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5 Stages of Grief for a Cloud Engineer

By Harold Bell

As organizations move to the cloud, IT admins, cloud operators, and engineers will encounter new risks in hybrid cloud environments. No matter the size of your cloud environment, keeping costs and security risks low is a non-negotiable. Achieving these outcomes seems like a tall order, but trust us, it’s very doable with the right guidance and automated capabilities. However, without them, maintaining a hybrid or multi-cloud environment is virtually impossible. To reinforce how significant this reality can be, let’s examine the following scenario if you were an IT admin:

You’ve recently started consuming public cloud services, say, for dev/test workloads. Things have been going great for the first few months. You start to use cloud IaaS for production workloads, gradually increasing your usage from compute and storage instances to more advanced analytics services. But then, without any prior warning signs, your cloud bill explodes - growing by 5x in just one month. How could that even be possible? Cloud is supposed to streamline services and reduce costs. What could cause cloud costs to increase by so much in such a short time?

Instead of immediately evaluating what could have went wrong, you exhibit what’s known as cloud grief. Let’s examine the five stages of cloud grief you’ll endure before finding a meaningful solution.

Denial:

“The billing is wrong. The public cloud provider must’ve made a mistake because there is absolutely no way we could’ve spent that much on our cloud deployments.” It is not possible to have your cloud spend increase so much in such a short period of time. Your bill must be wrong and you must take it up with the cloud provider. And let's say you do. You contact them and get connected to someone who can dig into you account.

Turns out the bill wasn’t wrong and that really is what you owe the cloud provider now. Wow.

 

Anger:

Now you’re angry at the cloud provider. How could they charge you so much without any warning? Why are there no controls to prevent runaway cloud spend? Why do we only find out at the end of the month after we’ve blown up our entire project’s budget? Make that our entire budget for the next two quarters! This is unfair pricing by the cloud provider!

Well, you can’t change their pricing model but maybe you can negotiate some discounts?

Bargaining:

Here’s where some of the onus is on you. You need to research the type of discounts offered. Try and negotiate a long term deal with the cloud provider that may help get some enterprise discounts. Turns out you can actually do that but at the cost of being locked in for many years. Is that something you really want to do? Get tied to a vendor only to find a competitor with a vital feature you need shortly down the road?

Well, maybe not. Things are looking real bleek at this point.

Depression:

You, like many CIOs & IT professionals, thought moving to the cloud would be cheaper but didn’t account for the lack of control over cloud spending. Due to the inherent elastic nature of cloud deployments, costs can quickly get away from you. And without prior controls in place, there wasn’t anything to prevent your costs from running away. You beat yourself up for not planning ahead but are coming to an inevitable conclusion. At this point, there’s no putting the toothpaste back in the tube.

There’s nothing left to do except get on with it.

Acceptance:

You do a bit of research about cloud cost management tools. You accept the fact that you need more visibility and control to reign in cloud costs. You concede the fact that you need to invest in a tool that provides you multi-cloud visibility and automated control. One that makes it easy to identify and execute on cloud cost savings.

Sounds like a great plan. But which tool should you pick?

The answer to that question is very simple. Xi Beam by Nutanix.

Beam is a multi-cloud governance service that provides organizations with deep visibility and rich analytics detailing cloud consumption patterns, along with one-click fixes for cost optimization and security compliance across their cloud environments. Beam proactively identifies idle and underutilized resources, and delivers specific recommendations to right-size infrastructure services to ensure optimal cloud consumption. Beam’s intelligent reserved instance purchase recommendations help to drive deep cost savings.

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