One of the major motivation behind many companies choosing to migrate from the traditional on-premises infrastructure to the Cloud is the relatively lower costs offered by the Cloud. These costs range from lower power costs-that would otherwise have been experienced through idle servers-, to reduced staffing budgets. However, if not well managed, the Cloud can end up fronting much more costs to the company, than even the on-premises infrastructure. Managing the costs that come with Cloud computing for an enterprise can be a tricky and complex affair, and it needs precision and commitment.
There are various ways through which companies can effectively manage their Cloud costs and avoid incurring additional costs. These ways include:
1. Use of Cloud Billing Tools
Cloud billing tools can greatly help a company manage its Cloud costs. With increased developments in cloud computing and enterprise migration to the Cloud, there are also quite a number of cloud computing vendor tools tailored for various enterprise management features. These tools, which monitor, analyze and optimize Cloud costs have become a vital part of managing cloud services for any company intending to save on its resources.
There are two options a company can elect to apply: If the company’s accounts are with a single vendor, the company can opt to use the provider’s tools to track its costs and if the company’s accounts fall across a number of cloud provider services, the company can employ the services of a third-party to track and manage its Cloud Costs.
These tools offer a range of services that a company can use to save on Cloud costs. The tools can provide alerts to the company on the costs being incurred. They can also provide emails on a daily basis and detailed analytics on the company’s Cloud costs. Some of these tools also provide consolidated cloud billing information. The Cloud billing tools can also notify the Company whenever set limits are reached or approached. The tools provide alerts that notify administrators as accounts approach set quotas. Some provide warnings to the company when its accounts are nearing their monthly or even weekly budgets while other tools will notify the administrators when the accounts are getting close to their limits, but will not prevent users from exceeding those limits. More than just issuing alerts when users approach service limits, these tools can suggest ways that the company can use in an effort to mitigate costs incurred through security breaches and ensure the company’s system is set up most effectively.
2. Projecting Future Costs
There are also tools which allow a company to predict and project its future Cloud costs and thus plan effectively. These tools will allow a company using a company relying on multiple cloud providers to determine hypothetical costs to be incurred by the company while using the Cloud. The ability of a company to predict its direction when it comes to determining resources consumed in using the cloud is very imperative for a company seeking to manage its cloud costs effectively.
3. Eliminate Shadow IT
Shadow IT involves the deployment and use of software or hardware which are not authorized by the company’s Information Technology department. What this means is that employees who have access to a company’s Cloud platform can use it for unauthorized personal uses that are of no benefit to the company. Apart from the threat posed to a company’s data by employees using its cloud in such a manner, these technologies that are not sanctioned by the Information Technology department can negatively affect the user experience of other employees. Above all, they create more costs for the company.
A company can therefore effectively channel adequate resources towards monitoring any shadow IT activities within its Cloud. Such activities should be eliminated as soon as possible and s effectively as possible without incurring further costs. A company can also employ the services of tools which allow one data center group to oversee the operations of the Cloud systems while another separate group oversees the cloud to prevent users from bypassing the parameters set by the company’s Information Technology department.
Strict punitive measures should also be taken against employees who engage in shadow IT so as to discourage others from doing the same.
4. Turn off Services While Not in Use
Companies can also greatly save on Cloud services by turning off the cloud resources when they are no longer needed. This helps save on costs that would otherwise have been incurred through having idle cloud resources not under the Company’s use. The resources can be turned back on whenever they are needed.
5. The Hybrid Cloud and Dedicated Server
In an effort to optimize and minimize on cloud spending, a company can also explore other alternatives such as adopting the hybrid cloud or using dedicated servers. A hybrid cloud involves the use of a private cloud and a public cloud that is managed by a third party. These two sets are integrated but perform separate and distinct functions within the same enterprise. By adopting this model, a company can monitor which among its functions consume the most resources while operate on the Cloud and allocate the functions economically, saving on costs.
An example of a service that will allow a company to easily and effectively switch workloads between public cloud, private hosted cloud and private on-premise cloud is the TDWS hybrid cloud Services.
A dedicated server on the other hand is a server that is exclusive in nature and is not shared with any other services or applications within the enterprise. Companies can use dedicated servers and save on Cloud costs that would otherwise have been incurred through sharing of servers. TDWS Services also offers managed dedicated server.
By using the above methods, a company relying on the Cloud for its operations can effectively monitor its cloud costs and manage them effectively.