Welcome and Course Structure

Get a brief introduction to the course, its structure, and prerequisite knowledge.

Welcome to the course, we're glad you're here! This course will help you develop the knowledge and strategies you need to get the most from your AWS landscape, while keeping costs as low as they can be.

Unfortunately, cost optimization is a responsibility that does not always take a prominent role when organizations first undertake a cloud migration project. Cost control frequently only becomes a priority after getting that shockingly expensive bill. If you're here because you're in that situation, no worries. It's very common. Consider that bill as a baseline, with the hope that it will decrease over time.

A bit of knowledge and process put in place upfront will save plenty of headaches and money, in the short-term and long-term. It's much more challenging to rein in cost after the fact than bake in certain things in your initial cloud architecture.

Course takeaways

After this course, you'll:

  • Understand some basic cloud economics and AWS's Cost Optimization Pillar

  • Be able to build a solid AWS cost optimization strategy, governance, and process

  • Understand practical methods of cost optimization on the AWS platform through design, architecture, and analysis

  • Know some often-overlooked but useful ways to make your AWS landscape more efficient

What you'll need

To get the most benefit from this course, you will need a decent understanding of AWS and it's commonly used services. You don't need to know all the engineering details, but you should know the difference between services and everyday use cases. Here is a little exercise to gauge your understanding. Match the use case with the most appropriate service:

Match The Answer
Select an option from the left-hand side


General VM service which provides various sizes and OS options.


NoSQL database for creating an online gaming leaderboard.


Host a small snippet of Python code to convert an uploaded image into JPG format on-demand.


Long-term archival storage of tax records.


A managed instance of MySQL DB for a custom shipping application.


Storage that can be attached and mounted as a volume on an EC2 instance.


Network-attached storage, which can be mounted as an NFS volume.

If you were able to easily match these services to their common use cases, then you likely have enough AWS knowledge to fully understand the examples, suggestions, and recommendations in this course. If you are a little fuzzy on some of these services, you might want to start with an introductory course to learn about the various services.

Course organization

Yes, contrary to what some people believe, AWS wants us to run cost-efficient workloads. Granted, some of their pricing does have a slant towards retaining an organization's data and, therefore, their patronage (egress charges, for example). But, for the most part, it is just good customer service to make sure people feel like they are getting a fair deal.

As such, AWS has spent lots of time and resources building out various cost control measures and tools that allow organizations to employ a variety of cost management strategies. However, making use of all those tools and methods is not very intuitive, so customers have to put in a little effort to realize the most benefit.

AWS has assembled these strategies and best practices under a broad umbrella called the AWS Cost Optimization Pillar. This pillar is a subset of AWS's Well-Architected Framework, which covers architecture, performance, security, reliability, and so on. This course will use the Cost Optimization Pillar as a loose framework to cover various aspects of cost optimization, but we'll also include some additional items and lessons learned through hard-fought experience.

💡Pro Tip: You’ll see these pro tips throughout the course. They call out recommendations, suggestions, and tools for current and aspiring cloud architects, enterprise architects, and IT leaders.

🔍Sidenote: You’ll also see sidenotes—these are little bits of information that provide more context, historical background, or just interesting perspectives.

In addition to short quizzes along the way, this course also includes case studies for some realistic scenarios in which you can apply your learning. Because this course is not specifically about writing code, you won't see a lot of coding blocks here, but we include some walk-throughs on using cost control tools in the AWS console. As such, an AWS account is required to follow along with those portions of the course.