TL;DR: Improve cloud cost management, simplify everything else for 2016.

cloud.2016

As you make your way back to the office after the holidays, I’m sure you haven’t had much time to keep up with technology headlines. We put together a quick summary of some cloud and AWS-related articles that I hope you’ll find useful.

The Headline: AWS cloud cost management in the spotlight for 2016

From: Beth Pariseau at TechTarget’s SearchAWS

TL;DR: AWS added Cost and Usage Reports to its Billing Console, one of several cloud cost management tools from AWS, but users still have unaddressed desires, including a need for better security tools in AWS.

Key Quote: “IT operations teams must build up their cost-management skills in the cloud era… they will depend on IT to show them the cost benefits continue.”

The ParkMyCloud take: Through conversations with our customers and prospective users, it’s become clear that improving cost management is indeed a priority for AWS. What this article hints at, without stating outright, is that the offerings of tools to manage these costs has become complex, and that many analytics tools do not allow users to actually take action.

 

The Headline: How much money is your cloud slurping up? Businesses still in the dark, says survey

From: James Bourne at Cloud Tech

TL;DR: A recent survey showed that IT professionals still lack the ability to allocate public cloud computing costs, in conjunction with a rise in rates of usage for business-critical applications.

Key Quote: “Lack of usage visibility and cost transparency are key problem areas which have in turn created demand for new, flexible and easy to use solutions that drive efficiency, cost savings and a way to hold business users accountable for what they are consuming.”

The ParkMyCloud take: Some of the statistics given in this article have become nearly self-evident: that cloud consumption metrics are needed, and that more companies are trusting AWS with more of their applications and development. This simultaneous increase in spend and obscured usage leads to wasted dollars on unused computing time.

 

The Headline: Simplification is the Technology Trend for 2016

From: Werner Vogels, VP & CTO, Amazon

TL;DR: In 2016, we will see simplified applications, infrastructures, and technological systems. This includes microservices (supported by Docker and the like), serverless architectures (such as those supported by AWS Lambda), and simple integration with APIs.

Key Quote: “People are seeking to simplify their applications, infrastructures and technological systems. In 2016 we can expect to see the quest for building simpler systems to take off. “

The ParkMyCloud take: At ParkMyCloud, our mission is to provide a simple, single-purpose tool to quickly reduce cloud spend. We’re glad to see that others — including Amazon’s CTO — agree and are moving the same direction.

Wasteful Bob gives his AWS instances a few days off for Christmas, then goes to see Star Wars.

chewbacca-savingsIf you go to a showing of Star Wars this week, you’ll more than likely see some geeksyou know, techies, nerds, propeller-heads, reformed trekkies. There’s also a good chance many of these folks are AWS customers and, unfortunately while they’re off in Wookie-land, their unused AWS instances are still running with costs adding up each minute.

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Can You “ec2:Describe” Your Problem?

control aws environments with ec2:describeSometimes a blog post can be used to inform or instruct. Sometimes it can be used to inspire. Other times, it can be used to commiserate, as in “Are you seeing what I’m seeing, or am I going crazy?”  This is the latter type. Let me explain …

We are a small startup that relies heavily upon AWS to run our SaaS application (ParkMyCloud). Like many startups, we also contract with development shops to help keep costs down while we organically grow our business. And while we appreciate their help, we set out to find a way to prevent access by the “hired help” into our production environment.  I was drawn inexorably to AWS’ policies as the best solution.

First, hats off to AWS for all the thought and work they put into these. I imagine that to a control freak, this is like dying and going IT heaven. (Hmmm…IT heaven…cloud…nah!)

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How Do I Stop Wasting Money on Reserved Instances?

aws ec2 reserved instances

The question “How do I stop wasting money on Reserved Instances” often indicates the third stage of a business´s AWS “cloud awareness journey”. The first stage is the adoption of cloud computing services to take advantage of cost savings, flexibility and scalability. As the benefits of cloud computing are realized, companies expand their use of the service. This is the second stage. The third stage comes when companies realize they are spending more than they need on cloud computing services and implement measures to optimize their costs.

In order to prevent AWS costs spiraling out of control, many businesses reassign developers to write scheduling scripts. But is this the right approach? In some cases, writing and maintaining scheduling scripts could cost more than the business saves.

In the article below, ParkMyCloud CTO Dale Wickizer shares his views on Reserved Instances; how they work, when they should be used, and when they should be avoided. Most importantly, Dale answers the question “How do I stop wasting money on Reserved Instances” with a viable and cost-effective option. Over to you Dale.

As Amazon Web Services (AWS) continues its explosive growth, customers find it increasingly challenging to control and optimize their AWS spending. Like any other business expense, if you don’t manage cloud spending, it can get out of control. As a result of dramatically increased adoption and consumption of AWS products and services, many customers have experienced sticker shock.

So how do you stop wasting money on Reserved Instances? First, a little background.

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