New: RightSizing Now Generally Available in ParkMyCloud for Data-Driven Cloud Optimization

New: RightSizing Now Generally Available in ParkMyCloud for Data-Driven Cloud Optimization

Exciting news: RightSizing is now generally available in ParkMyCloud! You can now use this method for automated cost optimization alongside scheduling to achieve an optimized cloud bill in AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud. 

How it Works

When you RightSize an instance, you find the optimal virtual machine size and type for its workload. 

Why is this necessary? Cloud providers offer a myriad of instance type options, which can make it difficult to select the right option for the needs of each and every one of your instances. Additionally, users often select the largest size and compute power available, whether it’s because they don’t know their workload needs in advance, don’t see cost as their problem, or “just in case”.

In fact, our analysis of instances being managed in ParkMyCloud showed that 95% of instances were operating at less than 50% average CPU, which means they are oversized and wasting money.

Now with ParkMyCloud’s RightSizing capability, you can quickly and easily – even automatically – resolve these sizing discrepancies to save money. ParkMyCloud uses your actual usage data to make these recommendations, and provides three recommendation options, which can include size changes, family/type changes, and modernization changes. Users can choose to accept these recommendations manually or schedule the changes to occur at a later date.

How Much You Can Save

A single instance change can save 50% or more of the cost. In the example shown here, ParkMyCloud recommends three possible changes for this instance, which would save 40-68% of the cost. 

At scale, the savings potential can be dramatic. For example, one enterprise customer who beta-tested RightSizing found that their RightSizing recommendations added up to $82,775.60 in savings – an average of more than $90 per month/ more than $1,000 per year for every instance in their environment. 

How to Get Started

Are you already using ParkMyCloud? If not, go ahead and register for a free trial. You’ll have full access for 14 days to try out ParkMyCloud in your own environment – including RightSizing.

If you already use ParkMyCloud, you’ll need to make sure you’re subscribed to the Pro or Enterprise tier to have access to this advanced feature. 

Now it’s time to RightSize! Watch this video to see how you can get started in just 90 seconds: 

Happy savings!

New GCP Pricing Options: Google Cloud Capacity Reservations and More Committed Use

New GCP Pricing Options: Google Cloud Capacity Reservations and More Committed Use

Google Cloud recently released a new pricing option: Google Cloud capacity reservations. This new option intended for users with anticipated spikes in usage, such as over holidays or planned backups. It also expanded its Committed Use discount program to apply to more types of resources.

Manish Dalwadi, product manager for Compute Engine, said in Google’s announcement of these releases, “you shouldn’t need an advanced degree in finance to get the most out of your cloud investment.”

We’ve noted Google Cloud’s positioning as “best in customer-first pricing” in previous articles on Sustained Use Discounts and Resource-Based Pricing. However, the new options – particularly capacity reservations – may not be the best example of this.

How Google Cloud Capacity Reservations Work

Google Cloud capacity reservations are a bit different from options we see at the other major cloud providers. They are not a cost-savings plan like the AWS and Azure’s “reserved instance” programs that allow users to pay upfront for lower prices. Instead, they actually reserve capacity, to ensure it’s available when you need it. Use cases include holiday/Black Friday demand, planned organic growth, and backup/disaster recovery.

VMs you have reserved in advance will be billed at the same rate as on-demand. However, other discounts may apply. As you consume reserved VMs, you’ll also get the benefit of any applicable Sustained and Committed Use discounts.

One potential issue is that once you make a reservation, you will continue to consume and be charged for the resources until the reservation expires or you delete it. By default, any instance that matches the reservation configuration will be allocated against the reservation. On the one hand, this can prevent you from having to pay for reserved capacity above what you are using, but this may actually defeat your purpose of trying to have additional guaranteed capacity available. To guarantee the extra capacity for a specific instance even if it is stopped (or “parked” as we like to say), you will need to explicitly set an option when the instance is created. Note that you will still be paying for the reservation if you do not have any running instances that match the reservation.

Another caveat is that “a VM instance can only use a reservation if its properties exactly match the properties of the reservation.“ In other words, you cannot buy a bunch of small reservations and expect that they can be combined into a big reservation, like you can do with certain types of reserved instances from the other cloud providers. This is consistent with the idea of a capacity reservation, rather than a discount program, and is worth keeping in mind.

This is a new avenue for customers to easily commit themselves to spending on resources they may not actually need, so we encourage you to evaluate carefully before reserving capacity and to keep a close watch on your monthly bill and review the cloud waste checklist.

More Committed Use Discounts

Alongside the capacity reservations, Google also announced an expansion of Committed Use Discounts to include GPUs, Cloud TPU Pods, and local SSDs.

Committed Use Discounts are the Google pricing option most analogous to AWS and Azure Reserved Instances. Essentially, you choose how much to purchase in advance for up to a 55% discount. More here: How to Analyze Google Cloud Committed Use Discounts.

Get the Best Pricing for You

Ultimately, Google Cloud pricing fares well on measures of user-friendliness and options for cost savings, but we question if the reserved capacity changes will do anything to improve the readability of the bill. On the other hand, the expansion of Committed Use discounts does provide more savings-in-hand options for customers.

Take a few minutes to ensure you’re not oversizing or spending money on resources that should be turned off, and you’ll be well on your way to an optimized Google Cloud bill.

New: RightSizing Recommendations for AWS and Google Cloud

New: RightSizing Recommendations for AWS and Google Cloud

Today, we’re happy to share the latest in cost optimization: ParkMyCloud now makes RightSizing recommendations for your resources in AWS and Google Cloud.

Optimize Your Cloud Infrastructure with Automated RightSizing

Choosing the right instance type for cloud resources is difficult. The major providers offer a huge range of options, each optimized for different capabilities, and a variety of sizes within each instance family. It can be hard to predict in advance what you’ll need. And indeed, our data shows that 95% of instances are operating at less than 50% average CPU – that is to say, most of them are oversized.

Why does it matter? Oversizing is a huge waste of money. Downsizing by one instance size saves 50% of the cost – and two sizes down saves 75%. You can also save money by modernizing instances. The cloud providers incentivize instance modernization by pricing the newest generations the lowest.

ParkMyCloud will not only recommend but also help you take action to resize your instances, move families, and/or modernize as needed so that you can optimize performance with the lowest cost.

What Else is New?

We’re always enhancing and improving ParkMyCloud to make it work best for you. Here’s what else is new:

What’s up next? Azure RightSizing, scheduled resizing and optimization for container services.

How to Get Started

If you’re new to ParkMyCloud, you’ll want to start with a 14-day free trial. Once you connect to your cloud provider, you’ll be able to start managing your instances. You’ll have access to the full set of Enterprise Tier features for the length of the trial, and after 14 days you can choose the free tier or a more advanced tier.  

To enable RightSizing, both new and current users should contact us as this feature is currently in beta. Once that’s active, go to the Recommendations screen and select the RightSizing tab to see all sizing recommendations, which you can then click to apply. The resource will be resized the next time it’s restarted. It’s that easy!

Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) – The Leader in Hosted Container Orchestration

Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) – The Leader in Hosted Container Orchestration

One of Google Cloud’s killer products is Google Kubernetes Engine, or GKE. Since Google was the original creator of the Kubernetes container scheduler, it’s fitting that they are considered to be at the forefront of Kubernetes management and development. In spite of the fact that Kubernetes is now managed by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, Google is still a major contributor to the open-source Kubernetes project on Github. Let’s take a look at Google’s hosted version of Kubernetes and why so many cloud users prefer it to the competition.

GKE Overview

Google Kubernetes Engine is a hosted environment that can run your containerized applications. Unlike Google Compute Engine, which lets you run virtual machines with the operating system of your choice, Google Kubernetes Engine takes your application or code that is packaged into a Docker container and manages it according to your specifications. Ideally, the same containers that have gone through your testing and QA process can now be run at-scale in production, with the backing of Google’s security, availability, and management.

GKE was made publically available in 2015, after being used behind-the-scenes for many Google services (like Gmail and YouTube) for over 10 years. After open-sourcing the Kubernetes software, Google set up a hosted version so users didn’t have to worry about running the master node themselves. This hosted master node has built-in high availability, health checks, and an easy-to-use developer dashboard.

GKE manages Virtual Machines that containers are running on by using their own container-optimized OS. These VMs can scale up or down based on container load and application requirements, and can even utilize preemptible VMs for batch or low-priority jobs. The pricing of GKE is based solely on the number of seconds that those compute resources exist, as there’s no additional costs for the Kubernetes masters that you run for the clusters.

GKE vs. The Competition (AKS, EKS, and ECS)

Google Kubernetes Engine is often seen as the leader in hosted Kubernetes environments, both because Google wrote the original software, and because a decade of experience running it on some of the largest scale websites in the world is hard to discount. Google also had a two-year head start on Microsoft’s AKS service and a three-year head start on Amazon’s AKS platform, which helped work out the kinks and build brand awareness. More: cloud container services comparison.

There are also some technical reasons why GKE is a superior choice. Google deploys the latest version of Kubernetes faster than other providers, so you’re always on the bleeding edge of development. Clusters typically spin up faster, more nodes are allowed per cluster, and new workers start quicker. SOC and ISO compliance can be a factor for large organizations. The user experience of the Kubernetes dashboard is also noticeably better than some alternatives.

You Down With GKE? (Yeah, You Know Me)

At the end of the day, the biggest question we get asked about services like Google Kubernetes Engine is, “Should I use Google Kubernetes Engine for my containers?” As always, the answer is nuanced. If you aren’t embedded in a particular cloud provider (or if you have a multi-cloud strategy), then GKE is certainly a step above other hosted Kubernetes services. Throw in the fact that you don’t pay for master nodes, and it makes financial sense as well. However, if you’re fully committed to a different cloud provider, then the native container management tools are good enough to get the job done.

AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud Market Share 2019: What the Latest Data Shows

AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud Market Share 2019: What the Latest Data Shows

Q1 earnings are in for the ‘big three’ cloud providers and you know what that means – it’s time for an AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud market share comparison. Let’s take a look at all three providers side-by-side to see where they stand.

Note: a version of this post was originally published in April 2018. It has been completely rewritten and updated for 2019.

AWS vs. Azure vs. Google Cloud Earnings

To get a sense of the AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud market share breakdown, let’s take a look at what each cloud provider’s reports shared.

AWS

Amazon reported Amazon Web Services (AWS) sales of $7.7 billion, compared to $5.44 billion at this time last year. AWS revenue grew 41% in the first quarter – at this time last year, that number was 49%.

Across the business, Amazon’s growth rates are slowing down – which perhaps is all that can be expected at their mammoth size. However, their profit margins are increasing, giving investors a boon of $7.09 earnings per share compared to the projected $4.72.

AWS has been a huge contributor to this growth. This quarter, AWS revenue makes up 13% of total Amazon sales, up from 10% in the fourth quarter. AWS only continues to grow, and bolster the retail giant time after time.

In media commentary, AWS’s numbers seem to speak for themselves:

Azure

While Amazon breaks out revenue from AWS separately, Microsoft has a more nebulous “commercial cloud business” – which includes not only Azure, but Office 365, Dynamics 365, and other segments of the Productivity and Business Processes Division. This fact frustrates many pundits as it simply can’t be compared directly to AWS, and inevitably raises eyebrows about how Azure is really doing. Microsoft reported that the commercial cloud business grew 41% in the first three months of 2019, to $9.6 billion.

What Microsoft reported for Azure specifically is the growth rate: 73%. However, Microsoft did not specify what that growth actually represents. This time last year, the Azure growth rate was reported at 93%. Supposedly, analysts say that Azure is growing at a faster rate than AWS was at a similar size, but without specific numbers, it’s hard to say what this actually means.

Here are a few headlines on Microsoft’s reporting that caught our attention:

Google Cloud

Like Microsoft, Google avoided reporting specific revenue numbers for its cloud business yet again. Parent company Alphabet reported $36.34 billion in revenue for the quarter, up 17% from $31.15 billion for the same quarter last year. Google Cloud Platform revenue is included in Google’s “other” revenue category, alongside G Suite, Google Play, and hardware such as Nest. That category reported revenue of $5.45 billion for the quarter, up 25% from the same quarter last year when it was $4.25 billion.

According to Google and Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat, “Google Cloud Platform remains one of the fastest growing businesses in Alphabet with strong customer momentum reflected in particular in demand for our compute and data analytics products”. But without specifics, it’s hard to say what this means.

Further reading on Google’s quarterly reporting:

2018 vs. 2019 Market Share

When we originally published this blog last year, we included a market share breakdown from analyst Canalys, which reported AWS in the lead owning about a third of the market, Microsoft in second with about 15 percent, and Google sitting around 5 percent.

This year they report an overall growth in the cloud infrastructure market of 42%. By provider, AWS had the biggest sales gain with a $2.3 billion YOY increase, but Canalys reports Azure and Google Cloud with bigger percentage increases.

AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud Market Share – And the winner is:

Ultimately, it seems clear that in the case of AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud market share – AWS still has the lead.

Bezos has said, “AWS had the unusual advantage of a seven-year head start before facing like-minded competition. As a result, the AWS services are by far the most evolved and most functionality-rich.”

Our anecdotal experience talking to cloud customers often finds that true, and it says something that Microsoft and Google aren’t breaking down their cloud numbers just yet.

Others have made their own estimates. In November, a Goldman Sachs report stated that AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, and Alibaba Cloud made up 56% of the total cloud market, with that projected to grow to 84% this year. The report shows AWS far, far in the lead with 47% of the market projected for this year, with Azure and Google trailing at 22% and 8% market share, respectively.

AWS remains far in the lead for now. With that said, it will be interesting to see how the actual numbers play out, especially as Google positions itself for multi-cloud and Azure continues rapid growth rates. Perhaps this time next year will report revenue numbers broken out and we’ll be able to say for sure.

Cloud Storage Cost Comparison: AWS vs. Azure vs. Google

Cloud Storage Cost Comparison: AWS vs. Azure vs. Google

Today, we’ll take a brief look at cloud storage cost comparison from the three major cloud service providers. When it comes to finding a solution for your cloud computing needs, it is fair to say that for every business the solutions are based on a case-by-case scenarios – and given the breadth of cloud storage options available, it is certainly true in this case. A few things we’ll briefly touch points on are pricing models, discounts and steps you can take to avoid wasted cloud spend.

The leading cloud service providers have certain fortes and weaknesses that ultimately differentiate each one of them to be the potential solution to support your development infrastructure, operations and applications. Cloud service providers offer many different cloud pricing points depending on your compute, storage, database, analytics, application and deployment requirements. Additionally, you’d want to consider available services and networks provided to see the full scope of their resource capabilities and governance.

Prices can be subject to the type of hosting option you choose. One example is Relational Database Services (RDS). RDS pricing changes according to which database management system you use, and there are many more services like this to choose from.

More detail, beyond just storage, available in our full cloud pricing comparison.

AWS and Google Stand Out

Although not always the case, AWS is presumed to be the least expensive option available and remains the leader in the cloud computing market. But, Microsoft Azure and Google (GCP) are not far behind, and in recent years they have commanded innovation and market pricing reductions, thus closing gaps to bring them closer to AWS. That been said, being the first in the market gives AWS a great advantage over the competition as they command a large scale of businesses and are able to offer lower prices than the competition. They are well known for attracting more businesses, and in turn, they invest their money back into the cloud by adding more servers to their data centers. Google is closing the gap on AWS as they were the first to cut prices in their pricing model to match AWS’.

Storage Services Overview

Let’s take a look at some of the more popular storage options offered by each of the major three providers.

Amazon S3

Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) is the most durable, highly performant and secure cloud storage service. It manages accounts at every level, scales on-demand and offers insights with built-in analytics.  

Amazon EBS

Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) provides block level storage volumes for use with EC2 instances. EBS delivers low-latency and consistent performance scaled to the needs of your application.

Amazon Glacier

Amazon Glacier provides data archiving and long-term back up at a low-cost. It allows you to query data in place and retrieve only the subset of data you need from within an archive.

More about AWS options: https://aws.amazon.com/products/storage/

Google Cloud Storage

Google Cloud Storage offers a single API for all storage classes, simplifying development integration and reducing code complexity. Its highly scalable and performant with unlimited object storage.

Cloud Filestore

Google Filestore is a high-performance file storage for applications that require a filesystem interface and a shared filesystem for data.

Persistent Disk

Google Persistent Disk is a reliable high-performance block storage for virtual machine instances.

Explore Google storage options: https://cloud.google.com/products/storage/

Archive Storage

Azure Archive Storage offers a low-cost, durable, and highly available secure cloud storage for rarely accessed data with flexible latency requirements.

Blob Storage

Azure Blob Storage is a massively scalable object storage for unstructured data.

Azure Files

Azure Files is a simple, secure and fully managed cloud file sharing storage.

Check this out as well on Azure options: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/architecture/aws-professional/services

Sample Pricing Comparison

cloud storage cost comparison chart

Eliminate Cloud Overspend and Save Money

Comparing cloud storage costs and getting the right solution for your storage use case is important, but don’t forget once you deploy you need to ensure you optimize your solution and cost. It’s important that your organization fully understands how much can be wasted on cloud spend. Over-provisioned, underutilized and idle cloud resources run your cloud bill up and create waste. Always ensure that you are optimizing costs and governing usage by eliminating wasted cloud spend  – get started today.