5 Cloud Computing Tips to Put Time (and Money) on Your Side
As your business grows, your technology requirements—and likely your physical footprint—will grow along with it. Improving infrastructure often means increased expenses due to additional physical data centers, expanded network capacity and improved server efficiency. Many organizations turn to the cloud as a less costly way to get better technology.
Whether you've already made the leap to the cloud or you’re still considering your options, you're probably wondering how to control cloud-related costs and save money over the long haul. When it comes to doing business in the cloud, everything from data migration to resource sprawl can strain a business’s budget.
Take control of your technology expenses with these cloud computing tips:
1. Optimize Your Migration Plan with Mapping
Unexpected cloud migration expenses can sometimes delay cloud adoption and result in higher costs, especially when a company doesn’t fully evaluate beforehand how its applications will interact on-premises and in the cloud. Once workloads are in the cloud, identifying application issues becomes even more time-consuming—and more costly.
To mitigate this risk, mapping of all application dependencies is a critical step and will help your team evaluate any performance issues that may arise in the future. Effective application and network monitoring during the process are also crucial to reduce the time and expense of a cloud migration. Monitoring can set up a baseline to gauge performance before moving an application.
2. Keep Applications Secure
One of the biggest benefits of the cloud is having access to the most up-to-date software without the associated expenses of patches and version upgrades. Cloud-based apps also help maximize productivity and reduce costs by making the latest, most efficient and innovative software available to your team, whether they work on-site or remotely.
While the cloud has gotten more and more secure since its inception, the lack of testing for cloud apps and lack of overall visibility can introduce security flaws that aren’t seen by IT. Since application performance issues in the cloud can contribute to increased security risks, which can derail a budget, careful monitoring is essential to keep applications healthy and incidents at bay.
3. Set Guidelines to Right-Size Cloud Resources
Implement an official company policy to improve coordination among departments and reduce resource sprawl. With the ability to alter and resize cloud resources as needed, IT teams need to be extra-vigilant in continuously monitoring cloud capacity requirements in order to curtail overspending and overprovisioning.
Having a company plan and resource pool in place can help drive down costs related to lack of coordination and the overprovisioning of cloud resources. To further reduce over-expenditures, consider reducing the number of users authorized to control operational activities, and appoint a dedicated cloud resource manager to audit and monitor company cloud policies and resources.
4. Leverage Low-Cost Compute Options
If you’re considering a public cloud deployment, there are several ways you can reduce expenses depending on your resource needs. An elastic cloud computing strategy offers convenient scalability that grows (or shrinks) with your business.
Consider the low-cost compute options offered by Google Cloud Platform's preemptible Virtual Machines, or Amazon Web Services Spot Instances (a.k.a. Spot Fleets). Amazon's Spot Instances offers substantial discounts for idle and unused computing capacity, and Google's Preemptible VMs allow users to turn them off when not needed.
To help admins identify scarcely used cloud resources, public cloud vendors and third-party providers offer monitoring, scaling and load-balancing services.
5. Monitor Data Flow to Control Vendor Costs
Multicloud is often the deployment of choice for businesses looking to avoid being locked into any one provider. Many larger organizations opt for a multicloud model so they can handpick key technologies and services from different cloud vendors. The multicloud option also allows businesses to spread risk across multiple platforms to reduce losses associated with potential downtime.
Without proper visibility and management, however, costs related to multicloud service redundancy and resource management can add up fast. To get a handle on these expenses, evaluate what different cloud vendors offer and what they charge to move data between providers. Pay special attention to data storage and data access charges in particular. To get a better idea of where your money's going in a multicloud deployment, start by monitoring how your application data flows between different cloud platforms.
When reviewing your cloud deployment strategy, overall costs and ROI will undoubtedly be at the top of your list. As you’re figuring out how best to spend your cloud budget for maximum productivity, check out our guide on balancing cloud services with business goals.