Case study


Optimizing Kubernetes Workloads on AWS EKS for Cost Efficiency

Kubernetes has become the ubiquitous standard for container orchestration and has revolutionized the way we deploy and manage containerized applications. Despite its benefits of scalability, flexibility, and ease of management, for organizations that run their workloads on Kubernetes, cloud services cost remains a critical concern. One effective strategy for optimizing the costs of Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) workloads is leveraging Spot Instances.

In this article, we'll explore how to optimize Kubernetes workloads on AWS EKS for cost efficiency using spot instances.

Understanding Spot Instances

Spot Instances are spare AWS EC2 capacity and a unique offering from Amazon EC2 that allows you to leverage unused computing power at significantly reduced rates with discounts often of up to 90% compared to on-demand instances.

Being that Spot Instances are interruptible, meaning they can be reclaimed by AWS at any time, they are ideal for fault-tolerant workloads, batch processing, and containerized applications that can handle interruptions gracefully.

Case Study: Schlieger Cost Optimization using Spot Instances

One of our customers, Schlieger, recently migrated from conventional servers to the AWS cloud. To manage their monthly cloud budget, they capitalized on the flexibility provided by Amazon EKS and strategically opted for Spot Instance worker nodes.

Our solution is a hybrid approach, where critical components run on On-Demand instances, while non-critical workloads utilize Spot Instances. It adheres to best practices by selecting multiple instance types for the node groups, ensuring that the chosen instances have equivalent CPU and memory resources. We deploy a cluster autoscaler that dynamically adjusts the number of nodes to ensure optimal resource utilization and application availability.

By leveraging a combination of On-Demand and Spot Instances worker nodes, we maintained a scalable and reliable workload with the core benefit of 75–80% cost savings.

Here are some additional best practices for effectively utilizing Spot Instances within your Amazon EKS environment:

spot instance infrastructure

  • Use Spot Fleet: This allows the provisioning of a heterogeneous fleet of Spot Instances across multiple instance types, sizes, and Availability Zones. Spot Fleet automatically manages instance provisioning and maintains target capacity, enhancing workload availability and reliability.

  • Leverage Spot Blocks: This offers a more predictable pricing model for Spot Instances by allowing organizations to reserve capacity for a specified duration (one to six hours). This can be beneficial for workloads with predictable runtime requirements, providing cost predictability while still benefiting from savings.

  • Graceful Termination Handling: It is essential for Kubernetes workloads running on Spot Instances to implement mechanisms for graceful termination and rescheduling to handle interruptions effectively. This ensures minimal disruption to application availability and performance.


Optimizing Kubernetes workloads on AWS EKS using Spot Instances is a smart strategy for cost-conscious businesses. By following best practices and leveraging Spot capacity, you can strike the right balance between cost efficiency and performance. At StormIT, we understand the importance of cost optimization in the AWS Cloud. That's why we offer our expertise in the Well-Architected Review framework with the option to focus specifically on the cost optimization pillar.

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