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Optimizing Cloud Costs: The 5 Pillars of Cloud Cost Optimization

  • Posted by: Simon Croyden

Whether you have already made the decision to put some (or all) of your infrastructure in the cloud, or if your organization is still considering the benefits and cost implications of cloud migration, it’s clear that cloud computing is the way forward.

The importance of moving to the cloud in a planned and considered way cannot be underestimated. Without addressing these considerations from the outset, organizations may find that promised savings do not materialize and streamlined management is difficult to monitor effectively.

As innovators in cloud computing, we’ve come up with the five pillars of cloud cost optimization. The key actions to help you to stay in control of overall cloud costs and make smarter IT decisions across the business.

1 – Understand

Understand the optimal cloud environment

The only way to know exactly how to choose and manage the best type of cloud deployment is by fully understanding how your business works and what it needs from cloud services. Will an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) or Platform as a Service (PaaS) suit you better? How will the different management models fit with your business?

Leveraging deep dive usage and utilization data analysis is the most effective way to accurately identify the best-fit cloud configuration and its related cost.

Both in the migration process and as a part of long-term management, being able to understand the actual usage of the system and what cost benefits you are currently getting allows you to make any necessary changes to optimize costs.

2 – Reduce

Reduce unnecessary costs

The ability to reduce wastage and unnecessary costs can be a fairly easy process in some areas of business and more complex in others. When it comes to cloud computing, how do you identify and deal with this issue?

Identifying idle compute resources and unused storage is a good place to start. This avoids cloud sprawl which can bring increasing cost implications. It’s important to understand what you are using storage for, and question if you are taking the most cost-efficient approach. Also, ensure you have processes around archiving data.

Shutting down wasteful spending should be approached proactively, using intelligence and insights to make smart decisions. Using data to scale down or halt under-used cloud resources not only reduces waste, it also gives your teams the space and freedom to focus on innovation.

3 – Plan

Plan capacity to support business needs

Smart decision making and good IT cost optimization for cloud computing is all about finding the perfect resource for the job. Forget about under-provisioning or over-provisioning and spend time analyzing data and using clear business insights to arrive at the best decision. Don’t be afraid to refactor services to reduce costs as well.

4 – Achieve

Achieve cost clarity and control

With so many options on the market, cloud computing costs can be bewildering. It’s difficult to make fair comparisons between services let alone understand the level of detail provided in billing. Nevertheless, understanding cloud costs is essential for determining your ideal pricing plan, filtering billing data and building chargeback reports.

Ensuring that you have an understanding of who owns what costs is another important aspect to achieving clarity in cloud cost optimization. Be proactive about giving all those who are involved insights and usage data need to control costs appropriately.

Monitoring cloud networks is not a one time activity, so checking pricing plans, billing and costs in different management centers should be a regular part of business operations.

5 – Utilize

Utilize data for stronger purchasing decisions

All your decisions about maintaining your optimum cloud computing services should be made with detailed and up-to-date knowledge and insight to give your organization a stronger purchasing position.

By using deep dive data analysis tools you can build strategies for reservations and other vendor discounts based off your actual usage so you can have complete confidence that you’re paying the lowest possible rate.

Intelligent Monitoring & Cloud Cost Optimization

The purpose of this blog series is not only to help you identify the most important factors to consider in effective cloud cost optimization, but also to show you the best tools and strategies to help you monitor those factors and plan changes in your cloud deployment. In the next blog post, we’ll show you how intelligent analysis can make a big difference to cloud computing costs.