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Improving IT Cost Efficiency

By Sahil M Bansal

While IT teams face unprecedented pressure to reduce costs, they are still expected to drive innovation across their organization and improve overall IT agility. Fortunately, there are proven strategies to reduce costs in your datacenter, as well as across clouds. The key to better IT economics is embracing the right technologies and tools. In this blog we take a look at how Nutanix can help you leverage unique innovation and cloud expertise to keep overall IT spending under control.

Reducing Datacenter Costs

Nutanix pioneered the field of Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI), delivering software-driven infrastructure that combines compute, storage, networking and virtualization into a single solution and eliminating more costly legacy infrastructure. 

  • Private clouds built on Nutanix HCI eliminate the cost of purchasing and managing separate IT components (e.g., SAN storage arrays). A recent, independent study conducted by IDC found that Nutanix customers were able to realize an average TCO savings of 62% over a 5-year time period. 

  • HCI also cuts expensive, upfront IT provisioning with a more cost effective ‘pay-as-you-grow’ model. Datacenter managers can purchase additional capacity and performance only when they need it, to drive significantly higher IT utilization.

  • Nutanix HCI software licenses are subscription-based, and portable across a wide array of different hardware and appliance configurations to reduce dependence on costly, proprietary hardware.

  • In the cloud era, you should never have to pay for virtualization or virtualization management. Nutanix AHV is a built-in, free hypervisor that significantly reduces virtualization costs. With AHV, virtualization management is combined with the simplicity of HCI to provide better overall TCO than other virtualization solutions.

Cost Efficient Hybrid Clouds

Looking beyond a private cloud, Nutanix also helps you seamlessly migrate workloads to a hybrid cloud powered by Nutanix Clusters running on public cloud bare-metal instances. Nutanix Clusters help you bridge the gap between private and public clouds without requiring expensive re-architecting of applications. You can leverage the benefits of public cloud while utilizing your private cloud software licenses even in the hybrid environment. Easy license portability across cloud boundaries ensures efficient consumption and avoids software capacity going unused. Additionally, you can hibernate Nutanix Clusters when you do not need them, thereby only paying for bare-metal public cloud instances when you need the hybrid cloud environment. 

With Clusters, customers can migrate workloads to the cloud environment that is the most efficient for that particular workload. Nutanix helps you run your workloads where they are most efficient from a cost perspective - in the Nutanix private cloud or across multiple public clouds - while also migrating your existing license purchases with the workloads.

Cost Efficient Public Clouds

Managing consumption in a single cloud under tight budgetary controls is challenging enough; managing it across multiple clouds including public clouds adds another layer of complexity. The on-demand elasticity and burstability of public clouds makes them ideally suited for dev/test environments or workloads with seasonal spikes in demand. But without cost management guardrails in place and combined with the nature of on-demand consumption and billing, your public cloud spending can quickly get out of hand. Nutanix provides a multi-cloud cost governance service called Xi Beam that can help you realize on average of 35% or more in public cloud cost savings! Let’s look at how Beam can help you.

Eliminating Unused Resources

Inevitably, relying on manual effort to ensure unused resources are cleaned up and not adding to cloud bills does not work at scale. Looking at utilization metrics, such as CPU, memory, disk I/O etc., and creating automation policies that delete old and unused resources automatically is the first step towards reigning in your cloud spend.

Right-sizing Underutilized Resources

Another challenge when sizing public cloud resources is ensuring that they are sized appropriately for the workloads they are running. For example, using a bulky AWS EC2 instance (say, m4.4xlarge) for a lightweight dev/test workload adds unnecessary spending. Monitoring the utilization metrics and re-sizing resources according to actual usage adds a significant amount of cloud savings. Our customers report on average 10-15% savings on their cloud spend simply by optimizing their infrastructure.

Intelligent Purchasing Plans

By far, the biggest contributor to cost savings in public clouds comes from using reserved instances (RI). Most cloud providers have multiple purchase plans with the common ones being pay-as-you-go and reserved instances. These one-year or three-year reservations typically apply to compute and database instances. How much reservation should you purchase and for what instance type? These questions are best answered by evaluating your historical usage over an extended period of time. To get the highest cost savings from an RI purchase, break-down the sizing for various instances to a normalized size and purchase reservation for at least the minimum amount of normalized units that you anticipate using continuously for many months.

Chargeback & Budgeting

How much did a particular team spend on VDI deployment last month in public as well as private clouds? How should you allocate that spend against their cost center’s budget? This is a well-known but not easily addressed conundrum. Centralizing spending across clouds, automating spending allocation to a cost center by using resource tags to identify spending attributable to them, and automating the chargeback process for spending associated with untagged resources drives financial accountability. Remember - with great cloud spending comes great responsibility to keep budgets under control.

Xi Beam can help you centralize your entire IT spending across public and private clouds to easily identify approximately 35% or more in public cloud savings. Beam comes with a free, full feature 14-day trial. Check it out today and start your free trial to cut your cloud spend with Beam.

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