How To Reduce Cloud Bill Costs

05.14.19
CloudHealth Tech Staff

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When attempting to reduce cloud bill costs, it’s important to do so without sacrificing performance or stifling innovation. With CloudHealth’s cloud management platform, it is possible to uncover hidden costs, eliminate wastage, and apply best practices to ensure cloud bills are permanently reduced.

Wastage is claimed to account for between 35% and 45% of businesses’ cloud bills each year, but the truth is that nobody really knows for sure. Forecasts based on small samples and then multiplied by multi-billion dollar industry revenues are unreliable ways to predict how much businesses are overpaying for cloud services - although cloud wastage undoubtedly exists.

The reason why businesses may be overpaying for cloud services is also a matter of conjecture. Many articles discussing how to reduce cloud bill costs tend to fault businesses for launching overprovisioned assets. That may be true in some cases, but it’s also true that demand changes over time, that data once accessed on a frequent basis isn’t so often required, and that Cloud Service Providers upgrade their product ranges with more efficient services.

The evolving landscape of the cloud means that controlling cloud costs is an ongoing process. Once cloud bills have initially been reduced, it’s important to continue monitoring expenditure and make changes when necessary in order to maximize the cost benefits of operating in the cloud. As well as being able to reduce cloud bill costs permanently, continual monitoring will identify performance and security issues, and help eliminate shadow IT and its associated cloud bill costs.

 
How To Reduce Cloud Bill Costs

When attempting to reduce cloud bill costs, it’s important to do so without sacrificing performance or stifling innovation.

How to Reduce Cloud Bill Costs Initially

The key to reducing cloud bills initially is to have total visibility of the business’s assets. Although Cloud Service Providers offer tools that can display cloud services in a single pane view, each tool only works for that specific provider’s services. They’re not efficient if your business operates in a multi-cloud or hybrid cloud environment, or if you’re unaware of the scale of shadow IT in the business.

A better solution is a cloud management platform such as CloudHealth that collects data from all the tools and services being used by the business and consolidates them in one place to provide total clarity of where cloud costs are being accrued. With genuine total visibility over the business’s assets it is possible to evaluate the relationships between data and make cost savings without sacrificing performance or stifling innovation. Thereafter, initial cost savings can be achieved by:

Identifying and Terminating Unused Assets

CloudHealth’s powerful “Health Check” report will likely uncover many unused (“zombie”) assets that are candidates for termination. Most businesses will have unattached disc storage, aged snapshots, reserved IP addresses no longer in use, idle load balancers, and underutilized SQL databases caused by factors such as the failed launch of a VM, the failure of a de-provisioning script, or simply forgetting to terminate an asset when it’s no longer required.  

Rightsizing VMs, Upgrading, and Migrating Data

These are often considered to be individual tasks, but due to the relationships between assets, they should sometimes be viewed as one larger project - certainly, if you’re going to migrate data from frequently-accessed storage to infrequently-accessed storage, the rest of your inventory needs to know where to find it. CloudHealth simplifies the project by recommending which VMs are suitable for rightsizing, which are suitable for upgrading, and which data should be moved to a lower-cost tier.

Starting and Stopping Non-Production VMs on a Schedule

A number of businesses already schedule start/stop times for non-production VMs, but possibly not as aggressively as they could. Schedules that run between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm Monday to Friday may reduce cloud bill costs for non-production VMs by nearly 65%; but, by using CloudHealth’s “SmartParking” capabilities, businesses will be able to apply more appropriate schedules for when access to the assets is actually required - potentially saving up to 80% or more.

Taking Advantage of Committed Use Discounts

Taking advantage of committed use discounts (i.e. Reserved Instances) is one of the best ways to reduce cloud bill costs; but in order to maximize cost savings, it’s important to utilize the discounts fully. CloudHealth reviews asset utilization to notify you when the option exists to take advantage of a discount and what type of discount is most appropriate. For example, it may be in the businesses best interests to take advantage of a convertible discount rather than a fixed discount.

Maintaining a Cloud Bill Cost Reduction

As mentioned above, controlling cloud costs is an ongoing process. Therefore, rather than check periodically to identify where cloud wastage exists, CloudHealth uses policy-driven automation to monitor asset utilization and notify you when opportunities exist to further reduce cloud bill costs. You simply define the parameters of the policies, and CloudHealth does the rest To find out more about how to reduce cloud bill costs, and then use CloudHealth’s automation capabilities to maintain the reduction, do not hesitate to contact us.

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