Cloud Cost Control: What Can You Do About It?

Cloud computing has changed the landscape of software engineering for businesses, bringing about a new variable: cloud cost control. 

Cloud cost control

Using the cloud, companies can become more creative and find more dynamic ways of completing various tasks. Not only does cloud computing have the ability to efficiently and quickly process large amounts of data, but makes the global deployment of updates and new software easily achievable.

However, there is one crucial hurdle for companies need to overcome, which is cloud cost control. With infinite possibilities, usage and costs can quickly get out of hand. In fact, cloud cost control is the number one challenge for a company when implementing a cloud strategy. A recent study found that 70% of the US businesses and IT said their cloud costs were as much as 62% higher than expected. This is your guide on how to get a handle on cloud cost control and ensure that your company stays within budget.

Cloud Cost Management Explained

As with any aspect of your company, you cannot be successful at cloud cost control until you understand where costs are coming from and who is using the resources, and estimate how much is needed in the future. This includes activities such as: 

  • Reporting
  • Visibility
  • Cost Monitoring
  • Forecasting
  • Allocating
  • Budgeting

The primary goal is to gain control over cloud costs through careful cost management. This means understanding how much, where, and why when it comes to cloud usage. It might come as a surprise, but this is much easier said than done.

Why Is cloud cost control a struggle? 

The cloud is not a physical resource like a server that allows you to measure how your IT department consumes. Teams often end up using more than they think they have or not keeping up with allotted usage at all. More often than not, this is exactly what happens. Both of these spell disaster for your budget. These are the most common reasons cloud costs end up exceeding your budget:

  • Lack of cost reporting
  • No visibility of cost allocation
  • Disregarding the pitfalls of pay-per-use
  • No monitoring and real-time alerting in place

The bottom line is that it is very difficult to quantify and closely manage a resource that you cannot see. That’s why it requires a different strategy.

Basic cloud cost management solutions fall short

There are plenty of standard cloud cost management solutions designed to help companies keep their costs where they want them. However, they barely work -and here’s why: 

  • The cost of cloud resources fluctuates, which makes it difficult to predict future expenses.
  • The needs of your company will change. For instance, if you experience a spike in traffic to your site, you’ll need more cloud space. If there are no restrictions in place, your bill will go way beyond your expectations. In the opposite scenario, your site may crash and provide a terrible user experience if you have limitations on usage in place. Neither is a good option for your company’s budget or its reputation.
  • It is difficult to see the big picture if you use multiple cloud providers.
  • Effective cloud cost control requires a tremendous amount of manual work.

Cloud automation is the secret to cloud cost control

Cloud automation is the secret to achieving cloud cost control and maintaining it long-term. It is the crucial component of cloud optimization. Cloud optimization allows you to effectively manage the following variables: 

  • Instance rightsizing
  • Automated resource scaling
  • Spot instance use
  • Removing unused resources

These variables are near impossible to keep up with manually because you have to do it for every instance, on a regular basis. Cloud automation makes these processes run on their own, without the need for additional work.

And they bring tangible financial results. For example, in the first quarter of 2021, the popular meeting platform, Zoom increased its gross margin by 4.5% to 73.9%, thanks to cloud automation and optimization.

The value of cloud automation

Cloud automation can complete tasks much quicker than humans and with higher accuracy. Let’s look at how cloud automation provides the means for optimal cloud cost control. 

Change with demand

Demand changes for instances frequently, calling for autoscaling. For example, your application may experience a sudden spike in traffic or drop. A spike calls for more cloud space, and a drop means you can get by with less cloud usage. 

Autoscaling manually is time-consuming and extremely difficult. However, instances can be scaled with cloud automation as soon as the demand changes. This means you are providing the best user experience and being as cost-efficient as possible. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.

Handling spot instance interruptions

It is much more cost-effective to utilize spot instances than on-demand. Cloud automation allows for better management of spot instance interruptions and ensures the most efficient use of cloud resources while delivering the best user experience possible.

Monitoring and reporting

Cloud automation allows for scheduled monitoring and reporting of cloud usage. You can see how much is being used, by whom, and for what applications. This will enable you to better forecast future cloud demands and decide how to best allocate the resources. 

Cloud automation makes cloud cost control possible

As you know, the process of manual cloud cost control is inefficient at best -in most cases, it’s near impossible to execute. Cloud optimization with automation is the secret to obtaining cloud cost control without the need to hire additional IT engineers and support staff. 

CAST AI is an innovative cloud automation platform that prevents you from overprovisioning and overspending on cloud costs.  Get your free savings report and book a no-obligation demo today. Let us show you how cloud optimization with automation will take your company to the next level.

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