4 Steps To Cloud Cost Optimization


July 2, 2019 by Siobhan Climer and Mike Czerniak

According to IDC, cloud spending is expected to grow at a rate of at least 6 times that of IT spending through 2020. While IT has learned to cut traditional hardware costs, IT spending on cloud services has exploded. In fact, according to research from Gartner, cloud waste is expected to hit over $14 billion this year.

Cutting excess cloud spending is critical to IT resource management. Let’s look at four steps you can take for cloud cost optimization.


Cloud Cost Optimization: Look For Underutilization


Over-provisioning is one of the primary ways businesses over-spend on cloud computing. Identifying what you need – and how scalable and agile that needs to be – isn’t always easy, and cross-comparing cloud providers costs can be overwhelming.

While working with an experienced cloud services partner can offload the majority of the cloud cost optimization process, here are a few initial steps you can take to better manage cloud spend.

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Step 1: Identify Underutilized Relational Databases/Instances


Amazon RDS, Azure SQL, and Google Cloud SQL offer invaluable relational database management. Idle databases can eat up a great deal of cloud spend, so continuous strategic cloud monitoring of the relational databases for idle database instances can reduce unnecessary charges.

Whether you delete the instance, take a snapshot, or choose to continue paying for the instance depends on the data it retains and why it has become idle. Check the configuration of your relational databases to identify idle database instances.

TL;DR: Don’t pay for an instance or server if you aren’t using it.


Step 2: Set Up Lifecycle Management Policies


Sometimes called virtual machine sprawl, unmanaged out-of-date instances can waste valuable resources. One way to reach cloud cost optimization is to set up strong lifecycle management policies that utilize machine learning and alerting to scan, monitor, and manage virtual machine lifecycles.

Tying your lifecycle management into an analytic reporting process is ideal as it helps admins strategize around expiring VMs and whether reclaimed resources can be utilized in new ways.

TL;DR: Set up lifecycle management policies for your OpEx consumption model.  


cloud cost optimization



Step 3: Maximize Multicloud Workloads


Most organizations operate using more than one cloud provider. It makes sense; different cloud providers and cloud mixes (private, public, hybrid) offer a more customized, valuable set-up to each business.

The problem with multicloud is that it can be difficult to align workloads to each cloud provider strategically. Many providers offer discounts for certain usage criteria met. For example, Azure Reserved Instances maximize usage credit consumption; yet this is harder to do when fewer applications are hosted using Azure.

Maximizing multicloud workloads is key to cloud cost optimization. A multicloud environment, when done right, can reduce your cloud spending. Using a cloud calculator, performing regular cloud utilization check-ups, and assessing cloud management policies to ensure cloud cost optimization is key to reducing costs.

TL;DR: Optimization assessments key to aligning workloads to right cloud provider.


Step 4: Start With A Cloud Cost Optimization Strategy


cloud cost optimizationYou don’t know what you don’t know. Without visibility and analytics on cloud computing usage, businesses are left guessing – and likely overspending – on resource allocation for the cloud.

Building a cloud roadmap that strategically matches workloads to providers, reduces complexity, and is easy to manage is vital to cloud cost optimization. Building cost optimization into your roadmap is the best first step you can take to ensure you aren’t wasting money on unnecessary cloud costs.

TL;DR: Plan, plan, plan.


Find out more about how to build a cloud roadmap and how to assess your current cloud set-up with a whiteboard session. Our cloud design and deployment experts will provide conversational advice and whiteboard solutions that meet your needs.

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About Mindsight

Mindsight, a Chicago IT services provider, is an extension of your team. Our culture is built on transparency and trust, and our team is made up of extraordinary people – the kinds of people you would hire. We have one of the largest expert-level engineering teams delivering the full spectrum of IT services and solutions, from cloud to infrastructure, collaboration to contact center. Our highly-certified engineers and process-oriented excellence have certainly been key to our success. But what really sets us apart is our straightforward and honest approach to every conversation, whether it is for an emerging business or global enterprise. Our customers rely on our thought leadership, responsiveness, and dedication to solving their toughest technology challenges.

Contact us at GoMindsight.com.

About The Authors

Siobhan Climer, Science and Technology Writer for Mindsight, writes about technology trends in education, healthcare, and business. She previously taught STEM programs in elementary classrooms and museums, and writes extensively about cybersecurity, disaster recovery, cloud services, backups, data storage, network infrastructure, and the contact center. When she’s not writing tech, she’s writing fantasy, gardening, and exploring the world with her twin two-year old daughters. Find her on twitter @techtalksio.

Mike Czerniak is the Cloud Practice Manager at Mindsight, an IT Services and Consulting firm located in the Chicago area. With 20 years of experience in information technology and the cloud, Mike has helped hundreds of organizations with architecting, implementing, and deploying cloud solutions. For the last 5 years, Mike has focused on providing Mindsight’s customers with guidance in approaching – and managing – the cloud. Mike is AWS, Microsoft Azure, VMware certified, and remains deeply invested in providing an agnostic, consultative voice for organizations on their cloud journey. In his free time, Mike enjoys biking with his 9-year old son, recently completing a 50-mile bike ride!

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