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  • Cloud adoption around the world is increasing rapidly as we speak.

    According to Gartner, end-user expenditure on public cloud solutions is expected to grow at 18.4% to reach $304.9 billion in 2021.

    And the reasons are obvious!

    Cloud solutions offer enhanced stability, flexibility, and security while helping you cut your costs compared to conventional systems. Not to mention, the covid-19 pandemic has even accelerated this demand for cloud services. And solutions such as AWS, GCP, Azure, and more are onboarding new users as the days pass.

    Cloud has acquired the center stage and helps businesses succeed by providing impeccable advantages over the traditional systems.

    But managing cloud-based workflows can get challenging at times.

    Cloud wastage is one of such challenges. As a result, it affects your overall cloud spend, and you are actually paying for the resources you don’t utilize.

    Sooner or later, you’ll realize it and figure out there’s still room left for squeezing CPU cycles, storage space, and other resources.

    So, how can you manage your cloud costs?

    An efficient cloud cost optimization solution can be of huge help! It will ensure you get the maximum value out of your cloud spends while avoiding expensive glitches.

    In this article, I will discuss this and introduce you to some of the cloud optimization solutions for AWS, Azure, GCP, and other cloud platforms.

    What is cloud cost optimization?

    The process of cutting down the overall cloud expenses of an organization can be referred to as cloud cost optimization. It is accomplished through different techniques such as identifying unused or mismanaged resources, rightsizing computing services, eliminating waste, and more.

    Cloud services are designed to offer unlimited scalability and minimal IT expenditure by charging only for the resources you utilize. However, the truth is, cloud services charge you based on the ordered resources even if you use all of the allocated resources or not.

    For example, I use Disney Plus as my go-to streaming service to enjoy my favorite shows like Game of Thrones, Mandalorian, and so many Disney movies. It helps me save on costly TV plans. But even if I watch one or two shows a day, or nothing at all for days, I’m still paying for the entire package, which will expire after a year.

    A similar thing happens with businesses when they use cloud services.

    In fact, exceeded cloud cost can eat your balance sheet if the right measurement is not in place, especially when infrastructure is set to scale on-demand. This is where a cloud cost optimization solution can come in handy, so you can automate the tasks and save your cloud spend.

    These solutions will help you monitor, analyze, and manage your cloud performance. Besides, you can set a reliable cloud cost optimization methodology using one of them. You will also be able to apply standardized processes, right-size your cloud deployments efficiently, and more.

    As a result, it will accelerate your cloud adoption strategy and helps you better optimize the costs to achieve higher ROI and reap the maximum benefits out of your cloud services.

    With that being said, let’s look at some of the best cloud cost optimization tools for your online business.

    Uptrends

    Keep your cloud expenditure in check with Uptrends and make smart cloud-capacity purchases. It helps you make better decisions for your cloud cost according to how much data you actually need and utilize.

    This cloud cost optimization solution will tell you how long a specific cloud instance will run so you can make the purchase correctly. It will monitor Azure and AWS billing and identify your optimal cloud usage plan according to your needs.

    Not only this, but the software will also help you discover the best possible configuration of non-burstable (fixed) or burstable (flexible) server instances along with the instance durations.

    Uptrends provides detailed analytics to help you make optimum quality-change decisions. This toolkit empowers you to determine your current cloud allocation, verify your cloud infrastructure improvements so you can offer high-performing and cost-effective solutions to users.

    You can review current and past data, predict your cloud requirements, and use the sunburst chart and analyze resource utilization. Furthermore, use Skyline reviews to see the application and instance demands over a specific period like minutes, hours, days, weeks, or months.

    ITRS

    The ITRS Capacity Planner leverages machine learning to optimize your cloud capacity, manage modifications, and prevent costly outages. Utilize current ITRS Geneos or ITRS OP5 Monitor attributes to monitor your applications and infrastructure across the cloud, along with orchestrated and containerized environments.

    Use these attributes to enable configurable groupings and the hierarchy of virtual machines and hosts. The software helps you visualize your overall IT estate from the cloud and virtual to physical estates; every single infrastructure resource available. You can also learn which application tiers are capacity-constrained.

    Model the impacts of change due to application migrations, infrastructure additions, or decommissions. ITRS Capacity Planner is an efficient way to align your entire infrastructure with business priorities and service demands. This software complements the APM investment you make by providing you with prescriptive and predictive analytics.

    These powerful analytics can quantify the effects of infrastructure or business changes on application performance. In this way, it helps you maintain the customer experience at the expected level. Control your expenses with accurate reporting on the app resource allocation, cost, and usage as per your business applicability.

    The software also recommends how you can improve your service, reduce resource wastage, and manage costs by identifying imbalanced resource usage and distributions. Apart from all these remedial solutions, it helps you create predictive plans based on previous records. ITRS Capacity Planner is secure and safe to use and has an ISO 27001 certificate.

    Cloud Analyzer

    Cloud Analyzer by Spot gives integrated visibility and automation to optimize your cloud capacities. It helps you understand your cloud costs and reduce them by taking informed actions and enhancing cloud efficiency. This cloud infrastructure management software uses sophisticated analytics to offer accurate insights into all your cloud expenses.

    It also displays the areas to optimize the costs and allows you to implement the optimization using its innovative solutions in minutes. Cloud Analyzer examines your real-time and historical data across your accounts and workloads to identify patterns, trends, misconfigurations, and anomalies that can impact your business.

    It leverages machine learning and predictive analytics to offer actionable visibility and guidance on cost optimization techniques such as commitment resource usage, right-sizing, purchase strategies, scaling, etc. You can create customized reports on cloud cost and usage data, plus share them easily within and outside of your team.

    Binadox

    Monitor, manage and optimize your cloud cost easily with Binadox. The tool is excellent in finding out what cloud services you pay for and the ones you actually need for your business to strike a balance.

    Discover the charges incurred on every single server you utilize, along with your virtual machines. You can identify the inactive instance and avoid overspending on them. The dashboard will show you much you have saved on your cloud services like AWS, DynamoDB, EC2, etc.

    Scale up or down the computing infrastructure without the risks of exceeding the limits that can increase your expenses. Set up your budget limit to ensure cloud cost predictability. Get an in-depth view of expenses irrespective of the complexity and size of your cloud infrastructure.

    Binadox integrates flawlessly with AWS, Azure, Office 365, Okta, Atlassian, Flexera, Google, Salesforce, Adobe, and more. All the plans that Binadox offers are laced with full functionality based on your company’s actual spending.

    You can start with a FREE trial plan for 30 days for less than $1k/month cloud, and SaaS spend. It includes 2 cloud accounts, 2 users, and 3 applications. When satisfied with the services, you can start with its paid plan that costs $99/month for less than $10k/month cloud expenses with 3 cloud accounts, 3 users, and 5 applications.

    Xi Beam

    Nutanix’s Xi Beam helps you save your private and public cloud expenses. It also helps drive financial accountability through smart resource sizing and accurate visibility on chargeback and cloud metering. Save more with automated task scheduling and intuitive RI purchases.

    Distributing resource costs is easy based on business consumption. Get out-of-the-box insights into the costs of private cloud resources such as VMs, clusters, and more. The TCO model can compute the actual cost needed to run a private cloud from software, hardware, data center infrastructure, power, and cooling to salary costs for telecom & IT admins.

    Xi Beam leverages tag-based automated cost allocation to budget centers spanning private and public clouds. You can create consumption reports automatically by teams, users, budget owners, applications, and so on. Define your Chargeback policies and allocate untagged expenses to a cost center. You can also set up a budget alert for controlling the costs.

    Utilize machine learning algorithms that can detect anomalous expenditure patterns automatically and helps you take proactive actions quickly. You can make automation policies and eliminate resources that you don’t use to save extra bucks.

    Utilize reserved instance (RI) buying plans and save more with a pay-as-you-go model of resource consumption. Xi Beam can identify an optimal RI based on consumption history and supports cloud services, including AWS, Azure, and Nutanix.

    CloudHealth

    Transform your organizational cloud operation with CloudHealth and manage everything with ease. Over 10k+ customers across the world trust this platform to cut off their cloud costs. In Q4 2020, Forrester named CloudHealth as a Wave Leader in Cloud Cost Optimization and Management.

    It helps you discover ways to reduce cloud spend by reporting your expenditure by cost center and driving financial accountability regarding budgets. Make customized policies to automate cloud operations daily, reduce risks, and accelerate decision-making.

    Monitor and detect risks and report all the vulnerabilities found in real-time to strengthen your security systems and maintain compliance. You can even take up CloudHealth’s 5-minute cloud management assessment online to learn how mature your cloud management is and figure out ways to stay ahead of competitions.

    Zesty

    Eliminate cloud resources from getting wasted and achieve maximum cost savings with the Zesty automated cloud cost optimization AI tool. It provides you with real-time data updated every second with no delay to make better decisions on optimizing the costs.

    With their ‘hands-free’ automation and continuous optimization, instead of just recommendations like many other competitors, you can save more. Getting started with Zesty is easy in just 5 minutes, so you can quickly hop-in and start saving.

    Zesty helps reduce your cloud bill by leveraging its cutting-edge technology in real-time. They offer risk-free and automatic management of saving plans and reserved instances. Apart from this, you get an efficient resource cleaner to decommission unused cloud resources automatically.

    Use Zesty Desk to perform automatic right-sizing of all your EBS volumes. They also help you scale confidently and easily during peak timings with Spot Instances at discounted rates. As a result of their services, you can save hugely on your EC2 and other cloud expenses.

    Kubecost

    Are you looking for an effective way to optimize your Kubernetes resources?

    Kubecost is for you!

    It gives you wider visibility into your entire Kubernetes resources so you can monitor outages and reduce your spending. You can integrate Kubecost with the Kubernetes API along with cloud billing APIs directly to learn how resources are being allocated across your server clusters within minutes.

    In this way, you can take suitable action according to the current information and decide better allocation strategies. See how each user and application is consuming the Kubernetes resources for show back or chargeback. You can see allocations for main Kubernetes such as deployments, pods, labels, services, and more.

    Assign from cluster cloud assets such as storage buckets and databases to teams, services, products, and more native Kubernetes concepts to measure the complete cloud operation cost for your organization. Apart from all these, Kubecost provides dynamic and prioritized recommendations to optimize your managing capacity and cloud spends to avoid application outages and performance degradation.

    You can also track important infrastructure tasks to improve the overall resource reliability and efficiency. And to improve the reliability more, you can take up infrastructure assessment in real-time and analyze resource utilization and current configuration compared to others who run Kubernetes infrastructure.

    Furthermore, enable notifications to catch infrastructure outages and cost overruns before they could cost you heavy bucks. Integrate with services like Jira, Slack, PagerDuty, and more to preserve your engineering workflows.

    Harness

    Harness is a good option for cloud cost management that can bring greater transparency to your DevOps and developer teams. It empowers your engineers with better cost visibility on clusters, apps, and microservices.

    Apart from these, the solution gives you the context you need to visualize and manage your cloud costs by the environment, deployment, and configuration change. It also provides granular visibility on AWS ECS and Kubernetes clusters, workloads, namespaces, Pods, and nodes.

    As a result, you would be aware of how your resources are utilized and those unallocated and idle. It helps you debug inefficiencies quickly and optimize them. Set thresholds and budgets for your cloud spend across apps, environments, and clusters. Harness also alerts you in case of cost spikes so you can make necessary decisions.

    You can also give your developers quick feedback on their deployments, clusters, and auto-scaling and how they impact cost and consumption. The solution supports AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, and it needs no tagging. You can report the cloud costs monthly, weekly, or hourly so your engineers can effectively highlight savings and optimization.

    Aaptio Cloudability

    Enable your IT, DevOps, and finance teams to collaborate and optimize your cloud resources with Aaptio Cloudability to achieve maximum speed and quality with minimum cost. It helps you set team budgets, forecast the cloud spend accurately, and track them with ease.

    You can correlate your spending with business value and make confident investment decisions. The tool also lets you stay informed of all the cloud costs incurred and how to act if you find any anomalies. You can also ace rightsizing opportunities by project, team, or service.

    Apptio Cloudability allows you to allocate cloud costs accurately, including the support charges and containers to ensure a complete cloud cost chargeback. Leverage rightsizing across main cloud services and reduce your operating costs to fund future investments and innovation.

    Apart from optimizing your cloud resources, this tool also translates your tags and bills into actionable insights and provides you with in-depth clarity in real-time accountability on resource consumption.

    Best practices for effective cloud cost optimization

    Apart from using the solutions, you can also maintain some best practices mentioned as follows:

    • Identify unused or idle resources: Sometimes, admins or developers can deploy a temporary server instance to execute a specific function and then forget to shut it down when the task is complete. Or, they can forget to remove storage attached to an instance they terminate. This increases extra charges, which is why you must monitor it.
    • Rightsizing computing services: Analyse your computing services and then modify them to get the optimal size to save cloud costs. This is what rightsizing is. Apart from server sizing, it would be best to optimize for database, memory, graphics, storage, computing, throughput, capacity, and more.
    • Invest in Azure Reserved VM Instances or AWS Reserved Instances if your enterprise is committed to using long-term cloud services. These services can increase your RI savings to a great extent.
    • Leverage spot instances to save on your Azure or AWS spend. Spot instances are suitable for immediate use, and certain use cases such as batch jobs or jobs can terminate quickly.
    • Setup billing alert to get notified on usage spike.

    Conclusion

    As modern companies adopt more and more cloud services, it has become crucial for them to keep their cloud costs checked. All the above solutions I discussed in this article are effective and worth your time.

    However, it all boils down to what your unique needs are in terms of cloud infrastructure.

    So, identify your needs and choose any cloud cost optimization solutions to visualize your resource allocation, utilization and make informed decisions to save cloud spending. And don’t forget to follow the best practices to reap maximum benefits out of your cost-saving strategy.