Have you noticed any spikes in your cloud bills lately? Exhausting your budget and giving you sleepless nights. Are you also struggling with cloud costs and can’t figure out the leaks? If yes, then it’s time for ‘cloud cost management’.
Did you know! The State of the Cloud 2018 report states that cloud users are wasting more than 35% (at an average) of their total spend. The survey also suggests that 58% of cloud users cite cost saving as the top focus. Keeping all of this in mind – here is a step-by-step guide for you to manage your bewildering cloud cost.
Understand Cloud Costs before cloud cost management
If you are planning to migrate to cloud, you need to be aware of all the factors affecting cloud cost.
Cost evaluation before migration:
It is a strategic factor i.e. it depends how well you curate strategy. You need to make a cloud adoption strategy to plan and assess your cloud requirements. This will lead you to forecast the cloud spend and let you be prepared.
Understanding cloud vendors’ billing model:
You need to make sure that you are certain about which service to use. Then analyze, compare and determine which cloud vendor is providing service that you require at less price. The thorough understanding of region-wise cost, service-wise cost affects cloud cost at a significant level. You can also avoid vendor lock-in by selecting the right cloud at the initial stage of cloud adoption.
Cloud cost management is a continuous process and even after adopting cloud as technological update you need to regularly keep a check on your cloud infrastructure. Cloud vendors provide pay as you go services, when these services are running without any requirements, then the cost spikes up. This makes regular monitoring an important factor for cloud cost management.
Track the wastage & optimize your expenses
Before diving into steps to reduce cloud cost, you need to categorize and find the resources to ultimately make a checklist for the resources to be kept and eliminate the rest in order to reduce wastage.
Resources associated with terminated VMs, if left running and unattended to immediately, can incur unnecessary costs and are therefore called orphaned resources.
|Types||Orphaned Snapshots||Orphaned Volumes||Unassociated IPs||Load Balancers||Unused Machine Images||Orphaned Object Storage|
|Where to look for?||Snapshots of the data that is no longer required||Amazon EBS, Azure Virtual Disks, Block Storage in GCP||Elastic IPs in AWS, Static Public IPs in Azure, Static External IP addresses in GCP||Identify the load balancers with no instances||AMIs in AWS, images in GCP||S3 buckets in AWS, Azure Block Bobs, Google Cloud Storage|
If you are spending on the resources which are larger in size than is actually required, you are falling for overprovisioned resources. You might end up selecting the maximum size of a resource by default or your requirements have changed. Identify such resources as soon as possible.
Types of Underutilized Resources
|Instances||Volumes||Database Warehouses||Relational Databases|
|Where to look for?||Amazon EC2, Azure Virtual Machines, Google Compute Engine||Amazon EBS,
Azure Virtual Disks, Block Storage in GCP
|Amazon Redshift, Google Cloud Datastore, Microsoft Azure SQL Data Warehouse||Amazon RDS, Azure SQL, Google Cloud SQL|
If a resource is needed only between a certain time frame but is left running throughout for 24X7 or a resource that is no longer needed but continuously running accounts for idle resources.
Types of Idle Resources
|Instances||Load Balancers||Relational Databases||Scale Groups|
Where to look for?
|Amazon EC2, Azure Virtual Machines, Google Compute Engine||Look for load balancers with no instances or with instances that run 24X7 unnecessarily||Amazon RDS, Azure SQL, Google Cloud SQL||Auto Scaling Groups in AWS, Azure Scale Sets, Google Scale Groups|
Wastage that can occur
|Expired RIs||Unused RIs|
How to prevent it?
|Renew or dump the RIs and review regularly||See previous months’ RIs usage and if unused, you can sell it at cloud vendors’ marketplace|
The biggest challenge faced by enterprises on cloud is the optimum utilization of their services due to the mismanagement of cloud cost. As mentioned earlier, cloud cost management is a continuous process but the following steps can guarantee cost cut in your cloud bills instantly:
Identify the resources
You need to identify each and every resource and look for its ownership. Firstly, it will help you to layout the entire usage of resources. Second, Identifying the owner of that particular resource can show who is spending more and can be controlled strategically. Tagging is the best practice to identify resources without any hustle and confusion.
Make visibility compulsory to every user
Every user in the organization should be aware of all their resources in use. The visibility should be in terms of the running as well as the reserved resources. This will prevent unnecessary spinning of instances and usage of other services.
Set the budget for each account
Now with the help of the two steps mentioned above, you can track actual usage. So, go ahead and set a realistic budget for each account based on those actual usages. This will automatically forecast your cloud budget.
Whitelist your resources
Allow only those resources that are required for your cloud environment. For example, you can whitelist your instances to allow only specific types (like t2.medium) of instances or only specific sizes (like micro, small, medium). This helps you spend only on required resources and also prohibit unapproved resources in your cloud.
You can reserve instances based on your forecasting or usage. This is a highly recommended approach to significantly reduce cloud cost by 40% as compared to On-demand instances. This is because generally, you get notable discounts on reserved instances.
Shutting down spinning instances when not in use can help you save more than 70%. The user should get used to this practice. Check which instances need 24X7 availability and rest can be scheduled; for example, you can schedule the shut-down of resources on non-working days.
Regularly check regions in which your workload is running
Do you know, the cost of cloud services per region can vary up to 60%. So, you need to justify the region in which your workload is running. Region wise understanding of prices can help you opt for less expensive options.
Storage Lifecycle Management
Manage your storage lifecycle by taking snapshots regularly. Storage volumes that are no longer in use are one of the major hidden costs to be taken into account. Regularly take snapshots as a backup and delete storage volumes that are no longer in use.
Use A Cloud Management Platform (CMP)
Many enterprises do not want to handle cloud cost management on their own due to lack of skills and time-consuming practice. So, they leverage services from CMPs to handle all the cost challenges and save themselves a lot of time and money in the process.
You can thank us later for curating step-by-step guide for cloud cost management. Before this, you need to figure out if you can handle cost challenges that cloud brings or not. If not, get an intelligent cloud management platform (i.e. Centilytics) for your cloud.
Centilytics is a SaaS platform which provides 1200+ insights for your unique cloud environment including visibility, cost monitoring, and optimization. We know you might be wondering that if we leverage the CMPs’ services it will add-on extra entries to your cloud bill but we have turned this around by providing a 3-month free trial. You can get on-board in no time and start using your public cloud at full potential. You can also book a quick call with our cloud expert to get all your queries solved immediately.