The problem

Idle EC2 instances can be a major hidden expense for companies that rely on cloud computing services since they can continue to accrue charges even when they are not being used. They can lead to unnecessary spending on resources and take up valuable budget and resources that could be used for other workloads.

Managing idle instances can be challenging, especially in large fleets. It can be difficult to identify instances that are not being used, and doing so manually can be time-consuming and error-prone. This can result in a buildup of idle instances over time, which can significantly increase costs.

In addition to the financial impact, idle instances can also have a negative impact on performance. When resources are tied up with idle instances, it can lead to bottlenecks and slower processing times for active workloads resulting in reduced productivity and customer dissatisfaction.

The solution

This Shoreline runbook makes it simple to create an alarm that is configured to constantly look for idle instances across all cloud accounts in your fleet. The alarm comes with an optional exclusion list for instances that need to be idle, like in the case of Jenkins and Kubernetes related instances. Once unnecessary idle instances are found, Slack notifications alert channels of the exact amount of money that could be saved by shutting those instances down. Additionally, email notifications are sent out to instance owners regarding their instance being idle. The user can reject the solution by easily clicking a button in the email which adds a label on the resource marking it as currently in use. Future runs of this automation will detect the label and ignore the instance. If the user agrees this data is no longer necessary or doesn’t reply in a configurable period of time, Shoreline automatically deletes the idle instance to save costs.

Shoreline doesn’t just alert, it remediates. Companies can specify a shutdown period to automatically shutdown instances idle for that period of time. Or they can manage the instances through a Shoreline Notebook that offers one-click actions to shutdown, terminate, or even add them to the idle exclusion list.


Customer experience impact
Unnecessary spending & utilization of valuable resources
Occurrence frequency
Weekly varying on size of development environments
Shoreline time to repair
1-2 minutes with auto-shutdown or one-click Notebook actions
Time to diagnose manually
Cost impact
Avoid rapidly increasing cloud computing costs from idle instances
Time to repair manually
2-3 hours to manually find & shutdown each idle instance

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