The cloud began as a lucrative project and although it has been quite economical, maintaining a cloud account can get rather expensive. Servers are expensive and so are the chunky internet connections required for the servers to flourish. Additionally, there are numerous challenges when it comes to maintaining a successful cloud platform and the riskiest one is overspending on your cloud needs.
In this article, we help you briefly understand your organization’s cloud costs which will give you an insight into why your cloud bills are as big as they are. Then, we will discuss a few ways to cut your cloud costs by half.
Understanding your cloud costs
Cloud costs tend to get out of control. Furthermore, there is minimal insight into how much is being spent and where. This means that organizations have no idea why their cloud bills are as big as they are.
Let’s look at a few common ways your enterprise might be leaking money.
- All the major cloud providers have complex price points that require a fair knowledge of the end state before you have even begun.
- Orphaned instances that are not shut down after use continue to generate costs.
- Overestimation of resources by developers leads to overprovisioning where you end up paying for services that are not even being utilized.
4 ways to cut your cloud bill by half
1. Spot instances
Spot instances are a way to buy extra computing capacity with substantial discounts of up to 90% compared to the regular pay-as-you-go prices. Cloud providers use them to sell off idle computing capacity and help you capitalize on space instead of relying completely on expensive on-demand instances.
Spot instances only work for stateless workloads or for processes that are flexible and can comfortably handle interruptions. They are cost-effective, easy to automate and can be deployed at a massive scale.
Spot instances enable you to avoid locking yourself up in a reserved plan by offering you lots of flexibility.
With all that being said, spot instances do have a pretty substantial caveat – there is no reliability. There is no guarantee on how long the spare computing capacity will stay available since the cloud provider can pull the plug at any moment with merely a short notice.
All the three major cloud vendors, AWS, Azure and Google, provide the option for Spot instances with variable pricing models.
2. Cloud cost optimization solutions
Unless you either have limitless funds set aside for your cloud computing services or cherish bankruptcy, you might want to start practicing cloud cost optimization methods.
Cloud cost optimization or cloud cost management is the process of analyzing and understanding your cloud costs to reduce your overall cloud spend. It enables you to run applications in the cloud at the lowest cost, eliminate waste by identifying mismanaged resources and increase efficiency.
Let’s look at a few ways of implementing cloud cost optimization.
Right-sizing is the process of analyzing the performance and usage needs of instances to rework them to the most efficient size. It helps you locate idle, ill-suited and overprovisioned instances. Right sizing enables you to optimize servers for database, storage capacity, memory, computing, etc. it helps ensure services are provisioned at the level required by businesses and achieve the highest performance from the resources you are paying for.
Enterprises need to establish a solid budget for cloud services that cannot be exceeded by any employee or team. Further, any anomaly when it comes to cloud bills should be identified and rectified immediately.
Find unused resources
Many times developers forget to turn off instances they might have “spun up” for a temporary project or administrators forget to remove storage attached to terminated instances. This leads to paying for resources that are no longer being used. Identifying and removing unused or unattached resources is the easiest way to optimize cloud costs.
On-demand scale-ups and downs
Implementing on-demand scale-ups and scale-downs alleviates the burden of constantly worrying about over or underutilization of resources. It is one of the simplest cost-effective ways to meet your organization’s needs while staying within the budget.
Consolidate your servers and idle resources
You should consolidate your servers to include combining workloads under a sole system. This will enable you to streamline the utilization of compute resources.
Similar to consolidating multiple servers, identifying and consolidating idle computing instances is cost-efficient. This is because even though an instance is not in use, it is utilizing CPU at a significant level.
3. Utilize commodity cloud providers
The big cloud providers offer a variety of options for computing services but if you can’t or are unable to utilize all the high-functioning APIs and services, there is no need to spend the huge amounts of money these cloud giants tend to charge. You can find more or less the same services being provided by commodity cloud brokers for way cheaper.
4. Prepare strategies for integration
While opting for cloud services, organizations deliberately seek out a combination of cloud services to avoid vendor lock-in as well as to reduce costs. These services need to be picked out in a way that they are not only beneficial for the organization but they can also integrate easily and cost-efficiently with all the systems.
Cloud cost management tends to be a crucial pain point enterprises face when it comes to cloud computing. You need to ensure that your cloud needs are sustainable and there is value for money. But, it can get difficult to estimate cloud costs due to the complexity of the cloud environment. So, think of it like it’s a numbers game. The more you focus on optimizing cloud costs, the less you spend on cloud bills.
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