Cloud services often cost less than on-prem environments because Cloud providers have scale on their side. If the ecosystem you run on includes Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), in all likelihood, you have not optimized your costs. Moving to the cloud alone does not equal cost savings.
The large cloud providers aggregate massive compute and storage farms and buy them cheaper and use them to their capacity. AWS, Azure, and GCP are not building cloud platforms to be altruistic. These companies are building clouds to make money! Additionally, for many companies, cost is a major factor when it comes to choosing a system and making the decision to migrate.
The first way to reduce cost is through optimization. Ensuring your configurations are rightsized for consumption is critical to performance optimization. Having under-utilized systems will cause you to spend more money than is necessary to fix errors or improve features that could simply be optimized. In many cases, environments are cyclical in their utilization. Understanding what your systems use at a point in time, peaks/valleys in the system and alignment to business services will help you know how, when, and where to adjust the configuration. There are additional variables to consider when right-sizing environments:
In many cases, environments are cyclical in their utilization. Understanding what your systems use at a point in time, various peaks and valleys they might encounter and how they are aligned to your specific business services will help you know how, when, and where to adjust the configuration. When you figure out the cycles and trends, systems and processes are easier to maintain and optimize.
Some systems may be oversized to meet the demand placed on them at a peak point. Frequently, you must use a larger server than required to gain the performance of CPU, network, or the storage type necessary for the application to meet the business needs when the demand is at its highest. There are solutions available like hibernation, resizing or on-demand autoscaling that are utilized depending on the application’s business and availability requirements offered.
Investing in automation can pay significant dividends to the bottom line. Not only can you increase your speed to market, but you can optimize your environment automatically. Automation can also improve efficiency among your employees and increase the value your
system provides. Within automation, there are a few key features that we recommend:
Simple scripts can be written to resize the environment as an increase of demands are required or hibernate environments when not needed. Scripts are manually invoked or scheduled to run at intervals. They are also an inexpensive way to get results quickly; however, they lack the sophistication necessary to make the most out of your cloud environments and will require care and feeding along with technical skills to run. Scripts will work, but the best solution is full automation.
Building a CI/CD pipeline to fully automate the deployment of applications from infrastructure through the presentation layer is a way to reduce development, deployment, and restoration of service time. The pipeline can be integrated with testing, security, development, and deployment, drastically reducing the number of people and time needed to maintain an environment. Security issues and bugs can also overtax the systems requiring additional systems to meet demand. A proper CI/CD pipeline can catch and address security issues and bugs before deployment to production, eliminating problems with performance, scalability, and
brand / financial impact.
Cloud providers offer a lower cost environment. There are many other ways to maximize your investment in the cloud, but optimization and automation are the top two recommendations we suggest to reduce cost. Ensuring that you get as much value as possible out of the current spend in your system should be a top business priority for operating in the cloud.