Migrating to the cloud offers many benefits, but a big motivator for organizations continues to be cost savings. Many cloud providers bill their customers monthly, based on usage. This is similar to a utility, turning what was once a budget-breaking capital expense into a much more palatable operating expense. But wouldn’t it be great if you could take the lowered cost of cloud computing—and lower it even more? It’s possible if you’re working with a trusted provider and you or your IT team understands where cuts can be made.
Five Ways to Lower Cloud Costs
1. Automate Workloads
Oftentimes, non-production workloads remain running even when not in use—a big waste of money. Cloud customers can usually switch them off through the provider’s portal or write scheduling scripts, however developers can forget to switch them off, and writing scripts can be complex and time-consuming. Automation, such as scheduling a process to run on weekdays only from 8am to 8pm, is generally the easiest way to go about this. If you’re unsure of how to perform scheduling, a reputable provider can help.
2. Create Alerts
Along with automation, most cloud management platforms will allow you to set up simple notifications that can help you monitor your spend. For example, you may be able to create alerts that inform you when:
Your monthly spending limit has been reached
Your cloud storage costs have increased beyond a certain point
Usage of an instance may necessitate changing its pricing structure
Instances go unused for long stretches of time and may be ripe for elimination
By setting up proactive alerts, organizations can keep an eye on costs and cost reduction opportunities.
If you’re working with a cloud provider you trust, ask them to help you to rightsize; that is, identify poorly-provisioned resources and reconfigure them to optimum levels. The provider will conduct a thorough investigation into your resources, analyze them, and provide recommendations. The process also frequently uncovers duplicate or junk files that are taking up valuable space (and costing you money; see number five for more on this).
4. Delete Unused Files
Virtual machines often contain massive amounts of useless data, along with some files that are pure junk. Left undeleted, this data consumes capacity and adds an unnecessary expense to your bill in the form of data storage costs and data storage transaction charges. Simply put, the more the data, the higher the cost. Regular checks to ensure unnecessary data continues to be deleted should also be performed.
5. Bundle with One Provider
Many organizations have adopted a multi-cloud strategy, employing two or more cloud providers to allocate specific workloads to whichever platform provides the best fit. While there can be benefits to a multi-cloud approach, it’s often a budgeting nightmare due to variable pricing structures. It’s also very rarely a cost-saving tactic, because most providers charge when traffic moves in and out of their platform. In a multi-cloud, it’s common for data to cross provider lines frequently, and these costs add up fast. Bundling with one provider eliminates these traffic charges and helps to control costs.
From security to support, the cloud offers a wide range of benefits—but it’s always a big win when you can get more for less! These five strategies are some of the ways to reduce your cloud costs. And if you have a good relationship with your provider, you may simply want to tell them you need a break somewhere; they might be willing to work with you.
You may also be able to renegotiate costs during a service level agreement (SLA) review; if you’re consistently a good customer, your provider may work with you rather than risk repatriation. DSM, Florida’s predictable cloud provider, prides itself on working with our clients to give them the best service at the best price. If you’d like to learn more about DSM, contact us today.