Case Study

DoiT helps Clockwise harness AWS for business growth and better infrastructure scaling

Client
Clockwise
Industries
Internet, Software
Technologies
Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Amazon Elastic Container Registry, Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Services, Amazon Relational Database Services
Location
United States

The purpose of the Clockwise solution is to define a new way of working, using the power of AI to learn about what people need from each day and what their coworkers need from them — finding the right moments to meet while protecting flexible time for personal focus on work responsibilities. Essentially, Clockwise has built a way for workers to take back their time while giving their best work to their companies.

Uber, Twitter, Atlassian and Asana are among the 15,000-plus organizations that use Clockwise to make flexible work a key part of business operations, so that people can feel present when working together and focused when working solo.

A key part of Clockwise’s success and its steady growth has been the use of Amazon Web Services (AWS) — in particular Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) and Amazon Elastic Container Registry (ECR). These tools have allowed the company to give the most to its user base and continue to grow.

The brief

Refining AWS usage to maximize value for customers and investors

As Clockwise grew, so did its AWS costs — something that did not align with potential investor expectations. The increase in cloud spend was largely attributable to growing customer usage and the Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS). The company realized a comprehensive review of its AWS workload was required to find possibilities for optimization that would allow it to increase utilization without refactoring that workload

“As our user base grows quickly, so too do our infrastructure costs — and that’s in the category of good problems to have, right?” commented Dan Kador, Vice President of Engineering at Clockwise. “It means the company’s doing well. But we have to make sure our AWS spend and our infrastructure spend are growing commensurately with costs.”

“DoiT brought the right technical tools to the job as well as keen skills in evaluating Clockwise’s short-term needs and long-term aspirations.”- Dan Kador

Kador had positive experiences with DoiT and their unlimited support and consulting when he worked at another company. He decided to tap DoiT’s deep well of expertise as an AWS Premier Partner around cloud use and optimization as well as DoiT’s Cloud Management Platform (CMP) to provide granular visibility into Clockwise’s AWS usage.

What we did

Figuring out how Clockwise works and how it can work smarter

As DoiT conducted a comprehensive AWS Well-Architected Framework Review, the solution architects focused on the cost optimization pillar. DoiT engineers engaged in a two-hour deep dive with the Clockwise team, going through all resources to find the lowest price point to meet functional requirements. DoiT provided architectural best practices for designing and operating reliable, secure, efficient and cost-effective workloads.

DoiT also used its CMP to analyze cost and usage for the previous three months, identifying a list of potential resources for further investigation.

DoiT’s solution architects then obtained proper read-only access to customers’ AWS Accounts and analyzed utilization of these identified resources using CloudWatch and Compute Optimizer. Finally, DoiT met with Clockwise to help the client understand its architecture and usage patterns.

“We were seeking opportunities to choose the best configurations of our AWS services to get the most impact for our customers and the most efficiency in our infrastructure, whether through rightsizing instances, switching EBS volume types or other means,” says Kador.

DoiT evaluated the Clockwise workload, particularly in relation to utilization of EKS and Amazon Aurora, as well as rightsizing within EC2. Using the CMP, DoiT solution architects were able to find suboptimal configurations with respect to cost and usage.

The result

Significant cost gains in the short run and plans for the future

After the client review discussions, DoiT produced a list of action items to save costs and to manage them going forward. This included deprovisioning of unused EC2 instances and rightsizing of some instances. DoiT suggested reconfiguring the Clockwise EKS workload to reduce the costs associated with data transfer between availability zones. In addition, DoiT advised reducing the RDS and ECR backup storage costs by applying proper lifecycle policies and retention periods.

Using the DoiT recommendations, Clockwise was able to cut its AWS costs by approximately $4,000 per month right away. Clockwise then started working on additional action items that could reduce the costs by as much as $9,000 per month in the near term, particularly in the area of cross-zone data transfer.

In addition, Clockwise benefited from gaining shared access to spend reports and future spending trends through DoiT’s portal and use of the DoiT Flexsave™ solution. Flexsave allows Clockwise to receive the equivalent of a one-year commitment discount on any on-demand compute instances that are not already covered by their existing commitments. Since enabling it, Clockwise has saved nearly $20,000 in on-demand compute spend, a 15% reduction. It also ensures that Clockwise still has the flexibility to scale up and down as needed — even for short periods — without having to commit to usage over one- or three-year terms.

Clockwise is also considering working with DoiT and AWS to move to newer instance types like Amazon Graviton. The company is starting the process of implementing Spot Scaling to help with cost reduction for their next phase of optimizing.

Dan Kador, Vice President of Engineering at Clockwise
DoiT brought the right technical tools to the job as well as keen skills in evaluating Clockwise’s short-term needs and long-term aspirations.”

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