Case Study

How CloudHealth Enables Thales DIS’ FinOps Strategy

Thales Digital Identity and Security (DIS) is a multifaceted enterprise, providing IT and security services for IoT government programs, banking, mobile encryption, and biometrics. Thales DIS provides solutions, services, and products to help customers fulfill their critical missions by placing humans at the heart of the decision-making process. Jean-Jacques Morris, FinOps Manager, Cloud Center of Excellence (CcoE) at Thales DIS, presented at CloudHealth by VMware’s AWS Cloud Financial Management Workshop, sharing best practices for developing a FinOps strategy with CloudHealth.

Journey to the Cloud

Thales DIS began their journey to the cloud after recognizing the benefits of Amazon Web Services (AWS), which provides cloud services at a lower cost than their private data centers. The team quickly moved a dozen legacy solutions to AWS by lifting and shifting, the main objective being to keep customers happy while respecting the service-level agreement.

After implementing AWS, Thales DIS had difficulty controlling cloud costs. Within their Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE) team, the FinOps team was created and tasked with controlling and monitoring the costs of the public cloud, but the cloud providers’ native tools they were using were not able to answer all their needs. They soon recognized the need for a comprehensive cloud management platform to attain visibility into their growing cloud environment and to implement cost optimization practices.

Implementing CloudHealth

Thales DIS chose CloudHealth by VMware for its ability to centralize costs and implement their FinOps strategy.

“CloudHealth answered all our needs in terms of performance, cost, and the user-friendliness of the tool. It was important for us to have one tool that could centralize cost visibility across our different cloud environments.”

Jean-Jacques Morris
FinOps Manager, CCoE, Thales DIS

Thales DIS shared CloudHealth’s data with their technical teams to demonstrate how to accelerate their business transformation. “By providing the right reports and tooling to show results, we changed the mindset of senior leadership,” Jean-Jacques shared.

Thales DIS’ FinOps Strategy

There are three main prongs of Thales DIS’ FinOps strategy: monitoring, optimizing, and forecasting. Within each prong, CloudHealth offers specific capabilities to help them achieve their goals.

Monitor

  • Month-to-date costs
  • Daily average costs
  • Unusual trends

Optimize

  • Set alert thresholds
  • Establish tagging best practices

Forecast

  • Estimate future needs
  • Purchase discounts

Thales DIS can control and monitor their monthly budgets much more easily with CloudHealth. CloudHealth alerts Thales DIS when thresholds are met, allowing the team to make adjustments before surpassing their budget. Thales DIS also works with their internal security team to identify potential threats or misconfigurations and ensure tagging rules are followed.

CloudHealth’s rightsizing tool analyzes Thales DIS’ usage and easily identifies potential optimizations for EC2 instances. CloudHealth then provides recommendations to downgrade or upgrade those instances and sends reports to project managers so the appropriate action is taken. “Each report makes decision-making simple and directs stakeholders to take action on the recommendations,” Jean-Jacques highlighted.

Thales DIS also leverages CloudHealth’s Reserved Instance (RI) and Savings Plans (SP) recommendations. CloudHealth provides granular RI recommendations based on historical usage that help optimize future costs. CloudHealth also summarizes the costs and benefits of six different Compute Savings Plans after you set your desired cost savings, coverage, or hourly commitment.

Thales DIS uses a CloudHealth report that categorizes their EC2 ecosystem by operating system, allowing the team to make cost-effective decisions about moving development environments to the cloud. The report shows optimized cost by region, ensuring all customers are accommodated and happy.

Another key CloudHealth feature Thales DIS leverages is budget forecasting. Thales DIS’ key business stakeholders need to know where costs will be incurred in the future. CloudHealth collects 13 months of past usage data to predict future costs, allowing Thales DIS to easily forecast total cloud costs for future quarters.

“Together with CloudHealth, we are producing impressive business results. CloudHealth is a tool that’s very complimentary to FinOps—they can’t exist without one another.”

Jean-Jacques Morris
FinOps Manager, CCoE, Thales DIS