Cloud Cost Monitoring — Why is it Essential?

The market size of cloud computing is an ever-evolving, rapidly growing space. According to Predictions 2020: Cloud Computing report by Forrester, “software-as-a-service (SaaS), cloud development, and cloud infrastructure (IaaS) spend is projected to reach $411 billion by 2022.

The current cloud computing scenario and the aforementioned projection have deepened the need for cloud cost monitoring and adopting cost management platforms.

What is Cloud Cost Monitoring?

“Cloud Cost Monitoring” — tracking and analyzing costs incurred by each and every user, team, service, instance or resource type, and region across cloud environment or ecosystem with the help of AI-powered monitoring tools or algorithms.

Monitoring costs against the consumption of cloud resources enables you to deep dive into cost anomalies and spikes and identify the origin of such unnecessary expenses. Advanced cloud cost monitoring and management tools or platforms further empower you to monitor all the dimensions and metrics associated with every dime spent. This helps forecast cloud spending, plan budgets, and allocate resources more accurately.

Why Monitoring your Cloud Costs is Important?

As the infrastructure complexity of cloud platforms such as Azure continues to rise with increased utilization of services, accounts, users, etc., CTOs and IT professionals need to shift their focus to visibility, optimization, and consistency in cloud spend.

Most organizations’ core focus lies on scaling their IT infrastructure on cloud, and usually are uncontrolled, unprepared, and unaware of their actual or forthcoming cloud spend. In addition, IT individuals and development teams, in order to deliver on their commitments, end-up spinning up more VMs than they should and purchase resources that often go underutilized. Think of your DevOps guys as kids getting lost in a candy land; they want to buy and try everything without having to worry about the costs.

This is because they lack clear visibility, accountability, and mindset of measuring or correlating their cloud spend with business impact and return on investment (ROI).

Therefore, cloud cost monitoring should be a fundamental tenet of your IT strategy now more than ever.

How to Monitor, Optimize and Manage your Cloud Costs Efficiently?

The following are some well-chronicled strategies for keeping your monthly bills under control and cutting down overflowing expenses you are unaware of:

1. Enforcement of standard tagging strategy across the organization

Cloud spending can easily overflow and cause expensive leaks in your budget due to the lack of visibility and clarity. Without a proper tagging strategy in place, IT individuals and development teams often have no clue about how much cost they are spending or what is the origin of cost spikes and usually end up incurring million-dollar cloud bills against underutilized resources and cheap production systems.

Tagging is the most efficient way of pinpointing, monitoring, and managing all your running as well as idle resources in the Azure environment. Creating tags that indicate expiration dates, owners, projects, teams, environments, etc., helps you allocate resources to only what is required.

Cloud-first businesses should bring the tagging process into practice and introduce a standard taxonomy across the organization. This will enable you to keep tabs on

Read more about Azure tagging strategies and best practices.

2. Define tracking metrics to keep the cloud budget in check

After tagging your cloud resources (with required metadata), the next step is defining metrics and parameters to track daily expenses. Cost metrics will help your organization gain visibility into what’s going on in your cloud and improve cost governance.

It is essential to establish organization-wide awareness and a sense of responsibility for cloud spending. This can be achieved by building detailed dashboards and insightful reports with defined cost metrics that not only provide visibility into cloud expenses but also help analyze your organization’s spending trends and spot sudden cost spikes, anomalies, and wastage.

3. Provide every individual with complete visibility into their cloud expenses

Send out cost reports and share dashboards that will allow your team and cloud users to track their daily spends and analyze them against their approved budget or deliverables. For better accountability, you should also set up cost anomaly alerts to notify them if their actual spending exceeds the allocated expenses.

Once you make your team and every cloud user, including central IT in your organization, accountable for what they consume and spend with proper visibility, they will take cost optimization strategies more seriously — a key to achieving budget-friendly goals and true governance.

In conclusion

CloudMonitor’s customized metric-driven, interactive dashboards and reports enable you to track every dollar you and your team spend and help optimize the current spending by bringing cost control behavior and strategies into practice.

Its integrated reporting feature enables you to define key cost metrics that make sense to your business as well as your respective teams. Moreover, you can generate monthly cost summary reports tailored to each department’s (e.g., IT manager, product lead, or finance team) cloud consumption and use cases.

With CloudMonitor providing you 360° visibility into your entire cloud ecosystem, taking control of overflowing costs and achieving governance over cloud becomes seamless.

Start with a free trial today and start your cost optimization journey!

Rodney Joyce

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