Cost is a major driver for most enterprise IT initiatives, and cloud is no exception. To make critical business and financial decisions related to public cloud, IT teams must track cloud usage and expenses. Cloud computing tools focused on cost management help admins monitor spending more closely, gain insight for cost optimization and receive budget alerts.
One feature enterprises should look for in a cloud cost management and monitoring tool is the ability to monitor the utilization of all public cloud instances and to identify when to resize them or spin them down completely.
"One of the most important things that people can do to save money in the cloud is turn things off when they aren't using them, and that's one of the main things that people don't do," said Dave Bartoletti, principal analyst at Forrester Research Inc., an analyst firm based in Cambridge, Mass.
In addition to helping admins identify and scale down any unused public cloud resources, a cloud cost management tool can enable organizations to forecast future cloud spending based on their current usage. Reports help admins identify which public cloud compute resources are being used, which business departments are using them and for what purpose they are being used. From there, admins can craft a better budget plan based on future resource requirements.
Cost management tools are available from major public cloud providers, such as AWS and Microsoft Azure, as well as independent, third-party providers, such as Cloudability, Cloudyn and Cloud Cruiser. According to Bartoletti, Organizations should consider supplementing their major providers' cost management tools with a third-party option to tap into more granular features.