Cloud

Cloud Cost Optimization with CAST.AI

In businesses, cost optimization is an essential practice. The primary objective of cost optimization is reducing expenses and bringing discipline to company’s spending. Getting the best pricing on all business purchases, especially services is vital to manage the expenses and increasing the profit. All the businesses try to reduce their expenses by following different cost optimization techniques.

Data centers are one of the basic needs of every organization nowadays. There are two main ways to get a data center, one is to purchase your own storage and then maintain it. The second one is to get cloud service from any cloud service provider such as AWS, GCP, and Microsoft Azure. Well, purchasing machines and then spending on their maintenance would be a naive move. Because you can get cloud services without hassle to do all of these tasks without spending on servicing of the on-premise data center.

Cloud services have complex billing schemes. These bills come with many service charges that you don’t even have a clue about. In this post, we will discuss how to optimize cloud cost by analyzing various issues you face especially the charges you get in the monthly invoice.

Why cloud services are important?

Organizations use cloud services for various purposes such as data backup, email, virtual desktops, software testing, and web application development. For example, video game developers use cloud services to provide online gaming to millions of players.
Apart from that cloud services have some key advantages. Let’s list some of them:

  • No need to invest in the hardware
  • Adds machine learning intelligence to your application
  • Makes scalability easy
  • Chances of getting data recovery are high
  • Much more secure compare to on-premises storage centers
  • No manpower needed for maintenance
  • You pay what you consume

The above-mentioned advantages are enough for any organization to give priority to cloud services over having on-premises data centers.

Cost of cloud services:

There is no doubt that cloud services are much more cost-effective but these services also come at a price. If your organization uses cloud services such as AWS, Azure, or GCP, the bill you get has a lot of charges that you don’t even know about, because a cloud service offers much more than storage.

The cloud service charges are variable and depend upon many factors. Don’t surprise if the cloud services bill goes over your expected budget. The question is how is it happening and why is so difficult to manage cloud services bill?

There are various factors, let’s understand them with a scenario. In an IT organization, there would be many developers and any developer can use the cloud and there is no-one to keep track of. So, the lack of proper tracking can cost you at the end of the month. Let’s, list some key issues that are causing the damage:

No tracking:
First of all, if there is no specific monitoring on expenses you may end up wasting resources.

Cloud Wastage:
It is recommended to keep balance in resource provisioning, it should not be over-provisioned and not under-provision as well.
Some teams give over-provision to a project, but that over-provision can produce a snowball effect and result in a huge problem.

Active unwanted Instances:
There can be some unwanted or “orphaned” instances that are generating costs. Make sure to keep track of instances that are no more active.

Lack of Right-Sizing:
Right-sizing is the process of reserving cloud computing instances (container, VMs) to achieve sufficient performance with the lowest cost. Therefore, proper right-sizing matters.

When it comes to cloud cost optimization these issues must need to be tackled. Let’s find out how to optimize cloud cost to get the best out of it for your organization:

What is cloud cost optimization?

Before going for solutions we must know what cloud cost optimization is? Cloud cost optimization is a procedure of minimizing the overall spending on the cloud by eliminating cloud wastage, getting rid of idle instances, and right-sizing the computing services.

Cloud service providers offer scalability and charge only what the user consumes. But that is not true, AWS (Amazon Web Services) and Azure charge the customer what they order whether you use them or not. A huge percentage of cloud service goes wasted. But luckily, there are some practices that can be followed to optimize the cost of cloud services. Let’s, dig them one by one:

1. Root out unwanted resources:
Cloud cost optimization begins with removing unattached resources. For instance, a team member spins up a server to perform a task and forgot to turn it off. Or an administrator may forget to remove the storage instance after completing the task. These unwanted resources can increase the bill. Therefore, identify such instances and root out them immediately.

2. Right-size computing services:
Right-sizing is a process of inspecting computing services and efficiently managing them. It is not an easy task to determine which resources are incorrectly-provisioned. A careful analysis, actions to improve efficiency, and modifying the infrastructure accordingly are needed.
Right-sizing is one of the key ways to cloud cost optimization.

3. Use reserved instances:
Organizations that need cloud computing for the long term must invest in reserved instances. Reserved instances provide huge discounts of up to 72%. These instances can be purchased for one to three years, therefore analyze your usage before investing in RIs.

4. Use spot instances:
Spot instances are valuable for particular tasks such as web services, big data analytics, batch processing, image rendering, video transcoding, etc. So they are key components cloud cost optimization scheme. They are often available at higher discount rates.

5. Use Heatmaps:
Since cost optimization is all about analysis, therefore use heatmaps to visually understand cloud usage. You can get valuable information from heatmaps. You can estimate various development and automatically switch the servers when needed.

Can cloud cost optimization be automated?

So far, we discussed practices to efficiently optimize the cost of cloud computing. There are a number of approaches to optimize the cost such as eliminating the unwanted sources, right-sizing, managing the provision, etc. All of these practices need careful analysis and a lot of resources.

So, is there any way to automate everything to optimize the cloud cost? The answer is yes ! the entire cloud cost can be optimized using a very popular and robust tool called “Cast AI”. As the name is suggesting, it is a multi-purpose, artificial intelligence-driven cost optimization tool. It just takes a few moments to analyze your bill. Well, “Cast AI” has a number of features that makes it prominent:

  • Cast AI automates the instance selection and spot instances
  • It also auto-scales the instances
  • Provide metrics of any cloud service provider (AWS, Azure)
  • Forecasts expenses
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) selects nodes when needed
  • Automates the POD Scaling

If you are looking for a powerful program to optimize your cloud computing cost, then try “CAST.AI” for free.

Conclusion:

Cloud computing has a lot of potential because of its efficiency, scalability, and cost-effectiveness over on-premises data centers. Cloud computing has many features, the most significant ones are data protection and security. Though it is cost-effective in various ways it can become really expensive if not optimized properly.

If your organization is using cloud services then there would be potential cloud wastage, lack of tracking, unwanted active resources that are incorporating in building up your bill. Optimizing cloud cost is extremely essential when your organization is depending on it. A number of approaches can be used to optimize cloud cost. Firstly, it requires careful analysis of usage, eliminating unproductive instances, and properly monitoring it.

Optimization requires some sort of predictability and that comes from artificial intelligence, therefore we need a specialized tool that smartly monitors, analyzes, and optimizes instances to reduce the cost of cloud computing.

About the author

Sam U

Sam U

I am a professional graphics designer with over 6 years of experience. Currently doing research in virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality.
I hardly watch movies but love to read tech related books and articles.