January 2017 - ParkMyCloud

Overspending on Cloud? Rein in the largest utility

cloud-as-utilityHere at ParkMyCloud, we’re always trying to solve a problem many companies are facing: overspending on cloud. As we now support Microsoft Azure along with Amazon Web Services (AWS), we have spent significant time over the past several weeks talking with analysts, writers, and industry pundits about this problem and our vision for our customers and the ParkMyCloud platform. What is interesting in these discussions is the current size of the public cloud IaaS market ($23B in 2016) and the growth rate (28% in 2016).

The Size of the Massive Public Cloud “Utility”

Most analyst reports clearly state that AWS is the public cloud market leader, with at least 3X the size of Azure in terms of market share, generally measured by revenue. AWS has roughly 31-33% of the public cloud market, while Azure has roughly 11%, followed by IBM Bluemix and Google Compute Engine. All are growing rapidly. In fact, according to analyst reports, the “Big 4” are growing anywhere from 50-100% year-over-year. In fact, each of the Big 4 providers are growing much faster than the industry average – it is a truly disruptive, transformational time in IT.

What comes with this growth is greater adoption. According to Gartner, at the end of 2016 only 14% of enterprise workloads were in the public cloud, but by 2020 they expect that to grow to 41%. That basically means the public cloud needs to triple in size to support this workload migration to public cloud (assuming it’s not already “overbuilt” and new technologies don’t drastically shrink the infrastructure needed to support applications). At these current growth rates, the public cloud infrastructure market will be a $60B+ industry by 2020. This will be one BIG $%# market, right?

Public Cloud: The “Utility” for Enterprises

One way to think about the public cloud is as a “utility” – you can buy services on demand, just like electricity, or water, or heating. Each of these utilities are consumable – as you grow you can consume more, as you shrink you can consume less – it’s elastic. Seems like an interesting parallel to compute, databases, and storage. In the case of the public cloud, you are consuming IT-related infrastructure and services to build, test, and run enterprise and consumer applications which we consume either as an enterprise (e.g., Salesforce) or a consumer (e.g., Netflix) .

But like any utility, there is waste – lights are left on, faucets leak or are left running, and the heat running when you are not home, I am guessing you get the gist. This is why there are now consumer applications like Nest. Buildings and homes alike have ‘automated’ ways to turn lights and water off/on to reduce waste and save money and protect the environment. Why should the public cloud be any different?

Overspending on Cloud Expected to Grow

Enter the problem of overspending on cloud, or cloud waste – servers left running when people are not using them (at nights and weekends), oversized databases and servers not optimized for the applications they support, and storage volumes not being used or “lost” in the cloud. These are just a couple examples, there are many more.

This overspending is a huge problem in the cloud market.

Let’s break it down on the 2016 numbers:

2016 / In Billions
Size of Public Cloud IaaS $23B
Non-production Public Cloud IaaS $10B
Cloud Waste $6B

 

So, we calculate that enterprises can save up to $6B by optimizing their public cloud spend in just 2016, and by 2020 that number grows to $17B.

Sounds like it’s time to use a “Nest for the Cloud” tool to reduce overspending on cloud and eliminate waste.

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Announcing ParkMyCloud Microsoft Azure Scheduling!

Now Supporting Microsoft Azure Scheduling

ParkMyCloud microsoft azure schedulingWe are excited to share that ParkMyCloud now supports Microsoft Azure scheduling!

For the past 18 months since our launch, Amazon Web Services (AWS) customers have been using ParkMyCloud to manage their compute resources by turning them off when not needed (called “instance scheduling”) – saving a total of $1,749,279.06 so far – and counting!

Now, that same “Nest for the Cloud” capability is available to Microsoft Azure customers.

Plus, if you use both AWS and Azure, you can manage and govern your accounts together in a single ParkMyCloud dashboard.

Why We’re Excited

Being able to control costs with Microsoft Azure scheduling is our most frequently-requested capability – so we’re excited to share this with our customers and new users.

The size of cloud waste is enormous, with up to $5.6 billion wasted every year on computing time that no one is using.  While much of this wasted spend is on AWS resources, Azure is certainly the second-biggest player in the public cloud market. We look forward to helping Azure customers eliminate wasted spend. Learn more in our official press release.

How Does ParkMyCloud Work on Azure?

Just like AWS, it’s simple:

  1. Discover: Connect with Azure to discover your virtual machines (VMs)
  2. Schedule: Schedule on/off times for the desired VMs
  3. Smile: Reduce your costs by up to 60%

If you’re new to ParkMyCloud, check out these additional resources:

See it In Action

Join us next Thursday, February 2 at 2 PM Eastern for a web session highlighting the Azure release – plus, learn how to use our automated policy engine for automated cost savings. Sign up here.

Try it Now

Azure users, try it now now with a 30-day free trial of ParkMyCloud.

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ParkMyCloud Adds Auto-Scheduling for Microsoft Azure

auto-scheduling for microsoft azureAuto-Scheduling for Microsoft Azure Opens Door for Microsoft Azure Customers to Save Millions

January 24, 2017 (Sterling, VA) – ParkMyCloud, the leading enterprise app for optimizing and reducing cloud spend, today announced that it now supports auto-scheduling for Microsoft Azure in addition to Amazon Web Services (AWS). ParkMyCloud launched its “Nest for the cloud” platform in September 2015 to enable AWS customers to automatically turn off idle instances, saving 20-60% on their cloud bills every month. The company has seen rapid customer growth, and customers include companies such as McDonald’s, Sage Software, Neustar, Avid, and Wolters Kluwer.

With Azure, ParkMyCloud significantly broadens its public cloud appeal. AWS has the largest Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) market share at about 30%, while Azure comes in second at 11%. Adding the second-largest provider means that a greater share of public cloud users can now manage and optimize their resources and get savings on their cloud environments. Additionally, ParkMyCloud now supports not only customers who primarily use one provider or the other, but others who have a multi-cloud environment crossing both AWS and Azure.

451 Research Vice President William Fellows commented on the announcement, saying, “After ParkMyCloud’s work in 2016 deepening their functionality in AWS, supporting Azure helps them target this additional market. The single-purpose tool approach helps ParkMyCloud efficiently address the cloud cost control market and Azure customers should appreciate the new opportunity for simple savings.”

“During 2016, our customers saved over $1.6 million on their cloud bills using our innovative approach to cost savings,” said ParkMyCloud CEO Jay Chapel. “Support for Azure was the top requested feature, so today’s launch will help us drive even bigger growth during 2017 as we become a go-to resource for DevOps and IT users on all the major cloud service providers.”

ParkMyCloud plans to support Google Compute Engine early this year. Following this expansion, ParkMyCloud will broaden its cost-saving offerings to cover databases, storage, and rightsizing.

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.

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Meet the Instance Slayer, who Fought to Control Cloud Costs

jack the instance slayer who fought to control cloud costsToday I’d like to tell you a story* about how one company learned to control cloud costs. Let me introduce you to Jack.

Jack is the instance slayer.

“The instance slayer?” you ask. “What does that mean? It sounds fun and powerful.”

Powerful? Perhaps. Fun? Not exactly.

You see, Jack is a software engineer at a large financial services company. Unlike some of his co-workers who are more specialized, Jack is, well, a jack-of-all-trades. He does a little in mobile, a little in infrastructure, a little in architecture. He’s busy.

One day, Jack’s boss came to him with a new task.

“We need to take control of our department’s cloud instances to control cloud costs,” his boss said. “I need you to come up with a way to ensure that instances are turned off when they’re not being used.”

So, Jack developed a set of scripts that determined whether everyone’s instances met the new on/off compliance standards. These standards required non-production instances to be “stopped” when not being used. If they were left running when they shouldn’t have been – and a lot were – Jack would first send an email to the owners of the offending instances. But if after the email they still didn’t comply, Jack’s scripts would terminate the instances overnight.

As you can imagine, people got quite annoyed when Jack’s scripts terminated their instances.

“Well, I warned you,” he would say. What could Jack do? This wasn’t his idea. He understood that there was a lot of wasted cloud spend each month, but ultimately this was just a task he was carrying out at the request of his manager.

Nonetheless, Jack made a couple of enemies. They’d call him the Terminator. The Instance Slayer.

Jack didn’t mind the enemies. It was the time out of his day that it took to wrangle them, email them, and clean up their instances that irked him. He had things on his to-do list that he’d much rather spend his time on.

Then, Jack’s teammate Roland introduced ParkMyCloud to the team. A bunch of people tried it out, including Jack.

“This is great,” Jack told Roland. “If I set up simple automated policies to put everyone’s instances on schedules, I won’t need to chase them about turning their resources off when they’re not being used. I’ll have more time for my other projects.”

Everyone else was happy, too. With ParkMyCloud’s simple governance model, Jack and the other administrators could add users and create teams, enabling end-users to apply their own schedules. Plus they got reporting to know if instances weren’t complying. Remember those scripts? Well, Jack didn’t need those anymore.

Jack gets free time: Jack wins. Jack’s teammates get more control over their resources: Jack’s teammates win. Jack’s company gets to control cloud costs by cutting wasted spend on unused cloud time: Jack’s company wins. Win, win, win.

Jack may have stood down as the instance slayer, but his name will live on in legend.

 

*This is based on a true story! Names changed & company anonymized to protect our customer’s privacy – especially Jack.

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Triple the Clouds, Triple the Fun: What’s Coming in ParkMyCloud in 2017

triple the clouds: google, aws, azureLast year was a great year for the ParkMyCloud product and our customers – check out all the features and functionality we added throughout 2016.

As we launch into 2017, we’re looking to bring our public cloud users even more ways to save on their cloud spend. Here’s a preview of some of the more impactful features and functionality we’ll be releasing throughout the year.

New Cloud Service Providers

Thus far, ParkMyCloud has supported customers of Amazon Web Services (AWS) alone. (No small fries here; about 30% of public cloud infrastructure is in AWS). However, in two weeks, we’re expanding by releasing support for Microsoft Azure. You will be able to manage AWS and Azure resources side-by-side in a single dashboard.

In the following months, Google Compute Engine support will follow.

New Ways to Save

In addition to the new cloud service providers, we’re also adding support for additional services and new ways to save on your cloud infrastructure.

We’ll start the expansion from compute services by parking databases (Amazon RDS and others). We will also offer resource rightsizing, so you can ensure that you’re not wasting money on resources that are larger than you need them to be.

Adding to the ParkMyCloud Experience

We’ll also be enhancing the ParkMyCloud experience with surrounding features, starting with single sign-on (SSO) using SAML 2.0 coming in February.

Following that, we’ll add external notifications leveraging AWS SNS. And for the quants out there we’ll be adding a data analytics layer. We’re also excited to share that we’ll have native mobile support for iOS and Android by the summer.

And more!

Of course, as a small and agile company, this list is not complete! We’re happy to hear your thoughts and suggestions about what you’d like to see in ParkMyCloud this year – so what’s at the top of your list?

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In 2017, I will… Not “build” when I should “buy”. (When to buy vs. build software.)

Buy vs. build software: The eternal question

buy vs. build softwareThe question of whether to buy vs. build software may be an old one, but it’s still relevant. Particularly as companies face rising IT costs, it’s important to consider the most cost-effective options for your business.

When you have an internal development team, it’s tempting to believe that “just having them whip something up” is cheaper than purchasing an off-the-shelf software solution. However, this ignores the opportunity cost of having your skilled developers focus their efforts on non-core activities and ones typically that deliver less value to the business.

To put a number on it, the national average salary for a software developer is $85,000. Including benefits, that’s about $110,000. . So a back-of-the-napkin estimate puts an hour of a developer’s time at $55. Then, consider the number of developers involved, and that you may not be as stringent in budgeting their time for “side projects” as you might for your core work.

So it’s expensive to build. Isn’t the outcome the same?

Actually, probably not. Though internally developed solutions may in theory have the same functionality as purchased software – for example, “it turns instances off when you don’t need them” – they will require additional work to integrate with team structures and to cover a broad variety of use cases. In that example, what about the reporting and savings information? After all, isn’t that the point of turning the instances off in the first place? And then there’s advanced features and the cost to maintain homegrown solutions over time as new requirements creep in.

For one look at how an off-the-shelf solution may compare in functionality to homegrown scripted solutions, here’s a simple side-by-side comparison we put together, showing ParkMyCloud vs. an in-house developed solution.

Functionality In-house Developed Scripting ParkMyCloud
Multi-User / Multi-Team · In small environments, may be difficult to meet demand for skilled DevOps personnel with knowledge of scripting & automation

·  In small environments,  Significant risk if knowledge of infrastructure and scripting is managed by single individual (knowledge transfer)   

In large environments, unless highly centralized, difficult to ensure consistency and standardization of automation approach across entire organization

·   DevOps support for all AWS environments across multiple teams / business units will get complex and resource intensive

·   DevOps resources distracted from core business activities – PMC offers API for integration into DevOps process

·   Opportunity Cost

·   Ability to devolve management of AWS instances to non-technical teams for scheduling on/off (PMC requires NO scripting)

·   Supporting existing team structures and ensuring appropriate controls is difficult to achieve without building out complete custom solution.

·  Role-based access controls (RBAC) and access-based enumeration (ABE) for enhanced security

·  Unlimited teams

·  Unlimited users

·  Laser development focus on EC2 cost optimization

·  One way to automate on/off times with enterprise-wide visibility

·  Options for centralizing or decentralizing control to departments, teams & individuals

·  Designed to support global operations

·  Single view of all resources across locations, account and cloud service providers (CSPs)

·  Reporting

·  $3.00 or less per instance per month

·  Configures in 15 minutes or less

Multiple Credentials /

Multiple CSPs

(Coming soon)

·  Must develop means to securely handle and manage credentials and other sensitive account information.

·  Must keep up-to-date on changes / updates to public cloud which is constantly evolving and adding and changing services.

·  Must develop approach to assign access to different credentials by different teams with PMC RBAC

·  Must develop approach and interface across multiple CSPs

·  Unlimited number of credentials / accounts

·  IAM Role and IAM User support (for AWS)

·  Secure credential management (AES-256 encryption)

·  Multiple public CSPs (coming soon) – ability to manage AWS, Azure and Google for single platform

Platform Coverage ·   Must develop means to create a single view and the ability to manage and start/stop ASG’s

·   Must develop means to create, manage and start/stop logical groups

·  Ability to manage & park Auto-scaling Groups

·  Ability to create, manage and park Logical Groups

·  Global view of ALL AWS Regions and Availability Zones in a single pane of glass

Always ‘off’ Scheduling ·   Must develop a process to enable on-demand access to stopped instances in off hours

·   Must be able to re-apply schedule when off hour work is done

·   Must do this across multiple accounts and CSPs

·  Ability to temporarily suspend parking schedules during off-hours to enable ad hoc instance control
Cost Visibility ·  Need to develop custom application to determine cost savings based upon application of automation or removal of schedules (to date we have not encountered anyone who has developed such an application)

·  Would need ability for ad hoc reports over arbitrary date ranges

·  Forecasts & displays future savings based upon selected schedules

·  Displays real-time actual month-to-date savings

·  Generates & distribute ad hoc detailed cost and savings reports

Policy Engine ·   Hard to enforce consistent and standardized policies within organization within decentralized structures where different automation tools are being used

·   This would need to be done across all CSP accounts and across CSPs

·   Difficult to build something like Never Park or Snooze Only

·   Enterprise-wide policies based on Tags to auto enforce actions (automate parking schedule assignment, Never Park for production instances, & assignment of instances to teams)

 

Resolution

As you can see, there is a technical advantage of purchasing software that’s been purpose-built with a dedicated development team over a long period of time. You’ll get more functionality for less money.

This year, we resolve not to “build” when we should “buy.”

Do you?

 

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