November 24, 2023

Simplifying Data Transfer Costs across AWS

3 min read

Simplifying Data Transfer Costs across AWS
Simplifying Data Transfer Costs across AWS
Simplifying Data Transfer Costs across AWS

Navigating cloud costs can be challenging, but not impossible. An understanding of all aspects pertaining to costs when using AWS for is critical to maintaining lean cloud infrastructure. This avoids sudden and unprecedented spikes in your AWS spends. However, getting through the intricacies of Amazon’s pricing model can be a perplexing maze.  So, if you are looking at AWS cost optimization, and want to keep track of your spending, keep reading. We will go over how AWS pricing works, the subtle nuances of data transfer costs within AWS, and the cost optimization tool that can be deployed to manage your outlays. 

Understanding How the AWS Costing Works

When moving data, there are typically two ways - between AWS and the Internet or within the AWS cloud. Let’s talk about both. 

AWS Transfer Pricing - Over the Internet

In from the Internet

There are no charges for data entering various AWS zones, regions, Direct Connect links, or Edge Locations. Dedicated private connections known as Direct Connect links establish secure links between on-premises sites and AWS while Edge Locations, integral to Amazon CloudFront, distribute cached AWS service content, offering users reduced latency. All inbound data transfers from the Internet into AWS—be it directed towards AWS Regions, Direct Connect, or Edge Locations—are free of charge.

Out to the Internet

Charges are incurred based on tiered data transfer rates, varying across regions for data sent out to the internet. These rates comprise aggregate data transferred by all these services - Amazon RDS, Amazon Redshift, Amazon SES, Amazon SimpleDB, Amazon EBS, Amazon S3, Amazon Glacier, Amazon SQS, AWS Storage Gateway, Amazon SNS, Amazon DynamoDB, and Amazon CloudWatch Logs.

AWS Data Transfer Pricing - Within the AWS Cloud

There’s little scope for data movement within the AWS Cloud. Let’s take a closer look. 

Inter-Region Data Transfers
  • When transferring data between different AWS Regions, costs are determined by the rates specific to the source region.

  • For instance, moving data from the South America (Sao Paulo) Region to any other region incurs charges based on the specific rates of the Sao Paulo Region, which is $0.138 per GB. Similarly, transferring data from the US East (Ohio) region to the US West (Los Angeles) incurs costs at the rate of $0.02 per GB.

Transfers Between AWS Regions and Direct Connect Locations
  • There’s no AWS cost implication to transfer data into any of the AWS regions. but it’s important to understand that moving data from an AWS region to a direct connection comes with a charge. Transferring data from AWS Regions to Direct Connect locations incurs charges based on the source region and the destination Direct Connect location.

  • For example, transferring data from the US East (Ohio) Region to a Direct Connection link in Montreal costs $0.0200 per GB. However, transferring the same data from the EU (Frankfurt) region to the same Montreal Direct Connect link incurs charges at $0.0300 per GB.

For a complete chart with data transfer rates from AWS regions to Direct Connect Locations, read here.

Data Transfers Charges Between Edge Locations and AWS Regions
  • Moving data from AWS to Edge Locations is free as they are data centers within the CloudFront CDN (Content Delivery Network) that cache data such as videos, applications, or APIs for low-latency access.

  • Charges are region-specific for transferring data from Edge locations back to their original AWS source.

Data Transfer Charges Within the Same Region

Whenever there is any communication within AWS resources or services in the same region, there is a possibility that it comes with a charge. Keeping a tab on these costs can be a little tricky.

Let’s delve deeper into the basic guidelines of intra-region charges, to make this simpler:

Inter-Service Transfers Across Availability Zones or VPC Peering Connections

Egress and Ingress Fees: Initiating data transfers between AWS services, like EC2, RDS, Redshift, and DynamoDB Accelerator, across Availability Zones or VPC peering connections imposes an egress and ingress charge of $0.01 per GB.

For instance, transferring 500 GB of data between a Redshift cluster in VPC-A and an EC2 instance in VPC-B within the same Availability Zone incurs $5 for egress from VPC-A and $5 for ingress into VPC-B, highlighting the intricate cost implications.

Intra-AZ and VPC Transfers

Using Public or Elastic IPv4 Addresses: Intra-AZ and VPC data transfers leveraging these addresses incur an egress and ingress charge of $0.01 per GB.

Leveraging Private IPv4 or IPv6 Addresses: Intra-region data transfers within the same Availability Zone and VPC using these addresses are exempt from additional charges, fostering cost-efficient communications.

Data Transfers Between AWS Services within the Same Region

Cost-Free Transfers: Transferring data among various AWS services, encompassing Amazon S3, Glacier, DynamoDB, and others within the same region, does not impose additional costs, streamlining certain data movements.

Exceptions for Cross-AZ Transfers

Distinct scenarios exempt certain data transfers from intra-region charges, offering clarity amidst the complexities:

  • Between Load Balancers and EC2 Instances: No charges for data transmission between Amazon Classic or Application Load Balancers and EC2 instances within the same region, facilitating efficient communication.

  • Multi-AZ Configurations for Replication Purposes: Configurations catering to replication across Availability Zones in services like Amazon Aurora, Neptune, and RDS are also free from additional transfer fees, emphasizing their specific roles in data replication.

Pro Tips on Reducing Data Transfer Costs

  1. Data Management and Control

    Utilize storage efficiencies through platforms like NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP to put a limit on data transfer sizes. Employing effective data management platforms can significantly reduce data volumes and associated transfer costs.

  2. Region Exclusivity

    Minimize cross-region traffic wherever possible. Look at keeping data traffic within a single region. When unavoidable, choose the region with the lowest transfer rates aligning with your business needs to manage costs effectively.

  3. AZ Exclusivity

    Leverage the cost advantage of AWS private IPs within the same Availability Zone (AZ) and Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). You can avoid the additional intra-AZ transfer fees by confining resources within the same AZ and VPC using private IPs.

  4. Avoid NAT Devices

    Reduce the use of dedicated NAT devices for EC2 instances requiring internet or AWS resource access. Dedicated NAT devices charge a rate per GB on top of standard data transfer rates. Instead, assign public IPs to instances and utilize VPC Internet Gateway NAT functionality or VPC endpoints.

  5. Use Amazon CloudFront

    Consider utilizing Amazon CloudFront for data delivery to internet users. Up to 50TB of data transfer out to the internet is often more cost-effective through CloudFront compared to direct transfers from AWS regions, offering lower latency, and making it a favorable choice for public-facing services delivering rich content.

  6. Track-Specific Services

    Be attentive to the specific pricing rules of services like Amazon ElastiCache, Neptune, CloudSearch, ElasticSearch, and Managed Kafka (MSK). These services have unique pricing structures for data transfers, which might affect overall cost optimization strategies.

  7. Use Amnic

    Amnic serves as a cloud cost observability platform helping organizations measure and rightsize their cloud spends. By improving visibility, optimization, tagging and governance within your cloud infrastructure, Amnic ensures data transfer costs are managed right. Amnic facilitates better cost allocation and resource management, optimizing your cloud spending effectively.

AWS Cost Optimization Tools

For data monitoring, preventing and tracking AWS data are the two primary strategies. Let’s now look at tools that can help with data monitoring and optimization in alignment with these strategies:

Prevention Tools

AWS Budget Tool:
  • Function: Set customizable cost thresholds to receive alerts when costs approach or exceed the specified limits.

  • Data Transfer Parameter: Include data transfer parameters within the cost budget to monitor and manage data transfer-related expenses.

  • Billing Alerts via Amazon CloudWatch:

    • Function: Configure alerts within CloudWatch to trigger notifications when your account billing surpasses defined thresholds.

    • Alert Management: Offers real-time notifications, aiding in immediate action when costs exceed set limits.

Tracking Tools
  • AWS Cost Explorer with Cost Allocation Tags:

    • Function: Offers in-depth insights into data transfer costs by leveraging cost allocation tags.

    • Granular Analysis: Allows for detailed analysis and breakdown of costs based on specific tags, providing clarity on where expenses occur.

  • VPC Flow Logs Published to CloudWatch:

    • Function: Capture data on IP traffic and assist in analyzing network flows.

    • Monitoring and Analysis: Helps monitor traffic patterns and troubleshoot issues, providing insights into network usage and potential cost areas.

  • Network Traffic Monitoring Tools (e.g., IPTraf):

    • Function: Utilize dedicated network traffic monitoring tools for in-depth analysis and real-time monitoring of traffic.

    • Granular Insights: Offers detailed information on traffic patterns, aiding in identifying potential areas of high data transfer costs.

Using Amnic to Lower Cloud Costs

Amnic delivers a cloud cost observability platform that helps measure and rightsize cloud costs continuously. It is agentless, secure and allows users to get started in five minutes at no cost. 

Amnic provides a suite of features such as cost explorer, K8s visibility, custom dashboards, benchmarking, anomaly detection, alerts, K8s optimization and more. Businesses save 25-30% on their cloud costs, even on pre-optimized environments. 

Amnic provides precise recommendations across network, storage and compute, based on your cloud infrastructure to identify high costs and industry best practices to reduce them. With Amnic, organizations can successfully build a roadmap towards lean cloud infrastructure and build a culture of cost optimization among their teams.  

Visit to learn more about how you can get started on your cloud cost optimization journey. 

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