Hey, this is AmBlue. How can I help you today?

Categories
Cloud Cost Optimization

Azure App Service Cost Optimization Tips

” 39% of enterprises with revenue 50M-1B USD uses Azure App Service”
– Gartner

Azure App Service is one of the popular cloud services offered by Microsoft. IT services, finance, and manufacturing enterprises widely adopt App Services for their ample benefits. North America ranks on top with 51% followed by Europe, Middle East, and Africa marks 21%.

As enterprises invest a huge chunk of their cloud infrastructure budget in Azure app service, let’s see in this article the possible ways to optimize their expenses efficiently.

What is Azure App Service?

“Quickly build, deploy, and scale web apps and API on your terms”
– Azure

Azure app service is a web-hosting platform from Microsoft. This PaaS (Platform as a Service) hosts more than 2M apps and sites designed with different coding languages (.Net, Python, etc.) on Azure as of now. It facilitates the users to just give their code and configuration files and focus on their projects while Azure takes care of the infrastructure maintenance, security, etc.

Released in 2013, offers significant benefits like,

  • Built-in scaling options(manual/customized)
  • Zero downtime deployments
  • Built-in CI/CD and operations monitoring
  • Strong Visual Studio and Visual studio code integration
  • Deployment slots accommodate faster app updates, testing, development
  • Automatic security patching
  • App Service Environment v3 allows network access external to your apps.
  • Allied services like Azure CDN, Azure Front Door, Azure Security Center, and Application Insights further simplify cloud operations

Suggested reading: Check the Cloud Cost Optimization tips

Azure App Service Cost Optimization Strategies

1. Choose the right fit

App Service comes with flexible pricing plans like free, basic service plan, standard service plan, premium v2/v3 service plan, isolated service plan, etc. Charging is based on the compute resources we utilize on a per-second basis. Analyzing the hosting needs itself solves half the problem eliminating the unintended bills.

For example, if your apps have low traffic volume, (CPU & memory usage) ‘The Basic Service Plan’ is more than enough starting from $0.018/hour instead of the ‘Standard Service Plan’ costing $0.095/hour.

2. Audit

Study the existing cloud app service usage thoroughly. As organizations boom over years developing various niche products, projects, and services, cloud services bundle up along with the underused or left out. When there is a change in the organization hierarchy or let’s say, the cloud infrastructure manager leaves the organization without documenting the left-out resources. The new employee continues with the current infrastructure. This will balloon the monthly cloud bills without adding any productive business outcomes. Periodically audit the App Service usage and safely remove the left out after checking its dependencies over other projects/apps.

3. Alternate

A wrong specification pick can easily pile up the bills. The initial stages of infrastructure setup wouldn’t involve a proper prediction of the compute requirement.

For example, let’s say a cloud engineer had chosen P2V2 with 420 total ACU and 7 GB memory costing $180.31 USD/month during the app service creation without knowing the app’s compute power requirement. Assume it hosts 4 apps. If the utilization is less than 50%, resize it to P1V2 with 210 total ACU charging half the costs of P2V2.

Azure App Service

4. Combine

Look for options to progressively reorganize the app services. We can deploy different web apps and APIs under one App Service Plan by specifying proper configuration details during setup. But make sure the regions of App Service and App Service Plans are the same. Because specifications differ from region to region.

5. Understand the associated costs

It is crucial to understand that our bills will not only have Azure App Service as a line item. Additional costs also accrue like App Service Domain costs (per year), IP-based certificate bindings cost (Standard tier and above), Virtual network cost, Storage account cost, App Service Certificates cost, etc. These costs can still add up to the bills even after deleting all apps in App Service. Make sure you delete all these additional resources as well.

Want a Simple Solution?

CloudCADI ends your search for a one-stop Azure App Service cost optimization tool. It gives you all actionable insights and recommendations for effective App Service cost optimization under one dashboard with options to dive deep and check the root causes. Sounds simple? Call us today.

Categories
Cloud Cost Optimization

Cloud Cost Optimization – Steps to make note of – Part 2

Cloud resource provisioning took a paradigm shift from what it was before 10 years. It is now rapid and agile. Solutions like serverless cloud computing, and Infrastructure as a Code further simplify the scenario. Heavily consumed manual efforts are now redirected to core tasks. Cloud resource provisioning is no more a daunting task, but cloud cost optimization is.

We have discussed cloud cost optimization best practices – Part 1 before, let’s continue with the further steps in this article.

Step 7: Narrow down

Enterprises use multiple tools for cloud cost optimization. They prefer to stick with native cloud service provider tools for better reliability. 

Example: Businesses using AWS cloud, can make use of,

  • AWS Cost Explorer – for managing and visualizing the cloud usage
  • AWS Cost Anomaly Detection – for detecting cloud spending abnormalities. This utilizes machine learning and statistical algorithms for accurate cost overage detection.
  • AWS Trusted Advisor- for recommendations on reducing costs, improving security, performance, etc. 

Many other native tools are also available like AWS CloudWatch, and AWS Budgets that aid cloud cost optimization. Hovering over multiple tabs for information can complicate cloud practitioners’ decision-making. 

Adopt a single solution that can unify all the results under one pane like CloudCADI that helps you to track, monitor, and restructure based on intelligent recommendations.

Step 8: Use Showback

Cost overages can occur from various sources. Overview of the cloud expenditure can only tell us how much we are wasting. Success of cloud cost optimization doesn’t stop right there. Identifying the source and rectifying the issue is the right way but it requires enormous effort.

Example: In Microsoft Azure, when we create a VM, a public IP address, network security group, and regular network interface is also created. When this VM is found to be unused for a longer period, the team decommission it to save the cloud costs. But if they miss decommissioning the other components (Public IP, Network interface, NSG) it still accounts for the monthly cloud bills.

Cost optimization reports should help us to filter it down and identify the lowest individual unit, the source of unintended spending. 

CloudCADI can show you pod level details of cost anomalies.

Step 9: Map them 

Every cloud cost optimization activity is directly coupled with the business benefits. List your business KPIs and benchmarks. Involve a stakeholder from every team like engineering, management, finance, and operations while figuring out KPIs. It’s crucial to map cloud spending with the business value it adds. 

Example: Cloud spend per customer, cloud spend per application

This exercise will help you to deeply associate engineering activities with cost and make every stakeholder’s decision financially accountable. 

Step 10: Keep in store

When you are aware of the roadmap and confident with the computing demand for the coming days, it’s safe to procure cloud resources well before. Bulk procurement in advance helps management on opting for better offers or discounts from service providers. 

Example: Reserved Instances. AWS’ RI can provide up to 72% discount compared to “On-Demand” pricing. It also offers the flexibility to alter families, OS types, and tenancies when Convertible RIs are chosen.

Related reading: Reserved Instances 

Step 11: Go with the same 

Before choosing the cloud service provider audit the internal environment thoroughly. If you have multiple Microsoft applications, it is good to go with Azure which saves integration costs. If there is a need for a short-term compute resource, go with a “pay-as-you-go” pricing model that allows increasing or decreasing compute capacity on-demand and pay for minutes (VMs) or seconds (Container instances). Whereas, for low latency microservices, and big data processing, GCP is a better option. 

Step 12: Don’t let it rest

Cloud cost optimization is not a one-time setup to build and leave aside. It is an ongoing process that is closely associated with business productivity and growth. When the organization scale, cloud dependency increases piling up the cloud resource volume to meet the growing demands. The need for faster delivery, customer experience, rapid innovations, and competition foster organizations to less worry about the selection, allocation, tracking, and costs of the cloud workloads. Generally, they lock in with the existing cloud vendors for easier procurement and support.

Final thoughts

The steps stated above are just a few. It is not the end of the cost optimization setup. As we discussed earlier, it is an iterative process that is to be carried out each day. 

Does the entire process sound so complicated? It is not when you choose CloudCADI. If you would like to know how? allow us to explain more. 

Dial us today!

Categories
Cloud Resources Management

Cloud Tagging – Strategic Practices

Enterprises using public cloud assets need a well-thought public cloud tagging of assets, an inventory model to achieve the highest level of visibility, and utilization, thereby robust mechanisms to ensure minimal wastage. It is vital for all organizations at scale.

“The wider the cloud adoption, the more complex is the cloud cost management”

According to NASSCOM, enterprises are expected to increase their cloud budget by nearly 5-15% CAGR till FY 2025. Selection, allocation, tracking, and monitoring of the cloud resources that seem simple and manual during the initial cloud adoption stages will turn into a headache when cloud assets number multiplied by hundreds.

The Cloud infrastructure management team can make use of “Tagging” and bucket the resources under a tag defining their function in the cloud. Any cloud practitioner can easily call, filter, and organize the resources using their tags.

Even the leading cloud service providers, Microsoft, AWS, and GCP emphasize tagging as the best practice to effectively sort and ally FinOps. We covered the benefits of FinOps in our previous article. Let’s see in this article,

  • What is Cloud Tagging?
  • Benefits of Cloud Tagging
  • Cloud Tagging best practices
  • Cloud CADI & Cloud Tagging

What is Cloud Tagging?

Cloud tagging is the practice of assigning custom names to cloud resources. Its nomenclature varies from organization to organization based on their teams’ preferences and ease.

Cloud tag comprises two – Key and Value. Key conveys the categories (ex: Environment, Owner) and Value conveys the meta description (ex: Testing, Priya)

Example: Environment: Testing

Key – Environment

Value- Testing

Key and Value can be case-sensitive or insensitive based on the service provider. For example, In AWS, both keys and values are case-sensitive whereas, in Azure, keys are case-insensitive, and values are case-sensitive.

What are the benefits of Cloud Tagging?

Structured resource allocation:

Enterprises opt for the multi-cloud environment for improved efficiency. Cloud resources procured from different vendors when contributing to a common project can be tagged under one label. In this way, no cloud resources are left unused.

Streamlined governance: 

Cloud tagging introduces organized cloud resource management in the organization. The Cloud infrastructure management personnel tend to lose control of the track of assets while handling multiple workloads deployed in multiple projects. Cloud tagging helps LOB Managers, CIOs, CTOs, and CFOs easily associate and understand resources with their business value, usage frequency, time of operation, and cost.

Team-specific reports generation:

 It is crucial to identify which team involves which resource to optimize the cloud utilization. Cloud tagging helps to drill down the cloud usage specific to business units. Reports help the engineering team to assess and alter workloads. This further helps the finance team to understand which team consumes more cloud budget and frame solutions along with the other teams to curb the bills.

Aid automation: 

Automation in the cloud relieves the burden of the cloud team in handling repetitive tasks. In an agile environment, businesses should be able to scale down or up the storage bandwidth, CPU utilization, or change configurations quickly as the demand rises.

Tags allies in automating the actions like sending notifications to cloud engineers on resources that are idle for a given period; automating the storage for a specific environment(testing); automatic decommissioning or provisioning of bulk resources.

Resource access management:

 Security is still a debating factor in the cloud. Tag-based access control can alleviate data breaches and ensure the confidentiality of sensitive data transacted over the cloud. For example, we can actively allow the developing team to access only the resource with the tag, environment: dev (user-defined tag).

Traceback the roots:

CTOs and CIOs report, that finding the source for cloud spending is a daunting task in cloud infrastructure management according to Economic Times. Tagging helps to find the specific team or resource that is critical and runs for a longer duration eating most of the infrastructure budget. Once it is identified, restructuring, or rebuilding the workload brings down the unintended cloud expenditures.

Cloud Tagging Checklist

Even though cloud tagging policies vary from business to business, it’s important to make them standard and globalized across the enterprise. So that it makes sense to every team handling cloud. Defining the rules for cloud tagging during the deployment itself mitigates anomalies in the future.

It’s confidential! – Never include sensitive data to be in the tags. 

Why do you need it? – Defining the tagging needs brings better resolution in meta-describing the resources. Stakeholders responsible handling, maintaining, tracking, and improving the tags should collectively define the use cases and name tags accordingly.

Make it speak for itself – Ensure that the naming convention carries all required information like a business unit, region, unique resource identifier, criticality, etc. enough to help the business team, engineering team, and CXOs in locating, and tracking, and cost optimizing the workloads.

Consistency is the Key– Once the tag schema is developed, it is important to stick to it. The person handling the tags should be cautious while defining, improving and update the same in the rules.

Example: Env: nztesting01 is different from Env: testingnz01

Minimum suggested tags– Cloud giants like Azure, GCP, and AWS recommend below as the minimum suggested tags to include for an effective tagging process,

  • workload name
  • Data classification
  • Operations commitment
  • Operations team
  • Cost center
  • Cluster
  • Version
  • App id
  • Disaster recovery
  • Service class
  • Start date of a project
  • Owner name
  • Business unit

Tag naming limits – Have a watch on the character limits before naming your resources. Key-Value character limits vary based on the CSP you choose. For example, the Key character limit is 1-63 with UTF-8 encoding for GCP whereas, it is 1-128 for AWS resources. Key and values should contain only lowercase letters, numeric characters, underscores, and dashes in GCP. Tag keys and values are case-sensitive in AWS.

Related reading: AWS cloud tagging best practices

CloudCADI & Cloud Tagging

CloudCADI is a one-stop solution for all your FinOps shortfalls.  It pulls off all your hidden cloud resources bundling up your cloud bills without any productive output. This financial visibility in the organization makes the employees feel accountable.

CloudCADI makes use of cloud tags to enhance your cloud experience in one go.

Our Recommendations:

1. Cloud practitioners name resources before deploying them into the services or app or any other function. We suggest our clients include at least five fields in their naming convention for easy identification and filtering.

Example,

cloud tagging best practices

2. Adding multiple tags to one resource leads to multiple filters to fetch the exact resource utilization and cost data.

Examples,

Owner: Priya (person responsible for the resource)

Platform id: AZR

Region: AU (Australia)

Zone: E (East)

Our flagship product gives you comprehensive reports on the unused, under-utilized, and over-provisioned resources using tags

cloudcadi dashboard
Cloud CADI – Tag filter screenshot

Tag-based reports are detailed and specific. CloudCADI gives a simple virtual representation for a quicker overview. It allows you to further filter out and point out any resource contributing to the cloud waste.

We can implement custom automation scripts to automate the scale-up, shut down, or any repetitive cloud tasks saving manual labor.

We don’t stop right there. CloudCADI gives “intelligent recommendations” with which you can immediately realize the benefits. Our actionable insights facilitate you with the best alternatives along with the cost savings report to decide immediately.

Start leveraging now. SPEND RIGHT on cloud.

Categories
Cloud Cost Optimization Cloud Resources Management

Benefits of Cloud FinOps: Top 5 Reasons Why Should You Implement Now

“95% of new digital workload deployment will be cloud-native by 2025 – Gartner”

Cloud FinOps and its benefits is trending the cloud industry for quite some time now. Pandemic, scalability, flexibility, and gaining a competitive edge are a few reasons which fostered the businesses to lift and shift their infrastructure to the cloud at the earliest.

The Cloud migration team considers various factors while planning the roadmap for the whole migration process. They invest ample time and effort in assessing all the applications, selecting the cloud providers (GCP/Azure/AWS/etc.), checking their security frameworks, compliance, and planning the cloud talent, maintenance, and support.

One key factor that they to miss notice is, if the bills they pay the Cloud Service Providers are only for the cloud assets the business intended and adding value.

What is Cloud FinOps?

Cloud FinOps – “Cloud Financial Operations”, is an organization wide practice that brings financial visibility and realization of an organization’s cloud spending. So every cloud stakeholder becomes financially accountable of their cloud resource choices that aligns technology investments effectively to business goals. Cloud FinOps offers a plethora of benefits other than this. Let’s see in this article in detail why is it quintessential.

Check out this short video to understand what is cloud finops.

What are the benefits of Cloud FinOps?

1. Alleviates uninformed Decisions

“You may be overspending on your cloud!”

Without proper monitoring of cloud resources spending, costly business decisions are less clear and can have negative or suboptimal business impacts. Real-time data insights and granular reports from Cloud FinOps products allow business leaders to

      • Compare the enterprise cloud resource utilization by time

      • Understand business units that require more resources

      • Get service level cloud utilization

      • Monitor resources that are left idle or underused.

    This accommodates LOB managers to optimize their cloud utilization with a clear understanding of the financial implications of their decisions. They take ownership of their cloud usage.

    2. Brings Cultural Shift

    Every cloud consumer should be able to easily obtain and understand cloud usage and spending data. Unaggregated data can make it extremely difficult for teams to clarify and implement cloud-consuming best practices. 

    Businesses today are increasingly migrating and spending on cloud resources. While many firms may feel that they are taking the necessary precautions to understand and handle this growth, they may be doing only the bare minimum, leaving resource management teams frustrated.

    With the adoption of Cloud FinOps, firms can now optimize their cloud consumption environment in the best conceivable way and create a culture that benefits all cloud-consuming parties.  

    Suggested reading: How to plan an effective cloud cost optimization plan? – Explained Step by Step

    3. Bring a unified ecosystem

    unified ecosystem
    Image Source: Agilitypr

    There is an invisible complex and frustrating culture split between DevOps, IT, and Finance teams in every enterprise. Request, approval, and intimation processes differ from each other even though they all work towards a common business goal. Certain terms and jargons make no sense to the other team (ex: containers allocation, VMs count). Moreover, the finance team loses its guardrails on cloud infrastructure procurement as the cloud engineering team step into the process.

    Cloud FinOps products aid them to stay updated on their cloud cost optimization based on their roles and responsibilities.

    Example: Finance team can view the cost data and reports of the resources while the engineering team can view the processer utilization details.

    This ensures smooth operations by transforming into a unified, effective, efficient ecosystem.

    4. Empower cloud engineers

    Engineers prefer cloud to traditional on-premise data centers as it accommodates scalable architecture, flexible design, as and when required storage allocation, etc. Applications that involve complex calculations demand more storage space. They focus more on agile, faster deployment, and bug-free delivery rather than worrying about storage space availability, computing power, and cloud resource availability. This may lead to unnecessary conflicts between the engineers and the cloud management team. It has the potential to restrict the liberty of engineers to explore and innovate while the cloud management team spends on resources that add no value addition to businesses. Bringing Cloud FinOps into the operations empowers both by having clear visibility and control over the resource utilization.

    5. Ensure streamlined process

    Every business has its own mission and vision. Strategies may change as per the demands and challenges we come across, but the goal is to progress in the right direction amidst all odds. Cloud adoption indeed aids businesses to stay abreast of their competitors. Neglecting the fact of cost-benefit analysis after the migration process, will let the business stay where they are and pay the same bills or more.  Cloud FinOps introduce financial prudence among the teams. Beyond, Cloud FinOps products like CloudCADI provide intelligent recommendations on how the cloud engineers can alter; rearrange; rebuild their resources/tools for an optimized cloud environment. This ensures streamlined business progress with contribution from everyone. 

    Other Added Benefits of Cloud FinOps

    6. Drives Cost Optimization

    Introducing cloud finops as a practice, drives cloud cost optimization throughout the organization. Rather than scaling up the VMs or EC2 or any machines based on its availability, they now choose based on the business needs. This in turn ensure every penny spent on cloud is leveraged.

    7. Ensures alignment with business goals

    Adopting cloud finops ensures the allocation and utilization of cloud resources are in harmony with overall business goals and priorities. This ensures that the technology infrastructure fosters rather than hinders the path towards company’s vision to success.

    8. Helps Risk Mitigation

    Cloud FinOps practice helps to mitigate financial risks associated with the use of cloud services. As we monitor and  manage costs closely like tracking expenses, analyzing usage patterns, identifying areas for cost optimization, businesses can proactively identify the potential financial risks such as budget overruns, inefficient resource allocation  and uncontrolled expenses.

    9. Fosters Continuous Improvement

    Cloud environment is dynamic with changing business requirements and evolving technology requirements. Iterative optimization is necessary where organizations regularly review their cloud spending patterns, identify areas for enhancement and implement changes for sustainable business. FinOps effectively accommodates this and assures operational efficiency. 

    10. Emphasize budget control

    Cloud FinOps practices emphasizes the importance of setting and controlling budgets for cloud spending.  By establishing  clear budgeting guidelines and thresholds, organisations can proactively manage and control their cloud expenses. This in turn allows to maintain financial discipline.

    Whom can you trust for your Cloud FinOps?

    “Newfound Understanding and Growth Through CloudCADI”

    Experience the benefits of Cloud FinOps with CloudCADI, a cloud financial management solution by Amadis Technologies, to partner with you and take hold of your cloud consumption habits while optimizing for future business growth!

    Transparency

    CloudCADI’s single pane view offers simple, yet information-dense charts and graphs detailing cost, performance, and utilization of all enterprise cloud resources consumed via IaaS / SaaS / PaaS models

    Actionable Insights

    CloudCADI offers complete analysis and recommendations for Azure services. Recommendations are made through the analysis of multiple parameters. An average of 6% – 12% monthly savings has been achieved by our clients who have adopted and utilized CloudCADI’s features.

    Non-Intrusive

    CloudCADI resides within the client’s public cloud environment without any third-party agents, eliminating the security breach threats. 

    Other Key Features,

    • Externalized Business Rule Engine: It allows users to play around as per their unique requirements.
    • Showback: It allows you to drill down and find the root cause of the cost overruns to take immediate actions.
    • End-to-End Automation: It facilitates the seamless integration of ticketing tools like ServiceNow.
    • Role based analytics: CloudCADI facilitates role-based visibility to dashboard.
    • Alerts: It has customizable reporting& alert capabilities to give visibility over IaaS/SaaS/PaaS services and assets, resulting in a better understanding of activities in the cloud

     

    CloudCADI enables cloud consumers to be the best they can be

      • Cloud Optimization 
      • Performance Efficiency  
      • Operational Excellence  
      • Actionable Insights 
      • Intelligent recommendations

    Book a demo to know more about CloudCADI features and call our experts for pricing. We will show you how one solution can enable you to leverage your entire cloud environment.

    Individual privacy preferences

    We use cookies and similar technologies on our website and process your personal data (e.g. IP address), for example, to personalize content and ads, to integrate media from third-party providers or to analyze traffic on our website. Data processing may also happen as a result of cookies being set. We share this data with third parties that we name in the privacy settings.

    The data processing may take place with your consent or on the basis of a legitimate interest, which you can object to in the privacy settings. You have the right not to consent and to change or revoke your consent at a later time. For more information on the use of your data, please visit our privacy policy.

    Below you will find an overview of all services used by this website. You can view detailed information about each service and agree to them individually or exercise your right to object.

    Essential services are required for the basic functionality of the website. They only contain technically necessary services. These services cannot be objected to.  •  Show service information