Mastering the Money Maze: A FinOps Case Study

Jun 28, 2023


This case study discusses how the Intuitive FinOps Team successfully assisted our customer (Security Software Vendor) in optimizing their cloud resources and improving cost efficiency. During their cloud optimization, they experienced challenges related to cost management and sought our expertise to analyze their cloud environment, identify areas of improvement, and implement cost-saving measures. We identified various cost-saving opportunities through a comprehensive assessment and provided the customer with custom-tailored reports. These activities resulted in significant cost savings and improved resource utilization, demonstrating the effectiveness of our FinOps strategies and expertise.


During their Cloud Optimization Journey, Security Software Vendors could not increase their ROI and faced problems optimizing cloud costs and resources. To identify and pinpoint the challenges that hindered their progress, we performed a deep technical assessment using a combination of our in-house accelerators and the nOps tool.

As a result, our FinOps Team identified challenges such as:

  • Inadequately distinguished environments impeding the visibility of resources.
  • Suboptimal resource allocation.
  • Idle or abandoned resources.
  • Lack of commitment to management planning.

Technology Solutions

The FinOps Team provided the customer with specific solutions to tackle the above challenges and increase their ROI. These solutions were carefully crafted, keeping in mind the requirements and inputs of the customer (eg specific tagging rules, account structure, …).

These solutions consisted of:

  • Resources Clean up
    • Identifying idle EC2 instances and reporting them for termination (if possible).
    • Identifying unattached and unused (attached to stopped instances) EBS Volumes, snapshot non-required EBS for compliance and delete them.
    • Identifying Idle Elastic IPs, NAT Gateways and ELBs and reporting them for termination (if possible).
  • Resources Rightsizing
    • Memory based EC2 Rightsizing.
    • RDS Rightsizing.
  • Strategic Procurement of Compute Savings Plan(s).

Implementation Strategy

Firstly, to effectively manage the extensive array of resources, the Intuitive FinOps Team opted to onboard the customer cloud accounts to the nOps tool, leveraging its robust capabilities and synergistic integration with our in-house accelerators. This strategic choice was driven by nOps' exceptional cost-to-benefit ratio, which proved particularly advantageous in the context of a mono-cloud environment exclusive to AWS.

Following the assessment FinOps team iteratively performed the following:

  • Identified the low-hanging fruit and acted for a quick payback.
  • Prioritized impactful actions like EC2 and RDS rightsizing.
    • Leveraged the New Relic agent deployed by the customer for comprehensive evaluation beyond CPU utilization.
    • Utilized data from New Relic to provide memory-based EC2 and RDS rightsizing assistance.
  • Defined strategic procurement of a compute savings plan aimed at reducing costs associated with running the customer's infrastructure.
  • Constantly tracked the optimizations and reported the savings to the customer for better visibility of the overall cloud infrastructure cost management.

Results and Impact

Implementation of the recommendations given by the FinOps Team resulted in the following:

  • 30% savings on their monthly cloud expenditure, from which:
    • 20-23% decrease in monthly cloud spend through saving plan
    • 7-8% decrease in monthly spend through resource-level optimizations.
  • The savings plan helped them cover over 80% of their computing resources
  • 85% decrease in idle resources like unused EBS, available EIPs, NAT Gateways, RDS, and ELBs.
  • Increased cloud visibility and accountability with the custom reports.

Lessons Learned

Lessons learned from addressing our client cloud cost optimization challenges:

  • Engaging with a FinOps team early in their optimization process maximizes cost savings and optimizes resource utilization with less effort.
  • Rightsizing instances and databases based on workload-specific needs ensures optimal resource allocation and cost savings without compromising operational efficiency.
  • Strategic procurement of compute savings plans drives down costs without operational overhead.
  • Continuous monitoring and custom reporting maintain cost optimization efforts, providing visibility and accountability.
  • Leveraging the expertise of a FinOps team streamlines cost optimization efforts, navigating challenges and achieving substantial savings.

Next Steps

Building upon the success of the cloud cost optimization journey, our next step involves assisting the Security Software Vendor with the following:

  • Collaborate closely with the Security Software Vendor to plan their participation in the AWS Enterprise Discount Program (EDP) and align it with their long-term cost optimization goals.
  • Establish a tailored FinOps governance framework to ensure efficient cost management, optimal resource allocation, and ongoing savings. FinOps Governance is a continuous process and is essential for optimal cloud environment and cost savings.
  • Provide proactive monitoring and guidance for implementing industry best practices in cloud optimization.


In conclusion, the successful collaboration between our FinOps Team and the Security Software Vendor demonstrates the significant impact of proactive cost management and optimization strategies on cloud resources. Significant cost savings were achieved by implementing targeted technology solutions, including memory based EC2 rightsizing, strategic procurement of a compute savings plan, and RDS rightsizing without compromising performance. This case study exemplifies the importance of engaging FinOps expertise early in the cloud optimization journey to maximize cost savings, optimize resource utilization, and drive overall operational efficiency.

Main Logo