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Amazon Cloud Journal Authors: Liz McMillan, Nick Basinger, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Chris Kocher

Related Topics: Cloud Computing, Infrastructure On Demand, Infrastructure 2.0 Journal, Amazon Cloud Journal, Cloud Computing for SMBs

Amazon Cloud Journal: Article

Cloud Monitoring Essentials: Part 1 | Cost

Three keys to cost control

Cloud elasticity delivers significant increases in availability and scalability with enormous cost reductions relative to comparably functional data centers.  Harnessing this strength and optimizing your cloud usage means monitoring and understanding what is occurring within your deployment - for cloud users, there is no such thing as benign neglect.

Just as data center users require solutions to assist in optimizing and controlling usage beyond the application layer, so to do public cloud users.

In fact, given the complexity and evolving innovation of cloud architecture, tools are even more critical for cloud users to avoid cost sprawl, security vulnerabilities, and service deterioration.

This part of the Cloud Monitoring Essentials series focusses upon cost. Parts 2 and 3 of the series deal with 2 other core areas - Availability and Security.

AWS' metered ‘pay as you go' model often presents an enormous savings relative to the cost of building and maintaining data centers. However, even with careful consideration and continuous vigilance on resource usage, costs can vary enormously (see 7 Common AWS Cost Errors).

For example, an AWS instance purchased using a Reserved Instance (RI) can cost as much as 65% less than the exact same instance purchased On-Demand.

To address cost, you need to take these three steps:

  1. Perform Inventory and Utilization monitoring: Maintain a comprehensive and continually updated resource and service inventory with granular utilization analysis. This ensures that all resources are properly sized.
  2. Analyze Purchasing and Pricing: Analyze your inventory over an extended period of time and apply that analysis to purchasing decisions to ensure your best possible ROI.
  3. Track and Allocate Costs: You must zealously track and allocate costs. USE AWS TAGGING. Cost allocation is an essential element for preventing cost sprawl.

These processes can reduce your AWS cost by over 40% (see study). They are, however, all very time consuming.

So, instead of doing everything manually, you should employ an automated solution. Solutions start at $49 per month and provide users with superior reporting while saving users tens (if not hundreds) of man-hours.

Stay Tuned for Part 2 (Security) next week.

More Stories By Aaron Klein

Aaron Klein is Co-Founder and COO of CloudCheckr Inc. CloudCheckr Inc. provides a comprehensive solution (CloudCheckr Pro) that addresses the infrastructure reporting, monitoring, and control needs of AWS users through automated and customizable reports, alerts, and recommendations. Its cost, security, resource, best practice, and change monitoring analytics and features allow users otherwise unavailable insight into their deployments and usage. CloudCheckr Pro is designed to help users optimize their deployment.