Thanks for the advice. It turns out the RIs were in the Availability Zone, not in the Region, so I was not getting the benefit of size-flexibility. The thing that eventually tipped me off was I bought 8 "nano" RIs, and had one nano instance running. My Utilization Report showed 12.5%, so I figured the RIs weren't being applied to my larger instances. I changed the RIs to be in the Region, and my Utilization Report immediately improved.
Please note that Cost Explorer assumes that your future usage is the same as your previous usage. So your recommendation highly depends on your past usage for the duration you chose. Hence , Cost Explorer assumes that your historical usage reflects your future usage when determining which RIs to recommend. Can you check the cost associated with service, account and time line ?Has your recent activity/workload changed during this time? Is that anticipated ? Can yo cross verify your usage with Reservations utilization breakdown ?
As you may know, that all the recommendation is based on your usage and you can select the usage duration for last 7/30 or 60 days. Cost Explorer is your best option to review and understand the usage and coverage in order to review your recommendations which would help in a big way! Another thing to note that there is a normalization factor that you need to consider which would match the recommendations. For instance size nano= 0.25 (normalization factor), micro=0.5, small=1, medium=2 and large=4, similarly the rest of them. I would recommend to consider reviewing this Link
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