Sometimes we ask potential customers what their top ParkMyCloud alternative is. Usually, they don’t have one, but sometimes, they’re considering scripting their own on/off solution instead.
It makes sense: at a glance at the problem of scheduling cloud resources, it’s easy to say, “my team can write a scheduler.” However, there are more factors than you may have considered – including cost optimization over a variety of resources, maintenance time, visibility and reporting, opportunity cost, and more.
11 Things to Include in Your Scripts – Besides Scheduling
While you may be able to write scripts to turn resources on and off on a schedule, there are a number of associated functionalities that would be more difficult and time consuming:
- Multi-account/user – scripting typically doesn’t support multi-cloud/multi-user/multi-account access, and it is difficult to support existing team structures and ensure appropriate controls
- Schedule override – difficult to let users override schedules when they need to access them while scheduled
- Custom usage-based schedules – must determine a way to create custom schedules per resource based on usage analytics
- Logical Groups – hard to find a way to let users group resources and start/stop sequentially
- Scale group parking – must develop means to create a single view and the ability to manage and start/stop scale groups
- On-demand access – must develop a process to enable on-demand access to stopped instances in off hours
- 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)
- Reporting – not only do cost savings need to be tracked, they need to be reportable via ad hoc utilization, savings, and scheduling reports over arbitrary date ranges
- Policies – difficult to build custom policies regarding the scheduling of instances like “Never Park” or “Snooze Only”
- Standardization – difficult to ensure consistency and standardization of automation approach across entire organization unless highly centralized
- Easy-to-use UI for non-developers – no easy way to create a UI that allows you to devolve management of cloud resources to non-technical teams who may not be familiar with the cloud provider console
ParkMyCloud provides you the ability to do all of the above – with no scripting necessary. See a full comparison here.
The Cost of Scripting
If you’re interested in automating on/off times for your cloud resources, then you’re probably interested in optimizing costs. So don’t lose sight of the cost behind “building” – the man-hours and opportunity cost. After all, every time you have your team working on creating solutions for side projects, you distract them from your core business activities.
And it will take more time than you think. In addition to the functionality listed above, consider the following maintenance tasks:
- Must keep up-to-date on changes to public cloud APIs
- Must keep up-to-date on change/updates to public cloud services
- When your business’s desired policies, schedules, or behavior change, must update and test
Is Scripting a Viable ParkMyCloud Alternative?
Of course, it’s up to you to determine whether scripting is a worthwhile ParkMyCloud alternative for your business. We’d say, it’s not worth the cost and sacrifice of value. Besides, ParkMyCloud users save an average of $12 on their cloud bills per dollar spent on the product – that’s an ROI that will keep your finance team happy. And that’s just the paid versions. If it’s still hard for you to justify, then use ParkMyCloud’s free tier – with no cost, there’s no reason to waste your time scripting.
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