Watch Your AWS Marketplace Licenses!

by Eric Mulatrick

Watch your AWS Marketplace licenses! As a user of the AWS marketplace, you’ll find software vendors offer different license packages - i.e. t-shirt sizes w/ small/medium/large. An example would be - a software storage vendor has a license model for small (1 TB of storage), medium (10 TB), and large (368 TB). Each one has a different cost, with the smallest being the cheapest, which also runs on a smaller set of EC2 instances.

Our engineering team automated the deployment and destruction of pay-as-you-go(paygo) marketplace software. The engineering team hard coded the edition to be medium size, regardless of whether or not the workload was a test environment < 1 TB of space, or a production environment (10 TB). I did some investigation into the licensing model, and discovered that the small license would be suitable for test needs. Doing so was ⅓ of the cost of the production workload license.

Also, because we were using pay-as-you-go licenses, we automated the pause and resume of the software. We were able to use what we needed, when we needed it, instead of overbuying licenses and storing them in a license pool. We’d be able to scale up and scale down, limiting license pool waste, and the overhead of purchasing and managing licenses.

Cost Savings: $1M/year for us Effort: could be substantial - i.e. refactoring application, working w/ vendor to negotiate private offer, understanding licensing models