How to optimize the cost of your cloud infrastructure

optimize the cost of your cloud infrastructure
Cloud infrastructure cost factors

When it comes to cloud computing, optimizing the cost of cloud computing is a key concern for many managers and business owners.

However, cost optimization strategies for cloud infrastructure are the focus of this article.

In order to keep your costs under control, managing the cost of using cloud services is critical.

Through the implementation of smart strategies, you can significantly minimize the overall cost of your cloud usage.

This how-to guide provides a step-by-step approach to maximizing the efficiency and cost of your cloud infrastructure.

Step #1 Understand your cloud usage

To get started, you need to be aware of the specifics of your cloud usage, including what resources you’re using, the extent of that usage, and the timing of that usage.

Each cloud provider offers own tool to leverage cost management like Google Cloud’s Cost Management, Azure Cost Management, or AWS Cost Explorer FAQs – Amazon Web to collect the information required to make informed decisions.

A practical tip for minimizing the cost of cloud infrastructure is to schedule the automatic shutdown of non-essential resources during periods of low traffic, such as during off-peak business hours.

This can be achieved by implementing scripts or runbooks that monitor how resources are used and shut them down when not needed.

For example, in a development or test environment, there may be no need for resources to be in operation for long periods of time.

By automating this process, you can be sure that you don’t have to waste money on resources that aren’t in use.

Step #2 Eliminating Wasted Spend on Unused Resources

One of the most effective ways to reduce your cloud spend is to identify and get rid of any resources that are idle or under-utilized.

Idle resources are resources that are in operation but are not actively being used or are in minimal use.

Some examples of idle resources include: stopped instances, load balancers with no traffic, unattached volumes, and under-utilized databases.

You can eliminate wasteful spending and optimize your cloud costs by identifying and terminating these resources.

Step #3 Maximizing Savings with Long-Term Commitment to Reserved Instances

Taking advantage of Reserved Instances (RI) is one strategy for reducing cloud costs. These allow you to commit to a level of usage for a period of one or three years in return for a reduced hourly rate.

It’s possible to have savings of up to 75% over on-demand pricing through the use of RIs. The key is to assess which resources are required to run regularly or most of the time.

Then purchase RIs for those resources to ensure the greatest possible savings.

Cloud service providers, offer different options for customers to save on their overall costs.

This will make it easier to budget and manage costs, and can help you reduce your overall cost of cloud computing.

Step #4 Exploring Cost Savings with Flexible Spot Instances

Another cost saving strategy is the use of spot instances. These give you the opportunity to bid on instances that are not being used, which can lead to significant savings.

They’re suitable for workloads that can survive interruption and for certain types of test and development purposes.

The use of spot instances can provide cost savings for flexible workloads.

In Amazon Web Services (AWS) are EC2 instances.

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Microsoft Azure also offer similar cost-saving options for certain types of workloads, although they use different terminology:

In GCP, it’s called Preemptible VMs, which are a type of virtual machines that are available at a much lower cost than on-demand instances, with the downside that they can be terminated by the system if the resources are needed elsewhere.

In Azure, it’s called low-priority VMs and allows savings of up to 80% on VMs by selecting low-priority VMs for workloads that are flexible in terms of when they run.

Step #5 Storage tier strategies for cost-effectiveness

Another important consideration when trying to control cloud costs is choosing the right storage tiers.

Each tier offers a different set of pricing and performance features, so it’s important to evaluate your options and choose the one that best suits your needs.

For example, instead of using standard storage, which tends to be more expensive, consider using a less expensive infrequently accessed storage option if you have data that is accessed infrequently.

By carefully evaluating storage tiers, you can optimise your cloud costs.

GCP Committed Use discounts vs Azure RIs vs AWS RIs

Cloud ProviderGCP Committed Use DiscountsAzure RIsAWS RIs
FlexibilityDiscounts apply to vCPUs and memory. Zone assignment not a factorDiscounts apply to specific VM types, Azure RIs can be used across subscriptions and resource groupsDiscounts apply to specific instance types and availability zones
Commitment Period1 or 3 years1 or 3 years1 or 3 years
Discounts apply toRegion and ProjectRegion SpecificRegion and Availability Zone specific
Prepayment RequiredNoNo (PAYG option available)Yes
Ability to change reserved resources attributesNoYes (Convertible option available)Yes (Modifying and exchanged options available)

Tip

You might be thinking: Is there an AWS or Google Cloud Platform equivalent to Azure Automation? The answer is yes, find the direct resources below.

Google Cloud Deployment Manager documentation  |  Cloud Deployment Manager Documentation
Azure Automation
AWS Systems Manager Automation – AWS Systems Manager (amazon.com)

Conclusion

The ability to manage and automate cloud costs is key to maintaining financial control through automation.

This can be achieved by setting policies, budgets and alerts to keep costs under control. Automation techniques can also be used to scale resources based on usage.

For example, using auto-scaling pools in AWS or VM scaling sets in Azure to automatically adjust resources as usage varies.

It is essential to have a robust cost management and automation system in place in order to maintain control over your cloud spend.

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