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Optimize your public cloud cost management strategy

Last updated:June 2017

Editor's note

Public cloud continues to grow in popularity and top providers, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google, offer competitive prices to attract enterprises. But your search to save money shouldn't stop there. There are many factors -- some of which IT teams initially overlook -- that can increase a public cloud bill. Fortunately, organizations can avoid any unwanted billing surprises with a cloud cost management strategy.

Take a hard look at your applications and review their requirements before you move them to the public cloud. In some cases, the cost of certain cloud resources can exceed what you already spend on premises. If the application is a good fit for cloud, use management and monitoring tools to identify and remove unused resources or to determine if an instance needs to be resized. If you have a multicloud model, watch out for integration costs.

This guide will take you through these best practices, and more, to build an efficient cloud cost management strategy.

1Manage and monitor public cloud computing costs

Once you're in the public cloud, you have to keep an eye on your resources. Top cloud providers offer native cloud cost management and monitoring tools, but there are also third-party options that are more specialized. Without these tools, enterprises could spend a lot of money on unused cloud resources. Form a cloud cost management strategy to look out for money pits such as cloud sprawl, overprovisioning and wrong instance types. Best practices to remedy these issues include efficient resource management and rightsizing. Take it a step further with cost optimization techniques to get the most value from the cloud.

2Prepare for multicloud costs

When using multiple public cloud providers, integration and other factors can lead to unexpected fees. Think ahead and plan application deployments to see where you might incur additional costs. Also, look at your cloud bill and see what you are charged for access, CPU and storage. The ability to track spending across more than one cloud is invaluable; incorporate providers' native billing tools into your multicloud cost management strategy, but remember that third-party tools offer more cross-platform capabilities.

3Terms to note to rein in cloud costs

Cloud cost management is not something to take lightly. When it comes to the bottom line of a business, cloud administrators must know the tools and terminology related to cost optimization. Use this glossary to better understand the costs of cloud and how to manage them.

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