Managing Costs in a Multi-Cloud Environment

By Harold Bell

With any emerging enterprise technology the “big break” of explosive user growth doesn’t come until there is an obvious financial gain. When it comes to cloud adoption, the big break came when CFOs looked at the cloud model and discovered some interesting economic benefits.

However, when you leap into the cloud without adequate planning, serious cost challenges can occur and ruin even the best laid plans. And things only get more complex in multi-cloud environments. As you seek to leverage the agility of multiple cloud platforms to grow your business, it's imperative that you keep cloud cost optimization actions in mind. There are many variables that can contribute to costs running away from you and getting your organization in real trouble. Let’s take a look at some of the best practices of managing costs in a multi-cloud environment.

The inherent agility of cloud platforms makes it easy to deploy resources but it also leads to a lack of oversight and control. One of the biggest challenges that a cloud admin has to solve is how to enforce appropriate sizing of instances. There really is no control over what instance sizes are chosen. If there are no cloud governance tools or policies in place, things can get really ugly, really fast. Human nature is unfortunately such that we’ll always grab the largest sized resources we can get our hands on. Human error is just as dangerous as human nature if left unchecked. Experienced cloud users will be familiar with the pain of ensuring that engineering teams do not spin up a bulky compute instance for a small dev/test workload.

How often have you budgeted a certain amount for a new project but turns out you need more cloud resources for it? Probably pretty often. More often than not, your engineering team will be over-provisioning cloud resources without adequate checks and balances in place. Or how many times has your dev team forgot to turn off compute instances that they are no longer using? You have no idea who spun up what, but you are still paying at the end of the month. Optimization of resources, or lack thereof, is one of the key challenges that cloud users need to think about. Relying only on pay-as-you-go instances and not effectively utilizing reservations for compute instances that will be used for a long period of time can lead to major waste.

There are simply too many variables that enable cloud costs to spiral out of control. Implementing an overarching governance tool to help you keep tabs on all of it is more important than ever. At a high level, you need visibility into, optimization of, and control over cloud consumption. Cloud governance solutions should continuously monitor consumption, identify optimally sized alternatives, and enforce more optimal consumption. If not, it becomes a free-for-all world in the public cloud without adequate cloud governance policies in place. Xi Beam by Nutanix helps you address these very issues.

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

By leveraging Beam, budget plans are automatically generated based on predictive models that utilize historical spend data. You can configure cost-centers and budgets for multiple departments, and set alerts to enforce policies based on allocated budgets. With Beam you gain complete visibility, optimization and control over your cloud consumption to ensure cost governance across public and private cloud environments.

Sounds like a pretty robust solution, no? If you agree, I’d like to give you a chance to try it for yourself. Click here for an opportunity to try Nutanix Beam free for 14-days! During that time, I’m confident you’ll clearly see the value it provides in optimizing your multi-cloud environment.

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