, TechSolutions can reduce their log management costs. The Infrequent Access option costs $382.60 compared to the Standard class cost of $756.35, providing nearly 50% savings.

Using Amazon CloudWatch Logs Infrequent Access, Fluent Commerce is now able to scale our business, while cost effectively supporting our customer’s needs. - David Miller, SVP of Engineering[3]

2. Data Archiving

Scenario: A financial institution maintains extensive records of transactional data and customer interactions for regulatory compliance and auditing purposes. These records are essential for conducting financial audits and investigations but are typically accessed infrequently during routine operations.

To handle this data efficiently, the institution ingests approximately 3000 GB of new data each month from various sources, including online transactions, ATM withdrawals, and branch interactions. Out of this, around 500 GB of data is actively analyzed monthly for generating financial reports, conducting audits, and ensuring regulatory compliance.

The 500 GB of data actively analyzed each month can remain in the Standard Access class for immediate availability and quick analysis, while the remaining 2500 GB of less frequently accessed data can be moved to the Infrequent Access class. This approach ensures optimal use of storage resources and maintains the performance needed for routine operations.Hence,the financial institution should utilize the infrequent access class to match their needs.

Cost Calculation

1. Ingestion Charges

- Infrequent Access: 3000 GB * $0.25 = $750

- Standard: 3000 GB * $0.50 = $1500

2. Storage Charges

- Assuming the data compresses to 600 GB.

- Infrequent Access: 500 GB * $0.03 = $15

3. Data Analysis Charges

- 500 GB - 5 GB = 495 GB

- 495 GB * $0.005 = $2.475

4. Total

- Infrequent Access: $750 + $15 + $2.475 = $767.475

- Standard: $1500 + $15 + $2.475 = $1517.475

By opting for the Infrequent Access storage class, the financial institution can effectively manage their archival data, achieving cost savings. Infrequent Access costs $767.475 compared to the Standard class cost of $1517.475, providing nearly 50% savings.

DesignCrowd uses CloudWatch Logs Infrequent Access to cost-effectively scale and create new workloads for application instrumentation, debug and build logs while continuing to get deeper insights into the applications' health. - Antony Francis, Development Manager[3]

Conclusion

In summary, adopting Amazon CloudWatch Logs Infrequent Access (IA) Storage presents a cost-effective solution for organizations to store logs that are accessed less frequently. With potential savings of up to 50%, IA storage allows businesses to maintain critical data accessibility for compliance and auditing needs while significantly reducing log management costs. By understanding the pricing and benefits of IA storage, organizations can optimize their log management strategies and maximize value in their AWS deployments.

References

1. Amazon CloudWatch Pricing – Amazon Web Services (AWS)

2. Log classes - Amazon CloudWatch Logs

3. Amazon CloudWatch Customers - Amazon Web Services

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