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Nov 15, 2018

7 Ways a Cloud Assessment Helps You Control Costs

The benefits of cloud computing are no secret: lower costs, greater agility, added scalability, and better resource utilization have made the cloud our new digital norm. Organizations of all stripes are migrating to cloud to fulfill the promise of digital transformation, but many find it challenging to come up with a clear migration roadmap – the factors they need to consider to create an effective cloud strategy.

A comprehensive assessment of your current infrastructure deepens your understanding of the steps your cloud migration will involve and gives you a clear picture of the associated costs.

Here are seven ways a thorough cloud assessment can help your organization make a smoother transition and reduce your spending:

1) Resource scaling and scheduling

Everything that runs on the cloud has a price, so the amount of time each resource runs is a major cost-optimizing factor. It is important to have a detailed idea of your current solution implementation so you can decide which resources need to be kept online 24×7, and which resources can be turned off during off-peak hours.

Modern cloud providers can schedule automatic resource startup and shutdown according to your needs. Enterprises should implement auto-scaling for production workloads and schedule development environments to run only during working hours (or when needed).

2) Efficient specification

Organizations commonly provision the same resource specifications on-premises and on cloud. While there are cases where making a perfect replica of your on-premises machine on cloud might be essential, most instances provisioned on cloud are severely underutilized and needlessly inflate your budget.

Check each instance’s CPU and memory utilization. If the CPU is always hovering under 20%, it is overprovisioned. Initially, you should configure instances with low specifications and grow from there, because the hardware specifications of cloud resources are frequently upgraded, and each hardware enhancement is optimized to perform better than previous-generation hardware. These performance improvements might outpace your cloud computing needs.

3) Leveraging discounts

Cloud providers offer discounts up to 50% on reserved instances, which is a great idea, especially when companies have a solution that needs to run on the same specs for a longer period. Companies that are on cloud don’t generally consider those discounts and proceed with procuring expensive resources at full price.

Microsoft encourages “bring your own license” (BYOL) for Windows and SQL server to reduce the cost of an instance in Azure. Both reserved instances and BYOL greatly reduce costs associated with running solutions on cloud.

4) Defined retention policy

Companies on cloud often ignore the cost of resource storage, especially in the case of premium or geo-redundant storage options, where cost can rise steeply and wreak havoc on your budget. Backups are important, but frequently scheduled backups make long-term backup retention irrelevant. Clearly defined backup retention policies can help you reduce the cost of cloud operations by keeping storage costs low.

5) Snapshots, deleted instances, and their drives

Companies tend to delete virtual machines and other objects that are no longer in use, but forget to delete the drives associated with these objects, resulting in unnecessary cost. Scanning for and deleting storage objects that are no longer needed is an important cost-saving practice.

6) Storage replication options

Cloud providers allow you to back up items and assets across geographical locations. This type of storage account is expensive and should only be chosen when needed. Before selecting a storage account, you should decide whether you need locally redundant, geo-redundant, premium, or standard storage. Being mindful of these considerations can lead to a major reduction in cloud spending.

7) Cross-region solution deployment

You have the option to deploy your cloud solution across data centers or geographical locations. Despite its benefits, this practice comes with a major drawback: higher bandwidth utilization. Cloud providers usually charge for outbound datacenter traffic. To minimize traffic-related costs, companies that are exploring cloud options should design their solution architecture so that it resides within the same data center.

Systems has a track record of developing strategies for enterprises that maximize their cloud capabilities. Our cloud assessment services will help you devise a cloud strategy that optimizes cloud usage and reduces associated costs. We evaluate costs, risks, and unique business needs, and provide insights into cloud services such as analytics, computing, databases, archiving, mobile, web, storage, and more.

We don’t stop there… our cloud consultants will work with you to make the implementation of your cloud-first strategy a roaring success. To learn more, please contact Systems.