During the early days of cloud computing adoption, companies and developers were attracted to the public cloud’s flexibility and scalability of spinning up a new computing instance in less than two minutes versus – waiting several weeks to deliver a server. Companies leveraged substantial cost savings and reduced time to market that comes with on-demand compute offerings. But that never meant that cloud services don’t need optimization.
Cloud computing offers various options and ways to save money on infrastructure, storage, and networking. But realizing this benefit primarily comes from in-depth cloud operations expertise, hands-on implementation experience, and the ability of comprehensive planning to generate desired outcomes.
Because cloud computing is not simple, organizations frequently slip into situations such as ‘cost runaway’ or ‘cloud-sprawl’ – leading the organization to receive higher than expected monthly cloud consumption bills. Scenarios like this led to organizations looking for a helping hand.
Successive Cloud provides that helping hand to companies that need compute cloud cost management and optimization assistance. We work as an extended team for clients from complex industry segments such as logistics and transportation and provide end-to-end management of tools and cloud environments that get out of hand and cause heavy monthly bills. When it comes to reducing or optimizing the cost of cloud spend, many organizations often come up with common day-to-day issues such as:
- Complicated and multifaceted pricing structures
- Extreme cloud bill detail
- Flexibility of cloud service provisioning
- Continuous modifications to cloud offerings
- Excessive alternative architectures
- Lack of coherence across cloud platforms
Many organizations, including large enterprises, have contacted us for help managing their cloud infrastructure. We have helped them with cost optimization, standardizing operations across the organization, and driving better business decisions. We work beyond customer cloud engagement and provide mature cost optimization best practices compiled with unique strategic expertise. With transferable learnings gained while working with multiple clients and a data-driven approach to monitoring success, we have been reducing the company’s spend on cloud resources every month and delivering them with ease to grow the business.
Now, let’s jump into Successive’s best practices to help the organization improve its cloud cost management and optimization.
Identifying & Determining Strategic Objectives
We first identify cost drivers and spend allocation across clouds and services to establish a solid foundation for an effective cloud cost optimization strategy. We collect a comprehensive view of the customer’s cloud environments, including big pictures & granular details, as well as different perspectives of varied stakeholders leading the way to achieve efficiency and performance.
Collecting in-depth insights like this is further used with clients to raise cloud spend awareness and ask tough questions to assist them with building proper practices to reel in their cloud overspend. Here are the capability frameworks we use to explore business value over time with or within the cloud.
1. Setting Up Holistic View Of The Cloud
Whether a client has opted for single or multi-cloud deployments, our cloud advisors dive deep into the application architecture and infrastructure to bring visibility into current and historical cloud spending. We help you articulate cloud spending, analyze them, and align your organization with predicting long-term utilization needs. Establishing a holistic view of cloud usage supports setting up a base for cost management and optimization strategy focusing on people, processes, and technology. It provides in-depth insights on your spending distributed among individual accounts, teams, DevOps projects, workload, instance types, geographic regions, tags, and other similar yet complex processes and procedures hard to track.
2. Assessing Efficiency And Depreciate Waste
There are high chances that your selected cloud pricing model works as hidden line items and secretly contributes to your increased cloud spend. Our experts help you investigate these gaps and overlap in technology against industry best practices. Doing so enables us to identify whether your organization or your individual teams are being efficient with cloud resources and operating within budget or juggling with the variable spend model of the cloud. Our accumulated experience working with clients’ varied cloud environments, policies, and use-cases enabled us to build our proven checklist. By following the same, we reduce waste and help recognize low-hanging savings opportunities that may not be considered enormous savings but certainly add up over a period of time. Our team also uses automated remediation as it informs pro-actively when to cost and spend metrics exceed pre-defined thresholds.
3. Instilling Transparency And Promotes Ownership & Accountability
We help bring stakeholders visibility to encourage transparency within the team. We do this by introducing top trends, best practices, and opportunities available for improvement. We help them find and identify the required asset baseline and which are chargeable and determine how they are used. These might include servers, storage, software, etc. Bringing visibility and transparency into the process and the team creates a shared sense of ownership over resource utilization and cloud costs. It benefits teams as they can see how other teams are spending and promote incentivization (whenever required) to encourage friendly rivalries between teams to achieve higher optimization levels through gamification.
Establishing Processes And Tools
We act proactively and consider all unexpected cost spikes, infrastructure provisioning, and other engineering decisions that may impact the cost. What’s more, we establish more proactive, ongoing, and strategic conversations instead of a reactive response to improve things and correct realignment. We map back to each stage of the software development and deployment lifecycle and set cost optimization goals and governance policies that ensure clients’ cloud investment decisions are in line with their business growth plans and financial health. We help streamline these complex and cumbersome processes. Here is a process of how we begin and the advantages clients experience.
1. Setting Up Actionable Instance Purchasing Strategy From Marketplace
Cloud providers have ensured varied instance procurement and purchasing options to address the changing landscape. Reserved instances, spot instances, savings plans, and other discount purchases allow customers to get the most out of their cloud investment. However, these discounts come with term commitments, and that’s where expert guidance is crucial to re-engineer resource utilization to ensure effective cloud purchasing has been made. Besides initial spend recommendations, we evaluate existing commitments and determine the best blend of pricing models to balance flexibility to support business needs for compute resources. Building a smart purchasing strategy is challenging for even the most sophisticated organizations. But defining strategy and cost optimization goals beforehand allows us to reduce cloud spending beyond rightsizing. Clients leverage optimal savings opportunities as at the least upfront commitment.
2. Capacity Planning
Using financial and operations best practices, our subject matter experts help clients with capacity planning. Our experts estimate server workloads and application performance objectives to avoid extra spending and select the correct instance type. The selection is made such that there is no wastage of resources and cloud cost. To ensure the workload right-sizing, applications are passed through different testing practices.
3. Consumable Reports
We provide customers consumable reports, bringing insight and visibility into their resource utilization and providing a fast, consistent feedback loop to drive efficiency in their cloud practice. The report consists of actionable recommendations and helps them understand the value of their cloud spending. It helps us foster collaboration with key business, finance, cloud, engineering leaders, and other customer organization stakeholders. Stakeholders can use the reports to define and gather the right metrics to support their business objectives and share a common language around their organization for cloud consumption.
Continuous Cloud Optimization & Cloud Management
Though we help clients drive an effective strategy focused on systems, best practices, and cultural alignment between disparate business needs and IT functions, many tools are at our disposal, enabling us to perform continuous cloud optimization and cloud management. We use cloud native and third-party tools that help better realize saving opportunities.
1. Continuous Cloud Optimization
According to many reports and based on our personal experiences and results, 30% of cloud costs can be recovered only by simply paying attention to the usage of these resources and assigning governance mechanisms to control the cloud resource sprawl. Native tools like AWS cost explorer are also a great help as they provide detailed insights into cloud cost of the current month and the last 12 months and then calculate the forecast for the next 12 months. Our experts help you understand and leverage your AWS cost management tools offering critical cloud cost visibility, intelligent insights, and continuous optimization suggestions that are essential to a robust governance practice — without the operational complexity or management burden.
2. Continuous Management
To set up governance and good practices around cloud usage, we help clients with continuous cloud management. We also help them define their global tagging policy and consistent naming conventions that further simplify working with stakeholders and enhance monitoring capabilities. Implementing global tags on all resources and categorizing each resource for cost allocation, reporting, chargeback and showback, compliance, and security provides end-to-end governance and other tremendous value to companies in daily operations. We use tools that are already available and offer a good start. However, we also make several different tools in the market, helping address one or more capabilities efficiently.
Next Step Toward Cloud Optimization
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for cost optimization. Companies could have different stages of their cloud journey. Based on their current operation in the cloud, we help them develop a strategy and cloud center of excellence to simplify cloud cost optimization. We follow a disciplined approach that establishes good rightsizing habits and continuously drives insights and action through analytics to lower cloud bills. And that’s where Successive Cloud excels. Our cloud advisors review your current cloud optimization strategy, share additional tips for success, and provide hand holding to walk you through the best cloud cost management capabilities.
Download our Ebook if you are looking for more in-depth technical insights on cloud cost optimization and management.