Most often, the big question that pops up in your mind is - Why migrate to the cloud? While there are many reasons, you probably know the basic ones—to inject innovation, agility, and clarity in business operations.
As a matter of fact, cloud adds flexibility and redefines your IT infrastructure in its entirety; letting you focus on what actually matters - your core business. It's efficiency can be leveraged to host almost all types of business applications with minimal efforts.
The benefits of cloud migration are enormous, and they all converge towards a single point – it saves your buck. Large organizations across the globe have already adopted cloud as the heart of their IT operations. And if you are running an SMB (Small and Mid-sized Business), we bet you are on the right track.
That said, let’s focus on how cloud helps you optimize your IT costs.
No Capital Costs
Yes, you heard that right. It is an obvious fact that when you adopt cloud, you need not manage servers anymore. Your data resides on the cloud provider’s servers. Thus, saving you the capital investment costs involved in installing servers. This is one major turnaround of migrating to the cloud arena.
No Maintenance Costs
If you don’t need to install servers on-premises, you are also free from the maintenance costs involved. Apart from staging an entire IT infrastructure on the cloud, cloud providers are also responsible for the maintenance costs.
In simple terms, you don’t even have to think about the complexity involved in managing a plethora of hardware and server issues; helping you maintain business continuity.
It’s Environment-Friendly—Low Energy Costs
It's a no-brainer that servers consume heavy loads of power even if they are kept idle. But, now that your servers reside on your cloud provider’s premises, there will be a considerable amount of energy savings, and of course, the costs associated with it. Whether it is the services, or data storage, or the electricity, you only pay for what you consume; minimizing the TCO effectively.
No Disaster Recovery Costs
Disaster Recovery planning and implementation require a great deal of time and money. Moreover, it requires you to store massive amounts of backups that could probably take a long time to access in the event of an emergency. But, moving to the cloud not only helps you with the DR planning and implementation but also accelerates the process and saves costs without interrupting your core business.
Apart from providing a competitive edge in terms of cost optimization, the ‘cloud’ has indeed become a disruptive technology that adds agility to businesses. Harnessing its capabilities, you can tailor the usage of services based on your specific business needs.
So now you know about the countless possibilities that the cloud has to offer; and how it can transform your IT infrastructure—injecting innovation on the go. This is true, undoubtedly. But you might also be concerned about the unexpected costs and workflow delays that may come in the way during cloud migration.
According to leading research firms such as Gartner, Forrester and 451 Research, 50 percent and more cloud migrations result in an exceeded budget - causing unexpected disruption in the overall business.
As a matter of fact, although the cloud is flexible in every aspect, formulating a stringent cloud migration strategy can sometimes become a hurdle. But if you do it right, the entire migration scenario can turn out to be a cost-effective one. Let’s make it simple. Your cloud migration efforts should focus on these three factors—Your ROI goals; your individual assets that you are moving to the cloud; and the level of support your cloud provider can offer.
Moreover, the below-mentioned key points can shed some light on how effectively you can make a headway in cloud cost optimization.
1. Know Your Applications And Map Them
The prime reason that thwarts the success of most cloud migrations is the company’s inability to understand their applications—how they work, and how they communicate with other on-premise applications. This paves a path towards unstable applications post-migration. Moreover, identifying the underlying errors may require strenuous efforts, and can be costly and time-consuming. Before you even start migrating, mitigating the risk holds vital importance.
All you need to do is map all your application dependencies; also making sure that you are migrating its resources simultaneously. Now that you have accuracy and clarity, executing this entire procedure helps you troubleshoot the applications post-migration.
2. Inject the Right Technology
In order to make your cloud migration a success story, you need to keep analyzing your cloud infrastructure—in a bid to identify and rectify loopholes that may occur over time in your cloud journey. An effective solution - blending your cloud with the right technology and tools that not only streamlines your initial workload migration but also helps you maintain its stability altogether.
For instance, the cloud technology solutions you choose should inhabit features such as:
- Automated Migration: Powered by automation, this feature migrates your on-premise applications to the cloud—allowing you to worry less and focus on your core business.
- Performance Monitoring: As this involves real-time monitoring, you will be able to identify and resolve issues quickly; or even before they occur.
- Analytics: This feature enables you to understand the overall performance, and have enhanced control over your cloud platform—helping you optimize your cloud costs effectively.
3. Know Your Cloud Storage Needs
It is true that the widespread availability of storage options such as Azure, AWS (Amazon Web Services) and Google is often confusing. During migration, you are likely to over-provision, under-provision, or even end up adopting the wrong cloud storage. The trick is to evaluate the IOPS (Input-Output Operations Per Second) and choose the storage option that best suits your IT infrastructure.
Although these points can help you make a positive impact, at the end of the day, the key to cost-optimization in the cloud narrows down to how well you understand your IT infrastructure and the applications within. This also involves being constantly updated with the features of best-of-breed cloud solutions that are available in the marketplace; such as AWS, Azure, IBM, and HP.
For now, to simplify your hunt for the perfect solution, let’s focus on Amazon Web Services (AWS) for instance.
Ever since it's genesis, AWS has indeed managed to transform numerous businesses from vivid industrial realms. Considering today’s scenario, the rate of AWS deployments is constantly on the rise. This is solely because organizations are realizing the essence of flexibility and innovation, and are trying to instill AWS as the fulcrum of their IT infrastructure.
Gartner predicts that the overall IT spending is expected to rise from $3.5 trillion in 2015, to $3.9 trillion by 2020. This indicates a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.0 percent. Moreover, the highlighting fact is - during the same period, the aggregate market for public cloud services is expected to grow at an enormously higher CAGR of 17.5 percent.
You already know, cost optimization on the cloud can be painstaking. AWS solves this effectively. In an innovative manner, AWS's wide array of services and pricing models offer the level of flexibility you need to manage your costs; while keeping your business performance intact. Apart from this, AWS offers other forms of innovative services such as the Amazon Redshift and Amazon RDS for Aurora. These services were developed keeping affordability and efficiency in mind—helping you run enterprise-grade solutions at rates far cheaper than the on-premise alternatives.
Deploying AWS gives you the ability to right-size your services effortlessly, utilize the reserved instances, and use best-of-breed cost management tools to monitor your cloud expenses. In short, you will be constantly updated with your cloud costs; opening the window for cost optimization as you proceed in your cloud journey.
So how exactly can AWS help you optimize your costs?
Read the following steps to gain further insights.
Tailoring Your Services
AWS allows you to tailor your services according to your specific capacity requirements. This avoids the risk of under-provisioning or over-provisioning the capacity. With AWS, you can adapt your services to address actual business needs at any time, with no penalties or incidental fees. Focusing on flexibility, AWS enables you to choose and change the services whenever you need—as per your fluctuating business needs. This also involves the freedom to run multiple services simultaneously.
Boosting Savings with Reserved Capacity
Services such as Amazon EC2 and Amazon RDS allows you to choose reserved capacity. This can help you save a considerable amount of costs when compared to on-demand capacity.
With AWS, you can avail reserved instances in 3 ways:
- All up-front (AURI)
- Partial up-front (PURI)
- No upfront payments (NURI).
Utilizing the Spot Fleet
Amazon’s EC2 Spot instances allow you to bid on the spare Amazon EC2 computing capacity. As a matter of fact, spot instances are offered at a discounted price, helping you save the costs of running your applications on AWS cloud. On the other hand, with the ‘spot fleet’ feature, you can request a set of spot instances from multiple availability zones and instance types by triggering a single API call.
Dig Deeper into Your Expenses with Cost Explorer
AWS Cost Explorer is staged as an innovative platform that helps you analyze your costs and usage instantly. Technically speaking, it portrays a set of default performance reports that help you identify the usage trends and major cost drivers on AWS.
Leveraging the TCO Calculator
Now that you have made all efforts to achieve unprecedented levels of cost optimization with your AWS, it is time to calculate your savings. AWS also provides a TCO calculator. The calculator allows you to evaluate the savings gained by using AWS—making an end-to-end comparison with on-premise environments.
The gist of a successful cloud cost optimization lies in the ability to understand the key features of AWS, and how they work in a collaborative manner. In case you are still clueless about optimizing costs on AWS, 7EDGE is at the forefront of guiding your organization towards higher productivity. With a proven expertise and experience in AWS implementation, our AWS professionals are constantly focused on formulating a stringent cost optimization strategy.
Now that you have the information you need, go ahead and make your journey to the cloud a great success.
Originally published , updated March 15 2018