Does ParkMyCloud support AWS Reserved Instances?

awsreservedinstanceOne cool feature on the ParkMyCloud website is the little chat window we’ve added, which allows you talk directly to our team – usually Katy. Well, Katy gets a lot of random questions for sure, things like:

  1. Are you a car park in London? No, but mind the gap!
  2. Are you a cloud provider? No, but we love public cloud providers like AWS, Azure, Google, and the like, and look forward to helping you manage your resources from all of these providers.
  3. Do you support Azure? We will soon. In fact, we just started the dev work – expect Azure out after the New Year.
  4. Do you support AWS Reserved Instances? 

We get that last question quite a lot, so we thought we would expand our answer here.

 If you don’t know what an AWS Reserved Instance (RI) is, your best bet is to learn about this Amazon Web Services offering is directly on their site.

Let’s break it down a little more.

Can I see my AWS Reserved Instances in ParkMyCloud?

Short answer: yes.

When ParkMyCloud discovers and manages your environment, we don’t know if an instance is treated as an RI, as the RI magic happens on the backend with Amazon. When you reserve an instance, you’re not actually designating a specific instance or server. What you’re reserving is a billing structure and capacity, which is then automatically applied to running instances that match your specified parameters.

So, from third-party apps like PMC, these instances look just like any On-Demand EC2 instance. So, when PMC ingests and displays your instances, your RIs will show among your other instances.

Can I use both ParkMyCloud and AWS Reserved Instances to get savings at the same time?

Definitely. You can actually get maximum cost savings if you use RI for production instances, and PMC to manage your non-production instances. Updated November 2018: we now offer a Reserved Instance management solution to save you time and help you get the most out of your reservations – learn more here.

How can I save on my non-production servers?

For non-production environments (think test, dev, staging and QA), you can schedule servers off during nights and weekends using ParkMyCloud. Doing this typically saves PMC customers 65% or so off their monthly instance cost. The 65% range is based on a 50-hour workweek – meaning your instances run just 50 of the 168 hours in a given week – so they are parked a majority of the time to maximize savings.

How is that better than AWS Reserved Instances?

While AWS advertises RI savings as high as 75%, in reality for production RI savings typically run in the 30-40% range for the most commonly used instances (e.g., m3.medium, m4.large, m4.xlarge). Additionally, Reserved Instances require a 1-3 year upfront commitment, while PMC does not – leaving you more flexible.

If you have an AWS account which has both production and non-production in it and you have already purchased RI contracts, then using ParkMyCloud for non-production will, over time, shift the RI benefit to the production side (since those instances run 24×7) as your environment grows, the RI shift is factored in on the bill. Of course, if your environment is static then the shift does not occur – but whose AWS environment is not growing, right?

What else should I keep in mind?

Please also remember that unlike ParkMyCloud scheduling, Reserved Instances require you to specify the type, platform, payment option, instance type, offering class, and term length. You can optionally select an Availability Zone if you want to reserve capacity. Convertible RIs allow you to change some of these attributes, but at a reduced savings of around 45%.

To learn more about these different savings methods, please watch our recent webinar.

We hope this is helpful – let us know of course and remember to use RI for Production with your Reserved Instance optimizer, and PMC for Non-Production to optimize savings.

aws reserved instances vs. parkmycloud vs. other savings options

Savings of spot instances, reserved instances, and ParkMyCloud vs. on demand.

New on ParkMyCloud: Zero-Touch Parking! Automatically Park, Govern, & Save

Today, we’re happy to share with you a new addition to ParkMyCloud: “Zero-Touch Parking”! This policy engine applies start/stop schedules and policies to cloud instances.

Zero-Touch Parking will allow you to “take your hands off the wheel” once you have configured the policies for your environment and let ParkMyCloud apply the parking schedules for automatic cloud cost optimization. Additional functionality from the ParkMyCloud policy engine lets you create security and governance rules, described below. You will save time and save money on cloud costs. It’s easier than ever!

Zero-Touch Parking – Automated Schedule Assignment

parkmycloud's zero-touch parking for cloud cost savings automationThe highlight of this new release is Zero-Touch Parking. This is our most-frequently requested feature, and we’re happy to deliver. Now, ParkMyCloud account administrators will be able to automatically attach or detach schedules to new and existing EC2 instances based on keywords.

For example, let’s say your development instances are all tagged with the keyword “dev”. Let’s also say that these instances need to run during an 8 AM to 6 PM workday, Monday through Friday. You can create a parking schedule that has instances run during those hours, and park outside those hours — let’s call it the “dev schedule”. Now, you can also create a rule that all instances tagged “dev” will automatically be assigned the “dev schedule” upon discovery by ParkMyCloud. No touch needed from that point on!

Policy Engine – Automated Security & Governance Measures

never-park-policyIn addition to automated cost savings with Zero-Touch Parking, ParkMyCloud’s new policy engine increases security and eases governance. Administrators can create rules to automatically assign instances to teams of users, and to protect certain instances, such as mission-critical production environments, from accidentally being turned off by users.

Administrators will be able to assign:

  • Schedules – automatically attach or detach a parking schedule (as described above)
  • Restrictions
    • Snooze only – instances are always parked, users “snooze to use”
    • Never park – instances cannot be parked or toggled, so for example, production instances are never parked
  • Teams –  automatically assign new resources to teams during discovery

Time and Money Savings

With automated policies, you’ll save even more time with ParkMyCloud as you save money. On that note, we recently reached an exciting milestone at ParkMyCloud: our customers have now collectively saved over $1 million on their cloud bills. During the next year, we expect customers to save over $5 million. There’s a long way to go to eliminate what we estimate is $5.6 billion in wasted cloud spend every year, but we’re making a dent – our customers have cut their cloud spend significantly.

We look forward to attacking cloud waste from multiple angles with support for additional cloud providers beyond AWS. We plan to release support for Microsoft Azure at the beginning of January, 2017, with Google Cloud Platform support to follow.

Tweet about Zero-Touch parking and get 1 month of ParkMyCloud free! (Email us to get your free month.)

Then, try out the new Zero-Touch Parking & policy engine for yourself with a free 30-day trial. Happy parking!

5 Reasons to Turn Off Your Cloud Servers When You’re Not Using Them

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

turn your servers off, 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

green-data-centerIn 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.

4. Because Werner Said So

At the recent NYC AWS Summit, Amazon CTO Werner Vogels really did tell his users to turn off their instances when they go home for the night. Werner cites cost savings and eliminating waste. “Waste is anything that doesn’t benefit your customers.”

What better endorsement do you need?

NYCsummitwerner

5. For Peace of Mind

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.

 

ParkMyCloud Raises Series Seed Funding Round

ParkMyCloud Customers, Future Customers, Friends, and Fans,

I am happy to share with you that ParkMyCloud has raised a Series Seed funding round of $1.65 million to grow our cost optimization platform. (Official press release here.)

cofounderscapitalWe’re pleased to partner with Cofounders Capital, an early-stage seed fund focused on software ventures out of the Research Triangle area of North Carolina, as well as several individual investors who contributed to the round, to bring you the best product that ParkMyCloud can offer. We’re privileged to have these startup and SaaS experts on our team as we grow and expand.

This round allows us to bring the cost savings and automation that our customers already enjoy to even more of AWS’s 1 million customers, while continually improving the breadth of ParkMyCloud’s features and user experience. We also look forward to adding support for additional cloud service providers, including Microsoft Azure and Google Compute Engine, in the coming months.

I want to give a special shout-out to our existing customers, who have been extremely helpful and provided excellent feedback about the product, their experiences and where we should focus on adding value. Thanks, all.

I’ll also note that the success our customers have achieved with ParkMyCloud so far is remarkable. The “almost $800,000 saved” by our customers that we quoted in our press release is, amazingly, already out of date – over $800,000 has now been saved, and that’s just the beginning. Our customers’ average ROI of 1700% is another number we’re proud of.

The PMC team is ready to hit the ground running this fall. In the famous words of Larry the Cable Guy… let’s git ‘er done.

Cheers,

Jay

ParkMyCloud selected as one of the 20 Most Promising Cloud Solution Providers 2016 by CIOReview

Cloud-CIO-Review-logo-2016We are happy to share that ParkMyCloud has earned a place in the list of CIOReview’s 20 Most Promising Cloud Solution Providers 2016, an annual listing of 20 companies that are at the forefront of providing cloud solutions and impacting the marketplace.

“The companies selected for our 20 Most Promising Cloud Solution Providers 2016 list are an elite group of companies whose products and solutions are changing their respective industries,” said Jeevan George, Managing Editor of CIOReview. “We are proud to feature ParkMyCloud in this edition for its range of revolutionary solutions that is setting a new benchmark in the cloud arena.”

An article on CIO Review highlights how ParkMyCloud helps users optimize cloud computing costs.

About half of AWS EC2 instances support non-production workloads, such as development, testing, staging, and QA, and can be turned off at night and on weekends when developers go home. Yet most companies leave them running 24×7.

Read the full article on CIO Review.