It’s that time of year again at ParkMyCloud’s cloud optimization headquarters. Summer is in full swing, the 4th of July is on Thursday, and the USWNT is in World Cup semi-finals – let’s GO USA. And, of course, ParkMyCloud is four years old.
Anniversaries in Review
We always like to take a moment of reflection on these anniversaries –– here are our previous ones, if you’re curious:
These snapshots really give perspective to both how the company and the market are changing!
Our 4th Year: Cloud Cost Optimization Meets Application Resource Management
This past year has been a big one for ParkMyCloud. As you may be aware we were acquired in May by Turbonomic, the leader in application resource management. In the short time since that acquisition, things have been nothing but positive for ParkMyCloud and our customers. ParkMyCloud remains a separate brand and we continue to invest in the product and add new features to the platform to help our customers automate cost control for AWS, Azure and Google clouds. We now have more than 1,100 organizations in more than 50 countries using ParkMyCloud, achieving an average ROI of 815%. Yes, you read that correctly – 815%!
A few interesting trends found in the cloud usage tracked in our platform over the last 12 months:
- There are now more Google Cloud projects being managed in the ParkMyCloud platform than Azure subscriptions, but conversely are more Azure resources than Google resources.
- We now see ParkMyCloud customers using both Azure and Google Cloud together. This is new – in the past we have seen combinations of AWS and Azure as well as AWS and Google Cloud.
- Every large enterprise that was using AWS exclusively 2-3 years ago now also has some Azure resources in the platform. Combined with the last data point, you can see how multi-cloud is truly the current reality.
- The resource count in the platform is up over 600% over the last year. Obviously organic growth and the acquisition of new customers drives this, but we have seen a big uptick in the use of scale groups and analytics workloads, an effect of greater needs for elasticity.
Looking Ahead: Bigger and Better Cloud Optimization and Automation Coming Soon
The big news for our customers this year has been the addition of rightsizing to the platform. We currently support automated rightsizing for AWS and Google Cloud, and will have Azure complete in a few weeks. Soon, we’ll also be offering scheduled resizing which will give you flexibility to align resizing with your internal maintenance windows and other specific times to minimize downtime. During the second half of this year, we plan to add support for containers, snapshot management and the ability to identify AWS Reserved Instances. This last addition will help users see how they are utilizing their Reserved Instances and whether their utilization needs to match their reservations. Users will also be able to plan Reserved Instance purchases based on their uptime needs, better matching reservations vs. on-demand resources with schedules.
How do we develop this roadmap and stay on a path of constant improvement? We have a lot of customer conversations and get great input from our customers on our Slack channel. We hear about containers, serverless and other more advanced PaaS offerings that users would like to manage in addition to the main culprit of cloud waste, oversized and idle resources.
As always, we are open to feedback on what’s most important to you. What would help you optimize your cloud environment? Let us know in the comments below (or if you prefer, Slack or email.)
If we don’t hear from you, we will make these ground-breaking decisions on a warm Tuesday evening at Crooked Run Brewery in Sterling, VA (that’s where some of our best ideas come from). If you are in the vicinity, swing by for a beer!
We recently held our first AWS webinar, featuring speakers from AWS, Sysco, and our CTO Bill Supernor. If you missed “How to Turn AWS Utilization Data into Automated Cost Control,” not to worry! You can watch a replay here.
Here are 9 takeaways from this AWS webinar – and more resources to learn about them:
- Cost Optimization is one of five key pillars in the AWS Well-Architected Framework, and we’re glad to see AWS prioritizing controlled costs so highly. If you’re not already familiar with the Well-Architected Framework, learn more on the AWS site. The other pillars, by the way, include operational excellence, security, reliability, and performance efficiency.
- Choose the right pricing model for your workload needs. Make sure to evaluate whether Reserved Instances are a good choice before committing, and don’t forget about Spot Instances either.
- Tagging resources according to cost allocation was emphasized by AWS as important for decision making – and of course it is! You have to be able to categorize your resources to make decisions about them. Here’s more on how to improve cloud automation through tagging.
- Use AWS CloudWatch – similarly, use your CloudWatch data to optimize your environment. AWS is collecting data about your usage whether you’re looking at it or not – so put it to work!
- Bagels work – Sysco Foods’ Kurt Brochu shared that he could motivate his team to show up for cost optimization trainings by providing bagels. Sometimes it takes a bit of prodding to get team members not directly responsible for budget to care about cost, so don’t be afraid to get creative.
- Use Gamification as a motivator – similarly, by turning cost savings into a race or other competition, you can awake interest that might otherwise be hard to find.
- There are plenty more AWS webinars – AWS partners frequently hold webinars in conjunction with the cloud provider. One of the best places to learn about them is the @AWS_Partners Twitter channel.
Watch the replay of our AWS webinar for the full story – and let us know in the comments below what else you’d like to learn about in future webinars!
We recently chatted with Ben V., Network & Communications Specialist at a global company, about how his team uses ParkMyCloud for Azure cloud management.
Hi Ben, thanks for chatting with us. So tell me about what you and your team do within the company.
I’m a Network & Communications specialist on a team of four. We manage the infrastructure that end developers throughout the company use. For us, that’s Microsoft Azure.
So what made you realize there was an Azure cloud management need in your organization?
When I started working here, I saw that the Azure environment was running 24×7, including development resources. Specifically, we’re using Microsoft Dynamics which comes with a hefty parameter that uses a lot of resources.
When I saw the high bill, at first I actually looked to see what Azure offers. Azure does offer a piece of it. You can log in and shut down the servers. You can set schedules to shut down machines, but they often wouldn’t turn back on, you have to manually turn them back on. And not all our developers have permissions to go into Azure to turn on and off the servers.
So, I started looking for a solution to solve this problem. A friend of mine who I have worked with over the years told me about ParkMyCloud, so I looked into it and started a trial. I looked around at other solutions, and to me, this one just stood out as the best solution to the problem.
What was your initial experience using ParkMyCloud like?
Once I got it set up, we saved more than $6,000 the first month alone just by being able to turn off all of the servers that were constantly running during weekends and at night on weekdays when a lot of the developers weren’t even touching it or using it.
And then we gave developers access to override schedules during the weekend in case they needed to work. That was even better because when they had to ask permission it would cut into my time as well.
How much are you saving using ParkMyCloud?
We have been using ParkMyCloud for over a year now, and we’ve saved about $75,000. The great thing is, it’s a very reasonable cost for us for a huge amount of savings.
What other benefits have you gained while using the product?
We hit the jackpot due to the fact that it gave us the ability to set schedules and the ability to assign different developers to teams so they can log in and can override a schedule for 12 hours or whatever they need it for. Now we’re not having to constantly log into the Azure environment and deal with it that way. It saves my time.
It makes it easier to deal with the developers to save costs. We have some third-party developers, and it’s nice to be able to separate their permissions and give them access to as few servers as possible. We have a global employee base, so we set schedules based on developers’ locations. Most of our staff schedules for resources to run only Monday to Friday, 7 am to 7 pm on average, and off nights and weekends.
Through ParkMyCloud’s utilization data and recommendations, we also found environments running that hadn’t been accessed in weeks, so we turned those off right away.
Are you using anything else for Azure cloud management?
No, we haven’t found the need for any tools in addition to ParkMyCloud.
Do you have any other feedback for us?
The product is great! Anyone I know that is using Azure, I always tell them about the product. It’s such a great way to save money and for the overall cost – you can’t beat it.
Your team has also been very easy to work with and customer service has always been great. I’ve done different types of IT through the years and I can tell you, customer service can go a long ways, so that’s a big plus.
Interested in getting the same time and money savings Ben did? Check it out with a free trial of ParkMyCloud.
AWS CloudWatch is Amazon Web Services’ primary monitoring tool for your cloud environment. Whether you are aware of it or not, if you use AWS, your data is being collected in CloudWatch, on more metrics than you probably know what to do with. With a small amount of effort, however, you can make this data work for you to reduce costs, automatically.
What AWS CloudWatch Data Tells You
First of all, is AWS CloudWatch collecting data about your utilization? Almost certainly, the answer is yes. As an example, here are some of the metrics that are collected by default for EC2:
- CPU Utilization
- Disk Read Ops
- Disk Write Ops
- Disk Read Bytes
- Disk Write Bytes
- Network In
- Network Out
- Network Packets In
- Network Packets Out
Full list here.
Like many AWS services, AWS CloudWatch has a free tier that covers the needs of many applications. You’ll need to pay more for custom metrics; extra dashboards, alarms, and logs; and custom events.
Also worth keeping in mind is that data is kept historically, based on the data resolution. Data points with a period of 60 seconds are kept for 15 days, although shorter periods are kept for as short as 3 hours, and longer for up to 15 months.
What to do with all this data? First, set up your AWS CloudWatch dashboard(s) and create alerts on the metrics that are important to you. The next step is to use this data for automated optimization of your environment.
How to Turn That Data into Automated Cost Savings
Most organizations using public cloud are wasting thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars on cloud resources they’re not actually using. Even if you’re aware of overspend, you may not think you have the time or bandwidth to address the issue. With automation, integrating cost control into your daily processes can be straightforward.
One ParkMyCloud customer, Kurt Brochu of Sysco Foods, once told us, “To me, the magic is that the platform empowers the end user to make decisions for the betterment of the business.” His team has achieved a lifetime ROI of 1400% using ParkMyCloud. AWS data and ParkMyCloud’s automation capabilities empower his users to identify what spend is necessary, and what can be optimized.
Learn how – by hearing from Kurt directly!
We’re joining together with him and AWS to discuss how to empower your team to use AWS CloudWatch data to optimize cloud costs. The webinar is now complete – watch a replay here!
The webinar will give you an understanding of:
- What Amazon CloudWatch and AWS Trusted Advisor data is available that can help you save money
- Real-world examples of cost savings
- Potential data availability challenges and “gotchas” and how to address them
- How ParkMyCloud’s automated cost optimization platform can use your utilization data to optimize costs
Watch Webinar Now
Hope to see you there!
The latest update to ParkMyCloud is support for AWS China! In the latest release of the platform, we added support for the two Amazon Web Services (AWS) regions in China, expanding our cost optimization coverage for more public cloud users.
After the United States, China has the second-largest public cloud market at $10.5 billion in 2019, according to IDC. Gartner reports that in Asia as a whole, Alibaba Cloud – which ParkMyCloud also supports – holds 19.6% market share, while AWS has 11% of the market. All of that spend needs to be optimized so that it does not contribute to the billions of dollars that are wasted every year on unnecessary resources.
About ParkMyCloud AWS China Support
AWS offers two regions in China, AWS China (Beijing) and AWS China (Ningxia), which are operated by local providers – Sinnet and NWCD, respectively. In order to get an AWS China account, AWS customers must create a separate set of credentials, which require a valid Chinese business license, as Chinese law forbids non-Chinese companies from owning or operating certain technology for the provision of cloud services.
ParkMyCloud now supports both of these regions, offering the same benefits that other, AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, and Alibaba Cloud customers enjoy:
- Machine Learning. Resource scheduling and resizing based on recommendations leveraging resource utilization history.
- Automate. A robust policy engine automates schedule and sizing actions based on user tags, and adds resources and users to teams for simplified governance.
- Easy to Use. No scripting, no agents, and a 15-minute setup. Simple UI can be used by anyone, with options for API access and integrations as needed.
- Take Action. Users can control resources and get notified with ChatOps bots in Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Google Hangouts.
- Save Time. Automated policies require little upkeep for savings. Keeps teams focused on creating value for their businesses.
- Save Money. Save an average of $12 for every dollar spent on ParkMyCloud. Plans start as low as $2/resource/month.
What Else is New?
Most notably, last week we released RightSizing Automation for AWS and Google Cloud Platform. This new capability gives you recommendations for sizing changes on your resources to optimize costs – which can save up to 75% per resource.
Other recent highlights for AWS users include:
- AWS GovCloud Support – cost optimization support for the two US GovCloud regions available for government and others in highly regulated industries.
- AWS Marketplace availability – gives AWS customers the option to add the cost of ParkMyCloud to their regular AWS bill with a simplified purchasing process.
And of interest to all users:
How to Get Started Optimize AWS China Costs
First, you’ll need a ParkMyCloud account if you don’t already have one. You can get started with a 14-day free trial.
Then, whether you’re a new or existing ParkMyCloud user, you will need to connect to your AWS China account via an IAM User credential rather than the normal IAM role. This is because AWS China runs in the dedicated “aws-cn” partition and ParkMyCloud runs in the “aws” public cloud partition, and AWS does not support cross-account IAM Roles between partitions. Since IAM User credentials are normally disabled within ParkMyCloud, you will need to request IAM User access by contacting ParkMyCloud Support by email or by entering a ticket using the Support link in the Console.
What other public cloud services would you like to see ParkMyCloud support? Let us know in the comments below!
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!