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Organizations cite “cost savings” as a key driver for moving to the cloud, and oftentimes, they are left disappointed.
Many organizations, especially federal agencies, lack knowledgeable cloud resources. You can’t expect to save money with a classic lift-and-shift approach. There’s architecture and engineering work that needs to be done, and you need people with the right expertise to do it. It’s a people issue just as much as a technical challenge.
Regardless of your migration approach, there are ways to leverage your cloud service provider(s) to quickly get the insights you need to control your cloud spend.
Most content security policies have native services that provide usage reports to track consumption by instance, network and server. The Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cost Explorer is a great example of this.
There are also services that establish thresholds to alert management when thresholds are exceeded, like AWS Budget. Services like AWS Trusted Advisor provide actionable information on resources that are idle and underused to prevent unnecessary spending — thus allowing an organization to run more efficiently.
The next wave of cloud native cost control are services that take remediation action and automatically spin down resources based on custom settings or thresholds.
Until then, here are ways to control cloud costs:
- Do not run resources when not needed. Turn off non-production resources on nights and weekends.
- Do not underutilize resources by overprovisioning compute power. Use services like Trusted Advisor to determine where you can reduce without impacting operations.
- Set up a chargeback model using tags or cloud native services like AWS Organizations or Azure Subscription. That way, all parts of the organization pay for what they consume.
- Implement a governance model prohibiting teams from provisioning resources unless they are properly tagged.
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