The 3 C’s of Cloud Computing

Aug 26 2013 | by Zev Schonberg

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When looking to maximize the value of your cloud there are three important factors that are often overlooked – clarity, cost, and compliance. Of course, there is much more involved in managing your cloud, but these three principles form the bedrock of cloud excellence.

CLARITY in your cloud

The well-known business saying “what you cannot measure, you cannot manage” has great significance in the rapidly growing cloud landscape.

The cloud offers great scalability at great cost, but without knowing exactly what you are spending and on what, things can get out of control really fast. Monthly bills that were once just a few hundred bucks can balloon into tens of thousands of dollars. You begin to ask yourself; where can my business units cut cost? Are my apps utilizing recourses efficiently? How do I gauge end-user consumption?

Slice it your way
By understanding the structure of your business and the role your cloud deployment plays in your business activities, you can enable transparency that gives you the ability to measure and even attribute cloud consumption down to a specific user or source. For example, some Amazon cloud customers want to see their cost based on the AWS services they use. Others want to see it broken down by the tags used by different business units or projects, or by any combination of various criteria.

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The COST of your cloud

Once you understand what you are spending and for what, it’s time to make sure you are getting the best ROI on your cloud spend.

Cloud waste management
The simplest area to start with is identifying cloud waste. This could include for example, completely forgotten and unattached EBS volumes. These sometimes can run up into the tens of terabytes, with each terabyte costing roughly $100/month.

Sizing does matter
Many AWS users often over-provision and purchase resources which end up completely underutilized. Instances with low CPU or Memory are not uncommon, with potential annual savings easily reaching 6 digits.

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When to go long-term
One of the most challenging areas in the AWS cloud is determining when it makes sense to move from On-Demand pricing to Reserved pricing. Most people shy away from RIs as they don’t want to get locked in for a year or more.

However, in many cases it actually makes more sense to use reservations. With the proper tools, figuring out the true ROI of each pricing model in any scenario is quite easy.

Keeping your Cloud COMPLIANT

After you’ve begun running your cloud like a pro, you want to keep it that way. Staying transparent and ensuring that everyone in your organization is following company policies is important for maintaining a lean and mean cloud machine.

Setting up alerts that notify the relevant stakeholders of usage or cost violations are a key feature of compliance.

In summary, the cloud is an exciting opportunity to grow your business, but you must approach it first and foremost with a business perspective. Keeping these 3 C’s of cloud computing in mind, you will ensure that your deployment will shine.

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