Part 1: Right-Sizing – General, Compute, Memory, Storage and GPU

Simarpreet Arora Cloudwiry Written by Simarpreet Arora

Enterprises often incur unnecessary expenditures on their cloud which can easily be controlled by regular optimization of resources. The most standard way to do this is through methodical rightsizing.

Rightsizing is defined as upgrading or downgrading the existing cloud infrastructure to closely balance and meet the exact demand of any business. To regularly identify underutilized resources and make thoughtful decisions, right-sizing must become an ongoing process within an organization.  

Picking an instance for a given workload means finding the instance family that most closely matches the CPU and memory needs of the workload.

Amazon EC2 /Azure VMs provide a wide selection of instances, which gives users a good amount of flexibility to right-size their computing resources to match capacity needs at the lowest cost. There are roughly five families of instances with different options for CPU, memory, and network resources across the cloud platforms:

1. General Purpose

General purpose instances provide a balanced CPU-to-memory ratio and are ideal for testing and development, small to medium databases, and low to medium traffic web servers.

Another option for General Purpose Instances is burstable instances which are ideal for workloads that do not need the full performance of the CPU continuously and can give a burstable performance. 

2. Compute Optimized

Compute optimized instances have a high CPU-to-memory ratio. These sizes are good for medium traffic web servers, network appliances, batch processes, and application servers.

3. Memory Optimized

Memory optimized instances offer a high memory-to-CPU ratio that is great for relational database servers, medium to large caches, and in-memory analytics. 

4. Storage Optimized

Storage optimized instances offer high disk throughput and IO and are ideal for Big Data, SQL, NoSQL databases, data warehousing, and large transactional databases.

5. GPU-accelerated/High-performance Compute

Provide access to hardware-based computing accelerators such as graphics processing units (GPUs). 

At Cloudwiry, we have years of experience helping our customers to right-size their workloads and can help you right-size your loads for optimal savings. Our recommendations fall under three major categories:

High-Performance Recommendation: The high-performance instance recommendation considers maximum CPU, Memory, and Network Utilization, and recommends instances matching the effective utilization with 100% certainty.

Maximum Savings Recommendation: Rightsizing is an art that needs greater knowledge than, “ What is my peak usage? “. Looking at the 95th percentile and 99th percentile usage and looking at the trends can give us effective information if we are making the right choice. At Cloudwiry, we analyze the 95th percentile usage and our algorithm decides if it was a false peak ( during backups / OS update ) and recommends instances that can provide the maximum savings. 

Burstable Recommendations: Burstable recommendations suggest whether the current instance can be converted to a burstable instance (generally applicable for instances with very low CPU utilization).


This brings us to the end of the first part of our series on right-sizing. In the second part, we will demonstrate some features that might be useful while performing right-sizing. In the meantime, here is a sneak-peak into our rightsizing-portal:

Rightsizing Cloudwiry

For more strategies on how to optimize your cloud, schedule a call with our cloud experts or drop us an email at