The economic turmoil following in the wake of the global pandemic means most companies will be looking to cut costs. While migration to the cloud has long been seen as a way for businesses to reduce capital expenditure and overheads, with careful management, it is also possible to minimise cloud expenditure too. Here, we’ll look at seven ways that cloud cost management can save you money.
1. Opt for pay as you go cloud
Cloud services are available in two pricing models: fixed and scalable. Companies which have a fixed price package will have bought a stated amount of storage, compute and networking resources and committed to a minimum period over which they will pay for them. Like purchasing a dedicated server, this often leaves companies paying for resources that are seldom or never used and means money not being spent cost-effectively.
Scalable models charge for resources on a pay as you go basis, enabling companies to scale up instantly when there are spikes and scale back again when the need is no longer there. This way, companies only pay for the resources they use.
2. Assign a gatekeeper
If individuals or departments within a company have the ability to increase the cloud resources they want to utilise, there is the potential for costs to rise unexpectedly.
Creating the post of a cloud manager, someone who acts as a gatekeeper and who ensures that additional provisioning is only allowed if it follows procedure and meets company criteria, can significantly keep costs under control.
This becomes more complicated if departments can purchase cloud services independent from the IT department. To enable this to work cost-effectively, the cloud manager should have oversight of the ordering and approval process as well as monitoring individual departments’ cloud spend.
3. Monitor, analyse and automate
Even companies which utilise pay as you go cloud services can save money through monitoring, analysis and automation. Using a combination of application performance and user-experience monitoring, you can know if the application is performing effectively in the cloud environment and if this is providing end-users with a quality experience.
Together, these two forms of monitoring will clearly indicate resource usage, including during peaks, and give a better idea of the cost-effectiveness of running the applications. With insights from cost optimisation tools, companies can quickly find areas to cut spending.
What’s more, with continuous monitoring taking place, the process of both maintaining performance and saving money can be automated. Automation tools can use the data gathered during monitoring to scale up or down when required. This way, the company can always have the resources it needs and keep a tight rein on expenses.
4. Improve storage management
While companies can easily scale up and down their processing resources, the amount of data collected generally just keeps on growing, leading to ever-larger storage costs. A close inspection of that data often reveals that much of it is duplicated, frequently the result of departments and even individuals keeping siloed versions of files and datasets for their own purposes.
Changing the way the company uses and stores its data can enable these unnecessary duplications to be deleted and thus make a significant dent in storage costs.
5. Remove overprovisioning
When companies migrate applications from dedicated servers to the cloud, they often provision the same resources as were available on the dedicated server, even if these were seldom utilised. Through monitoring, it becomes much easier to understand what resources the application actually needs and then identify and remove incidents of overprovisioning. Not only can this cut costs; the monitoring can also help improve memory and CPU performance.
6. Software efficiency
Where software makes more demands on the server, the amount of resources increases and so can the cost of your cloud service. This can be altered by making your software work more efficiently. On websites, for example, minimising scripts, compression, deleting unnecessary plugins – all the things that can speed up loading times, can also reduce network traffic and decrease costs.
7. Check your software licences
Software licences can be expensive and, in many cases, your cloud vendor can provide them much cheaper than purchasing your own. That said, if you already have a licence for using an application in your datacentre, there are some software developers which will let you continue to use this in the cloud. While this is not always the case, it is worth checking so that you don’t end up paying twice.
While the cloud has proven itself to be a cost-effective IT solution, there are ways to make sure it can be run even more efficiently. Hopefully, the seven points raised here can help your company to cut cloud costs during the current period of economic uncertainty.