A cost-conscious cloud culture; enterprise-wide cloud hygiene practices; and optimizing workloads specifically for cloud efficiency can reverse cloud “bill shock”

Dean Vaughan, Vice President (Asia-Pacific), Azul

Cloud computing has been critical to many enterprises during the pandemic, enabling them to keep their workforce connected and allowing business to go on despite the safety restrictions in place.

Yet, some studies have suggested that many enterprise end-users were spending above their budgets. The top issues raised were usually: a need to scale up to meet unanticipated demand; a lack of governance around cloud utilization; and an overprovisioning of resources and virtual machines/instances left running when not in use.

As cloud expenses begin to burst budgets and cost efficiencies seem to have hit a ceiling some organizations are actually considering moving some of their workloads on premises. This is a non-trivial exercise, and doing so for cost may offer only short-term gains.

So, how can organizations optimize their cloud costs?

Three ways to keep cloud resources lean
Firstly, the organization should consider why its cloud costs are spiraling up. Seek ways to optimize the performance and cost by addressing commons issue facing cloud customers in general.

Such low hanging fruit to harvest include around monitoring the cloud estate, identifying unused instances, pausing idle resources, renegotiating contracts with the MSPs, etc. Most cloud cost optimization tools focus on these types of activities. If an organization has already implemented strong cloud housekeeping hygiene, the following optimizations may be useful:

    • The second approach revolves around creating a culture of cloud cost awareness. No matter what area of cloud operations are involved, teams need to be made to work cross-functionally, always thinking about the cloud bill, minimizing cloud sprawl, and generally making cloud-cost awareness an ingrained part of the team culture.

    • The third approach to controlling cloud costs involves rightsizing resources themselves: literally doing more with less. Think of optimizing workloads to run natively in the cloud. One way is to deploy cloud-native Java Virtual Machines that boost performance of cloud deployments so there is no need to keep raising costs to cope with what is essentially an inefficient way to run workloads. Bear in mind that slow Java runtimes can incur unnecessary costs. Therefore, cost-efficient use of the cloud requires high performance Java runtimes with low-latency and high-throughput garbage collectors, reduced memory usage, and faster startup and warm-ups.

      This can be achieved with innovations such as Cloud Native Java Virtual Machines (JVMs). These leverage shared, highly scalable elastic cloud resources for greater efficiency and improved capabilities. They increase performance and agility by leveraging powerful optimizations across entire JVM fleets. Finally, cloud-optimized JVMs can run legacy apps and services with full compatibility and feature sets — just more efficiently and smoothly.

Time to reap true cloud benefits
Enterprises have invested much on leveraging cutting-edge cloud technologies to build their businesses, so they should get full value for their cloud budgets instead of even considering regressing to on-premises solutions.

By following the abovementioned optimization ideas, organizations can root out inefficiencies and keep enjoying the advantages of cloud computing as they push ahead in this leg of the COVID-19 pandemic — to build up new businesses and scale up operations with well-optimized cloud resources.