toolbox
Article Amazon Web Services June 20, 2017

Ten Steps to Reducing Public Cloud Bills: Crafting a Toolkit

As recently reported by industry leaders, cloud computing has reached critical mass: it is no longer an aspirational architecture supplement—it’s the de facto deployment method of choice. With cloud migration comes the responsibility of managing a rapidly scaling environment, complicated by dynamic resources and services.

As Gartner called out in its recent report, Ten Moves to Lower Your AWS IaaS Costs, making the most of cloud spend can be tricky as organizations begin to migrate more applications to an IaaS environment. Whether it’s AWS or another public cloud environment (Azure, Google cloud, etc.), reducing waste, optimizing instance types, balancing inventory, allocating costs, and reducing waste quickly become issues at scale.

So, how do organizations take action to mitigate burgeoning cloud costs? In this ten part series, we look at each of the recommendations provided by Gartner, providing our own insight and suggestions for creating a cloud cost optimization roadmap.

Step 1: Find the right toolkit

Cost & Expense Management

AWS offers several foundational tools for supporting successful cloud-based organizations. Cost Explorer, for instance, offers alerting for budgets, filtering for cost reports, support for tagging, and some budget rationale to enable forecasting. AWS Cost Explorer aggregates some key pieces of data from AWS accounts, to ensure you can make smart decisions to balance cloud spend. Similarly, Microsoft has Azure Advisor to offer a base level of cost and usage optimization. These tools provide basic visibility and monitoring for your public cloud, and are the first step in building a solid toolkit.

Cloud Management Platforms

Deeper visibility and automation gained from leveraging a cloud management platform, in addition to foundational cloud provider services, can offer even greater control and savings for cloud users.

MediaMath, for example, saved over $2M on their cloud bill annually by using CloudCheckr to make smarter decisions about their cloud spend.

Beyond monitoring spend and aggregating expense analytics, a cloud management platform can offer actionable insights about that data. Key tasks that organizations can look to manage more efficiently with a CMP include:

  • Right-sizing resources
  • Matching instances
  • Enforcing tagging policies
  • Streamlining chargebacks and invoicing
  • Identifying unused instances
  • Allocating support charges

Beyond Cloud Cost Management

While many cloud management platforms will offer cost management, more comprehensive tools can help you get even more bang for your buck. Unified solutions that can provide cloud security, as well as automation, provide a more holistic approach to cloud cost management. CloudCheckr, for example, offers continuous monitoring, proactive alerting, and automated remediation to recognize infrastructure vulnerabilities and threats before they become costly data breaches.

A CMP can facilitate automated optimization and drive operational efficiencies, making these tasks easier to execute as environments scale. With a well-rounded cloud cost optimization toolkit, organizations can take the first step to lowering their AWS bill.

Explore how CloudCheckr offers cost and expense management for cloud environments to help you reduce your monthly spend. Next week, we’ll share tips on leveraging consolidated billing and tagging to reduce costs. 

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