Cloud Consumption Management: Key Considerations for Planning Your Cloud Projects | Synopsys Cloud
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The cloud can turbocharge your IT environments, but it can also be complicated to navigate. A cloud consumption management strategy can help you overcome inefficiencies and reduce overall frustration.

Factors such as increased cloud complexity and a lack of governance can add to irritations. Such inefficiencies can lead to adverse outcomes including cost overruns, lack of visibility into the environment, and security vulnerabilities.

In a 2019 Deloitte survey, almost half of the responding C-suite executives claimed cloud complexity would be the factor most negatively impacting cloud computing’s return on investment over the next five years.

A cloud consumption management strategy can help you manage your environment more efficiently. An effective strategy should include measures such as cost control and performance optimization.

You can implement and manage cloud consumption through various solutions and services, such as cloud management platforms, application and performance monitoring, and data backup and recovery.


Cloud Consumption Management Strategy

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.

 

Cost

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.

 

Culture

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.

 

Compliance

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.

 

Security

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.


Cloud Consumption and Chip Design

For chip makers, cloud consumption management is essential. Migration to the cloud doesn't automatically save you money and improve your processes. Rather, unlocking value requires a strategic approach to cloud consumption.

It is not uncommon for electronic design automation (EDA) workloads to involve tens of thousands of cores of compute. Cloud consumption management should be a key consideration when you are deciding which workloads to place in the public cloud and which to keep on-premises.

In a typical chip design flow, certain tools run better on different types of compute available from the cloud vendor. Optimizing price-performance is as critical for cloud compute utilization. Work with your EDA vendor to identify which EDA tool runs best on which type of compute, and then enable those resources for your design engineers appropriately. 

Running a chip design flow on cloud efficiently can provide cost advantages as well as substantial improvement in time to results (TTR) for semiconductor design organizations moving to the cloud.

You should evaluate your chip design process for bottlenecks that could cause inefficiencies. Since cloud offers unique pay-per-use models, it is much easier to test design hypotheses with minimal upfront spend before you commit to a longer term design lifecycle on the cloud. Begin with a pilot project to learn the process and discover what goes wrong. You will then be able to develop a robust cloud consumption management strategy for chip design and verification.


Synopsys, EDA, and the Cloud

Synopsys is the industry’s largest provider of electronic design automation (EDA) technology used in the design and verification of semiconductor devices, or chips. With Synopsys Cloud, we’re taking EDA to new heights, combining the availability of advanced compute and storage infrastructure with unlimited access to EDA software licenses on-demand so you can focus on what you do best – designing chips, faster. Delivering cloud-native EDA tools and pre-optimized hardware platforms, an extremely flexible business model, and a modern customer experience, Synopsys has reimagined the future of chip design on the cloud, without disrupting proven workflows.

 

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About The Author

Vikram Bhatia is head of cloud product management and GTM strategy at Synopsys. Before joining Synopsys, Vikram served in a variety of roles at companies including NetApp (vice president of cloud GTM strategy and business operations), Oracle (director of sales strategy & business development for Oracle Cloud), and Microsoft (director, Microsoft Azure). He has a Bachelor of Technology degree from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, a master of science degree from the Colorado School of Mines, and an MBA from the Indian School of Business.

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