Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 31 seconds

It wasn’t long ago that organizations were scrambling to move to the cloud. Cloud adoption was a must and getting cloud services up and running was top priority. However, the biggest challenge today isn’t the adoption of the cloud, but the management of cloud expenses. Many teams and users of the cloud are often surprised when they see the size of their monthly spending. This is because the cost of cloud computing is so much different than on-premises data centers. On-premises data centers have a fixed capacity and costs, which leads to maximizing utilization. Cloud computing is charged per transaction and everyone involved needs to be vigilant in consuming as few resources as possible.

The first step in identifying costs to potentially eliminate in your cloud infrastructure is to identify exactly what you are paying for now. As organizations continue to add cloud services to their existing infrastructure, the importance of cloud management becomes essential. Identify what you have and who is responsible for it. Below is a list of actions you can take to reduce cloud computing expenses.

Cutting Your Cloud Costs

  • Make sure teams have visibility into the cost of cloud services. It’s easy for expenses to run away if there is no insight into how much is being spent in the present.
  • Set budgets for teams to adhere to. Most cloud service providers provide tools to set budgets at the account and project level. It’s important to break down each service and make sure those responsible for budgeting are thoroughly educated about all the details.
  • Restrict employees from spinning up unapproved virtual instances at will. Users will sometimes have very little regard for costs of licensing and if a vendor is approved.
  • Conduct a regional audit to review what services are running where. The cost differences between regions can be significant and cannot be overlooked.
  • Use scheduling to start and stop instances on a schedule. Decide which instances need to be on 24 hours and put the rest on a schedule. This alone can add up to major savings.
  • Take a proactive approach to storage management. Shorten up the backup cycle time if possible and remove any unnecessary storage that is not needed.
  • Look for any unnecessary trial accounts that may extend into a full subscription.
  • Deploy containers if they work in your environment. Linux containers allow packaging of applications in their runtime environment. In contrast to virtual machines, containers do not require a full operating system. With containers, more applications can run on the same hardware because not all of the operating system is required. This will reduce the number of hosts required and the reduction of resources will amount to savings over time.
  • Consider using a cloud cost management vendor if needed. For some organizations too much time or skill is required and they turn to a cost management vendor.

 Cloud cost management is difficult because of the complexity of the cloud infrastructure. Applying these actions should help ease the burden of managing cloud computing costs.

Last modified on Monday, 25 March 2019
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Craig Gehrig

Craig Gehrig is a systems administrator with Rainbow Resource Center, an online retailer of educational materials in Peoria, IL. He is also the founder of Vanova IT, a security research and IT solutions provider. In his spare time, he can be found on the golf course and spending time with his wife Vanessa and their two children- Sasha and Craig.

Website: https://twitter.com/CraigGehrig

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