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Features to reduce costs of your cloud platform

Features to reduce costs of your cloud platform

In these far from easy and unpredictable days, Cloud8 has been working with more focus on one of our main missions: helping to immediately reduce costs.

Cost reduction can be achieved by understanding the costing structure, its allocation, evolution, ‘obscurities’ and better understanding the usage characteristics of the components in your cloud, be it AWS, Azure or Google Cloud.

However, just understanding the general situation is not enough to obtain gains from reducing usage. Understanding the costs may point to a refactoring of the architecture, or to the purchase of reserved components (it’s hard to think about spending thousands of dollars in uncertainty and at the height of the dollar’s rise!). These options would certainly help but they are not the best for the current moment. What we are looking for, in the end, is to save time and spend the minimum necessary, without effort/diversion from the focus on the product/client.

To cut costs immediately, proactive actions are necessary, based on advice. In this scenario Cloud8 is ideal for saving precious dollars starting today .

Many customers have consulted us and we would like to share, in this newsletter, the latest news and tips for using Cloud8 and starting to reduce costs.

[Cost Management] Currency support: Real vs Dollar

In response to several requests, all of our cost-related tooling now supports visualization in Dollars and Reals. Unique on the market, all notification features, reports, budgets, anomalies, resale, etc. are monitored in both currencies. As the vast majority of budgets in companies are made in reais, there is nothing more practical than monitoring the correct currency and understanding how fluctuations in the dollar affect goals.

For providers that charge directly in Reais, we use the provider’s quote. For providers that charge in dollars, we update the quote daily with the average value between purchases and sales in commercial dollars.

If you need a ‘custom’ dollar, talk to us as we support that too!

[Cost Management] App Costs

We recently launched an internal application that we call ‘Custos Apps’. Just like its sister application, ‘Costs Analytics’, the primary function is to provide visibility and bring understanding about costs

Apps brings ready-made views and immediate understanding, while Analytics, as the name suggests, is a platform for exploring data, searching and drilling down on technical products and business tags. We updated the “Tables – Allocation” application, which displays variation markings with percentages to choose from, making it easier to find what changed between periods.

Apps consists of several applications. Let’s go to them:

  • Insights (AWS only for now): Dashboards for harder-to-identify costs
    • Data Transfer: products, offending components, inter-region and inter-AZ costs – no surprises!
    • S3: storage vs data transfer vs operations;
    • EC2 Hours: breakdown by hours on demand, reserved, spots, savings plan;
    • EC2 Spot;
    • Lambda;
    • DynamoDB;
    • RDS Hours;
    • Nat Gateway: what and how you are consuming it – we suggest investigating carefully if you use it massively…
    • soon also available for Azure and GCP
  • Budgets (MultiCloud): reports, notifications and budget tracking
    • multiple providers products and tags
    • formula: by fixed cost, estimate, percentage of variation in relation to the previous month;
    • currency: dollar or real;
    • compatible with resale: choose whether to use resale or end customer markup;
    • compatible with Business Units;
    • miscellaneous notifications;
    • monitor whether the budget is in line over the months
  • Inventory (MultiCloud): extract the list of components by product in the period of your choice and perform variance analysis to understand the main offenders and also export/reconcile the data in your preferred CMDB. Inventory also groups components when it makes sense. For example, it brings the disks and snapshots belonging to the servers and thus shows the real and total cost of the main component;
  • Untagged: keep track of which components do not have tags and make a perfect allocation – see below under ‘Bonus’ the link to the FINOPS document.

[Execution] Immediate actions

How about  reducing costs today  on AWS, Azure and Google Cloud?

  • Go through the most expensive components with a fine-toothed comb and understand the cost;
  • turning instances on and off – outside business hours, weekends;
  • turning databases on and off – outside business hours, weekends;
  • turn AWS Redshift on and off – outside business hours, weekends;
  • instance upgrade and downgrade – smaller profiles at times of low demand;
  • database upgrade and downgrade (all types, GCP custom, Azure SQL Pools);
  • disk swap in AWS EBS – change magnetic and SSD without reboot and transparent – ​​savings of up to 50%!;
  • unused components;
  • stopped servers that can be transformed into snapshots;
  • apply retention policies to backups according to business rules, by instances and database (production, testing, etc.), to avoid storing more than necessary;
  • resize instances and database according to memory idleness, CPU, disk usage;
  • use newer types;
  • copy instances and database to less expensive regions;
  • clean installed services and components in order to reduce CPU and disk space usage;
  • review size and type (magnetic vs SSD) of disks;
  • review data transfer – systems, components, transfer between regions;
  • use Best Practices: + 125 rules, 26 of which are focused on cost reduction;

Everything we mentioned you can do using the tools within Cloud8. Use the cost analysis platform and task scheduler to execute cost reduction workflows.

See the comparison between using Cloud8 or automating it at home.

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