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Show HN: I built a service to help companies reduce AWS spend by 50%

Hey HN: Kaveh here, the founder of https://www.usage.ai/

We help companies drive down AWS EC2 spend. Why? Because the way it's done now is a pain. DevOps engineers end up becoming cloud accountants trying to figure out what commitments are expiring soon and how much they're saving.

Previous to founding Usage, I worked on high-performance computing research at JP Morgan Chase and as a software engineer at a number of medium-sized startups.

Here's how it works: We are typically brought in by a DevOps manager to cut AWS EC2 costs. The app is entirely self-service and the savings are generated automatically, typically we do this live on a call. On average, we reduce AWS EC2 spend by 57% for 5 minutes of work.

To reduce by ~57%, we don't touch the instances, require any code change, or change the performance of your instances. We buy Reserved Instances on your behalf (a billing layer change only) and bundle them with guaranteed buyback. So you get the steep 57% savings of 3-year no-upfront RIs with none of the commitment (you can sell them back to us anytime after 30 days).

We make money off a 20% Savings Fee. Happy to chat directly kaveh@usage.ai

Have you experienced any issues with managing your company or organization's AWS expenses? We'd love to hear your feedback and ideas!

  • 71 points
  • 5 days ago

  • @kavehkhorram
  • Created a post

Show HN: I built a service to help companies reduce AWS spend by 50%


@throwaway81523 5 days

Replying to @kavehkhorram 🎙

Why stop at 50%? ;)

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@kbyatnal 5 days

Very interesting idea - I'd be wary of this rubbing the wrong way against AWS's TOS though.

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@vmception 5 days

Cloud formation dissipation

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@tluyben2 5 days

It is nice. I do this manually for companies (short contracts); great if I can do more automation and less manual work as often it is repetitive.

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@joshuahutt 5 days

Looks really cool! The verification email went to spam – I used my Gmail email. Also, I refreshed the page when I finished setting up and the "Generating Recommendations" message disappeared. I can't tell if it finished and didn't come up with anything, or if it's still crunching the numbers.

How are the payments handled? What happens if I change the sizing of my instances?

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@ButterWashed 5 days

I only recently heard of this idea at the AWS Summit when talking to a rep of one of your competitors (Zesty), they have a minimum spend of $7k. Your pricing page says there's no conditions, so I assume you don't have minimum spend requirement, is that correct?

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@dang 5 days

Three Show HNs of the same project in 3 months is excessive.

Show HN: Usage, Cut your AWS Bill by 50%+ in 5 Minutes - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=31015171 - April 2022 (17 comments)

Show HN: I built a service to help companies reduce AWS spend by 50% - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=30183465 - Feb 2022 (60 comments)

The rule on HN is that if a story has had significant attention in the last year or so, we mark reposts as dupes (https://news.ycombinator.com/newsfaq.html). For Show HNs it's sometimes ok to post a bit more frequently as long as the Show HN focuses on new work since the last thread. Not this frequently, though.

Please see also this rule from https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html:

Please don't use HN primarily for promotion. It's ok to post your own stuff occasionally, but the primary use of the site should be for curiosity.

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@mritchie712 5 days

> We make money off a 20% Savings Fee

does that mean if we save 50%, you keep 20%?

say our bill is 10k and you save 5k, how much do we pay you?

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@dddddaviddddd 5 days


@jedberg 5 days

Interesting business model. You're essentially loaning companies money for the RIs, right? So if all your customers sold them back to you you'd be in trouble, like a loan company?

Either way, an interesting idea. Since you're fronting the money for the RIs, I assume you have a max spend that you won't go over (like, you won't take Netflix as a customer)?

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@px1999 5 days

Why do you use RIs and not sign orgs up for savings plans?

I know RIs are still supported though I'd heard they're intended to be deprecated by SPs (my source could be wrong)

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@tiffanyh 5 days

> So you get the steep 57% savings of 3-year no-upfront RIs with none of the commitment (you can sell them back to us anytime after 30 days) … We make money off a 20% Savings Fee

Isn’t this business model fundamentally flawed? And not profitable (unless a customer uses you for > 29 months)

Because ONLY companies who plan to use your service for less than 29 months (the break even of a 3 year contract where you keep your 20% cut), should be using your service otherwise it’s just cheaper for them to call up Amazon and get their own 3year RI contract.

Meaning, you’re always going to be in a situation where a customer is going to sell back their RIs and you’ll become unprofitable.

Said differently, you’ll only be profitable if a customer uses you for more than 29 months.

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@jll29 5 days

Can your software also implement hard budget limits for users/groups?

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@aeyes 5 days

Any plans to expand this to other AWS services in the near future? At least the popular ones like RDS and Elasticache?

Also, what happens if an organization is currently using Savings Plans and is looking to pivot towards your offering?

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@paxys 5 days

Neat idea. Why gate it to companies that already have existing AWS setups though? You are basically a secondary EC2 marketplace. Couldn't people just get an instance from you directly? I'm sure lots of people would love to get reserved instance pricing without the commitment. And in that case what would you price it at (since there is no comparison point for savings)?

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