ParkMyCloud Launches Features to Support Multiple Users Across Multiple AWS Accounts

AWS customers of all sizes can now manage up to tens of thousands of instances across hundreds of users and AWS Accounts

Dulles, VA , March 15th, 2016 – Responding to significant demand from Amazon Web Services (AWS) customers, ParkMyCloud, the first programmable on/off switch for idle AWS instances, today announced that its accounts now support multiple users and multiple AWS accounts.

Enterprises including Sage, Neustar, Avid, Wolters Kluwer, Findly and ZestFinance use ParkMyCloud to significantly reduce their AWS EC2 spending by automatically turning off non-production instances when they are not needed – such as 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. or on weekends.

With the new multi-user, multi-account features, customers can set up ParkMyCloud to mirror their internal structures and processes by:

  • Creating teams, and adding Team Leads and Team Members to their accounts.
  • Adding multiple AWS accounts to a single ParkMyCloud account.
  • Constraining users in one team from seeing another team’s AWS instances.
  • Seeing a single view of all of an organization’s teams and linked AWS accounts.

“IT operations and infrastructure organizations of any size and configuration can now use ParkMyCloud to ‘park’ all of their idle AWS instances,” said ParkMyCloud Chief Technology Officer, Dale Wickizer, “making it even easier to reduce AWS spending.”

“What attracted me to ParkMyCloud was the simplicity of the solution they provide,” said John Neale, Senior Software Engineer at 4Impact. “We had been on the lookout for a product to manage our development servers for sometime and so, with the addition of the multi-user/multi-account features, ParkMyCloud gave us the ability to centrally govern our usage across all of our teams and AWS accounts, thus reducing our AWS EC2 spending and administration time.”

About ParkMyCloud

ParkMyCloud is a simple, single-purpose SaaS tool that enables users to automatically schedule on/off times for their idle cloud computing servers (also known as “parking”). Users save up to 60% on cloud server spend by paying only for the time they actually use to avoid wasted spending. Customers include McDonald’s, Sage Software, Neustar, Avid, Wolters Kluwer and Tristar Medical Group. For more information, visit http://www.parkmycloud.com.

How to Save Money with AWS Scripting | Method #4 to Save Money on AWS

So far in the “How to Save Money on AWS” series, we’ve looked at three ways to save using different AWS purchasing options. Today, let’s look at the first way outside of AWS: scheduling on/off times for your idle EC2 instances.

Read on, or watch the video version below:

Using AWS Scripting to Schedule On/Off Times

Often non-production environments like development and staging are running 24×7, even though they are not being used during off-peak hours like at nights and on weekends. Therefore, the simplest way to save money on these environments is to turn them off when not in use. Of course, that’s easier said than done.

For example, in AWS,  you could use data pipeline and script it up, but there isn’t anything native to the platform, and AWS has no plans to add anything.

You might also turn to any number of the cloud analytics platforms in the market. One thing they’ll recommend is for you to turn off these non-production instances when not in use. However, they’re basically like tattle tales – they tell you what’s wrong but don’t fix it for you.

AWS scriptingNow, there are some cloud management platforms that can not only identify instances but actually take action, but they can be bloated, expensive, and quite complicated, and there’s a steep learning curve associated with those.

So what do people do when there’s a lack of viable options? Well, as a recovering command-line guy, I know that when the going gets tough, the tough start scripting. Scripting tends to be in many of our comfort zones: I know I’ve scripted a lot of things, and I’m sure I’m not alone. I get the appeal: you’re in control of your own destiny, you get to get your hands dirty, and at the end of the process, you get the satisfaction of having built something from start to finish.

The Problem with AWS Scripting

However, AWS scripting is not cost-effective, for several reasons.

First, creating the script is only half the battle. Once it’s built, you have to maintain it as your environment changes. If you have a large environment that’s changing frequently, even with the help of Chef, Puppet, or SaltStack, there’s added cost to keep up with that environment. And if you don’t maintain your scripts, you’re missing out on instances you could have turned off, which has a big cost associated with it — perhaps even more than you’re spending to maintain the scripts.

Lastly, how do you justify the fact that you’re working on these scripts to your boss? That requires some way of being able to show the cost benefit and do the tracking, and that will take time. Heaven forbid that your boss actually likes the report, thus requiring you to implement a more formal cost-tracking system.

While scripting on/off times for your instances might be a relatively easy fix in the short term, it’s not a sustainable long-term solution to the cost problem.

Stay tuned for next week’s post, the final in our series on how to save money on AWS.

ParkMyCloud Selected for AOL Incubator Fishbowl Labs

Fishbowl Labs Accepts Fast-Growing Cloud-Cost-Reduction Company as Newest Promising Startup

Dulles, VA, March 10th, 2016 – ParkMyCloud, the company offering the first programmable on/off switch for idle AWS instances, today announced that it has been selected to join Fishbowl Labs, northern Virginia’s premier incubator for high-growth startups.

“ParkMyCloud is a great example of the type of high-traction, next gen enterprise software business Fishbowl attracts,” said Nicholas Bagg, Managing Director of Fishbowl Labs. “We are excited to have them in the fold and to watch them continue their growth.”

Urgent.ly and Cont3nt are among the more than 30 mobile, B2B, enterprise and cybersecurity software startups that have “graduated” from the AOL program since its inception.

According to ParkMyCloud CEO and Co-Founder Jay Chapel, “Fishbowl is the ideal vibrant and knowledge-rich environment for us. Their resources have already proven to be very helpful as we focus on scaling our business.”

About Fishbowl Labs

Fishbowl Labs, Northern Virginia’s premier incubator, was created by AOL in 2012. Selected early-stage companies work in the most inspiring office space in Northern Virginia for high-growth startups, programmers and designers, alongside over one-thousand of AOL’s internet innovators across engineering, product, design and UX — many of whom are accessible almost daily via office hours and events. Fishbowl Labs offers full access to AOL facilities; connections to world-class technologists, engineers, marketers, and others; and an opportunity to connect with other founders and companies.

About ParkMyCloud

ParkMyCloud is a simple, single-purpose SaaS tool that enables users to automatically schedule on/off times for their idle cloud computing servers (also known as “parking”). Users save up to 60% on cloud server spend by paying only for the time they actually use to avoid wasted spending. Customers include McDonald\\\’s, Sage Software, Neustar, Avid, Wolters Kluwer and Tristar Medical Group. For more information, visit http://www.parkmycloud.com.

How to Manage Parking Recommendations in ParkMyCloud

Today, let’s take a look at how you can manage parking recommendations in ParkMyCloud to ensure you’re getting the maximum savings on your AWS EC2 environment.

What are Parking Recommendations, and What Instances Does ParkMyCloud Recommend as Parkable?

In ParkMyCloud, you can park any On Demand EC2 instance you choose to simply by selecting it – which is great when you already know what you want to park. However, sometimes, especially in larger environments, it may be difficult to determine what should be parked — or you may simply miss an instance or two.
That’s why ParkMyCloud provides parking recommendations; that is, we highlight instances that may be good candidates to be assigned a parking schedule of on/off times.

Today, parking recommendations are based on keywords, searched for in the instance name and tags. When you create your ParkMyCloud account, we’ll automatically recommend based on a few common keywords: dev, test, staging, QA, and sandbox. These particular keywords are usually associated with non-production environments that are not required to run 24×7. When those keywords are matched in instance names and in keywords, we’ll recommend that instance to be parked. We only recommend instances that don’t already have a schedule attached to them.

Coming soon, we will also recommend instances to park based on usage metrics, such as CPU utilization, and allow you to create policies to automatically park instances when they match your keyword or usage parameters. (Let us know if you’d like to be updated when these capabilities are rolled out!)

How to Manage What’s Recommended

Watch the video below for a demonstration of how to manage your parking recommendations:

To edit your recommendation keywords:

  1. Log in to your ParkMyCloud account and start at the dashboard. On the Parking Recommendations bar above the list of instances, click “show” on the right side to see your recommendations. They will come up highlighted in yellow.
  2. Click “edit keywords” to see what keywords you currently have in place. Add or remove keywords to match your environment and click “save.”
  3. (Optional) If you want certain instances to be omitted from parking recommendations in the future, select those instances and click “ignore recommendations” in the parking recommendations bar.

To park your recommended instances, simply select them via the Bulk Action column on the left side (or individually via the Schedule column on the right side) and park as usual.

Please comment below if you have any questions.

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