Original blog posted by DataEndure Cloud and Data Science Practice Manager, Scott Stephenson on linkedin.com.
Companies today are using one or even multiple clouds to provide OpEx based agility and flexibility for quick development projects, dynamic horizontal scaling of applications, or just as outsourced Platform as a Service (PaaS) services. The pandemic has made business more dependent on cloud-computing than ever—and companies are now racing to rein in the soaring costs, a recent Wall Street Journal article commented. “The pandemic, for many cloud users, has shown that costs can spiral if they aren’t closely managed. ‘There are lots of inefficiencies,’ said Jyoti Bansal, chief executive of San Francisco-based startup Harness Inc., a company that sells software developer tools. ‘You lose control of it.’”
While the ease of deployment and flexibility is key to cloud adoption and expansion, it has introduced a cost variability and financial exposure that many companies didn’t expect or plan for. Even if you have decades of experience evaluating telecommunications and IT invoices, cloud is a whole different animal. This is relevant today because hybrid cloud is one that is experiencing dramatic spending growth in 2020, given that it best meets the needs of a distributed workforce.
Flexera’s 2020 State of the Cloud report found that cost optimization was a huge priority for enterprises, topping the list for 73% of those surveyed. With respondents estimating that organizations waste 30% of their cloud spend, it’s no surprise.
Some organizations are attempting to manage this effort manually, others may not be aware of key spending changes until sometime after they have hit the budget. There is a better way. There are solutions available to help manage cost in the cloud, and while good solutions will have a number of features, there are a few capabilities that should top your priority list:
- Aggregates multiple clouds:
Being able to get to the bottom line without having to examine bills for several accounts across multiple clouds can provide a clearer picture much more quickly.
- Provides easy to read trends:
Good solutions will provide a regular digest with easy visuals that highlight your spending trends and identifies any unexpected changes you should investigate further.Even better - if those digest reports provide easy drill-down on the changes, making it easy to see the types of Op-Ex spend (By Service, Cross Charge, or by other metric or dimension). Graphic trend presentation can help you stay on top of organizations that are starting a new project in the cloud or have had significant changes in their spend much more easily.
- Maps tags from each cloud to provide cross charging reporting across clouds:
If you want to map certain services to a given department, its critical to be able to map the services or assets - whether AWS, Azure, or GCP - regardless of how different management teams may implement their tags in each of those environments. A good solution will put central mapping control in your hands, not just in the individual teams setting the tags.
- Helps you identify opportunities for cost reduction:
While the cloud allows business to spin up new VMs, Storage, or other services with ease, it is likely those services are not fully optimized.It can be hard to identify cases of poor sizing, unexpected utilization trends, or suboptimal purchase selections – all of which can lead to wasted spend. A good solution will help you spot those areas where targeted changes can quickly add up to saved dollars.
As a final note, there are solutions that can inspect your infrastructure for security or architectural best practices. They can even help with the set up and/or management of these solutions to help get your environment as fiscally fit as possible and help you stay informed on the changes that inevitably happen every day.
In short, be aware that the cloud, with all its benefits, is volatile by nature, and that creates cost management challenges. If you go into it knowing where your blind spots are likely to be, you can select the right solution to simplify oversight and contain cost. If you’d like insight into your cloud spend, utilization – and opportunities to optimize, DataEndure can help!
Contact DataEndure today for a complimentary Cloud Health Check.