Five Common Problem Areas for Cloud Cost Optimization

In 2007, there was no such thing as the public cloud market. By the end of 2021, Gartner estimates that it will exceed $330 billion, up 23% just from last year. 

The massive shift to the cloud in recent years has brought challenges for cloud adopters. For many organizations, one key challenge is adapting to new pricing models and methods. An even bigger struggle is understanding where or how they can save. Cost optimization is a hot topic in the industry, but it can be hard to know where to start if your organization wants to reduce costs. Today, we’ll break down a few key problem areas that commonly drive cloud costs up, and provide a few tips for avoiding surprise bill spikes and other headaches.   

1. Do you have unused or underutilized resources running? IT departments often spin up temporary servers or other resources as they test things out on your environment. If they forget to turn them off or leave unnecessary servers running over the weekend (as many do), you’ll see the effects on your bill.

2. Have all of your active deployments and resources been approved? If not, you have what we call shadow IT activity. Shadow IT activity occurs when employees spin out new resources without organizational approval. One way to deal with shadow IT activity is to ensure that you have total visibility of your environment – knowing when resources are turned off or on, how employees use cloud resources, and who has access to parts of your environment.

3. Did you surpass the free tier? Many organizations leverage AWS’ free tier offerings, but the key to keeping them free is knowing the limits. Free tiers will either have usage limits or expiration dates. Keep track of the limits, and set up alerts to ensure that you don’t surpass them. If not, you’ll be charged the standard billing rate. 

4. Is your environment up to date? When AWS releases an update or a new generation of a solution or product, it can make a big difference for your environment. Updates often cost less and improve performance. If you are behind on updates, you could be doubly losing out – make sure you stay up-to-date on AWS news and regularly update your environment to take advantage of these benefits. 

5. Do you actively manage your reserved instances? Reserved instances and savings plans can be a great way to save on cloud costs when done correctly. We commonly see organizations skip past analyzing usage before purchasing a reserved instance, and they often buy more than they need. Before investing in the one- or three-year reserved instance plans, know what you use. You only want to purchase what is necessary, because selling RIs back to AWS can be complicated. 

Another option to consider is leveraging an advanced partner like JetSweep for your reserved instance management. We use algorithms to maximize savings, limiting any risk to you. We can help you find the best price while limiting risk and minimizing management time for your team.  

Taking a closer look into these key areas of your environment is a great place to start, but there is much more to cost optimization. Cost optimization in the cloud can be time-consuming for in-house teams, requiring continuous monitoring, analytics, and staying up-to-date on AWS news and best practices. For this reason, many organizations choose to work with an AWS Partner, like JetSweep. AWS Partners will efficiently handle all of your billing and cost optimization while providing you with experts to assist with any deployment.  

When we work with cost optimization and billing customers, we help them gain control over their AWS spend by assessing their environment, providing recommendations for cost optimization, and implementing any approved changes. Our solution architects leverage CloudCheckr to gain total visibility into the environment and pinpoint wasted resources. We also invoice customers for their entire AWS bill, so they don’t have to deal with the credit card billing structure. 

The best cost optimizations strategies are iterative – always looking for ways to reduce costs while improving performance. If you’d like to learn more about JetSweep’s cost optimization process, head over to our offering on the AWS Marketplace! We explain our strategy and how you can start saving with our team on your side. 

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