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2022-07-04 14:27:21

Cloud Cost Optimisation: 7 Best Practices and Tools for Your Business

2022-07-04 14:27:21

One of the great promises of the cloud was to give us the freedom to spin up new instances without having to worry about the costs of infrastructure.

Yet as great as pay-as-you-go sounds, it doesn’t help control your cloud spend. And mishaps happen, even to the best of us. 

A few years back, Pinterest incurred a bill of $20 million on top of the $170 million worth of reserved AWS resources. A similar thing happened to Adobe, whose team accidentally racked up $80,000 a day in Azure charges.

Most companies surveyed in Flexera 2022 State of the Cloud reported that their cloud costs went over budget by 13 percent. At the same time, they expected their cloud spend to grow by almost 30 percent in the following year. 

Together with gloomy economic prospects, this trend proves that it’s more critical than ever to keep cloud spend in check from day one. 

And that cloud cost optimisation should be a crucial element of your migration strategy – and not something you leave to chance.  

Cloud spend is bound to grow

As if it wasn’t going through the roof already, global spending on public cloud services will increase even more. 


According to Gartner, it will reach nearly $495 billion in 2022 and grow to a whopping $600 billion in the next year.  


The pandemic has undoubtedly accelerated the pace of cloud adoption. But organisations had been moving away from traditional client computing solutions long before its outbreak. 


Sid Nag, Garther’s Research VP, compared the cloud to “a powerhouse driving today’s digital organisations”. And these are already more thoughtful about the services they choose to achieve precise business outcomes in their digital transformation journey.


According to Nag, IT leaders who view the cloud as an enabler and not an end state will be most successful. Combining it with other emerging technologies, their businesses will do better, which, in turn, will increase their appetite for the cloud even more. 


But how will they ensure the right cloud performance without breaking the bank?  

Let’s talk about cloud cost optimisation!

In short, cloud cost optimisation is about reducing your overall expenses by identifying mismanaged resources, eliminating waste, and ensuring optimal capacity for the right price. 

Simple in theory, this often proves challenging in practice. 

For example, take the total cost of ownership (TCO) that organisations often use to measure adoption success. 

While estimating cloud computing costs is complicated yet manageable, the real problem lies in quantifying labour costs, which usually seem easier to identify. 

Advanced clouds like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud use automation to reduce the burden on IT teams and increase their efficiency. This translates into a significant pool of saved engineering hours, which should also feed into the final calculation as they are an additional benefit. 

So how do you ensure your cloud is cost-optimised?

Cloud cost optimisation should be a key point for consideration at all stages of cloud migration. 


If you’re at the stage of designing a system, decisions made while building workloads on your cloud will impact their future performance, resource usage, and costs. AWS, Azure, and GCP outline their own specific frameworks and best practices for achieving the desired outcomes at the lowest price.


If this sounds somewhat complicated, that’s because it is. However, the sooner you make conscious decisions on cloud cost and efficiency optimisation, the faster they will yield results. 


Getting cloud strategy advice at the very beginning of your cloud migration project will save you unnecessary issues and expenses. Nevertheless, infrastructure cost audit and cloud optimisation can take place at any time – and it will always bring benefits.


Here are some of the tips and tools your team may find useful in the process. 

7 cloud cost optimisation tips 

Choose the right compute services. 

All Cloud Service Providers offer many ways to host your applications and code, so pick the optimal compute service for your workloads.

Shut down unused resources.

Use your cloud’s native or third-party tools to identify idle virtual machines (VMs) and other resources that don’t need to be running and switch them off. 

Rightsize your resources.

Analyse the utilisation of your infrastructure and match instance types and sizes to your workload performance requirements at the lowest possible cost. 

Consider reserved instances. 

Get substantial discounts over on-demand pricing when you reserve compute capacity for a one- or three-year term with special pricing. 

Use automation.  

Configure autoscaling functionalities and save big by dynamically provisioning and decommissioning resources to match your workload’s changing needs.

Improve cost visibility and control

Use your cloud’s native or external tools to create and manage budgets for your services, monitor your cloud spend, and allocate costs to particular projects and teams. 

Consider spot instance automation. 

You can save even 90% on on-demand prices with spare compute capacity, but you must automate the process to avoid potential interruptions.  

Make the most of your cloud cost optimisation tools

All cloud service providers (CSPs) give you pricing calculators and numerous tools for better control and management of costs. Here’s just a snapshot:


AWS: Cost Explorer lets you see spending patterns and recommendations, while Trusted Advisor scans your infrastructure and recommends optimisation changes. 


Microsoft Azure: Cost Management and Billing suite contains reports, monitoring, and cost optimisation insights. Azure Advisor delivers fast cloud optimisation ideas. 


Google Cloud Platform: Cost Management tools include reports, dashboards, billing control, alerts, optimisation recommendations, quotas, and more. 


Over to you 

Cloud cost optimisation is, of course, a far broader topic, with multiple methods and approaches. 

It may sound complex at first, but choosing the right cloud optimisation solutions for your needs is definitely worth the effort. 

You don’t have to go it alone; we’re here to help – contact us, and let’s get the ball rolling. 



Flexera 2022 State of the Cloud

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