What CTOs or CIOs Won’t Tell You About Cloud Cost Optimization
Did you get through the first article of the cloud cost optimization series? More importantly, have you implemented the strategies (we talked about in the last segment) as part of your cloud management ecosystem?
In Part I, we walked you through some effective practices for cutting back on unnecessary Azure costs that often go unnoticed by CTOs, CIOs, and CFOs. But, there’s more to it! Many cloud-first organizations mismanage, misapply their cloud budget by spending on the zombie, overprovisioned, and pay-as-you-go resources. According to Flexera 2021 State of the Cloud Report, —
“61 percent of organizations plan to optimize existing use of cloud (cost savings), making it the top initiative for the fifth year in a row.”
This part II of the series will talk about the most common ways to optimize cost and help you sail through the spending strategy for your Azure cloud environment.
❖ Take Advantage of Azure Reservations Options
Think of Azure reservations as the “Holy Grail” of cloud cost optimization. We all know that reserving virtual machine (VM) Instances is one of the most effective ways of realizing cost savings in Azure. Reserving capacity or instances of specific resources for a certain time period helps offset extra costs you spend on pay-as-you-go resources. Microsoft allows you to reserve multiple resources by committing to a 1-year or 3-year plan, and in turn, provides a discount on the reserved resources.
Buying reservations not only gets you an immediate billing discount but also reduces resource consumption costs up to 72% as compared to pay-as-you-go rates. When you purchase a reservation, the discount savings applies to matching resources automatically, and it does not impact the runtime state of your resource or service instances.
You also have the option to pay the cost of your Azure reservation upfront or on a monthly basis (at no extra fees).
However, there’s a catch to this reservation strategy. Not all services or resources are meant to be reserved. Resources that you use consistently and service instances that run continuously in your cloud environment are ideal for reservations to avail big discounts.
❖ VM Rightsizing or Resizing is a Must-Follow Practice
Ensuring optimal cloud costs by bringing your virtual machine instances into the right sizes is as good as hitting the bull’s eye. Azure provides a wide range of VM instance sizes and types to choose from according to your infrastructure utility. However, rightsizing VMs requires an in-depth analysis of your workload demand graph. The best throw is to monitor the application or workload utilization metrics and compare them against fluctuating demand intervals — Busy vs. Light application demand.
The next pick should be, to enable the “Autoscale” feature in Azure that automatically scales up or down the number of running instances, matching the computing need for your applications.
You can curb superfluous expenses by resizing the VM instance as per your routine workload requirements. This practice not only ensures VMs are utilized to 100% capacity but also allows you to achieve the best possible throughput at minimal costs.
❖ Azure Hybrid Benefit Is Meant For Saving Cloud Costs
Azure Hybrid Benefit is a licensing benefit program designed to help you. You can consider it as a programmatic cost-saving strategy that allows you to bring and use your existing on-premises Windows Server and/or SQL Server licenses with active Software Assurance on Azure. So, you only pay for the compute power of VMs you use and save on the hourly rates of the operating system and SQL Server licenses.
When you migrate Windows Server and SQL Server workloads to Azure, combining Azure Hybrid Benefit with reserved VM instances can bring you up to 80% cost savings compared to the pay-as-you-go pricing model.
❖ Bring In The Right Cloud Cost Optimization Platform
Organizations often cease to monitor their cloud costs once they have exhausted every ounce of the above-listed strategies. But to optimize the overall cloud consumption and, therefore, the bills, you need to select and adopt the right cost optimization platform for your Azure. CloudMonitor takes the cost optimization to a ‘T’ by digging deeper into your Azure subscriptions and giving actionable insights into potential cost-saving opportunities. The platform provides automated alerts on oversized instances, recommending to scale down your resources and save unnecessary cloud expenditure.
Another piece of optimal cloud usage practice that many cloud developers tend to overlook are scaled-up resources, as they are more focused on fixing performance issues
or handling sudden surges and urgency of workload commitments. This leads to unplanned cloud expenses. CloudMonitor keeps an eye on resource utilization patterns and recommends lower-priced instance tiers based on the workloads you are running.
CloudMonitor offers you a comprehensive, AI-driven cost optimization solution that helps your organization carve out significant cost reductions for the Azure cloud.
As long as IT leaders pay attention to cloud spending problems and prioritize the cost optimization process, the promise of saving costs and managing cloud resources efficiently can be kept.
With the right cloud cost optimization and management platform in place, spending money on cloud resources wisely becomes a cakewalk. To realize the tangible cost benefits of using Azure, get started with CloudMonitor today.