Case Study

Identiq secures automated EC2 cost savings with DoiT Flexsave™

Client
Identiq
Industries
FinTech
Technologies
AWS EC2
Products & Services
Flexsave, Infrastructure
Region
EMEA, Israel
Country
Israel

12%

savings on overall EC2 costs

15%

decrease on on-demand EC2 costs

Meet Identiq

Identiq can make infrastructure decisions independent of commitment considerations while still saving on new compute costs

Imagine running an online business and seeing your user growth and sales skyrocket – only to discover that this was the result of fraudsters masquerading as new users and using stolen credit cards. With virtually no information available about new users, preventing and addressing this problem is extra difficult.

Identiq serves as a top-level security layer, nipping new-user fraud in the bud so online businesses can confidently accept new users into their websites. Identiq validates users with a P2P network without sharing any customer data, leveraging the experience and trust of its network members.

The challenge

As Identiq’s Director of Cloud Operations, Oded Avissar leads a DevOps team that is responsible for ensuring that customer installations go smoothly and for managing the Identiq P2P network — all while striving for high uptime and keeping costs down.

The best way for Identiq to optimize cloud costs was through the commitment-based discounts offered by AWS like Reserved Instances or Savings Plans, which are offered on 1- or 3-year terms. However, as a scaling startup with a rapidly-changing product, committing to even one year of EC2 usage was a challenge for Oded. To commit, he would need to coordinate with various engineering teams to scope their resource requirements for the coming year – a difficult exercise in its own right.

“If I optimize my code tomorrow and require fewer resources…I don’t want to be stuck with an over-commit.”

Scoping such requirements goes beyond simply quantifying needed compute capacity. The team would also need to determine which machine types they’d be using and in what regions around the globe. Adding to the complexity is the fact that those requirements can change over time; customers can come and go and thus alter the regions in which Oded’s team needed compute capacity. Similarly, machine types can be phased out as software changes, and projects can be ended ahead of schedule and their associated VMs turned off. In sum, forecasting their needs with specificity and accuracy made compute commitments more of an art than a science. “If I optimize my code tomorrow and require fewer resources…I don’t want to be stuck with an over-commit.”

Oded and his team also had to consider their finance team – an important internal stakeholder that prefers to work in fiscal-year cycles. If Oded’s team discovered they needed an RI in the middle of the year, that commitment would be spread out over two fiscal years, adding complexity for the finance team.

Potential savings from AWS Savings Plans were trumped by the risks of not being able to meet commitments and creating additional work for the DevOps and Finance teams. As a result, the cloud operations team wanted to wait for their infrastructure’s compute requirements to stabilize before purchasing AWS Reserved Instances (RIs) or Savings Plans (SPs). In order to wait, Identiq opted to pay the premium rate of on-demand workloads for all their EC2 compute. 

Given these challenges, coupled with the desire to optimize EC2 unit costs, Oded sought a way to realize the benefits of commitment discounts without adding the risk or unused overhead to his company.

The challenge

Having already used DoiT’s resell services, when Flexsave was launched and Oded learned that he could automate the forecasting and application of reserved compute, activating the product was a no-brainer. Flexsave gives Identiq the equivalent savings of a 1-year commitment on its on-demand workloads, while absorbing the financial risk on those same workloads. This means that if Identiq needs to shut down machines in the middle of the month or switch to a new instance type, they won’t incur any underutilization costs. As a result, Identiq can make cloud infrastructure decisions that are best for the business, without having to work within the limitations of previous commitments.

This flexibility lends itself not just to the financial benefit of compute savings, but also to the resourcing benefit to less-intensive forecasting.Using Flexsave means they don’t have to research and coordinate with R&D to so carefully and accurately forecast their future compute needs. Flexsave automatically scans Identiq’s on-demand workloads and applies discounts to cover them, as well as reacts to any future changes in the instances they use.

Due to Flexsave’s seamless activation process, Identiq development and engineering teams were not forced to divert attention from their current projects to test and onboard the product, and were able to do so without any code changes. 

Flexsave also simplified the workload for Identiq’s finance team by reducing the complexity of supporting cloud costs over long periods of time. Since Flexsave automatically handles it on a month-to-month basis along with the rest of Identiq’s AWS bill, there was no longer any need for the finance team to amortize the costs of reserved compute over two fiscal years.

The result

  • Reduce overall EC2 costs by 12%
  • Optimally cover workloads without managing a thing
  • Lower on-demand EC2 costs by over 15%

Oded Avissar, Head of Cloud Operations, Identiq
“Flexsave allows us to make infrastructure decisions independent of commitment considerations while giving us the savings of commitments at the same time. While we grow as a company and as we have more customers in production, we need more and more compute. Flexsave allows us to save on this compute without requiring anything from me or my team. As we grow in production, the savings from Flexsave grows with us.”

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