Control cloud costsAccording to Rightscale, cost management is the No. 1 challenge for mature cloud users in 2017. That makes sense–after all, what’s the point of adopting hybrid cloud if it ends up being too cost prohibitive?

Different from managing your bill, this post talks about how to manage your costs within public cloud.

So, why is public cloud so expensive? Well, on paper, paying pennies per minute sounds cheap, but costs quickly rise when you factor in every minute of compute used, as well as every byte for storage. And with pure public cloud or SaaS models, there is zero CAPEX cost, meaning you can buy servers as often as you like without worrying about the hardware associated with them. With a pure private cloud model, there is some hardware to consider, and you only have a finite amount of space to grow before you’re out of room. Then you have to invest the thousands of dollars in new hardware–not something you can just tack on to your budget.

If you run a hybrid cloud, chances are you use both public and private clouds, or possibly multiple public clouds. How can you manage the costs associated with these models? Below are three ways to do so:

  1. Optimize your workloads. To do this, your solution will need to be carefully and properly architected for you. This will require some discussions and input from your team about the best way to run your applications and their components. Where you will you place your testing/QA servers? What data must adhere to compliance requirements, and where should that live? Which applications are low latency? How many copies of data d you need? Determining where your applications run best will maximize efficiency and ensure you aren’t running extra compute or storage resources you don’t truly need.
  2. Set up monthly budgets and get alerts when you’re close to approaching your limit or have exceeded it. If you use Microsoft Azure, you can get these customized alerts to better manage your spend. You can also take advantage of a managed cloud provider, who can monitor your cloud environment for you and let you know when you’re close to your budget. Some providers take it a step further and offer detailed analysis of your environment on a daily basis, and can predict when you’ll exceed your budget so you can take steps to mitigate that.
  3. Server tagging is another way to manage costs within your cloud environment. You can tag servers by department, cost center, environment, etc. This is useful because you can easily see who is using what resources when, or, better yet, who isn’t using their allotted resources. Redistribute or eliminate these as necessary. Both Microsoft and AWS offer server tagging capabilities.

Cost management is one of the major concerns enterprises face in hybrid cloud adoption, so it’s important to take control of your environment as soon as possible. There are tools to help you manage it yourself, but you could also seek a managed provider who will help you monitor it personally and give you more detailed analysis about your environment. Add on server tagging to organize your servers and see who is using the most, or least, of the cloud and adjust your budget as needed for true cost optimization.