April 18, 2017 (Sterling, VA) – ParkMyCloud, the SaaS platform that helps enterprises optimize public cloud spend, has announced a new pricing model, including the core cost savings functionality available in a free plan. The free cloud cost optimization plan was created to enable developers and DevOps practitioners to save money on non-production resources that are not being used nights and weekends. Currently, these practitioners are using homegrown scheduling scripts, which although they are “notionally free”, are actually are a suboptimal approach and require valuable in-house resources to develop and maintain.
ParkMyCloud is taking this burden off the shoulders of developers by offering its core automated instance scheduling functionality to all users, with or without a paid subscription. The account setup process typically takes customers less than 15 minutes. Then users can quickly create automated scheduling policies, so that their non-production resources, such as development, staging, test, and QA, are turned off when they are not needed, such as nights and weekends. A schedule that runs these instances during an 8-hour workday, 5 days a week, and “parks” them the rest of the week, saves 65% of the cost of the instance – all with minimal setup and maintenance time required.
In the new pricing structure, advanced features such as SSO, multi-cloud support, API, audit logs, and reporting will require subscription to a paid tier. The premium features have been added to support companies who are scaling in the public cloud or who need higher levels of governance or security.
The new model gives all new users access to a 14-day trial that allows them to experience all of the premium features. At the end of those 14 days, users can choose to subscribe to the plan that meets their needs.
Customer feedback has been positive regarding the ease of use and savings achieved. “ParkMyCloud has been great for us to reduce AWS costs,” said DevOps Engineer Tosin Ojediran. “We’re better staying within budget now. ParkMyCloud actually really exceeded my expectations. We sent the savings numbers to our CTO, and he said, ‘wow, this is awesome.’ It’s easy to use, it does what it’s supposed to use.”
ParkMyCloud is a SaaS platform that helps enterprises optimize their public cloud spend by automatically reducing resource waste — think “Nest for the cloud”. ParkMyCloud has helped customers such as McDonald’s, Capital One, Unilever, Fox, Sage Software, and Infor dramatically cut their cloud bills by up to 65%, delivering millions of dollars in savings. For more information, visit http://www.parkmycloud.com.
A recent report from 451 Research analyst William Fellows caught our eye – Now hiring: Cloud financial administrators. The report – which you can download here on our website – discusses a trending new role in enterprises as they seek to keep cloud costs in check.
Why would you need a cloud financial administrator?
The complexity of the cloud infrastructure space, plus the increasing costs in public cloud as enterprises grow, leaves many enterprises unprepared to manage the financial aspects of their cloud usage. IT, Operations, and Development managers and directors already have too much on their plates to add the entire responsibility category of managing cloud finances – and therefore, some are turning to creating a new role solely for this purpose.
Here at ParkMyCloud, we’ve had similar observations. Just take a look at our case studies to see stories of DevOps Engineers, Operations Engineers, and Directors of Infrastructure Services who were unprepared to take on the additional burden of cost optimization single-handedly. Or so they thought.
Is it worth the expense?
As mentioned in the report, the salary of any cost-savings hire should, of course, be lower than the amount that person saves the organization. If your enterprise’s cloud infrastructure is extensive enough to cover a CFA’s salary, it may seem like a cost-effective decision.
However, this can be done in a simpler and more cost-effective manner by introducing cost-optimization tools. The key is to ensure that they are simple to use, and won’t take much time for users to implement and maintain.
Our customers have found ParkMyCloud to fit this need. It takes just minutes to set up and provides savings in the hundreds of thousands and more.
So do you need a cloud financial administrator? Well, it’s up to you. But we don’t think so.
Since mid-2016, ParkMyCloud has served as a co-organizer with BlackSky for our local AWS user group. Each month, we gather 50-100 AWS users in the Northern Virginia and Washington DC area to learn, share technical knowledge, and have a good time.
There are tons of AWS meetups throughout the country and the world. If there’s one near you, we’d highly recommend checking it out. If there’s not, consider starting one up! Comment below or reach out through the meetup page if you want some pointers on how to do that.
Here are three reasons you should attend an AWS user group:
Different user groups and meetups will organize the “learning” portion in different ways. For our local group, we tend to have two to three different presentations on AWS technologies and use cases. For example, our recent talks have covered continuous compliance, backends for IoT modules, and various security topics. The great thing is that as a user group, anyone is eligible to present and share what they’ve learned in AWS – so you can contribute, too.
From these presentations and from talking with peers, not only will you get new ideas – you’ll find that some of the problems you thought you were facing alone are actually common challenges. Meeting up with other users gives you a chance to commiserate and to learn that these problems are solvable – some much needed encouragement!
Additionally, if AWS participates in your local user group, you have the opportunity to get insights into new or upcoming products and more.
Maybe you think “networking” is best left to the sales and marketing folks. I’d urge you to think twice. Every time our group meets, I see people making connections – about job openings and business opportunities, sure. But there’s also the joy of being able to talk shop with someone who understands – sharing tips, tricks, and cool stuff you’ve been doing. See the above note on commiseration, too.
Generally, a sponsor will provide food – and if you’re lucky, beer – for the event, in exchange for the opportunity to address the group. Who can say no to free food? (And don’t discount the sponsors from the “learning” portion either – they’ve identified the group as a good audience for a reason! )
By the way, for those based in or traveling through the DC area, we’d love to see you at our next AWS user group event! See the meetup page for attendee information, and information for speaking or sponsoring at the event.
We recently chatted with Jazz Padda, Managing Director of ParkMyCloud’s UK partner Too Many Clouds about how resellers, VARs and MSPs can use cloud cost optimization trend in cloud. Below is a transcript of our conversation.
Hi Jazz. Can you tell us about what Too Many Clouds does and what kinds of companies you work with?
Too Many Clouds is a distributor and cloud-based solutions provider. We partner with medium to large enterprise users, predominantly multinational businesses. We also work with large enterprise Value-Added Resellers (VARs) and Managed Service Providers (MSPs) to provide them with cloud-based solutions as well as cost optimization.
When you talk to enterprises, VARs and MSPs, does cloud cost optimization seem to be a concern?
Everyone’s talking about cloud to save money and make their lives simpler – and cost is an important part of that conversation. If someone has automated a certain element of their IT in the cloud, the consensus is that they’ve saved money somewhere, and they’ve made their life maybe one eighth easier. They can spend that time on core projects within the business.
However, the issue that we’re seeing at the moment is, once companies migrate to the cloud – and we’re an advocate of moving infrastructure into the cloud and adopting a hybrid model – costs are spiraling out of control. An end user may think initially that they’re getting a good deal, but because they are not managing their infrastructure correctly, based on capacity planning or the small things like running servers at full capacity that really should be sitting there idle – costs are growing rapidly.
As a technology distributor, how are you approaching this problem?
We offer cost optimization technologies such as ParkMyCloud to our clients and partners, which enables us to be at the forefront of the cost-saving exercise.
Cost optimization gives us a great opportunity to add value to users who are already settled into using AWS or Azure. We’re purely value-driven, so we will only add to an end-user or a partner’s portfolio if we have the capacity to do so, if we have something of value to give to them.
We basically lead from a consultative perspective. We try to understand an end user’s environment and if we have something that will aid their environment that would help them, we speak to them about that product. ParkMyCloud actually ticks the box in 70% of the conversations we have around public cloud spending.
How do your VAR and MSP partners utilize cost optimization technologies?
What that means to our partner/reseller customers is that it changes the conversations they’re having with their potential customers.
Until the recent past, our VAR and MSP partners have been focused on providing solutions for cloud migration. A technical person would have to spend the best part of half a day to figure out how much money someone was going to save by going from on-site to Azure, or Azure to AWS or vice versa, and it was still an estimate.
Now with cost optimization technologies that they have access to through partnerships with ParkMyCloud and Too Many Clouds, partners are able to open conversations with existing cloud users. By simply using a platform like ParkMyCloud for post-migration cost optimization, they can get to the savings figure in a matter of minutes. It’s a bit of a no-brainer for partners. It serves as a door-opener for them.
What about end users?
With the actual savings amounts provided, an end user can now make a decision based on cost savings solutions much more quickly.
Finance teams appreciate the ability to look at a simple report, see how much money is going to be saved, and make a decision based on cost savings alone. That’s quite powerful.
Financial controllers are now more cost-conscious than they were before, because they need to allocate those budgets elsewhere. By bringing the cost optimization element into the conversation, we’re able to get over the hurdle a little bit quicker. It makes it easier for end users to make a decision they are looking to make anyway.
Do you have any predictions about what you think will be valuable to end users or resellers in the next few years?
The next big step we’re going to see is the merging of multiple cloud platforms into one or two very big hybrid cloud environments – AWS, Azure, IBM Softlayer, etc., all crash together as one big pooled resource.
Then it will be about departments within the business cross-charging each other and internal costs being allocated correctly. This could also go down to a granular level, charging by applications being used for certain periods of time, charged within different departments as well. That’s what I predict will be important for resellers to understand about end users in the near future.
We spoke to Tosin Ojediran, a DevOps Engineer at a FinTech company, about how he’s using ParkMyCloud as part of his approach to save money in DevOps.
Hi Tosin. So you work in FinTech. Can you tell us about what your team does within the company?
I’m on the DevOps team. We’re in charge of the cloud infrastructure, which ranges from servers to clusters and beyond. We have the task of maintaining the integrations between all the different services we use. Our main goal is to make sure our infrastructure is up and running and to maintain it. Our team just grew from two to three people.
What drove you to search for a cost optimization tool?
Last year, we were scaling our business, and with all the new development and testing, we kept needing to launch new clusters, databases, and instances. We did monitor the costs, but it was the Finance team that came to us and said, “hey, what’s going on with AWS? The costs keep going up, can you guys find a way to reduce this bill or move to a cheaper provider?”
So we looked into different options. We could move to Google for example, or we could move on prem, but at the time we were a team of two running a new project, trying to get things up and running, so we didn’t have the time. We had to find out how we could save money in DevOps without spending all our time to move to a new infrastructure. We went online to do research and came across ParkMyCloud, and started a trial.
What challenges did you experience in using AWS prior to using ParkMyCloud?
Like I mentioned, we were trying to cut costs. To do that, we were brainstorming about how we could write scripts to shut down machines during certain hours and spin them up. The problem was that this would require our time to write, integrate, and maintain.
We have different automation tools and containers – Chef, Docker machines, and Auto Scaling. Each of these takes time to script up. This all takes away from the limited time we have. With ParkMyCloud, we didn’t need to spend time on this automation – it was fast and simple. It allowed me to have all teams, including Analysts and others outside of the DevOps team, park their own resources. If you have a script that you run and if you have a two-man DevOps team, every time someone wants to park their machine, or start it outside of hours, they have to call me and ask me to do start their machines for them. But now with ParkMyCloud, I can assign machines to individual teams, they can start their machines whenever you want them – and it’s easy to use, you don’t have to know programming to use it
It frees up my time, because now everyone can control their own resources, when they used to have to ask me to do it for them.
Can you describe your experience so far using ParkMyCloud?
It’s been great for us to reduce AWS costs. We’re better staying within budget now. ParkMyCloud actually really exceeded my expectations. We sent the savings numbers to our CTO, and he said, “wow, this is awesome.” It’s easy to use, it does what it’s supposed to use. We’re reducing our bill by about 25-30%.
One other thing I love about ParkMyCloud. So, I work with a lot of vendors. A lot of times, they promise you one thing, and you get something else. There’s different terms and conditions, or you have to pay extra to actually qualify for different features. But with ParkMyCloud, it was up and running in 5-10 minutes, it was easy to integrate, easy to use, and you all deliver what you promise.