Case Study:

Gaming Developer Saves Millions Utilizing AWS Reserved Instances

A recommended switch to RI model will save millions and increase predictability of public cloud spend


Customer Profile

A U.S. video game development company


The customer was having a hard time tracking its AWS usage and billing, and could not control their increasingly growing spend for On-Demand pricing.


Data Center

SHI ran CloudHealth, identified individual usage for all existing accounts and recommended switching to Reserved Instances (RI).


AWS CloudHealth Technologies


  • Saved the customer millions in yearly spend!
  • Significant discount compared to On-Demand pricing
  • Affordability and ease of management for long-term use of compute capacity
  • Increased speed of the customer’s static and dynamic web content


A gaming development company capable of creating action-packed, adrenaline-filled adventure sagas for its audience struggled to control its own rapidly-increasing spending on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

To deliver the computing power needed to support usage spikes triggered by thousands of gamers, employees working in multiple locations had created dozens of AWS accounts. This unintentional sprawl made it difficult to track the company’s overall AWS consumption. Under the hourly rate of an AWS On-Demand price model, the developer’s spend on public cloud increased by $5 million in one year! Desperate to get control of skyrocketing expenses, the customer turned to SHI for help.


To identify the total usage of all the customer’s individual AWS accounts, SHI's AWS Team employed CloudHealth to gain visibility across all accounts, clouds, teams and individuals. Based on data consolidated by CloudHealth reports, SHI recommended a switch to Reserved Instances (RI) – a pricing model in which the customer commits to either one or three-years of reserved resources within a particular geographic Availability Zone. RI’s structure offers up to a 75% discount compared to On-Demand pricing. Since this customer was running more than 2,000 instances, switching to RI could save millions over time.

The game developer committed to a one-year agreement and SHI helped them select the specific RI structure based on instance attributes, term commitment and desired payment options. In addition, the customer renewed their Amazon CloudFront program which should improve performance of both static and dynamic web content.

Switching to the AWS RI pricing model made this customer’s long-term public cloud use affordable and easier to predict. SHI continued to help monitor the customer’s AWS consumption and spend on a monthly basis and evaluated the possibility of an Enterprise Discount Program to help the successful gamers save money as they continued growing.