Essential Guide

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Optimize your public cloud cost management strategy

Don't pay more than you have to in public cloud. Review these tools and techniques to keep costs down and stay within budget.


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.

1Look before you leap-

Evaluate cloud costs before migration

Before a migration, it is important to evaluate how much the public cloud will cost. Like any IT service, the public cloud can introduce unexpected charges, and some applications are better off staying in the data center. The first step of a cloud cost management strategy is to look at the public cloud providers' billing models. Take note of how much storage, CPU and memory your applications require, and which cloud instances would meet those requirements. Then, estimate how much those applications will cost in the cloud. Compare your estimates to how much it currently costs to run those apps on premises. Some workloads are more cost-effective when in house due to data location and other factors.


Prepare for the unexpected costs of public cloud

Unpredictable costs and complicated billing formulas can sour your cloud experience. Review the benefits and drawbacks of public cloud before you migrate. Continue Reading


Find the most cost-effective home for your enterprise apps

Some apps, such as those tightly tied to an enterprise database, may break the bank in public cloud. Before you move an app from on premises to cloud, re-examine its requirements and see where you will get the most value. Continue Reading


Three signs your app might cost you more in the cloud

Not all apps are built for cloud and a redesign can cost a pretty penny. Keep an eye out for apps with strict security requirements, or those that might be bogged down by latency issues, before you make your move. Continue Reading

2Watch your wallet-

Manage 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.


Control cloud sprawl to reduce IT costs

There is such a thing as too much cloud, and any unused resources add to your bill. Practice resource management to control cloud spending and avoid overprovisioning. Continue Reading


Scale resources back to save in public cloud

Every wasted resource unnecessarily raises public cloud costs. Admins can take advantage of auto scaling services, as well as load balancing and tagging, to identify and eliminate unused resources. Continue Reading


Customize cloud instances to cut costs

Not all workloads fit perfectly within a cloud provider's standard instance types, as some apps are more memory-intensive while others require more storage. Learn how a custom instance can save you money. Continue Reading


Don't let cloud regions, availability zones increase spending

Providers' regions and availability zones can impact how much you pay in the cloud. Look at the design of your application and where your users are to determine which region or zone to choose. Continue Reading


Reduce your cloud storage fees

Cloud storage costs increase due to such factors as shadow IT, overlooked contract details and maintaining outdated data. Monitor your data and check the fine print to stay within budget. Continue Reading


Three ways to decrease public cloud spending

A cloud bill shouldn't be a surprise. Look for billing tools to manage costs, keep an eye on enterprise users and remember to turn off the lights. Continue Reading


Build a plan to optimize public cloud costs

It's not enough to just save money with a move to cloud -- an enterprise needs to take it a step further with cost optimization. Examine cloud provider charges and services to get the full value out of cloud. Continue Reading


Identify hidden costs that increase your cloud bill

Major cloud providers offer tools to estimate costs, but enterprises should expect the unexpected. To form a more accurate estimate, factor in the possibilities of an outage, usage spikes and forgotten services. Continue Reading

3Multicloud cost considerations-

Prepare 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.


Stop multicloud costs from adding up

Frequent data transfers and access charges can cause multicloud costs to increase. Form a cloud cost management strategy, and map application workflows, to prevent these additional fees. Continue Reading


Achieve multicloud integration without paying too much

Multicloud provides numerous benefits, but is can come at a cost -- especially when it comes to integration. Follow this process to minimize the costs of application integration across multiple platforms. Continue Reading


Track spending across multiple clouds and providers

Whether you have multiple cloud deployments with one vendor or several vendors, it is hard to keep track of costs. Use provider services and third-party tools, such as RightScale, Cloudability and Cloudyn, to stay in the know. Continue Reading

4Cost management glossary-

Terms 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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