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4 Tips to Control Public Cloud Spending

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Public cloud adoption is exploding and promises a number of benefits, including reduced CAPEX and OPEX costs. However, without proper monitoring and the right processes in place, cloud spending can actually spiral out of control. Given that organizations that have done little or no cloud cost optimization can overspend by 70% and upward, according to Gartner, the numbers are far from trivial.

Yet, hope is not all lost – up to 35% of public cloud costs can usually be recovered through sustained cost management.

Here are four tips to get started on controlling your organization’s public cloud spending.

 

Analyze your company’s monthly cloud bills

A good place to start when you find yourself in a precarious cloud-spending situation is analyzing your monthly bills. Dig deep into the service names, instance types and regions listed on your bill to pinpoint any unexpected services and regions in use. Make sure you go through a complete list of your company’s public cloud accounts and the owners of those accounts to request further billing details – or at least know whom to contact for information.

 

Trace spending to approved initiatives

Take the time to review billing details and collaborate with account owners and cloud team leaders. If you don’t have cost tagging put in place, it’s a good time to incorporate it into your cost optimization strategy now. Public cloud providers offer tagging mechanisms to enable IT teams to map their cloud resources and service consumption to projects and cost centers. If your company finds regular spend that can’t be explained, your tracking processes are weak. Be sure to take advantage of each provider’s built-in expense tools to aggregate billing events by service type, region, time and other properties. AWS, Azure and other cloud service providers all offer cost management tools to help you develop cloud cost reports.

Regularly review consumption efficiency

 To avoid the expensive mistake of cloud overprovisioning, you need to have a clear grasp on your current usage and projected capacity needs. It’s not uncommon for teams to purchase more cloud instances than necessary to accommodate for worst-case scenarios, but this can quickly add up to a sky-high bill at the end of the month. Most storage systems deployed to support virtualized environments are only 20-30% utilized from a capacity perspective before they run out of performance resources, according to Data Center Dynamics, so this represents a significant amount of overspending.

 

Stay open and watch out for vendor lock-in

Last but not least, your cloud team needs to be aware of vendor lock-in. Becoming overly dependent on one provider or architecting your environment for only one cloud makes it very hard to switch vendors later on down the road. Migrating and re-architecting across multiple providers is not only costly, but also time consuming.

To prevent vendor lock-in, consider adopting a multi-cloud strategy. Using multiple cloud service providers will enable you to compare and shop for the best prices and services in different regions. You can set up a test environment with cross-cloud connectivity to start.

Stay the course

Public cloud spending takes time to optimize, but if you use the four tips above you’ll be more apt to weather cloud spending issues.

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