Cloud costs can easily spiral out of control. You only pay for what you use, but self-service lets instances be brought online with no centralized oversight. Over-provisioning and under-utilizing lead to wasted spending. Fortunately, there are ways to ensure that cloud spending is brought in line with your budget.

Ways to Reduce Cloud Spending

There are three main ways to reduce your cloud spending: size resources properly, turn off unused equipment, and take advantage of special pricing opportunities.

  1. Size resources properly. Make sure you choose the right services and size them properly. CPU and storage, as well as other services, accrue different charges based on their type and their size. Be sure you’re paying for the appropriate storage tier; data you don’t need to access often can be archived on less expensive storage. It’s important to realize that you don’t size resources once and then never look at it again; you need to monitor your utilization over time to make sure the size you selected based on estimates is appropriate given the actual usage. Also, after you’ve been using cloud for a while, it may be cheaper to migrate to newer instance models that offer more capacity for the same price.
  1. Turn off unused services. Instances and services that are left running, even if they aren’t used, continue to accrue charges. You should shutdown servers that aren’t needed, free up unneeded storage volumes, and delete old snapshots that aren’t needed any longer. If you have databases you no longer need, or experimented with technology you ultimately decided not to use, make sure those resources are turned off. Note that these cost-saving shutdowns don’t need to be permanent. Unless your instances are running 24×7 processes, you can shut them down nightly and save money. Use automation to ensure that servers are stopped and started on the appropriate schedule.
  1. Take advantage of special pricing. Using reserved instances mean you commit to a certain level of utilization in exchange for a discount. When you have workflows that require extended resource usage, reserved instances can lead to considerable savings. The opposite approach can also save money. There’s a spot market for computing capacity and this last minute, on-demand approach can also offer discounted rates for instance utilization.

Saving Money In the Cloud Requires Understanding Your Needs

Reducing spending in the cloud, in general, is achieved by matching your cloud resources to your requirements. Since cloud environments typically sprawl across instance types, services, and cloud providers, it can be difficult to see the full picture and get a complete understanding of utilization. dcVAST uses CloudHealth to provide visibility into your cloud spending, analyzing data about your instances to identify where usage can be optimized. Contact dcVAST to learn more about how you can analyze your cloud spending data and discover how you can manage your cloud spending better.