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Fixing the root causes of unexpected and rising cloud costs

A cycle of spikes and fixes 

Is your company constantly faced with unexpected and rising cloud costs? Does your company go through a seemingly endless cycle of dealing with spikes in costs by manually poring through every cloud bill across numerous clouds and teams to find the source of the unexpected cost to get the problem under control only to have it happen again every few months or so? 

There is a better, more proactive way to optimize cloud spending. A method that doesn’t require throwing accountants and IT teams to manually go through pages and pages of seemingly unreconcilable cloud billing to find where they can potentially squeeze some savings out of an already tight cloud budget. 

The root cause of the problem 

The real reason companies find themselves having to repeatedly deal with unexpected multi-cloud spending is that they are set up only to be reactive to it. Companies do their best early on to plan their usage and budgets so they can maximize their savings from reserved instances or savings accounts, but once set up, they don’t have the visibility or the right tools to keep multi-cloud costs continuously optimized. When a spike in usage inevitably happens, companies find themselves scrambling to bring it back down to acceptable levels in a very labor-heavy manual process.  

How to optimize cloud costs and keep them low 

With an ideal solution in place, spikes in cloud spending shouldn’t be happening in the first place. A solid FinOps framework is a great place to start, but you should also have the visibility to understand where the inefficiencies are coming from as well as the right tools to ensure that cost optimization doesn’t become a manual process. 

Start with FinOps – The first step in optimizing cloud costs is to create an environment where engineering, finance, and business teams all understand that they need to take ownership for their cloud usage and collaborate to ensure they get maximum business value from their investments. A good FinOps strategy should help keep unexpected costs to a minimum, but a cloud management tool that takes the FinOps framework into account should be considered as well.  

Gain better Visibility – You can’t optimize what you can’t see, and visibility becomes harder as a company scales. The more clouds, tools, and teams you deal with, the harder it is to track where the spikes in costs might be coming from. Ideally, you want a tool that sits above all clouds and gives you a single-pane-of-glass visibility for your cloud spend across your entire company. You should not only know when spend is rising and where they’re coming from but also be able to easily identify where any potential savings might be.  

Build-in guardrails and tagging – Instead of relying on each team to follow every guideline on compliance, spending, and tagging for every instance, the ideal solution is to have them built-in to the blueprint at the onset, removing the need for any human input at all. This ensures that all instances are properly configured to match company guidelines, and everything is properly tagged for consistent tracking and discoverability. 

Automate, automate, automate – The key to staying proactive is to automate cost saving measures: You should have a tool to set quotas and spending limits for each instance; VMs should be on an automated power schedule that turns the VMs on or off based on usage to optimize spend; and each VM should have expiration dates, so owners must take direct action to keep it active before it wastes precious resources doing nothing. You should also be automatically notified before cloud spending becomes a problem, so you can take proper action as soon as possible. 

With proper visibility and automations in place, you can ensure that cloud spend always stays optimized without constantly having to dive into your cloud bills to keep cloud spending under control. 

See how CloudBolt can keep your cloud costs optimized

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