With a well-crafted cloud consumption management strategy, you'll be able to manage resources and workloads to optimize cost and performance. Your strategy should contain several key elements.
Competition among several large public cloud vendors has kept the cost of cloud resources reasonable. Cloud complexity, however, can lead to wasteful spending as you increase your cloud investments. In a typical enterprise’s monthly cloud spend, compute is the prominent line item, followed by storage. These two items make up about 80-90% of the total cost of running a cloud environment.
You must also keep in mind costs of other cloud services, such as networking components, data transfer and egress. Additionally, platform services such as databases, identity, and security all add to the complexity and cost of ownership for a business on the public cloud.
Defining specific tools and tactics for controlling costs in your cloud strategy is essential. For example, you should take advantage of all discounts you can find from your cloud provider. First, you should create a detailed analysis of your existing infrastructure spend and project it to the equivalent expected cloud spend. You can then automate policies that control costs. For example, you can choose to shut down workloads when you aren’t using them. You can also eliminate inactive storage, implement a tiered storage strategy, or select the most efficient cloud compute resource to use for each workload.
To manage costs in a structured and automated fashion, cloud vendors and independent software vendors offer several specialized tools. These tools use technologies that enable cloud resource monitoring, intelligent compute optimization, spot instance leveraging, dynamic provisioning, and auto-scaling.
To ensure cloud resources meet your business needs, you should define service level agreements and minimum performance requirements early on. It is not enough to outline a cloud strategy. Your organization’s cloud strategy should become part of your culture, with stakeholders understanding they cannot simply rely on trends or gut instincts to guide cloud investments.
By internalizing cloud consumption management, teams can often complete previously complex decision-making processes in just hours. Teams can take practical, strategy-driven approaches to problem-solving instead of reacting to misinformed stakeholders.
Ensure license compliance by restricting user software download permissions, logging all downloads, and syncing license renewals. Negotiating a good deal with vendors can also help extend the time it takes for your organization to get compliant without adding costs.
In addition, you should audit your ecosystem before your vendor does. You can complete self-audits with an internal script, using applications that explore the system. You can alternatively hire a third party. Regular internal audits are typically less expensive than finding out you aren’t in compliance during an external audit.
Although cloud security doesn't directly relate to cloud consumption on the surface, it should be part of your cloud management strategy. It is wise to adopt uniform identity and access management (IAM) protocols across hybrid environments and use cloud management systems to ensure visibility. Cloud security works better when you adopt a "never trust, always verify" policy, protecting each virtual asset and data source.