Case Study: Third Cousin

February 21, 2017

Case Study: Third Cousin


Third Cousin is a San Diego-based digital agency. Ordinary Experts worked with Third Cousin to reduce the AWS costs of one of their clients through application inventory, environment consolidation, and instance right-sizing.


A user-facing demo environment had gone out of maintenance and become expensive. The customer wanted to recover it to a usable state and reduce costs. There were dev, stage, and production environments each with a dedicated app server and RDS.

Proposed Solution

Recovered access to inaccessible hosts by mounting EBS volumes to accessible hosts and inspecting config. We manually inspected app servers and cataloged services and config that were essential to the demo. Because the environment was only a demo environment, we reclassified it as non-prod and consolidated all app servers into one and all RDS instances into one. We also disabled the multi-az feature of remaining RDS. Finally, we migrated config and data to consolidated host. To clean up, we tore down unused hosts.

AWS Services

  • AWS EC2
  • AWS S3
  • RDS
  • Route 53
  • S3


All EC2 instances and RDS databases accessible and the client’s AWS bill was decreased.

Correct classification of operational needs is essential from the start of a project. While dev, stage, and prod often benefit from separation onto dedicated resources, for projects with no SLA that may provide isolation that’s not actually required and that drives up costs.

Application Architecture

Third Cousin AWS Diagram