Tips for controlling cloud spending

Tips for controlling cloud spending

While the cloud is a cost-saving tool, your business may end up spending a lot in it if you’re scaling up your business. After all, you'll be using the vast amounts of computing power and data storage space that cloud providers offer — more than any small- and medium-sized business can hope to install in its own premises.

To illustrate, let’s say that a New Jersey courier has a locally hosted logistics app that can only track up to 1,000 packages at time. Having their app hosted on the cloud may allow them to track 10,000 or even 100,000 packages. Doing so will likely cost them more, but the return on investment will be a far cry from just doing 1,000.

What’s key is spending wisely, just as you would on any other type of resource. Otherwise, your cloud expenses may cost more than you had initially hoped. To control cloud spending, follow these tips:

1. Avoid having idle resources

There are IT processes that run non-stop on the cloud, such as processing website and business app functions, as well as monitoring systems for anomalies and cyberthreats. There are also cloud processes that occur only during work hours, such as app development. For the non-stop IT processes, there are 24/7 computing resources that are paid for by the hour. Oftentimes, companies make the mistake of using the same type of computing resource for the processes that only need to be active during work hours. This means that the cloud resources would still be paid for, even while they’re not in use.

What’s key is controlling cloud spending, just as you would when it comes to spending on any other type of resource.

Another type of idle resource is the abandoned development instance. When creating a website or app, many test copies are created to iron out kinks in the programming and ensure the optimal performance of the final website or app. These and other types of instances require storage allocations and software licenses, which cost money. Instances that are no longer used are archived or deleted, but sometimes, people lose track of instances and forget about them. This means that the company will keep wasting money on those abandoned instances until they find and close these.

The same wastefulness can occur because of unused virtual machines (VMs). Your IT department may spend countless hours monitoring, managing, and updating these, but gain nothing by doing so. And even when the VMs are finally deleted, your IT team may forget to destroy the storage volumes. These volumes add up to significantly consume space that you’ll needlessly pay for. Furthermore, you may end up paying for more storage, when all you had to do was free up the storage allocation you already had.

2. Be wary of overprovisioning

When a website encounters spikes in web traffic during peak season, the admin normally obtains larger — and more expensive — provisions to maintain the website’s quality of service. Otherwise, the site may slow down and make visitors jump to other websites. Then, when it’s low season once again, the admin reverts to the usual provisioning.

However, if the admin forgets to do this, the company will pay higher prices for nothing. In short, just as with idle resources, you need to find your leaks and plug these up immediately.

3. Think about using a hosted private cloud

The inability to optimize the use of the public cloud contributes the most to wasted cloud spend. Firms who are new to the cloud make these common mistakes:

  • Obtaining extra provisioning in case it is needed in the future, leading to the accumulation of idle resources
  • Being unaware that they may incur extra management and support fees
  • Not knowing how to take advantage of tech advancements that reduce cloud cost

To avoid bill shock, talk to our cloud experts at Online Computers about maximizing the use of the public cloud or about letting them manage your private cloud for you. Send us a message about your cloud needs today.

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