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.
We’re excited to share the latest in cost optimization for container services: ParkMyCloud now enables enterprises to optimize their Azure AKS (managed Azure Kubernetes Service) cloud costs. This is the second managed container service supported in the platform since we announced support for the scheduling of Amazon EKS (managed Elastic Kubernetes Service) last month.
Why is Container Cost Optimization Essential?
As we continue to expand our container management offering, it’s essential to understand that container management, like the broader cloud management, includes orchestration, security, monitoring, and of course, optimization.
Containers provide opportunities for efficiency and more lightweight application development, but like any on-demand computing resource, they also leave the door open for wasted spend. If not managed properly unused, idle, and otherwise suboptimal container options will contribute billions more to the estimated $17.6 billion in wasted cloud spend expected this year alone.
AKS Scheduling in ParkMyCloud
The opportunities to save money through container optimization are in essence no different than for your non-containerized resources. ParkMyCloud analyzes resource utilization history and creates recommended schedules for compute, database and container resources, and programmatically schedules and resizes them, saving enterprises around the world tens of millions of dollars.
You can reduce your AKS costs by setting schedules for AKS nodes based on working hours and usage, and automatically assign those schedules using the platform’s policy engine and tags. Or, use ParkMyCloud’s schedule recommendations for your resources based on your utilization data.
Already a ParkMyCloud user? Log in to your account to optimize your AKS costs. Please note you’ll have to update your Azure permissions. Details available in the release notes.
This is the second release for container optimization in ParkMyCloud. The platform already offers support for Amazon EKS (managed Elastic Kubernetes Service). Support scheduling for Amazon ECS, AWS Fargate, and Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) will be available soon in the next few months, so stay tuned.
Usually when we think of the cloud, we think of computers and databases and stuff someplace far away. It “just works” (usually) and we do not think of the numerous folks that maintain it and countless people that use it.
But it has a different feel now, as folks around the world are hunkering down at home or in crisis command centers, facing the new realities COVID-19 has brought us, and how its impact continues to evolve and develop.
Paradoxically, while we’re physically further apart than ever before – we’re also drawn closer together, as we focus on this global health crisis and the rippling effects throughout all countries and industries. So let me pull aside this digital curtain for a moment, and say hello directly.
I’m aware that you, our customers and followers, are facing challenges you’ve never faced before. Those challenges will vary, from wild fluctuations in supply chains; to enormous digital demand on the technologies and platforms that enable us to stay connected (Zoom, Slack), fed (Instacart, UberEats), and healthy (Teladoc, Amwell).
From our little ParkMyCloud corner of the world – we would like to do what we can to help you and your business. Our values are built around cost optimization, simplifying complex problems, and transparency (or as I like to say, keeping things real.) These are all important more than ever today as we respond and reshape our operations, while maintaining trust with employees and customers.
If you want or need to save money in these times, we would like to help. Let us know and we can walk through your cloud environment together and give you some suggestions. And not just about how our software can help – we’ve collected a lot of knowledge about saving money in public cloud from some great companies and are happy to share where it might be able to help you. As always, ParkMyCloud’s cost optimization software is free to try. If you need a trial longer than 14 days, or need access to features above your current tier, please let me know.
And if there’s anything more we can do to assist you, we’re all ears. We’re all on the same team.
We chatted with JP Bourget, founder and CSO of Syncurity, about how his cybersecurity orchestration company uses ParkMyCloud.
Hi JP. Can you start off by telling us about Syncurity, what you do, and how big your team is?
Sure. We’re a cybersecurity orchestration vendor. We are in the cybersecurity product space of SOAR which is security, orchestration, automation, and response. What we do is we facilitate the security alert handling, sometimes called triage, and then use automation to help decide if the alert is concerning, and if necessary kick off a response process for the security operations center or incident response team. We usually launch these processes with alert polling as well as run our automated analysis/enrichment with alert ingesting via security product APIs.
I’m the founder and CSO. There’s about 25 of us on the team.
What clouds do you use, and how are you using those clouds?
We use Amazon, Azure, Google, Oracle, and Digital Ocean. We do a lot of CI using CircleCI, Travis, and some others.
The reason that we use all those clouds is because we ship images on the different cloud providers for consumption by customers. Our product is subscription-based and we share a private image with our customers, they can then go deploy our product in their environment.
Most of our work is done on Azure VMs and Amazon EC2. We also have another cloud environment which is hosted on bare metal servers that we use for VMware – I don’t get billed per VMguest in that scenario. It’s a per bare metal server cost model. We also now use spot instances quite often based on ParkMyCloud helping us understand the benefit of them, even for longer running instances.
As for how we’re using them, most of our QA and Proof of Concepts are done in Amazon. Because we do all this automation, we have a huge integration lab up in Amazon. We also do POCs in all the other vendors based on customer requirements.
How did you decide to start using ParkMyCloud?
We’ve been using ParkMyCloud right from the beginning – we know the team that helped build the product.
The key benefit of ParkMyCloud for me is that I have about 75 instances at any one time that don’t need to be running all the time because it’s the lab. In some cases, I need to turn on a lab in a fashion that gives me a stack of tools, or I need to run a lab in a fashion where the machines run a schedule.
There’s certain stuff that is dummy infrastructure or lab infrastructure like windows servers and domains that we want running most of the time, but we turn them off on the weekend. But there are other things that only ever need to be turned on when we’re using them. So what ParkMyCloud gives me is the ability to essentially have an interface that’s multi-cloud for anybody to go in and turn a box on as needed and then automatically turn them off.
How would you describe your experience using ParkMyCloud?
I like being able to see my projected savings right on the platform. The other thing that I really like is the fact that I can see how much a box costs a month instead of hourly. It’s one of those small things that provides huge value. Amazon provides that hourly information but you have to calculate the monthly cost.
We use ParkMyCloud as an alternative to some users logging directly into the AWS console, which is a lot easier.
Sean Brundle, DevOps Engineer at website development specialist Brainjocks, told us about how his team uses ParkMyCloud to manage cloud and DevOps costs.
Hi Sean! Tell us about Brainjocks and what you all do.
Sure. Brainjocks is a web design and development company that utilizes Sitecore, Episerver, and WordPress solutions to help companies build and manage websites. The Brainjocks team creates and updates websites that are most frequently hosted on public cloud servers.
We support our customers from end to end. We create and update their websites, and often support them after they go live, also. Sometimes we host their web sites on our cloud servers using Google Cloud, AWS, or Azure cloud solutions.
What’s your role at Brainjocks?
I’m a DevOps engineer, so my role is to set up and support all of the different environments for projects. I also configure automation tools and processes for developers, allowing them to deploy code changes in a seamless and automated process.
That is where ParkMyCloud comes into play for us. I make sure that we aren’t charging our clients too much for their cloud services when those services are not being actively utilized.
We have a DevOps team of five, and we support approximately 90 employees across our company.
How did you all decide to have a multi-cloud environment across all three of the major providers?
When we first started using public cloud, we opted for Google Cloud. At the time, Google Cloud was a more economically affordable option, and it was a great start for internal servers and internal projects. As of today we have 55 Google Cloud servers being managed in ParkMyCloud. These instances consist of internal servers for quality assurance sites, as well as proof of concept servers for the clients who we manage within Google Cloud.
Later we began using AWS for our continuous integration needs. One of the primary tools that we use for continuous integration and continuous deployment is TeamCity, which contains numerous AWS integration points. When Azure became a feature leader in the cloud market we began transitioning many of our clients to the Azure solution, primarily for the reliability of supporting production environments and to take advantage of the integration options for our development tools. Azure bolstered their integration offerings for servers, as well as for the continuous integration Azure Devops tool that we use for most of our projects on the Azure environment. We also use Microsoft products for our development processes. Since we use both SQL Server and Visual Studio, we utilize Azure for production environments.
What led you to search for a solution like ParkMyCloud?
We have a lot of active servers for internal testing, and keeping those online 24/7 is a significant cost when we only need them online when we are actively using them. Initially we would enable and disable the servers manually as needed, but that was a very time-consuming activity for our DevOps team. Cross-department communication became a challenge, also, as the QA team might try to do tests within a certain environment only to discover that the servers they needed were turned off, requiring them to seek out a DevOps resource and request that the server be brought back online.
Azure includes some automated options to schedule server availability, but neither Google Cloud nor AWS offers a good scheduling feature. That’s why I began researching different tools in the market that can automate server schedules. It is ideal to have one to reliably schedule server availability. ParkMyCloud does an amazing job with that.
I also like the option of configuring policies that allow me to schedule specific server availability per project. These scheduling features also greatly facilitate our processes across our US- and European-based offices since they operate in multiple time zones. With ParkMyCloud I have a schedule for each time zone, so when it’s 3:00 in the morning local time in our Atlanta office the European servers will automatically be online. They don’t have to ping us and wake us up early in the morning. So that’s one thing I was definitely looking for in a tool that we never had before.
That sounds like it was a pain to manage.
It sure was. The previous, manual process for enabling and disabling servers was not an efficient process at all, and it was a tedious task to organize all of our servers across all of our time zones.
How did you first hear about ParkMyCloud?
We looked into creating a custom application that would do something similar to ParkMyCloud, but our custom solutions didn’t have a lot of the benefits that we have found in your solution. We wanted a way that the QA team could go in and see if the servers are on or off, request to have the servers turn on, and then I was planning to create an automated process to have these servers on and off on a certain schedule. I was creating automation scripts to turn off the servers, and eventually I just realized that there’s got to be a good tool out there that will automate this process for me. That’s when I started researching, and through my research I found ParkMyCloud. I saw a demo, and determined that ParkMyCloud does everything that I want plus much, much more.
How much have you saved on your cloud bills so far with ParkMyCloud?
We just started using it a few months ago, and we’ve already saved $10,000.
Do you have ParkMyCloud integrated with any other tools you use?
Yes. We use Slack, which is the biggest communication tool that we use throughout our company. I have Slack integrated with ParkMyCloud, so any time a scheduled configuration changes or when certain critical servers are turned on or off, all applicable team members are alerted via the Slack-ParkMyCloud integration before those servers are shut down.
We chatted with Greg Cockburn, Principle Practice Lead for Australia-based managed services provider AC3, about how they selected ParkMyCloud as part of their MSP software portfolio.
Great to speak with you, Greg! Can you start out by telling us about AC3 and what you all do?
Sure. So our go-to-market strategy is about cloud, infrastructure, data, software integration, and cybersecurity management. We can help you on your journey from a consulting phase about a new project, or during a migration into the cloud, all the way through to managing that on an ongoing basis. We provide managed services, cybersecurity expertise, day-to-day operations, cloud infrastructure builds, software development, and everything in between.
It requires us to really understand the client’s business. For us, it’s really all about enabling technology to solve business problems.
What’s your role at AC3?
My role is Principle Practice Lead, I look after all of the practices which include AWS, Azure, systems integration and management, and two up and coming practices: software and data, and cybersecurity.
How many customers do you all have?
About a thousand. That’s about a 50/50 split of customers using AWS or Azure, and customers in private cloud. And that’s across both government and private organizations and all sizes.
Are most of your customers in your general geographical area?
Yes. Most of our customers are Australian or New Zealand based.
So of your customers that are using AWS or Azure, how far are they into their cloud journey?
It’s a very varied mix. We have everything from mid-sized agencies that have been running WordPress environments and need help with customizations, all the way through to large enterprises and governments. Where they are in their cloud journeys can vary greatly.
For some, we’re starting with a lift-and-shift and then kind of unraveling some of their workloads to see if we can start making use of native services. For others, there are workloads that we’re looking after or were built that are completely serverless. For example last year we built a completely serverless data lake for New South Wales Spatial Services.
How did you start using ParkMyCloud?
I personally had a particular need to solve a resource scheduling problem, so I checked out some MSP software options for scheduling and then jumped in and used it. ParkMyCloud had a simpler interface compared to some of the other products out there, and got the job done. It was an easy model to understand and consume, and it wasn’t going to cost an arm or leg. I liked that the pricing wasn’t based on percentages or anything complicated.
And then it kind of just started to snowball from there. We’ve got more and more customers using ParkMyCloud, and we’ve started to integrate it into our monitoring.
What was the specific use case that got you looking for a solution?
The customer wanted to be able to manage on and off schedules themselves. We have our own internal process that does some of that, but it wasn’t available to customers – there was no interface they could use to create, apply, or override their own schedules.
One customer was saying to us, look, we need to be able to turn it off potentially days at a time as opposed to just a regular schedule. And then sometimes we might want to be able to have it running all week if we’re doing load testing or vulnerability testing or something like that.
So we jumped on board with ParkMyCloud and signed this customer as a bit of a proof of concept. They were really happy with everything. They were able to schedule everything, group things together, and it made perfect sense for them from there.
Now we have many more customers using ParkMyCloud, and have hooks inside our internal monitoring system for ParkMyCloud so we can keep an eye on everything.
Has it saved you or your team any time to hand off the scheduling to the end-users?
Definitely. By being able to give end users control, they’re able to drive how and when they have things and can turn them on and off on an as-needed basis.
Before, one of our engineers would have to understand the problem, talk to the customer, grab those requirements, put it into a ticket, go in and put the scheduling into our system, test it to make sure that it worked, and close that ticket. Now it’s a completely different team that can take care of that – a team that is more customer aligned rather than the support team. They can just spin up a new account for ParkMyCloud. The automation takes care of hooking it into the AWS account with the right roles, etc., and the customer gets an email to get started with and they’re off and away.
Do you have any other feedback about your and your customers’ experience using ParkMyCloud?
The ParkMyCloud team has been really responsive which helped me integrate the product with Google’s suite for SSO. When we’ve raised suggestions, the team has been responsive supporting those initiatives and we’ve seen some of them come to fruition.
We also appreciate that the interface is easy to use and the pricing model is simple. It’s just really easy. That was the big key thing for us. There are other solutions and MSP software offerings out there that can do some sort of scheduling. But what tends to happen with these tools is that they end up doing many things and they don’t do them well. Software providers do better when they remember their original core focus and stick to that.