Case Study: Ibotta Gets its Cloud Costs Under Control


Ibotta’s app nets shoppers cash back on purchases by using verification. They analyzed their AWS usage info via Cloudability to cut cloud costs.

Name of organization: Ibotta

Industry: Consumer technology

Location: Denver, CO

Opportunity or challenge encountered: When Ibotta launched in 2011, the company chose to set up shop on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Ibotta provides a smartphone app that customers use to earn cash back on purchases. Being cloud-based would allow Ibotta to scale quickly and efficiently as possible. At first, Ibotta tracked their AWS usage and spend using a spreadsheet. It was a workable, if time-consuming, system, but they outgrew it quickly. By 2017, the company’s yearly cloud spend exceeded $4 million. Spreadsheet cost tracking wasn’t cutting it anymore, and Ibotta faced a major challenge: how to better control and optimize its AWS spending.

Meeting the challenge: To solve the problem, Ibotta turned to Cloudability, an Advanced Technology Partner in the AWS Partner Network (APN) that offers a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution for analyzing AWS spending and usage. Ibotta implemented the Cloudability continuous cloud spend optimization platform to create detailed AWS spending and usage reports using a centralized, point-and-click analytics interface. By using Cloudability, Ibotta developed an automated AWS cost visibility and optimization process.

See also: Case study — Employing AI to boost customer experience

That process enabled Ibotta to increase its Amazon EC2 Reserved Instance (RI) usage, which offered a major discount compared to On-Demand pricing. Ibotta also used Cloudability to reserve provisioned throughput on the Amazon DynamoDB database service. In addition, Ibotta was able to leverage Cloudability’s anomaly detection, which is driven by machine learning, to more easily control its costs. This monitoring discovered a misconfigured gateway in Ibotta’s AWS infrastructure that would have cost the company upwards of $15,000 in one month but was prevented through early detection.

Benefits of this initiative: With better visibility into its AWS spending, Ibotta gained the confidence both to increase its coverage of Amazon EC2 Reserved Instances to 60 percent from 40 percent and to make reserved capacity purchases within Amazon DynamoDB. As a result, the company is was able to save more than $1 million. These resources could then be put towards growing Ibotta’s AWS investment, and ultimately towards investing more in the infrastructure provided to customers. Through Cloudability’s platform, Ibotta expects to be better prepared to make important business decisions to more clearly understand where it should be investing its cloud resources.

(Source: Cloudability)

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