The most challenging part of cloud may not be technology. Cloud providers usually offer lots of support to help their customers migrate to cloud and leverage cloud solutions. That’s in their best interest. But they may not offer as much support to help you manage your cloud spending. After all, the more you spend on cloud, the more they profit.
Easy to Spend Too Much on Cloud
It’s easy to spend too much on cloud:
- Unneeded services cost money. There are often free trials of cloud services, and those are a great way to test out cloud offerings. However, if you don’t properly turn off those trials, eventually you end up with real charges. In addition, there are many environments that you need only for a short time, such as development and test servers. Forgetting to disable them after a project completes results in unnecessary expense. Even production servers lead to unnecessary charges; systems that don’t process 24 hours a day continue to accrue expenses when they’re left up overnight.
- Everyone has access to cloud services. Cloud is a self-service environment, which means it bypasses traditional approval, purchasing, and provisioning processes. Anyone can spin up a cloud service, meaning unapproved and uncontrolled spending is common.
- Scalability is ignored. Because cloud is highly agile, systems can scale on demand, so they should be sized to meet current requirements without additional spare capacity. This is in contrast to traditional IT approaches that keep excess capacity available in advance of need. If systems are migrated as-is to the cloud, or old planning methods aren’t updated, businesses end up paying unnecessarily for this unused capacity.
- Spending doesn’t leverage discounts. Cloud providers often have different pricing models that can provide discounts. These can be in the form of reserved instances, where you commit to a specified level of cloud utilization, or by bidding for spot instances, where you use capacity when the provider has unused resources.
- Workloads are migrated “as is.” In the rush to migrate to cloud, “lift and shift” is a popular, fast approach; this approach doesn’t attempt to rearchitect workloads to take better advantage of cloud capabilities but simply duplicates them in the cloud. If workloads aren’t analyzed properly before the migration, lift and shift can result in migrating spare capacity from the data center to the cloud, as well. Learn how to calculate the ROI of moving to the cloud.
- Monitoring and managing costs is difficult. Cloud projects are often initiated at the departmental level rather than at the corporate IT level, so costs are difficult to track. In addition, multicloud infrastructure means there is more than one cloud and it’s difficult to get an overall picture of cloud utilization and cloud costs.
Get Cloud Costs Under Control
In order to keep cloud from consuming the entire IT budget, companies need to keep an eye on their cloud spending. Tools can help companies through features such as:
- Size calculators and cost estimators. Almost every cloud provider has calculators and estimators available to help you select the most appropriate and cost-effective technology. These tools help choose the right-size instance and evaluate whether reserved instances would lead to savings.
- Automation. Automation can help ensure that cost-saving policies such as end-of-day shutdowns are consistently applied across the entire cloud infrastructure.
- Cost analytics. Analytics tools collect cloud spending from all your platforms and provide a consolidated view of usage and utilization, along with tools to drill down into the data to understand usage.
Cloud services from CCS Technology Group help you keep an eye on both your cloud infrastructure and your cloud spending. Contact us to learn more about the benefits of cloud services from CCS Technology Group.