Five Tips to Cut Cloud Computing Costs

Enterprises can benefit from the Cloud solutions (IaaS, MaaS, DBaaS, XaaS etc…) only if they are disciplined and organized with the resources they consume in Cloud. For example, if an organization moves to Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platform without cleaning up and right-sizing their virtual machines, they might end up spending more than what they would spend on their existing on-premise platform. I know, the cost is not the only factor for organizations to consume the Cloud solutions but it’s
one of the critical factors besides OPEX based spending on IT infrastructure and other reasons.

On the side note, Cloud migrations are complex especially if you have legacy applications/ infrastructure. Read for Cloud/DataCenter migration data gathering insights:  Cloud/ Datacenter Migration Data Gathering

Even though Cloud Computing costs are coming down, organizations are looking for further cost efficiency. If you don’t do the proper due diligence or planning when consuming the cloud resources, it’s like as a tap left running overnight. If you are short of skills internally to do the due diligence, you can always engage Cloud Services/ consulting companies.

Cloud Workload Sizing to cut costs

Here are the top five tips to reduce your cloud bill. These tips applicable to any public or private cloud solutions live Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS, VMware vCloud, Rack space etc.

1.       Over-Sized Workloads

If you have migrated on-premises workloads to the cloud without doing the due diligence on workload sizing, you end up paying a huge cloud bill. The same logic applies when provisioning new workloads in the cloud. For example, SQL recommended memory size might be 16 GB but in reality, you might need just 8 GB as you have a small database which doesn’t perform many transactions.
Some of the tools you could use to right size the workloads are VMware vCenterOperations Manager (VCOPs, now it’s vRealise Ops), Veeam ONE etc.

2.       Scheduled Virtual Machine Start and Stop

As most of the cloud providers charge per hour or minute level granularity for Cloud services, if a particular application support hours are Monday to Friday 8 AM to 6 PM, schedule the jobs to stop the virtual machine outside of business hours and start during the business support hours.

Here is an example of Cloud savings:

Assuming that you have 100 standard VMs (2 cores/ 3.5 GB RAM), it costs $13,392 per month to run them 24x7.
If you do your due diligence, schedule virtual machine start and stop to keep them on only during the business hours, you only pay $3960 per month. It's approximately $10K per month, $100K per annum (70%) savings.

Microsoft Azure Cost Comparison
Note: These Cloud cost numbers are picked up from Azure Pricing/Cost calculator. Similar kind of numbers can be picked for AWS cost comparison.

 Using the MicrosoftAzure Automation Solution, you can automate the Azure based virtual machines stop and start. I am sure another cloud provides similar kind of tools or you can easily automate this.
Amazon AWS Cost Savings
3.       Number of Virtual Machines

Look at the opportunities to consolidate various applications into a single virtual machine or explore to use Containers which enables you to pack multiple applications into a single physical or virtual server.

4.       Storage Costs
As most of the Cloud providers charge customers for the storage they use irrespective of whether the Virtual Machines are powered-on or not, it’s recommended to review the file system usage at operating system-level and shrink the drive size accordingly.

Sizing tools like vRealise Operations can help you here. This exercise will reduce the significant storage costs.

5.       Backup Data

If your Infrastructure Cloud vendor is charging per GB for data stored (data at rest), review the backup retention periods for production and development workloads and also ensure that appropriate backup exclusions are in place.

You can apply these strategies for cost lessening to any cloud supplier like VMware vCloud Air, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS) or any of your local cloud suppliers.

If you are working for System Integrator or provide services to customers, refer to this useful article- Five Document Review Checks to Keep Your Customers

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  1. Nice tips to cut cloud costs. VMware is little expensive for me. Is there any alternatives to VMware which is good enough as compared to VMware and less expensive.

  2. Here I found valuable tips to cut of price of cloud computing. cloud backup is most important part of data recovery. Thanks for sharing

  3. Thanks for explaining the concept so easily.

  4. Well written post. I appreciate your guidance for sharing about migration to cloud. I really need to know about it. Great work!