Heroes Cloud Cost Scan: Cut your cloud costs using these 5 steps

Do you switch off the engine when you park your car? Do you switch off the lights and dial down the thermostat when you are the last person to leave the house? Most of us do. But why isn’t the same principle being applied to the cloud?
“As cloud acceptance continues to grow, so do concerns about cloud cost management.”

The Cloud offers significant advantages for businesses, but it has to be properly managed in order to enjoy the full extent of the resulting potential cost savings. In a questionnaire circulated among over 700 IT professionals, no fewer than 64% indicated that, for the coming year, their top priority was to optimise cloud use in order to cut back on expenses.

During their transformation to cloud computing, many companies take some time to recover from the shock of the effect that expanding their business has on costs. SaaS (Software as a Service) and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) make up the bulk of those costs.

This is why the right cloud cost optimisation strategy is so crucially important. As part of your cloud strategy, you have to prioritise particular costs, and your plan must reconcile all aspects of cloud computing to optimise your return on investment.

Below are the 5 steps to helping you manage your cloud costs:

1. Re-Sizing

One key advantage of the Cloud is the option to upscale or downscale as your business requires. Simply buy what you need right now, and only buy more in case of changing circumstances. Spending capital only when the situation calls for it ensures the prevention of advance expenditure on capacity that you may not need. Tip! Do not make the mistake of overindulging on capacity, as it is such an easy resource to scale.

The overall goal is maximised performance at minimised costs by maintaining optimised processing, storage, and network settings. If you do not regularly scale or rescale your cloud obligations correctly, the result may be a rapid increase in costs. Restructuring and automation and maximising cloud capacity is key.

2. Planning workloads correctly

A company that does not do business at night or on the weekend has no need for scheduled employees to man the office at those times.

The same is true for cloud computing. You can configure start/stop schedules depending on workload and business hours. If there is no one to use the resources, there is no need for them to be actively available at a fee.

The same principle can be applied to projects and implementation. Certain resources only need to be available during specific time slots.

Tip! Use schedules to optimise cloud utilisation.

3. Automating where possible

Benefit from what cloud automation can do for the installation, configuration, and management of your cloud resources. Automating tasks like code implementation, settings and configurations can reduce the amount of human intervention required. This lets you cut back on human error and enable your IT staff to focus on higher-level strategic business activities.

Dynamic resource allocation can help by balancing unnecessary strain in order to prevent excess utilisation. Automated security assessment may be used to target potential security breaches. Cloud orchestration can help by configuring resources in order to combine automated workflows into a process that is then implemented automatically.

Tip! Automate where possible in order to reduce human intervention.

4. Reviewing utilisation

Your cloud provider’s provided raw data on cost that can be a starting point for optimising your costs. Look for clear signs of under-utilisation. You can also use the Heroes Cloud Cost Dashboard to review detailed cost models for more in-depth reporting.

Resources that are in constant use are a fine example to apply Reserved Instances and Committed Use plans. This can help to lower costs by informing you of required capacity.

Tip! Use Heroes Cloud Cost Dashboard to translates the cloud provider’s raw data into actionable insights.

5. Removing old and obsolete items

Consider your own computer’s hard disk. Data can be saved at the press of a button and, as a result, you have probably stored many items you no longer need. Your company’s cloud data centre is likely to hold similar amounts of unnecessary data (i.e. log data). Considering that you are paying for capacity, a processed-based review of data relevance and obsolescence is required.

Another sensible to check for orphan instances, volumes, or containers no longer being used for on-going projects. Elastic load balancers (ELB's) can help to distribute workloads and traffic - but use them or not, they still have to be financed. If there are no instances linked to your ELB, remove it. The same goes for non-linked Ips and obsolete machine images.

Tip! Regularly schedule a ‘clean-up’ of your files and programs.

Cloud Cost Optimisation strategy

In terms of the Cloud, users consider a more rapid implementation, upgrade convenience, lower total ownership costs, lower IT support costs, and lower initial costs to be the main advantages. Internet security, identity management, IT management, maintenance, and data migration costs can all contribute to your invoice.

With respect to cloud costs, make sure that your cloud strategy involves regular monitoring, automation, planning, and re-sizing. Although cost savings should never stand in the way of growth and expansion, system optimisation can significantly reduce your costs and improve your efficiency.

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