A Comprehensive Guide For Cost Control of Amazon API Gateway

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Do your applications heavily depend on API calls? If that’s the case, harnessing the full potential of Amazon API Gateway is a must! This AWS-managed service enables you to publish, maintain, and secure large-scale APIs. However, it is the most expensive Serverless Service, and its usage can mount up to a significant cost.

“Amazon API Gateway billing depends on the number of API requests and WebSocket connection minutes. However, the pricing changes depending on the service usage.”

So, paying attention to the need for cost optimization of API Gateway usage tailored to your AWS architecture is essential. Do you need help with your cost optimization strategy? Keep reading as we discuss the API Gateway pricing model and other effective cost-cutting techniques!

A Quick Overview Of Amazon API Gateway

The fully-managed Serverless Service from Amazon is the “front door” for applications to interact with the internet and other services using APIs. It also offers a straightforward approach for deploying and managing the following types of larger-scale APIs:

  • RESTful APIs: Ideal for handling serverless workloads and HTTP backends.
  • WEBSOCKET APIs: Ideal for two-way communication among applications.

Using API Gateway, cloud developers can integrate RESTful and WebSocket APIs in the Amazon microservices-based architecture. But here’s the catch: the more API usage happens with the increased traffic, the more costs you pay to AWS.

Why You Must Manage Amazon API Gateway Costs?

API Gateway costs can escalate rapidly if left unchecked. The following scenarios highlight the need to keep expenses low by cost-optimizing API Gateway usage:

  • Unchecked growth in API Gateway costs can impact your budget.
  • Managed API Gateway costs lead to more efficient cloud spending.
  • Effective cost management ensures your cloud resources are optimized.
  • Managing costs is an integral part of AWS architecture planning.

Uncontrolled growth in any of these areas can lead to unforeseen expenses that can significantly impact your cloud budget.

Six Cost Optimization Strategies To Reduce Amazon API Gateway Costs

How do you ensure that your API Gateway costs remain manageable without compromising performance or functionality? Here are six effective cost optimization strategies that you can implement in your AWS infrastructure:

#1 Understanding API Gateway Pricing Model

With the API Gateway, you pay only when your APIs are in use without making any upfront commitments. Here are the main highlights from the pricing model:

  • The free tier is available for 12 months.
  • You can make a maximum of 1 million REST and HTTP API calls for free.
  • The first 1 million messages and 750,000 connection minutes are free.
  • HTTP API charges based on call count (512 KB increments).
  • Websocket API charges for message connection minutes.
  • Cache pricing depends on provisioned memory.
  • Additional charges for Data Transfer, Cloudwatch, and other services.

You should opt for the free tier and then move to a pay-as-you-go tier afterward. It will help you minimize the expenses initially.

#2 Use The API Gateway Cost Calculator

Amazon provides a handy API Gateway cost calculator. Calculating the future expenses your infrastructure might incur is free based on your API usage. You can put the usage patterns to estimate the associated costs accurately. It also helps you to pre-plan your budget and identify better cost-saving options.

#3 Use AWS Service Proxy Integrations

You can use the service proxy integrations instead of Lambda functions for data transformations. It directly integrates the Gateway with other services, including Lambda and Kinesis. It eliminates the need for custom code for APIs and reduces the number of data transfer requests. Also, you can optimize the functionalities of other managed services.

#4 Choose Correct API Types & Migrate to HTTP

Carefully select the appropriate API type between REST and HTTP. While REST APIs offer extensive functionality, HTTP APIs are a more budget-friendly alternative. You should consider your project’s requirements and make a decision. If you want, you can migrate the existing APIs to HTTP based on your infrastructure feasibility.

#5 Streamline Authentication and Consider Load Balancers

Leverage Amazon Cognito to utilize the Access Management credentials of front-end users. It invokes a secure Lambda function via Amazon JavaScript. As the Lambda code solves the error handling, it eliminates the need for API Gateway. Even though this approach reduces the gateway pricing, you can look for alternatives. For example, the Application Load Balancer can be a good option as it supports Lambda function triggering.

#6 Minimize Data Transfer Costs & Unnecessary API Calls

Over time, as your application evolves, monitor them and eliminate redundant API calls. Otherwise, the calls can accumulate and inflate your costs significantly. Consider data transfer costs when moving data from the Gateway. You can make data delivery with Amazon CloudFront to end users. However, you should plan the data transfer strategy according to your project requirements.

Conclusion: How To Do Continuous Optimization?

Don’t let Amazon API Gateway costs spiral out of control. Remember, cost control isn’t a one-time task but an ongoing process. You can effectively manage your Amazon API Gateway costs by following the previously discussed strategies. Focus on Continuous Optimization as your infrastructure grows and monitor your API usage over time. So, start implementing the cost-saving procedures today and keep your cloud budget in check!


#1 Is AWS API Gateway service completely free?

No, the API Gateway service is a pay-per-use service. However, you can use the free tier to make up to 1 million REST and HTTP API calls and messages. It’s sufficient for first-time users. Later, you can upscale your usage based on the demands.

#2 What types of APIs does Amazon API Gateway support?

The supported types of APIs include:

  • HTTP API: It proxies to Lambda functions for optimized for serverless workloads.
  • REST API: It offers API proxy functionality alongside API keys.
  • WebSocket API: Maintains persistent connections for real-time message communication with Lambda or HTTP endpoints.

#3 How am I charged based on the API Gateway usage?

The API Gateway charges are based on per million API calls and data transfer in gigabytes. You pay based on hourly rates for APIs with caching. WebSocket APIs incur costs for messages and the duration of client connections. You can check out the detailed pricing information based on your AWS region.

#4 Do I have to pay for the API Gateway calls generated by third-party developers?

The burden of payment for Amazon API Gateway API calls generated by third-party developers falls upon the API owner. They are the ones charged for the usage of their APIs on the API Gateway platform. So, if you are the owner, you must pay!

#5 Does using Cached Data impact the billing on Amazon API Gateway?

No, the billing for API calls remains consistent whether the response is served by your backend operations or through Amazon API Gateway’s caching mechanism. In both cases, Amazon considers the API calls for billing purposes.

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Co-Founder & Director, Business Management
BDCC Global is a leading DevOps research company. We believe in sharing knowledge and increasing awareness, and to contribute to this cause, we try to include all the latest changes, news, and fresh content from the DevOps world into our blogs.

About BDCC

BDCC Global is a leading DevOps research company. We believe in sharing knowledge and increasing awareness, and to contribute to this cause, we try to include all the latest changes, news, and fresh content from the DevOps world into our blogs.