5 Mins Read  January 20, 2020  sagar tambe

Multi-cloud Spending: 8 Tips To Lower Cost

A multi-cloud approach is nothing but leveraging two or more cloud platforms for meeting the various business requirements of an enterprise. The multi-cloud IT environment incorporates different clouds from multiple vendors and negates the dependence on a single public cloud service provider. Thus enterprises can choose specific services from multiple public clouds and reap the benefits of each.  

Given its affordability and agility, most enterprises opt for a multi-cloud approach in cloud computing now. A 2018 survey on the public cloud services market points out that 81% of the respondents use services from two or more providers. Subsequently, the cloud computing services market has reported incredible growth in recent times. The worldwide public cloud services market is all set to reach $500 billion in the next four years, according to IDC. 

By choosing multi-cloud solutions strategically, enterprises can optimize the benefits of cloud computing and aim for some key competitive advantages. They can avoid the lengthy and cumbersome processes involved in buying, installing and testing high-priced systems. The IaaS and PaaS solutions have become a windfall for the enterprise’s budget as it does not incur huge up-front capital expenditure. 

However, cost optimization is still a challenge while facilitating a multi-cloud environment and a large number of enterprises end up overpaying with or without realizing it. The below-mentioned tips would help you ensure the money is spent wisely on cloud computing services. 

  • Deactivate underused or unattached resources

Most organizations tend to get wrong with simple things which turn out to be the root cause for needless spending and resource wastage. The first step to cost optimization in your cloud strategy is to identify underutilized resources that you have been paying for. 

Enterprises often continue to pay for resources that have been purchased earlier but are no longer useful. Identifying such unused and unattached resources and deactivating it on a regular basis brings you one step closer to cost optimization. If needed, you can deploy automated cloud management tools that are largely helpful in providing the analytics needed to optimize the cloud spending and cut costs on an ongoing basis. 

  • Figure out idle instances 

Another key cost optimization strategy is to identify the idle computing instances and consolidate them into fewer instances. An idle computing instance may require a CPU utilization level of 1-5%, but you may be billed by the service provider for 100% for the same instance. 

Every enterprise will have such non-production instances that constitute unnecessary storage space and lead to overpaying. Re-evaluating your resource allocations regularly and removing unnecessary storage may help you save money significantly. Resource allocation is not only a matter of CPU and memory but also it is linked to the storage, network, and various other factors.

  • Deploy monitoring mechanisms 

The key to efficient cost reduction in cloud computing technology lies in proactive monitoring. A comprehensive view of the cloud usage helps enterprises to monitor and minimize unnecessary spending. You can make use of various mechanisms for monitoring computing demand. 

For instance, you can use a heatmap to understand the highs and lows in computing visually. This heat map indicates the start and stop times which in turn lead to reduced costs. You can also deploy automated tools that help organizations to schedule instances to start and stop. By following a heatmap, you can understand whether it is safe to shut down servers on holidays or weekends. 

  • Set up and make use of alerts 

As you are aware, there are third-party cloud management platforms that facilitate enhanced monitoring of cloud usage. Moreover, most of the service providers offer features that alert you when certain events occur and let you take necessary actions for cost reduction.

 For example, you can set up alerts when the expected monthly spending limit is crossed or when the cloud storage cost reaches a certain point. Or you can set up alerts to inform you of non-production instances or storage volumes after a specific number of days. Furthermore, you can make use of the auto-scaling mechanisms offered by service providers to understand whether you have chosen the right plan or need to change to a higher or lower one.  

  • Consider the right applications for the cloud

If you are on a cost-cutting mode on cloud spending, it is wise to scrutinize the applications before initiating its migration to the cloud. The fact is some of the apps cost more on the cloud than they would while working on-premise. Moreover, the apps may not function at its optimum while on the cloud. 

Unknowingly, many enterprises tend to initiate migration of the wrong applications to the cloud leading to increased costs and stalled performance. Therefore, make a point to review the code and design of the app and determine its cloud resource consumption to make an informed decision on cloud migration

  • Choose discounted alternatives if possible 

Reserved Instances are one of the obvious ways to reduce your cloud expenditure. Although most of the service providers offer RIs, it works only if you have clarity on your monthly average cloud usage. It allows you to reserve computing capacity and save up to 75% of the cost incurred with on-demand instance pricing. If your enterprise has stable usage patterns, you can buy reserved instances which enable higher savings and better ROI. 

Besides, you can bid for unused instances which are referred to as spot instances. Generally, service providers sell spot instances at a hugely discounted rate (as much as 90% of its regular price). It is best suited when you work on short-term projects.   

  • Don’t forget the ‘right-sizing’ strategy 

Rightsizing is nothing but allocating the correct instance sizing to optimize cost and performance. It ensures the virtual machines in the company’s infrastructure are allocated the correct resources depending on its workload. The rightsizing reports provide you with sizing recommendations and help you identify poorly performing machines. By deploying configurable rightsizing policies, you can ensure the infrastructure is optimized for better ROI.   

  • Opt for consolidated billing

Most of the large-scale enterprises have multiple accounts and consolidating the billing process is one way to save money of cloud computing services. The main advantage of bill consolidation is that it gives you a comprehensive picture of your usage and you can initiate ways to further control it. Additionally, it may help you get some discounts from the service provider.  

Wrapping up

The power and potential of cloud computing services are immeasurable and multi-cloud deployments have become a norm for enterprises now. In the current year, Gartner expects the public cloud services market to grow 17.5 percent and reach $214 billion with IaaS being the fastest-growing market segment.  The primary driver for organizations to switch to cloud computing is its affordability. However, many of them fail in their cloud management strategies and the potential money savings are gone astray.

The major takeaway does not approach multi-cloud adoption with the same mindset of approaching an on-premise system. Furthermore, companies should deploy effective strategies for cost optimization in cloud management such as establishing start and stop time for workloads, rightsizing instances, taking advantage of discount options and more. You may even consider allocating a dedicated resource for cutting down multi-cloud spending!  

If you are contemplating strategies to minimize multi-cloud spending in your organization, allow the experts at Cuelogic to assist you. We help organizations to harness the power and potential of a multi-cloud approach while keeping the expenses low. 

To learn more about our cloud computing strategy, please get in touch with our team!

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