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Cloud Cost Optimization Cloud FinOps

Cloud FinOps FAQs

Cloud has become an integral component for successful business operations. However, alongside the benefits of cloud computing come the complexities of managing costs effectively. Enter Cloud FinOps, a discipline aimed at optimizing cloud spending while maximizing value. It continues to be one of the top cloud priorities in 2024 and the coming years. As organizations embark on this new journey, numerous questions arise regarding FinOps practices. This article covers a few with responses from our cloud finops experts themselves Kathick Perumal, Product Engineering Head and Mukesh Kumar, our Product Architect who holds profound experience in tackling cloud finops challenges of our clients.

1. What is Cloud FinOps?

Cloud FinOps is a practise which enables organization to maximize the value derived from their cloud resources spending.

2. What does Cloud FinOps do?

It offers multiple benefits to the cloud businesses. In a nutshell, it enables developers, operations, finance, and other business teams in comprehending and managing costs associated with cloud computing.
Suggested Reading: What are the benefits of cloud finops?

3. Why is Cloud FinOps important?

Cloud finops is vital for various reasons. It is crucial in solving some of the key challenges like,

  • There is a lack of accountability and control over the cloud spending.
  • Absence of continuous cloud resource tracking and monitoring
  • Failure to implement optimal practices for cost reduction.
  • Delay in problem identification and rectification costs huge.
  • Loss of control over cloud asset growth as the organisation scale up.
  • Difficulty in finding the best cloud resource alternatives.

4. How Cloud Service Providers help in Cloud Cost Optimization?

CSPs do give us a lot of options through which we can realize considerable savings.

  • Pay-as-You-Go Pricing: Cloud services often follow a pay-as-you-go model, allowing users to pay only for the resources they consume. This flexibility helps in cost optimization by avoiding upfront costs for unused resources.
  • Reserved Instances: Cloud providers offer reserved instances or commitments, where users can commit to a specific number of resources for a term, often at a discounted rate compared to on-demand pricing.
  • Spot Instances: Some cloud providers offer spot instances, allowing users to bid for unused compute capacity at a lower cost. This can be cost-effective for certain workloads that are flexible in their resource requirements.
  • Auto-Scaling: Cloud platforms allow for automatic scaling of resources based on demand. This ensures that you only use and pay for the resources you need when you need them, helping to optimize costs.
  • Resource Monitoring and Management Tools: Cloud providers offer tools that allow users to monitor resource usage and costs in real-time. This visibility helps in identifying areas for optimization and cost savings.
  • Discounts and Incentive Programs: Cloud providers often provide discounts for long-term commitments, volume usage, or specific use cases. Additionally, they may offer incentive programs to encourage cost-conscious usage.
  • Cost Management Services: Cloud providers offer cost management and budgeting tools that help users set, track, and manage their spending. Alerts and reports assist in keeping costs within predefined budgets.
  • Global Presence: Cloud providers have a global network of data centers. Utilizing resources in regions where costs are lower or taking advantage of content delivery networks (CDNs) can result in cost savings.

5. What are the easiest ways to control cloud costs?

While there are many, enterprises miss to leverage some of the simple options available in hand,

  • Wherever possible, use reserved instances rather than pay-as-you-go instances.
  • Remove unused or idle resources by continuously monitoring the resources all the time.
  • Optimize the application architecture to maximize data ingress and egress. Ingress is free. But egress is chargeable based on the size of the data you transfer.

6. Is it possible to save money without compromising the performance?

Yes, a lot of cost savings can be achieved by continuous monitoring and optimizing your cloud usage for orphans and unused resources. Beyond reducing you can even witness improving performance levels.

In CloudCADI, we monitor for Orphan/Unused Disk, Public IP Address, load balancer, SQL servers, NAT gateway, Application Gateway, etc.

7. What are the trivial things that impact largely in cloud costs?

Well, there are many. They might seem small at the early stages of cloud adoption. The team’s focus will be more on the project, deliverables, and deadlines forgetting the fact that every resource they install/download start accumulating the bills either they use it to its fullest or not.

Examples are, leaving unused resources that are not actively contributing to operations, inefficient resource sizing, neglecting to properly tag and organize resources for cost allocation, etc. These can bring impacts like, wasting money on excessive resources or experiencing performance issues due to insufficient resources, difficulties in tracking and attributing costs to specific projects or departments.

8. What are the possible ways to overcome cloud costs?

  • Setting up notifications for out-of-the-ordinary spending or usage habits.
  • Optimizing cloud resource allocation for maximum efficiency.
  • Making use of rightsizing approaches to match resources to actual demands.

You can rely on CloudCADI for all these needs. It does a phenomenal job.

9. Finops Consultants or FinOps Tools?

The choice between FinOps consultants and FinOps tools depends on various factors, including the specific needs and circumstances of the client’s organization.

FinOps consultants bring in-depth knowledge and expertise in FinOps practices to the organisation. They can provide personalized approach by taking a holistic view of the organization needs.

While on the other hand, Finops tools brings multiple advantages, like automating certain aspects of cloud cost management, make the process less human error prone, continuous monitoring, detailed break downs and reports.

10. Why FinOps is an organization wide practice?

We always insist this to our customers. FinOps is not constrained to the cloud engineering division, it’s  an organization wide cross functional collaborative practice. It involves all three hierarchies – engineering team, operations team, and finance team. Every stakeholder requires a solid information on the cloud usage, performance, and cost in their terms. So that they become accountable of their choices and can map it to their relevant goals.

Do you have any more questions? Write to us: Contact Amadis Experts


Product Engineering Head
Karthick Perumal - Product Eng. Head
Product Eng. Lead Amadis
Mukesh Kumar - Product Architect
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!

Cloud Cost Optimization Cloud FinOps Cloud Resources Management

Cloud cost optimization – Steps to make note of – Part 1

Cloud cost optimization is a practice any organization should adopt to ensure they SPEND RIGHT on the cloud. We have discussed what are the benefits of cloud cost optimization in the past. Let’s see what are common challenges in implementing the same and how to overcome them in this article.

Common Cloud Cost Optimization Challenges

While cloud cost optimization offer remarkable benefits, there are number of challenges that organization might face when trying to achieve the optimal savings. To mention a few,

  1. Lack of visibility into cloud costs : Without proper monitoring and analysis, it can be challenging to identify areas where cost optimization is required.
  2. Lack of expertise: Many organizations do not have dedicated cloud finops professionals or resources for managing cloud expenses.
  3. Lack of continuous monitoring: Without consistent monitoring, organizations might miss the opportunities for savings at the right time.

Now let’s see one by one how to overcome these below,

Step 1: Arm them

Every cloud stakeholder should be armed with documents, tutorials, training, guidance, and tools to effectively handle the cloud environment. FinOps products should have the ability to provide graphical representation and reports on cloud usage. Reports should facilitate the stakeholders to dive deep into granular pod level, node level, business unit level, tag level usage, associated cost details, etc. 

For example, our product CloudCADI offers reports and trend charts covering parameters like

  • CPU utilization
  • Memory
  • Disk Read
  • Disk Write
  • Storage Disk Read
  • Storage Disk Write
  • Network Received
  • Network Sent
  • Storage 

These reports should equip the cloud practitioners with the necessary cost information for effective decisions.

Step 2: Herd them

One of the major challenges the enterprises face is cross-functional transparency. There may be two app development teams developing two different cloud-native applications without knowing that they both use different monitoring tools that satisfy the same purpose. Procurement teams go with a vendor based on the options provided by the cloud teams and better negotiation with the vendor. They have little or no interest in the usage of the tools by diverse teams.

It is crucial to identify these common requirements and consolidate the resources accordingly. 

Step 3: Pivot on center

Cloud management is a tricky process. Cloud involves the operations team, finance team, cloud engineers, cloud architects, the procurement team, LoB managers, C-suite executives, etc. conveying a different message. Requirements vary from time to time. Organizations should have a centralized cloud cost optimization/FinOps team to mitigate the differences. Any cloud financial decision like buying new licenses, renewal, going hybrid cloud, etc., before reaching the CXO’s office should pass through the FinOps team’s scan.

After a thorough scanning of real needs and expectations, costs and business value mapping should be carried out. Once it is acknowledged, it should reach the decision maker’s table for approval. 

Related Reading: FinOps principles

Step 4: Analyze your cloud

Optimizing starts with analyzing. Review your organization’s cloud usage and spending patterns. This helps to identify the areas that needs restructuring or elimination and develop a targeted cost optimization strategy. You can either do this with a dedicated FinOps team or an effective cloud finops solution like CloudCADI.

Step 5: Retire the unused

There are resources that secretly weigh the cloud bills. Cloud practitioners set up auto-scaling to ensure enough capacity to face the traffic demands and improved cost management. Let’s consider Azure GPU machines. For high-end remote visualization, ML, and deep learning, GPU category, N-series virtual machines are ideal.

They accommodate low latency, high-throughput network interface for graphics or video-intensive workloads. When the engineers miss out on calculating the right number of nodes and configure in excess, the organization ends up paying for these zombie nodes.

For example,

Azure Instance NC12 with 1XK80 GPU offering 12 vCPUs costs $1.8 per hour. Consider 10 such instances counting 120 vCPUs configured but 5 left unused. At the end of the month, you need to pay $13140 instead of $6570 to Azure midst of no accountable benefits. 

It is hard to identify these nodes until you address these in the line items of lengthy cloud bills. For larger organizations handling several applications, identification and mitigation go out of manual efforts. Options left with us are to manually plan and closely watch the configuration process, identify the unclaimed assets, and retire (which is not always feasible) or to go with cloud cost optimization products.  

Step 6: Leverage services from your CSPs

Cloud Service Providers(CSPs) provide various cost saving options to facilitate clients in saving their cloud investments. Savings plans, discount on bulk scaling, reserved instances are a few options to make use of and realize significant cost savings.

Organizations tend to lose millions when they miss out on optimizing their new workloads along with the previous. Select a FinOps solution that runs along with your vision, each day dragging everything under one umbrella.

Keep optimizing. CloudCADI is with you!

Find this useful? Read Part 2 of Cloud Cost Optimization Steps here.

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