Additional First-Place Rankings Achieved in Implementation, Relationship, and Usability Indexes
June 23, 2020 (Dulles, VA) – ParkMyCloud, provider of the leading enterprise platform for continuous cost control in public cloud, has been recognized as a “high performer” in Cloud Cost Management by G2. ParkMyCloud ranked #1 in customer satisfaction, and was additionally selected for best usability, best relationship, and most implementable product in G2’s Cloud Cost Management Summer 2020 Report. These rankings are awarded based on the reviews and responses of real users.
“There are a few things our customers are consistently looking for,” said ParkMyCloud VP Jay Chapel. “They need a platform to optimize cloud costs that is data-driven, automated, and easy to use. What these reviews are telling us is that we’re delivering for our customers.”
Chapel added, “Thank you from me and the whole team to all ninety-plus customers who have taken the time to write a review and share feedback. When we receive suggestions about the product via G2 and other channels, we review and often, it goes immediately into the roadmap. We’re grateful to have an engaged group of users who help us iterate and improve every day.”
With more than one million reviews of business software, G2 is a trusted authority for business professionals making purchasing decisions. Its quarterly reports are based on reviews by real, verified users, who provide unbiased ratings on user satisfaction, features, usability, and more.
In the report, ParkMyCloud earned the leading satisfaction score at 94%, as well as 93% satisfaction in ease of administration; 93% in ease of doing business, 91% in ease of use, 90% in quality of support, and 91% of users likely to recommend the product. ParkMyCloud was also rated as providing the fastest ROI of any product in the category.
Reviews of ParkMyCloud on G2 often highlight the product’s ease of use and the rapid ROI achieved by finding and eliminating wasted cloud spend in AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, and Alibaba Cloud. New users can get started in minutes with a 14-day free trial.
ParkMyCloud, a Turbonomic company, provides a self-service SaaS platform that helps enterprises automatically identify and eliminate wasted cloud spend. More than 1,500 enterprises around the world – including Sysco, Workfront, Hitachi ID Systems, Sage Software, and National Geographic – trust ParkMyCloud to cut their cloud spend by tens of millions of dollars annually. ParkMyCloud allows enterprises to easily manage, govern, and optimize their spend across multiple public clouds. For more information, visit www.parkmycloud.com.
AWS Reserved Instance discounts can be confusing and opaque. We talk to AWS customers who don’t know what instances their discounts are being applied to – or even whether their Reserved Instances are being utilized. Here are some notes to help you understand AWS RIs.
What Do Reserved Instances Actually Reserve?
There is an understandable misconception that a “reserved instance” always reserves capacity – a specific VM that is “yours” for the month. If that’s what you want, you’re looking for a Zonal Reserved Instance (locked to a specific instance type and Availability Zone) or an AWS Capacity Reservation. Both of these are specific to an availability zone and instance attributes, including the instance type, tenancy, and platform/OS. If you purchase a “zonal” reserved instance, you will also get a capacity reservation in the designated availability zone, but regional reserved instances do not reserve capacity. Standalone capacity reservations do not provide a discount – but then, they do not require a 1-year or 3-year contract, either. Note that even a Capacity Reservation is not guaranteed to be associated with a specific instance unless that instance was launched into that reservation.
Reserved Instances might be better named something to the effect of “pre-paid credits”. You are not purchasing a specific instance, but rather, a discount that will be applied to instances in your account, as long as they match certain attributes.
How AWS Reserved Instance Discounts Are Applied
Ultimately, you won’t know which specific instance your RI discount is applied to until you look at your bill, and if you want to find out, you’ll sift through hundreds of thousands of rows on a Cost and Usage Report. And there may well be hundreds of rows for any single RI, because the instance that receives the reserved instance discount can actually change minute to minute. Or at least, by the fraction of the hour.
The “scope” of your Reserved Instance affects how the discount is applied. Zonal Reserved instances are for a specific availability zone, reserve capacity in that zone, and do not have instance size flexibility. Therefore, if you have reserved an m5.large in Availability Zone us-east-1a, your discount will only apply to that specific instance type, size, and zone. Zonal RIs are less expensive than Regional RIs – but since they are also much more constrained, it’s easier for them to accidentally go unused if you do not have a matching instance running.
Meanwhile, a Regional Reserved instance does not reserve capacity, but it does allow flexibility in both availability zone and instance size within the same family. That’s where the normalization factor comes in. Obviously, you wouldn’t want to be charged the same amount for a t3.nano as a t3.2xlarge. The normalization factor balances these sizes, so that a reservation for a t3.xlarge could count for one t3.xlarge instance, or two t3.large instances, or 32 t3.nano instances, or 50% of a t3.2xlarge, or some combination of sizes. The benefit is applied from the smallest to largest instance size within the family.
If you use consolidated billing, your Reserved Instance discount will be applied first to applicable usage within the purchasing account, then to other accounts in the organization.
Should You Even Use AWS Reserved Instances?
AWS is aware of this confusion – which is part of the reason they released Savings Plans last year. Instead of the instance size and normalization factor calculations, you simply have a spend commitment, which is flexible across instance family, size, OS, tenancy or AWS Region, and also applies to AWS Fargate and AWS Lambda usage. Hopefully, Savings Plans will be coming soon for the other resources that support RIs, such as RDS, Elasticahce, and so on.
Savings plans can provide the same level of discount, without the rigidity of Reserved Instances, so we recommend them. If you already have Reserved Instance commitments, just ensure that you are fully utilizing them, or else (for EC2 RIs) sell them on the RI marketplace.
And consider whether you have resources that just don’t need to be running 24×7. Turning them off can save more than either of these options.
Analysts are reporting that IT budget cuts are expected to continue, dropping 5-8% this year overall. That puts IT departments in a difficult position: what should they cut, and how? While there is no magic bullet, there are places to trim the fat that will require no sacrifice and make no impact on operations.
Public Cloud Spend is High – And Users Want to Optimize
The largest cost in many enterprises’ IT budget is, of course, labor. You already know that the layoffs are happening and that engineering and operations departments are not immune. Whether you’re trying to avoid layoffs or trying to make the most of a reduced budget and workforce after them, you can look at other portions of your budget, including public cloud – often ranked the third-highest area of spend.
Even before COVID-19 wreaked havoc on businesses the world over, cloud customers ranked cloud cost optimization as a priority. Like water and electricity in your home, public cloud is a utility. It needs to be turned off when not being used.
This is made more urgent by today’s economic climate. There’s a lot of pressure in certain verticals, industries, and enterprises to reduce cloud spend and overall operational expenditures.
The Least Controversial Fix: Wasted Cloud Spend
There’s a reason “optimization” is so important: it implies waste. That faucet running when no one’s in the room – there’s simply no reason for the spend, which makes it an “easy” fix. No one will miss it.
The first step is identifying the waste. We estimate that almost $18 billion will be wasted this year in two major categories. The first is idle resources – these are resources being paid for by the hour, minute, or second, that are not actually being used every hour, minute, or second. The most common type is non-production resources provisioned for development, staging, testing, and QA, which are often only used during a 40-hour work week, That means that for the other 128 hours of the week, the resources sit idle, but are still paid for.
The second-largest swath of wasted spend is overprovisioned infrastructure — that is, paying for resources that are larger in capacity than needed. About 40% of instances are oversized. Just by reducing an instance by one size, the cost is reduced by 50%. Or look at it the other way – every size up costs you double.
Other sources of waste not included in this calculation include orphaned volumes, inefficient containerization, underutilized databases, instances running on legacy resource types, unused reserved instances, and more.
How to Activate Optimization
Cutting this waste from your budget is an opportunity to keep the spend you actually need, and make more investment in applications to produce revenue for your business. The people who use this infrastructure on a daily basis need to get on board, and that can be challenging.
The key to taking action to address this wasted spend is to bridge the gap between the people who care about the cloud bill – Finance, IT, etc. – and the people working in the cloud infrastructure every day – the app owners, the lines of business, developers, engineers, testers, people in QA, DevOps, SREs, etc. Those internal “end users” need a self-service tool or platform to take action.
However, app owners have a stack of priorities ahead of cost, and a lack of time to evaluate solutions. Ideally, the cloud operations team will administer a platform, and have that platform enable the app owners or lines of business to take actions, make changes, based on recommendations from that platform. Then you get Finance and IT to see a reducing – or at least flat – cloud bill, with optimized costs.
For an example of how enterprise Cloud Operations departments can approach this, learn from Sysco. They deployed ParkMyCloud to hundreds of app owners and end users across the globe, and used gamification to get them all on board with reducing costs.
Microsoft Azure growth has long held the silver medal in public cloud. As of Q1 2020, Azure held 17% of the public cloud market, behind AWS’s 32%. But much of the adaptation to COVID-19 has happened after the Q1 period, which means they’re missing some dramatic activity: the drop in usage for businesses with lower demand, the massive increase in usage for those with high demand, and the infrastructure changes to support the at-home workforce.
Azure Growth Trends
Market reporting comparing Azure to its competitors in the IaaS market has shown steady growth and gain in market share. Microsoft reported that Azure grew 59% year-over-year last quarter, and has been growing at similar rates for the past year.
While these Azure growth rates are reported, the actual revenue numbers are reported as part of the “Intelligent Cloud” business, which includes Azure, other private and hybrid server products, GitHub, and enterprise services.
Something to keep in mind is that it’s easy to equate growth with net new customers Azure has gained – however, much of the growth comes from the increase in resources and usage within each customer. As just one example, among ParkMyCloud users, the average number of resources per Azure account increased 30-fold over a six-month period ending in February this year.
COVID-19 and Azure Usage
Back in March, Microsoft shared that, given any capacity constraints within a region, it would be giving resource priority to certain types of customers: first responders, health and emergency management services, critical government infrastructure, and Microsoft Teams to enable remote work. Even as they shared that, some customers were already running up against capacity constraints in certain regions and unable to create or restart VMs.
Whether customers experienced these shortages themselves or not, we’ve heard anecdotally that the possibility of capacity constraints has instilled enough fear in some that they’ve chosen to leave resources running when not being used as an (expensive) guarantee of availability for the next time they’re needed.
Microsoft Teams and Windows Virtual Desktops (VDI) are also seeing rapid adoption. As of last month, Teams daily active users were up to 75 million, up from 32 million in early March. Teams is part of the Productivity and Business Processes segment and does not impact the Intelligent Cloud revenue. However, it is integrated with Office 365 products, making it the platform of choice for many new users right now almost by default, similarly to the many enterprise users that adopt Azure as part of larger Microsoft agreements.
So – is Azure experiencing growth? Certainly, yes. But is it growing faster than competitors? Right now, there’s no evidence that it is.
New to Azure?
Are you among the newest batch of Azure users? There’s a lot to learn. Here are a few resources other new users have found helpful.
Today we are happy to announce that ParkMyCloud now offers GKE cost optimization! You can now capitalize on your utilization data to automatically schedule Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) to turn off when not needed in order to reduce costs.
GKE Cost Control is a Priority
GKE is the third Kubernetes service ParkMyCloud has rolled out support for in the past six weeks, following Amazon’s EKS and Azure’s AKS. Inbound requests for container cost control have been on the rise this year, and cloud users continue to tell us that container cost control is a major priority.
For example, Flexera’s 2020 State of the Cloud report found that the #1 cloud initiative for this year is to optimize existing use of cloud, and the #3 initiative is to expand use of containers. The report also found that 58% of cloud users use Kubernetes, and container-as-a-service offerings from AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud are all growing. 451 Research predicts that container spending will rise from $2.7 billion this year to $4.3 billion by 2022.
Wasted spend on inefficient containerization is among the problems contributing to $17.6 billion in cloud waste this year alone. Sources of waste include: nonproduction pods that are idle outside of working hours, oversized pods, oversized nodes, and overprovisioned persistent storage.
How to Reduce GKE Costs with ParkMyCloud
ParkMyCloud now offers optimization of GKE clusters and nodepools through scheduling. As with other cloud resources such as Google Cloud VM instances, preemptible VMs, SQL Databases, and Managed Instance groups – as well as resources in AWS, Azure, and Alibaba Cloud – you can create on/off schedules based on your team’s working hours and automatically assign those schedules with the platform’s policy engine. Better yet, get recommended schedules from ParkMyCloud based on your resources’ utilization data.
This comes with full user governance, self-service management of all projects in a single view, and flexible features such as schedule overrides (which you can even do through Slack!) Manage your application stacks with intuitive resource grouping and ordered scheduling.
If you haven’t yet tried out ParkMyCloud, please start a free trial and connect to your Google Cloud account through a secure limited access role.
If you already use ParkMyCloud, you will need to update your Google Cloud IAM policy to allow scheduling actions for GKE. Details available in the release notes.
Questions? Requests for features or more cloud services ParkMyCloud should optimize? Let us know – comment below or contact us directly.