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Ensuring your cloud budget is aligned with cloud spend is a common concern for new cloud adopters. Unfortunately, some new users have heard horror stories about runaway cloud costs leading to overspending. These horror stories are not the typical story, however, and they are easily mitigated in advance with proper planning and management.
If you’re a new user of the cloud, you aren’t alone in wondering, “How do I ensure my budgeted cloud use is aligned with my spend?”
Inefficient use of resources and “runaway” costs occur when cloud users do not set caps or turn off data replication when it’s not needed. For example, if you’re hosting a test and development application in the cloud that you don’t use everyday, it could rack up use costs if you don’t turn it off between long stretches of non-use. Just like you wouldn’t leave lights on at your home while you’re on a two-week vacation, you shouldn’t leave your non-critical or unused applications on when they aren’t in use. That is one of the promises of the cloud, being able to turn off VMs that aren’t in use to save money.
On the flip side, some companies can be too cautious in the beginning with cloud and tend toward being too restrictive in their caps. By allowing too few resources and not allowing the environment to adjust as demand increases end users will have a bad user-experience. The key to success is to have real-time visibility into spending. It is also prudent that a company ensures the data they see relates to the performance of the application and the growth of it.
The two most important analytics to see are:
1) What your applications are currently spending and have spent.
2) What you are predicted to spend during the rest of your billing cycle based on historical use patterns.
Initially, many new cloud users oversize their environment, which can lead to paying for more resources than you can consume. Part of the learning process of cloud is to understand how your application consumes cloud resources, and visibility is key to being able to understand that. You want to be budgeting, and spending, for exactly what you need, not more or less.
Some cloud providers, like Bluelock, offer users the ability to adjust resource allocations for compute, memory, bandwidth and storage in order to best leverage the committed spend. Many cloud users have found that managing the projected spend is a good way to ensure the company reaches its desired budget and is able to maximize the server usage. There are several cloud providers that offer services to help users correctly size their environments.
Bluelock’s Portfolio™ allows users to understand resource usage at any level from total environment to VM or vApp. This allows users to easily spot inefficiencies and then act upon those to better allocate resources.
Another resource is Cloudability, an app that offers reports to help you identify your on-demand costs and spot costs. With this app, you can easily determine which instances are working best for your business.
Eliminate surprises in your cloud cost and usage with daily updates and advanced alerts that show you when things have shifted. With budget alerts, spending breakdown and daily email reports, users can adequately monitor replication and data use in the cloud.
According to Pricewaterhouse Cooper’s recent study, “The Next Generation of Cloud Computing,” 54% of businesses are implementing a hybrid, private or public cloud model, so there is a demand for ways to monitor and adjust spending. The cloud should no longer be considered scary or full of ambiguous costs. Leverage the various tools available to manage your cloud spend so your business is using cloud effectively.