Posted: 3 Min ReadProduct Insights

How to Have Your Cake AND Eat it in AWS

Symantec now lets users buy upfront quantities in SaaS contracts to get discounts - and pay as they go to add extra resources

Ever been told you can’t have your cake AND eat it too? Frustrating, right? The whole purpose of having your cake is so you can eat it. But by the time you’ve eaten your cake, you no longer have it.

So how can you have your cake AND eat it too in Amazon Web Services (AWS)? Well, back in 2006 when AWS launched a new service for virtual computers called Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), AWS also introduced a new concept that allowed you to rent virtual computers. The concept – referred to as utility-based or Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) pricing – meant that you no longer had to guess how many virtual computers they were going to need. Instead of purchasing upfront quantities of virtual computers, you could simply rent compute on-demand by the hour and pay only for what they needed. The famous phrase of “No contracts; cancel anytime” for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) was born.

This was great for creating new infrastructure or applications in the cloud where you didn’t have any idea how much compute you needed. Additionally, this pricing model paved the way for auto scaling, which allows you to automatically add compute resources on the fly without having to go through a quote or procurement process. With utility-based pricing, we really started to eat our cake.

However, what about scenarios where you’re moving current infrastructure to the cloud and have a good idea on how much you need? Or how about scenarios where your company has budgetary cycles and you can only spend during certain times of the year. Not to mention the fact that many software vendors provide discounts for customers who commit to larger purchases upfront instead of on-demand pricing with no commitment. Although utility-based pricing offers great flexibility, it also means that sometimes you forgo some of the advantages with contracts and risk not having your cake.

Well, with a new release in the AWS Marketplace, you can now have your cake AND eat it too. Symantec, an AWS Partner Network (APN) Advanced Technology Partner with AWS competency in Infrastructure Security, has partnered with AWS to support a new enhancement in the AWS Marketplace. The enhancement lets you purchase upfront quantities in SaaS contracts to get discounts AND use PAYG pricing for times when you need extra resources that go above and beyond predetermined purchases.

Getting Started

So how does it work? Symantec has published a new SaaS contract in the AWS Marketplace for Symantec Cloud Workload Protection (CWP). CWP helps you protect your EC2 instances from malware, application exploits, and system changes that can result in security compromises. CWP does this by deploying agents on instances to identify applications, enforce policies, scan for malicious files, and secure Docker containers. The CWP agent supports anti-malware, Intrusion Detection and Prevention (IDS/IPS), and File Integrity Monitoring (FIM) out of the box.

Pricing for CWP is based on the type and number of EC2 instances you want to protect, e.g., pricing starts at $0.01 per hour for protecting small EC2 instances (1 vCPU) and increases to $0.06 per hour for protecting large EC2 instances (4 or more vCPUs). With the new CWP SaaS contract, you can now purchase specific amounts for small, medium, and large EC2 instances for 12 months and get a yearly discount compared to PAYG rates over the same time.

Should your usage exceed the purchased amount during the same year, then standard PAYG rates apply without having to adjust your SaaS contract. If you’re consistently using more than the predetermined amount, you can also adjust the SaaS contract to include additional protection for the duration of the contract and lock in discounts for protected EC2 instances.

As Symantec deepens our partnership with AWS, we’re keeping a keen focus on how we can simplify access to our security technology and add flexibility. There may be some naysayers out there who don’t believe you can have your cake and eat it too, but we don’t subscribe to that belief. We’re eager to keep on eating, knowing we’ll always some cake for when we need it.

About the Author

Rich Vorwaller

Principal Product Manager IaaS Security

Rich Vorwaller is a Principal Product Manager for Symantec IaaS Security. Rich has worked in cyber security since 2006 with roles in technical support, operations, and product management.