9 Useful Tactics for Your Cloud Cost Optimisation Strategy
Now that most organisations are all caught up and aboard the cloud computing train, the focus has now shifted to discovering and unlocking the promised value of the cloud. While the cloud’s elasticity and agility have provided enterprise-grade IT infrastructure to smaller businesses without incurring heavy capital expenditures, it has also led to significant waste of resources and difficulty in controlling cloud spending.
A McKinsey Digital article reveals that a whopping 80% of companies find it challenging to manage cloud spend. Further, the Anodot 2022 State of Cloud Cost survey reports that 49% of businesses struggle with cloud costs. This scenario is certainly not what enterprises anticipated when they decided to embark on the cloud journey. Fortunately, there’s a sound approach to managing costs so you can maximise your cloud solutions; it’s called cloud cost optimisation.
What is Cloud Cost Optimisation?
Cloud cost optimisation is a set of strategies that businesses implement to bring down cloud spending, and to achieve cost-effectivity when using cloud resources. Encompassing techniques, best practices, and tools, each step—whether it’s big or small, contributes towards the efficiency of your cloud workload or application so there is no wastage of resources.
In this blog post, we discuss nine of the most effective cloud cost optimisation best practices and see how each of these can be implemented for your cloud solutions and infrastructure.
Top 9 Strategies for Cloud Cost Optimisation
Set up tools for cloud monitoring
One way of monitoring the health, maintenance, and cost consumption of your cloud infrastructure is to utilise monitoring tools. Cloud monitoring allows you to check on all components of your cloud environment including servers, databases, applications, hosted desktops, and websites. This can be particularly useful in usage tracking and cost monitoring when there are various teams individually using their own portion of cloud resources. Monitoring tools can be provided by the service providers themselves such as AWS, or availed through third-party services like DataDog and Big Panda.
Leverage automation tools
Using automation in utilising cloud resources is another sound way of reducing costs. There are generally two ways to automate: event-driven and batch operations. Event-driven is when certain tasks or operations are commenced in reaction to other events. Batch operations automation involves using tools to handle multiple jobs and data processes at the same time. The two types can speed up tasks and lowers the need for more employees.
Implement forecasting and budgeting
When optimising cloud costs, it’s essential for every executive, IT manager, and product head to understand the need to align goals and budgets with their respective projects. Deliberations should be made between engineering leaders and stakeholders at the outset of every project to determine resource needs. For instance, if the goal is to implement remote working using VDI and hosted desktops, the number of employees and devices should be considered to prepare for the resource demand.
Choose carefully between multi-cloud and single cloud
Failing to identify the right cloud environment may also lead to poor cloud spending. A multi-cloud approach involves using different providers for different cloud needs, while a single cloud strategy relies on one provider for all cloud requirements. Multi-cloud gives the enterprise more options in terms of flexibility, capabilities, and pricing, but it could also be more expensive in the long run, particularly for smaller companies. Both types have benefits and drawbacks, so each organisation should consider wisely what best fits their needs.
Regularly perform a cloud audit
A regular audit of your cloud usage could optimise both cost-efficiency and performance of your cloud. Conducted inhouse or by a third-party auditor, a cloud audit primarily aims to save companies money by streamlining processes and ensuring that the resources being paid for are put to the right use. An effective audit eliminates idle resources, rightsizes resource supply versus the demand, and optimises purchase opportunities.
Analyse pricing and billing
Cloud providers generally offer detailed service pricing information to their customers. Before signing on the dotted line, study and understand the cost of each type of service and how these affect your needs. Once you start to receive billing information on consumption, you should also analyse this to see which components are using the most resources and how you can manage applications to reduce costs.
Apply auto-scaling of resources
Scalability is one of the defining characteristics of the cloud, and when automated, this can be used to help manage cloud spending. Having resources scaled up automatically during peak performance times, and then down on slow business periods means that you won’t be running instances when these are not needed.
Leverage heat maps
A heat map is a tool that gives you a clear, visual idea of the computing demand within the enterprise. Heat mapping helps in identifying at what periods cloud services will be in heavy use (peaks), and when they are expected to be underutilised (valleys). Using this information, you can then establish the specific times when you can shut down servers without any disruption to services.
Automate cloud cost optimisation
Investing in the right automation tool can take your optimisation efforts a long way. A reliable cloud management solution that focuses on cost optimisation basically handles all the needed tasks to ensure a cost-efficient cloud environment. It picks the right instance types and sizes to match your application requirements, auto-scales cloud resources, removes idle and unused instances, and does even more—automating storage and backups, and handling security and compliance management.
Just as optimising cloud costs can be a challenge, so can finding the right tools to help you. If you don’t know where to start with your organisation’s cloud cost optimisation strategy, it’s best to consult with a trusted IT managed services provider today.