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6 Proven Ways to Optimize Your Soaring Cloud Costs

 As companies embark on their digital transformation journey, the primary job of the CIOs is to cut down IT costs. Faced with the urgent need to optimize soaring IT costs, migrating workloads and applications to the Cloud may seem like the right move. However, CIOs soon realized that it was not the wisest choice since 37% of enterprises admitted that their annual spending on the Cloud exceeded $12 million. In fact, 53% of small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) spent over 1.2 million USD - an uptick of 38% from last year. This indicates that cost remains a significant pain point for businesses that migrated their digital assets to the Cloud for cost savings.

Soaring Cloud Costs

The rise in Cloud bills may also indicate business growth. However, without having clear visibility into the factors that accelerated cloud spending, it’s challenging to evaluate the actual growth. Also, it is tough to determine why your cloud costs surged dramatically and what steps you can take to optimize the soaring Cloud costs. In fact, many times, Cloud bills skyrocket owing to the following reasons- more than required capacity, overprovisioned resources, not having a Cloud cost optimization strategy in place, and poor visibility into the Cloud environment. Fortunately, there are ways CIOs can keep Cloud bills under control. Let’s take a closer look at some of the proven strategies that you can follow religiously to reduce your soaring Cloud costs.

1. Use Heat Maps

A heat map is a popular visualization tool that comes in handy when it comes to optimizing cloud costs. When you use this graphical representation tool, you will get a clear picture of your computing demand since it provides visual cues for the demand through peaks and troughs. Having clarity about your computing demands allows you to identify the resources and schedule them to run only when they are needed can help you optimize Cloud costs. In other words, using a heat map tool allows you to determine what services you could shut down safely and at what time without disrupting other services.

2. Consider Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid Cloud is one of the popular ways to bring down soaring Cloud costs. This Cloud computing model uses a combination of different environments to run workloads and applications. By adopting this Cloud model, you can run some of your digital assets on the Cloud, while others on an on-premise IT infrastructure. It is important to note that not all applications are designed to run on the Cloud. In fact, some applications work better in an on-premise environment. By seeking consultation from an expert, you can determine what applications you can shift to the Cloud.

3. Leverage Autoscaling

Another proven way to reduce Cloud costs is using the auto scaling feature provided by your Cloud service provider that helps you ensure you pay only for the resources you use. With autoscaling, you can monitor applications and adjust the server capacity automatically to handle unexpected traffic spikes and load fluctuations. A perfect example of Cloud cost optimization is configuring autoscaling settings in such a way that workloads and applications utilize fewer computing resources to meet demands.

4. Release Unused Items

Since Cloud storage is quick to provision, it is likely that you may end up having an unnecessary capacity that drives your Cloud bills. To keep your Cloud bills under control, you should regularly check for deprecated and unused resources that you can dispose of such as orphan instances, oversized provisioning, containers, snapshots, and volumes that are no longer used. Be mindful when removing unused items because they may not be easily recoverable when needed in the future.

5. Use Cloud Cost Optimization Tools

There are several tools available in the market that can help you monitor, analyze, and optimize Cloud costs. For instance, if you are using AWS as your Cloud partner, you may use AWS Cost Anomaly Detection, AWS Cost Explorer, AWS Budgets, and AWS Trusted Advisor. For Google Cloud, you can consider Cloud Billing Reports and CUD Analysis Reports, while for Azure Cloud, you may bank on Azure Advisor, Azure Cost Management, and Azure Cost Anomaly Detection. Each tool comes with a host of features that are helpful to gain better visibility into Cloud expenses. Using these tools, you can quickly review Cloud spending and optimize the bills accordingly.

6. Right-size Your Computing Resources

Traditional IT infrastructures require long-term planning when it comes to purchasing a storage capacity such as servers and data centers. However, in the Cloud, you get the flexibility to scale up or down computing resources as per your business needs. You can simply get started with what you need at the moment and provision more when the requirement changes. This helps you do away with buying the capacity in excess that you may not require in the future. In other words, you should avoid overbuying capacity in the Cloud when it’s so easy to scale.

When it comes to right-sizing or resizing your Cloud computing resources, you should always keep in mind that every enterprise has unique requirements and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. You can employ monitoring and analytics tools that will not only help you assess your current Cloud resource usage but also foresee what computing resources (instances, containers, clusters, etc.) will be required in the future. When done right, rightsizing will help you optimize Cloud costs and improve the performance of your applications and workloads. On the other hand, failing to right-size or resize your Cloud computing resources can drive your Cloud bills substantially.

Summing Up

Cloud cost optimization is not a one-time job, instead, it is an ongoing exercise that CIOs need to undertake periodically. By following the proven strategies aforementioned in this informative piece, CIOs can help businesses reduce Cloud costs significantly. Besides these strategies, CIOs need to apply iterative monitoring, implement best-in-class practices, and ensure seamless collaboration between all the stakeholders.

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