Stay Breezy with These 5 Tips for Controlling Cost in the Cloud


Learn how to apply resources the smart way

Managing cost in the cloud can seem like a never-ending battle, but there are plenty of ways to fend off the evil empire of dollars and cents. When your cost mitigation strategy is thrown to the wayside, it’s only a matter of time before the head honcho wants answers about the increasing invoice. If your first thought is, “We need to turn all this cloud stuff off ASAP!”, take a breath. Luckily, there is a slew of solutions to help wrangle this issue.

Turn Off the Cloud

Here’s a scenario for you:

“I keep the water running in every sink, shower and bathtub in my house, so every time I want to take a shower or wash my hands the water is already running at the perfect temperature; My bill is astronomical, but it is so convenient!” … said no one ever.

Think of the cloud like your water bill. If you keep it running constantly, you’re going to waste a lot of resources, while draining your bucks, dineros, bitcoins, or shekels.

Here is another scenario:

You can utilize a solution like CloudPoxee, which is a free scheduler that we provide to our MSP customers, that turns down your instances when they are not in use. CloudPoxee is a secure, reliable & affordable way to manage your cloud computing network that is powered by CloudHesive. It is used for scheduling and managing your cloud platform throughout the evolution of cloud computing management.

Solutions that help you schedule taking down servers after hours and on weekends can save you a tremendous amount of money. Having a server on from 8am to 8pm every day and then turned off from 8pm until 8am and on the weekends will reduce your spend by two-thirds. If you’re interested, we’ll let you use CloudPoxee for free.

The Customer is Always Right (Sizing)

One size fits all is nonsense. With Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), customers can choose the type and size of instances that best fit their needs. You can also improve the accuracy of your right sizing by utilizing the EC2 usage data to find the sweet spot for your workloads.

According to AWS, the EC2 Right Sizing solution analyzes two weeks of utilization data to provide detailed recommendations for your Amazon EC2 instances. This will help you leverage the elasticity and flexibility of the AWS Cloud to optimize your costs at the necessary performance and capacity requirements.

You can also use CloudCheckr—a purpose-built platform for Amazon Web Services (AWS), helping businesses manage and automate cost, RI reservations, utilization metrics, and AWS security best practices for their cloud environments.

You’re Going to Need a Reservation

Reserved instances (RIs) give you the deal of a lifetime with the ability to pay a one-time fee to receive a discount on the hourly rate. The systems will automatically use your reserved instance first, saving you anywhere from 30 to 60 percent over the same amount of on-demand capacity based on the length of the reservation. AWS also recently announced a new way to get creative with your computing resources: All regional Linux RIs with shared tenancy now apply to all sizes of instances within an instance family and AWS region—even across multiple accounts.

By utilizing cloud cost management tools such as CloudCheckr, you can track reserved instance inventory and cost savings, as well as deliver actionable recommendations—all while providing automated RI modifications and rebalancing.

Think of it like the overbearing family member you never wanted—but in a good way.

It automatically tracks total savings over the course of a one- and three-year timeframe while managing your current month’s savings. It also keeps a historical record of your RI savings with a comprehensive set of details including the month of purchase, sizing, type, tenancy, region, and hours used to help demonstrate total savings.

See Spot (Instances) Run

They may be less expensive, but they certainly maintain uncompromised effectiveness.

Spot instances are short term, but when they autoscale, they have your back, and when dealing with short-term usage, you can choose spot instances to reduce operating costs by up to 80 percent.

Amazon allows you to bid on spare EC2 computing capacity, which is available at a significant discount. Now you can decrease the cost of running your workloads efficiently while vastly reducing the cost to run your applications. This helps you get the largest bang for your buck …

Who is Watching Your Piggy Bank?

No need to go smashing poor Babe for your pennies. Having a partner that provides monthly or quarterly cost mitigation strategies is the best way to assure you are controlling cost in the most efficient way possible. Using one of the many available tools to help you manage your costs is critical. It will pay for itself in savings and the visibility of your environment.

Monitor your costs and ensure you are utilizing the right instance types with AWS cost and reporting tools, such as budgets and detailed billing reports in the AWS Billing and Cost Management console, as well as third-party tools such as CloudCheckr.

According to AWS, in order to support customers in their cost optimization efforts, they also developed the Cost Optimization Monitor.

This solution automatically processes detailed billing reports to provide granular metrics that you can search, analyze, and visualize in a customizable dashboard. The solution uses Amazon Elasticsearch Service (Amazon ES) and leverages its built-in support for Kibana, enabling customers to visualize their first batch of data as soon as it’s processed.

Final Thoughts

There is comfort in creating a plan that is cost effective and tailored to your needs. Cost should not be an afterthought but an ongoing exercise to make sure you are managing the cloud environment and usage properly. Maintaining best practices in cloud services and cloud computing solutions can liberate you from traditional computing constraints, so choose wisely to make sure you increase your agility, flexibility, and scalability—all while reducing your total cost of ownership throughout your journey in the cloud.

For more information on controlling your costs in the cloud, or for us to show you how it’s done, reach out to our team at 800-860-2040 or fill out our contact form.

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