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Best practice cloud cost optimisation

Despite the many and varied benefits of the cloud, it can be a difficult beast to manage, especially from a cost perspective. Obviously, we all love the scalability, flexibility and in some cases cost-effectiveness but as workloads grow and change the costs and labour intensive management can become a nightmare for the CIO facing increased cost and talent shortage pressure.

That’s why we are seeing such an increase in the number of FinOps, or cloud financial operations, teams being established. FinOps is a set of best practices that can help organisations optimise their cloud costs. It brings together engineers, finance, product, and management to collaborate on cloud cost management.

There are a number of FinOps best practices that can help organisations save money on their cloud deployments. These include:

  • Establishing a single source of truth for cloud costs. This means using a single tool to track all cloud costs, so that everyone in the organisation has access to the same information.
  • Using cost-allocation tools and processes. This means tracking how cloud costs are allocated to different departments or teams, so that everyone is accountable for their own costs.
  • Establishing and adhering to metrics. This means tracking key metrics, such as cost-per-customer or cost-per-transaction, to measure the value of cloud deployments and identify areas where costs can be reduced.
  • Being diligent in monitoring and optimising. This means constantly tracking cloud usage and costs to identify opportunities to reduce waste.

FinOps is an ongoing process, and organisations should continuously evaluate their cloud costs and make adjustments as needed. By following these best practices, organisations can save money on their cloud deployments and ensure that they are getting the most value from the cloud.

The FinOps Foundation also recommend:

  • Using reserved instances and committed use discounts. These discounts can save you money on cloud resources that you use on a regular basis.
  • Right-size your cloud resources. Make sure that you are using the right amount of resources for your workloads. Over-provisioning can lead to considerable waste and costs.
  • Use automated tools to manage your cloud costs. These tools can help you track your costs, identify potential savings, and automate cost-saving tasks.
  • Educate your team about FinOps. Make sure that everyone in your organisation understands the importance of cloud cost management and how they can contribute to reducing costs.

Investing in cloud technology solutions like any other significant business investment needs to be monitored, managed and evaluated from time to time. What we’re often seeing and hearing from customers is that ‘cloud’  isn’t always the answer and when it’s not managed effectively, costs can increase significantly and very quickly, hence the importance of FinOps. Regardless of where you are along your cloud journey, we are here to help navigate through the intricacies of private or public cloud and work with you to understand the suitable options that not only address your challenges now but into the future.

If you’re currently evaluating automation technology to help address some of the challenges above, here at Systemethix we would also recommend exploring IBM’s Turbonomic, to reduce the labour intensive, time consuming and costly processes involved in the above monitoring and managing your cloud utilisation.

IBM has made significant investment to help organisations better manage their cloud utilisation and costs. They recently completed the acquisition of Apptio, including the Cloudability application, which gives organisations the data, insights and recommendations needed to understand and eliminate waste from their cloud spend. This complements their  Turbonomic application which generates trustworthy optimisation decisions that can be automated to unlock true cloud elasticity, getting rid of over-provisioning to protect performance.

Together, these products can give clients full coverage for the “Inform,” “Optimise” and “Operate” stages of the FinOps Framework, providing what they need to control cloud spend without slowing innovation or negatively impacting operational performance.

Cloudability ingests Turbonomic executed and proposed actions to provide a shared, single view across services that helps stakeholders understand the impact that has been, and can be, achieved by bringing these two leading IT automation offerings together.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss your cloud and application management approach and or challenges, please feel free to get in touch.

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