Cloud Optimization: Practical Steps to Lower Your Bills
Cloud computing offers organizations the ability to scale in ways that were impossible only a decade ago, and today thousands of companies are doing just that. However, with great power comes great responsibility.
If companies fail to optimize their cloud systems effectively, they may encounter additional expenses, fail to meet performance expectations and even face security risks.
Let’s look at some practical steps you can use to ensure the efficiency of your cloud environments, recommended approaches for cloud-computing platforms such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), and the various tools and services available to begin lowering the total cost of ownership (TCO) of your cloud infrastructure.
What Is Cloud Optimization?
Cloud optimization involves strategically planning, implementing and overseeing cloud resources to achieve optimal performance, cost efficiency and alignment with business objectives. While it can be a challenging and time-intensive process, it offers substantial advantages for organizations.
Key Elements of Cloud Optimization
Cost optimization is the process of identifying and eliminating unnecessary expenditures in cloud usage. This requires an analysis of current spending against actual business and technical requirements, to ensure you are not overspending and to identify avenues for cost reduction. It’s also smart to work with cloud providers that offer discounts for long-term commitments or specific resources and use cloud resources during peak hours to right-size your application.
Performance optimization involves guaranteeing that cloud applications meet the desired performance standards. To optimize performance, selecting appropriate cloud resources, configuring them accurately and employing techniques such as caching to enhance performance is crucial. For instance, if an application is consuming a significant amount of memory, switching to a different cloud resource with higher memory capacity might improve its performance.
Security optimization refers to the adoption of optimal practices and measures to safeguard cloud environments against unauthorized access, data loss and various threats. Achieving this involves using cloud security tools, enforcing security policies and protocols, and educating employees on the best practices for security.
How to Optimize Your Cloud Environment
Optimization is always an iterative process, requiring continual adjustment as time goes on. However, there are many quick wins and strategies that you can implement today to refine your cloud footprint:
- Unused virtual machines (VMs), storage and bandwidth can lead to unnecessary expenses. Conducting periodic evaluations of your cloud usage and identifying such underutilized resources can effectively minimize costs. Check your cloud console now. You might just find a couple of VMs sitting there idle, accidentally left behind after the work was done.
- Temporary backup resources, such as VMs and storage, are frequently used for storing data and application backups. Automate the deletion process of these temporary backup resources to save money.
- Selecting the appropriate tier entails choosing the cloud resource that aligns best with your requirements. For instance, if you anticipate a high volume of traffic and demand, opting for a high-end VM would be suitable. Conversely, for smaller projects, a lower-end VM might suffice.
- Automation tools can simplify and automate routine tasks, such as instance provisioning, configuration management and deployment. Automating these processes can reduce the likelihood of errors and save significant amounts of time.
- To keep your cloud environment safe from threats, configure firewalls, encrypt data and use strong passwords.
- Container technology, including Docker and Kubernetes, can package and deploy applications in a consistent and scalable way. This can improve the portability and flexibility of applications.
- Enhance the performance and cost-effectiveness of your database with database configuration, indexing and caching. This optimization process may involve implementing read replicas, caching frequently accessed data and optimizing database queries.
- AWS Lambda and Azure Functions, along with other serverless computing technologies, enable code to run without the need to provision or manage servers. Deploying these can improve scalability and lower costs.
- Incorporating DevOps practices, such as CI/CD, can streamline the application and service-development process. By adopting these practices, organizations can enhance agility and minimize time to market for their products and services.
Cloud Optimization Tools and Services
Numerous cloud-optimization tools are accessible, and the ideal tool or service for your situation depends upon your distinct needs and requirements.
- Amazon Compute Optimizer identifies underutilized resources, finds cost-saving opportunities and improves overall performance.
- GCP Cost Management identifies underutilized resources, finds cost-saving opportunities and provides budgeting and alert features.
- Azure Advisor offers personalized recommendations based on usage and configuration. It helps identify cost-saving opportunities, enhances application performance and improves the overall cloud environment.
- VMware Aria Cost powered by CloudHealth optimizes cloud costs, performance and security by tracking spending, identifying savings and improving workload performance.
Why Cloud Optimization Is Important
Cloud optimization maximizes performance, cost and security by efficiently managing and configuring resources. It saves money, enhances performance and reduces risk through techniques like right-sizing, using cloud native services, automation and monitoring.
Because cloud optimization is an ongoing process that needs to be updated as technology evolves and business needs change, it’s essential to keep up to date with the changing landscape to maximize the benefits of cloud computing and minimize the risks associated with it.
One way to optimize costs is to consolidate tools. Couchbase Capella is a fully managed cloud database that can easily replace SQL, nonrelational, online transaction processing (OLTP) and full-text search systems, allowing you to drastically lower your TCO and cloud spend. Learn how you can optimize your database with Couchbase Capella:
- Find out more about Capella and watch the demo video.
- Dig into more Couchbase videos on our YouTube channel.
- Begin your free trial and see how easy it is to get started with Couchbase.