Cloud computing offers several benefits to enterprises, including rapid elasticity, ease of use, and effortless scalability. However, arguably the main draw of the cloud for businesses is its cost-efficiency. Enterprises can access computing resources, such as software, storage, and processing power as services over a network connection rather than having to purchase those computing resources.
Even though cloud computing resources are cheaper to set up and use than their on-premise counterparts, the ease at which businesses can avail these services means that costs can spiral out of control without appropriate monitoring and planning. Keep reading to find out five tips to reduce your company’s cloud expenses.
Reserve Instances for Regular Workloads
Several leading cloud service providers offer both on-demand pricing and reserved instance pricing. On-demand means paying for what you consume while reserved instance plans require you to commit to using a specified cloud resource for a given time period. It’s imperative that when you have a workload that you forecast running regularly and consistently in the cloud, you opt for reserved instance plans.
The advantage of reserved instance plans is that large discounts are typically available versus the on-demand price. Generally, the longer you commit to a cloud instance, the larger your discount. Reserving instances when it makes sense to can save your business a lot of money.
Calculate Costs in Advance
While it’s true that actual costs might deviate slightly from planned costs due to unforeseen spikes in usage, the actual act of planning ahead can make a great difference in terms of establishing a budget.
You can get a baseline idea of cloud costs by using a cloud cost calculator–there are several available online. Knowing your expected costs in advance and communicating a budget to users of cloud systems within your enterprise can reduce unexpected surprises in your monthly bills.
Use Cheaper Storage Services
When using the cloud for storing data and other important business files, you don’t need to use a single service to store everything. The most expensive storage services in the cloud tend to be those in which you can retrieve data in close to real-time.
However, pricier cloud storage options are only suitable for data you need immediate access to. You can actually tier your storage requirements and use cheaper storage services for archiving older data.
Monitor Your Cloud Use
There’s no way to know whether you are deviating from your planned cloud expenses without actually monitoring cloud use across the enterprise. The difficulty with monitoring is that most businesses use several cloud services from multiple providers simultaneously, which makes it hard to manually keep track of everything.
Consider using a solution that provides a centralized dashboard for cloud monitoring and gives you a holistic view of the whole enterprise’s cloud usage.
Leverage Machine Learning
The rapid elasticity of the cloud refers to the ability of users to dynamically adjust the resources they provision in the cloud, according to demand at a given time. However, there is often a lag when manually tweaking your capacity to more accurately reflect demand. As the cloud becomes more central to enterprise IT, new services are emerging that optimize cloud costs using machine learning algorithms.
The benefit of machine learning algorithms is that they can analyze past cloud usage and make intelligent predictions about what’s needed for the future. By leveraging cloud cost optimization platforms built on machine learning algorithms, you only spend money on the precise resources needed to meet future needs.
Merely migrating some of your workloads to the cloud doesn’t guarantee you minimize costs. Cloud computing offers some incredible cost benefits to enterprises, many of which you can only realize by following the tips above to reduce your cloud expenses.