When you spin up a cloud computing server, the easiest thing to do is to leave it running. In fact, it’s easy to forget it’s running at all.
Don’t do this!
Non-production servers – those used for development, staging, testing, etc. – are generally only needed during the regular workday. That means that for upward of 65% of hours of the week, they’re running when no one is using them.
You should absolutely turn those servers off at those times. Here are five reasons why.
1. To Save Money
The core cloud computing services offered by every major provider are charged by the hour (or minute). It’s like a utility: if you leave the lights on, you’ll be charged for the electricity, whether you’re in the room or not.
Simply by turning servers off on nights and weekends (leaving them running only 40 hours of a 168 hour week), you can save about 75% of their cost. Depending on the size of your infrastructure, that can mean thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars per year. This alone is a huge motivator for many companies to put off-time policies in place.
2. To Improve Security
It’s pretty simple: if your servers are turned off, they are much harder to hack. It also simplifies the surrounding active security measures that are necessary when your servers are running. They don’t need to be monitored by the network operations center; they don’t need to be virus scanned; there is less traffic for the packet sniffers to have to process; and you don’t have to worry about unauthorized login attempts after hours.
3. To Reduce Environmental Impact
In aggregate, cloud computing customers have enormous potential in their hands to reduce energy demand and carbon emissions. If you turn off your instances when they’re not being used, you free that space for other, active instances. Together, this helps create the cloud ideal: efficient data centers. And the more efficient each data center is, the fewer data centers are needed.
While AWS and other cloud service providers are making efforts to use more renewable energy sources and reduce carbon emissions, today they are still a huge drain of non-renewable resources – which makes efficient use of current infrastructure all the more important.
When you turn your servers off when you don’t need them, you’ll be able to rest with a smile on your face, knowing that you’re doing your part to protect the environment, stay secure, and save money.
Finally, let’s address how you can turn your resources off when you don’t need them at night and on weekends. You could do this manually, by logging into your cloud service provider every afternoon to turn them off, but inevitably, you will forget – not to mention how much work this is.
In fact, the easiest way is with an automatic schedule. Just set and forget! Try ParkMyCloud’s automatic on/off schedules now with a free 30-day trial. Get started now.
We just released a new version of ParkMyCloud that’s jam-packed with new capabilities and features! Here’s what’s new.
More than 70x Faster
Previously, ParkMyCloud ingested instances from AWS every 6 hours – which suited most purposes, but meant there was a lag in displaying new instances. Now, ParkMyCloud will auto-ingest from AWS every 5 minutes. This has a few benefits: parking is now more tightly enforced, instance state changes made outside of ParkMyCloud (e.g. directly changed in the AWS console) will be detected within 1 minute, and the entire orchestration engine is more stable and reliable.
Resource Groups for Sequenced Start/Stop
You can now combine your instances in what we call “Logical Groups” for ease of management. You can park a group as if it were a single instance.
Additionally, you can sequence the order in which you want instances in a group to start and stop, providing configurable delays.
This feature grew directly from user feedback, because of the challenges they have with some database and other legacy applications. We’re happy to deliver!
Fresh, Compact Dashboard
The dashboard has been redesigned, with new capabilities, including vastly improved search filtering (can now filter by schedules and schedule status, auto scaling groups, logical groups, and more).
Too Many Clouds” to spearhead growth of ParkMyCloud’s AWS scheduling and cost reduction platform in the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland and Australia.
Sterling, VA, September 19th, 2016 – ParkMyCloud today announced a partnership with cloud and disruptive technology distributor Too Many Clouds, based in the United Kingdom. The technology distributor will spearhead ParkMyCloud’s growth in the UK, the Republic of Ireland and Australia.
Too Many Clouds focuses on helping IT organizations better procure, contract, and budget for IT expenditure in a way that captures the efficiencies of cloud computing at a low cost. With ParkMyCloud, their customers will be able to optimize their Amazon Web Services (AWS) spending with automated start/stop times for non-production instances, allowing them to reduce AWS bills by up to 60%.
“Too Many Clouds is exactly the kind of organization we were looking to partner with,” said Jay Chapel, CEO and Co-Founder of ParkMyCloud. “Their expertise and reach is an excellent addition to ParkMyCloud’s growing presence throughout the globe.”
“We believe in delivering our resellers, and by extension their customers, best-in-class cloud solutions,” Jazz Padda, Managing Director of Too Many Clouds. “We do this as the go-to distributor for all Pan-EMEA and APAC resellers that want to provide innovative solutions and ‘disruptive technology’ to their customers. ParkMyCloud help us achieve that “disruptive” status in AWS whilst saving our customers money. With the technology sector forever evolving, IT Resellers and MSPs have to continuingly adapt – which we assist with by providing the training, along with everything else, in order to enable them to provide the current tech trends.”
About Too Many Clouds
Too Many Clouds is a leading Cloud and Disruptive tech distributor headquartered in the UK. At its core, Too Many Clouds provides the reseller channel with a true value driven distribution model. Seen as an innovative partner in the distribution scene throughout Europe and Australia.
Too Many Clouds is the answer to the exponential growth of Cloud Service Providers, many of whom resell third party services but without the necessary skillset to deliver them. Our team have real world experience in our specialist solution areas to assist reseller partners provide Cloud and Disruptive technology solutions.
ParkMyCloud is a simple, single-purpose SaaS tool that enables users to automatically schedule on/off times for their idle non-production cloud computing servers (also known as “parking”), so they pay only for the time they actually use and avoid wasted spending. Customers, which include McDonald’s, Sage Software, Neustar, Avid, Wolters Kluwer and ZestFinance, save 60% or more on non-production spend. For more information, visit www.parkmycloud.com.
Below is the transcript of an interview we had with Dewald Botha, Chief Technology Officer of Tristar Medical Group, about how he and his team use ParkMyCloud to schedule servers according to the needs of their medical centers while drastically reducing AWS operational expenses.
Hi Dewald! Thanks for speaking with us. To start out, can you describe Tristar Medical Group to us, and what you and your team do within Tristar?
Tristar Medical Group provides high quality, accessible and affordable medical services to regional, rural and metropolitan areas in Australia. Tristar Medical Group is the largest privately owned health services provider in Australia with 53 medical clinics and service locations operating throughout Australia.
The Tristar IT team centrally manages the hybrid cloud infrastructure and deliver support to our clinics and users. I’m currently the CTO for Tristar Medical Group and oversee the strategic, technical and operational aspects of Tristar’s IT division.
How are you using the cloud at Tristar?
We utilize Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) technology to deliver applications from our cloud servers to all our users, from administrative to health practitioners and Doctors. This allows us to deliver a high quality medical service to various regions where patient information and specialist reports are always available and accessible.
What challenges did you experience in using AWS prior to using ParkMyCloud?
Given the nature of our industry and business, providing continuity of care is very important. This meant we had to run servers which could be accessed all hours by our medical centers and GPs. The operational expense of running EC2 instances became quite a substantial expense for the organization given that we have multiple clinics, running across multiple time zones, with users accessing different servers.
With the increasing OpEx costs, we became aware that we had to scale down on servers and instances. This led us to two conclusions. Either spend a large amount of capital upfront to increase the efficiency of our VDI solution, or automate and fine-tune our AWS servers to maximize output.
Can you describe your experience so far using ParkMyCloud?
Thus far our experience with ParkMyCloud rates a 10 / 10. In our journey we trialed and tested a couple of schedule-like services, but none as easy to use and flexible as ParkMyCloud. Everyone in my team finds it incredibly straightforward to use and the core functionality complements our organizational needs completely.
What benefits has your company realized with ParkMyCloud?
Where to start! Using a combination of ParkMyCloud and geographical clusters, we managed to schedule our servers according to the needs of our medical centers. We can now facilitate our larger medical practices that operate for longer business hours, but we also have the ability to scale back during weekends and non-peak times. By utilizing this strategy we no longer have the need to run all our servers 100% of the time, reducing AWS operational expenses drastically.
On the servers we schedule, we currently calculate savings anywhere between 40% – 60%, depending on operational need. With the eventual migration of all our instances from our traditional datacenter to AWS we predict savings anywhere between $15k and $20k per month.
What other cloud cost-savings measures do you have in place?
We have upgraded aspects of our VDI environment to compliment the organizational requirements and geographical locations of users in order to maximize the efficient use of the AWS environment.
Do you use ParkMyCloud for user governance?
In short yes. As with the above answer we utilize a combination of our VDI environment, load balancing software, user and group policies alongside ParkMyCloud to ensure we reduce underutilization of shared services. Being in the medical industry, privacy and security is also a big concern for us. With the secure integration between ParkMyCloud to Amazon through IAM Policies, our IT team is confident that our data is safe and secure and that there is a secure division between what can be accessed or not.
Any other comments?
All in all we are extremely happy with the product and are excited to know what could be next on the roadmap. What has been exceptional, in an industry that is seemingly dominated by large corporates and interaction with nameless employees, is that every time I have been in contact with the team, you have all been forthcoming and attentive to any suggestions. Which is really great from a customer experience perspective.
Partnership between cloud cost savings innovator ParkMyCloud and global technology distributor Avnet enables cloud cost optimization among partners and their customers
Sterling, VA, September 14th, 2016 – ParkMyCloud, the leading automated scheduling and optimization tool for Amazon Web Services (AWS), announced today that Avnet, one of the world’s largest global technology distributors, will now offer ParkMyCloud through the Avnet Cloud Marketplace.
Avnet’s partners, including value-added resellers (VARs), independent software vendors (ISVs), managed service providers (MSPs) and system integrators (SIs), can purchase, provision, and track the use of products like ParkMyCloud through the Avnet Cloud Marketplace. This streamlined procurement process enables partners who already have a relationship with Avnet to provide ParkMyCloud’s cloud savings and optimization to their customers. Those customers can then reduce spending on non-production AWS instances by 60% or more.
“We’re proud to partner with Avnet as part of their initiative to support cloud management and cloud cost control,” said ParkMyCloud CEO and Co-Founder Jay Chapel. “What many companies don’t realize is that as their spending on cloud services grows, there is a tendency for much of that spend to be wasted on unused hours. It is imperative that partners help their customers optimize cloud spend and eliminate waste.”
“We created the Avnet Cloud Marketplace to provide our partners with an easy way to not only buy, sell and provision cloud services, but to also help them manage cloud deployments,” said Tim FitzGerald, Vice President of Digital Transformation for Avnet in the Americas. “Our partners will now have a new option to help their customers maximize their cloud investments with the addition of ParkMyCloud to our portfolio.”
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.