General

What are spot servers?

You may already understand the concept of provisioning servers and paying for the capacity provisioned per hour. This "on demand" provisioning of servers requires AWS to maintain certain excess capacity all the time to ensure requests for "on demand" servers is met right away.

AWS pioneered the idea of "spot market" to allow customers to purchase their excess un-utilised capacity at a steep discount of upto 90%. Spot market operates on the principles of demand and supply and customers have to bid on the price they are willing to pay. Prices for instances on spot market increase as the demand increases and decrease when the demand decreases.

AWS will terminate spot servers whenever price in spot market goes above your spot price or there is no capacity available for the desired instance. This uncertainty over life of a spot instance makes it unavailable for most production use cases.

What is Septaz?

Septaz is a spot management platform that can drastically reduce your AWS EC2 costs by using spot servers for your production workload. Read Introduction to Septaz to know more about how we work.

How does Septaz work?

Read "Introduction to Septaz" to know details about how Septaz works.

How much does Septaz cost?

Septaz is free for life.

Why is Septaz free?

Septaz was developed at Zauba as an internal tool to cut costs and maintain infrastructure ability. We understand Septaz could be a boon for startups, small businesses and individuals. We decided to add value to the larger community by making our tool public. We have the desire to keep Septaz free for as long as we can.

Is it secure to use Septaz?

Septaz has been designed with great care. Enormous amount of thought and expertise have gone into building this system. Using Septaz is as safe as using AWS.

Septaz is free. However, We need a solution that is reliable. Do you offer commercial version?

Septaz is built and managed by an exceptional team of seven engineers at Zauba. We have decided to keep Septaz free, that should not imply it is a product of inferior engineering. Septaz has been built with precision and is one of the best products.

Is it possible to achieve 100% uptime while using
Septaz?

It is fully possible to achieve 100% uptime by designing a good architecture. We have used Septaz internally on all our production systems and have seen great results. If you require specific advice on how to run your infrastructure on AWS, feel free to contact us by filling up the contact us form here.

We are currently using Auto Scaling Groups. What do
we need to do to run Septaz?

Septaz runs seamlessly with AWS auto scaling groups. You just have to follow the septaz setup process to complete your integration with Septaz.

The only thing to note about auto scaling groups is that Septaz uses currently associated launch configurations to launch replacement servers. Be sure to modify launch configurations if you wish update your existing cluster but don’t want to replace all existing servers.

I want to see all activity Septaz takes on my account.
How can I do that?

We enable AWS Cloud Trail by default on all accounts we work with. Using Cloud Trail, you can see all the read/modify actions taken by Septaz. Along with this, you can also see detailed activity report on Septaz console.

I have existing reserved instances. Can I still use Septaz?

Septaz factors your existing reserved instances so that you get full advantage of your currently purchased reserved instances. Septaz will monitor and replace only those on demand servers that are over and above number of reserved instances.

I am a user of Septaz and I would like to buy additional
reserved instances. What should I do?

Septaz is a completely automated platform. You can purchase/modify/retire reserved instances at any time and Septaz will factor these changes automatically.

I am a user of Septaz and my reserved instances are
retiring soon. What should I do?

Septaz is a completely automated platform. Septaz will factor changes automatically to ensure you incur least cost all the time.

Can I use Septaz on database servers?

Absolutely. However do note that it will require careful planning to achieve 100% uptime. Please refer to "How to setup database servers on Septaz" for detailed instructions.

Can I use Septaz on Cassandra?

Absolutely. We internally use Septaz on our Cassandra cluster. Be sure to pay attention to replication factor and try to spread your instances on multiple availability zones for high availability.

Can I use Septaz on my Hadoop / Spark / Storm / Kafka cluster?

Sure you can. Septaz instance replacement process works like simple reboot. After launch of replacement servers, your hadoop/spark/storm cluster will continue as is and recognise the new replacement instance as existing instance.

Do you have API access?

At the moment we do not have API access. Please let us know your use case for API access by filling up this form. We will be happy to consider your request.

I have an instance that stores data on root volume. Can
I user Septaz on such instances?

Never enable monitoring of instances that store data on root volume. Modify your instances such that all data/logs are stored in a separate EBS volume that can be detached.

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Upgrade / Backups / Dev Ops

I have an instance that is being currently monitored by
Septaz. I want to take an AMI of the instance. How can
I do it?

For users under Automatic mode, AMI can be taken just as you would for instances that are not monitored by Septaz.

Users in manual mode can also take AMI of instances monitored by Septaz just like you would for any other instance. However, if your AMI will be used to launch new instances that you wish not to be monitored by Septaz, then b.e sure to remove the scripts or disable auto startup of Septaz scripts to prevent new instances to be monitored automatically.

We are upgrading our servers and will be doing this by
taking new AMI. What should we do?

Automatic Mode: User in automatic mode that have created monitoring rules based on AMI id would need to create a new rule to monitor instances launched with new AMI.

Manual Mode: Users in manual mode just have to ensure that they replace all existing servers with current AMI with instances using new AMI. Septaz uses AMI id of the instances to launch their replacement. Not replacing all instances using new AMI will result in Septaz launching replacement instances using old AMI.

Is there anything else we should be aware of to safely
use Septaz?

The only thing to note is that Septaz creates an exact replica of an existing instance during the replacement process. Any changes you make to an instance using AWS console until the last minute will be replicated to the replacement instance.\

Only exception to this is instances under auto scaling groups. For instances under any auto scaling groups, Septaz will use attached launch configuration to launch new instances. If you wish to make any changes to existing instances, be sure to modify your auto scaling groups to use the correct launch configuration.

Others

How do I close my account?

We are sorry you chose to close your account. If there is anything we can do to keep you on board, we would be happy to do so. However if you still wish to proceed with closing of your account, please let us know by contacting us and will initiate process for safely delinking your account.

What happens if I delete IAM role associated with Septaz?

Deleting IAM role used by Septaz to manage your instance may lead to downtime and loss of data. If you have accidentally deleted IAM role used by us, contact us immediately to help you with the process.

Why is CloudTrail mandatory?

Septaz will automatically setup AWS CloudTrail so that users can have visibility into all the actions Septaz is taking on your account.

Account Setup

How do I setup Septaz?

Setting up Septaz is an easy process. Read "How to Setup Septaz" for detailed instructions.

What is Automatic Mode?

Under automatic mode, Septaz uses AWS SSM to completely automate the process of setting up instances for monitoring and the process of roll back (To stop monitoring and reverting instances to their original state). While using automatic mode, users just have to setup monitoring rules to define which instances to monitor.

What is Manual Mode?

It is discouraged to use manual mode unless your organisation’s compliance policies prevent you from granting SSM access to Septaz. Under manual mode, users would have to install scripts provided by Septaz to setup their instances for monitoring process.

Security, Reports & Logging

How can I know all the activity associated with Septaz?

You can see all activity Septaz has taken on your account either by using AWS CloudTrail or by via Septaz console.

I would like to see our savings due to use of Septaz.
Where can I see such reports?

You can see in-depth reports on your usage of Septaz and the total savings via your console on Setpaz.

I have enabled monitoring. However I am unable to see
any changes in my account?

Septaz starts to monitor instances in a gradual manner. This process has been designed to avoid sudden knee jerk changes to your infrastructure that might result in downtime or loss of data.

How often do we update reports?

Reports are updated every 24 hours.

Is it secure to use Septaz?

Septaz has been designed with great care. Enormous amount of thought and expertise have gone into building this system. Using Septaz is as safe as using AWS.