Cloud sticker shock; how to prevent it

cloud sticker shock

Cloud technology offers businesses many awesome benefits, including improved flexibility, data security, and efficiency. Potentially lower costs are also among its upsides, but many businesses counting on this particular advantage end up getting sticker shock when they do receive their monthly cloud bill.

What is cloud sticker shock?

Cloud sticker shock happens to business owners who adopt cloud technology to save money, only to find out the service costs more than they expected. Subscription fees for cloud services are generally affordable. However, issues like cloud sprawl, in which an organization has too many cloud solutions running at the same time, can lead to unmanageable costs.

How can you manage your cloud bills?

A lack of control is the biggest contributor to runaway cloud costs. Therefore, it’s crucial that you do the following:

Set up rules
Your cloud costs may be high because your employees leave machines running continuously outside of business hours. Or it could be that some teams are deploying cloud solutions without your IT department’s knowledge — an issue called shadow IT. Shadow IT can easily lead to cloud sprawl when not curbed.
Ideally, policies regarding how your organization uses and consumes cloud resources must be finalized before cloud migration even begins. These policies should cover everything from the proper use of computers to who has access to specific accounts. You can also contain both shadow IT and cloud sprawl by permitting only select individuals to add cloud resources.

Find tools to help you enforce those rules
To effectively enforce your policies, you’ll need tools and services that help you track, review, and manage permissions, privileges, and spending. Your vendor likely offers these very tools. You can also search the market for third-party solutions like Cloudability and CloudHealth, which are optimized to help you manage cloud costs.
If your cloud vendor offers a billing alert feature, make sure to take advantage of it. This feature allows you to input a particular spending or usage amount. Administrators will receive a notification or warning as you approach the inputted figures. This feature is useful not only as an early warning, but also as a means to figure out what drives your cloud costs.

Watch your data
Many cloud vendors implement a pay-as-you-go model for some, if not all, of the services they offer, which means you are charged only for the resources you use. This model can keep your expenses down, but it can also lead to runaway costs if you don’t know what you’re being charged for in the first place.
One commonly overlooked expense is the egress charge, which is the cost of taking your data out of the cloud so it can be used by end users. Different providers, such as AWS and Google Cloud, charge differently for each gigabyte of egress data. Therefore, you have to check your vendor’s pricing details to confirm how much they’re charging you for cloud data access.

Embrace automation
Underprovisioning your cloud servers can cause performance issues in your website or app. To prevent such issues, many businesses overprovision, only to succumb to overspending. Unfortunately, fluctuating workloads and demand for resources can make accurate provisioning challenging for any IT team.
Cloud infrastructure automation software, such as Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform, Azure Automation, and Google Cloud Deployment Manager, can help you resolve this issue. These solutions simplify cloud deployment and make it easy to scale your infrastructure according to your business’s needs. What’s more, they free up your IT team to focus on other tasks that are crucial to your organization.
Cloud sticker shock is a real issue, but it’s one you can address with the right precautions and by being mindful of variable costs. At SimplyClouds, our team of specialists can help make the cloud an empowering and manageable solution for your business. Consult with our experts now.

Categories: Microsoft Azure, Cloud expenses, Cloud automation, Overprovisioning

Tags: cloud expenses, cloud monitoring, cloud automation, Microsoft Azure, AWS (Amazon Web Services)