Today, we’re happy to share the latest cost control functionality in ParkMyCloud: SmartParking for Google database and AWS RDS cost optimization – as well as several other improvements and updates to help you find and eliminate cloud waste.
Automatically Detect Idle Google & AWS RDS Databases
“SmartParking” is what we call automatic on/off schedule recommendations based on utilization history. ParkMyCloud analyzes your resource utilization history and creates recommended schedules for each resource to turn them off when they are typically idle. This minimizes idle time to maximize savings on cloud resources.
Like an investment portfolio, users can choose to receive SmartParking schedules that are “conservative”, “balanced”, or “aggressive” — where conservative schedules protect all historic “on” times, while aggressive schedules prioritize maximum savings.
With this release, Google Cloud SQL Databases and AWS RDS instances have been added to the list of resources that can be optimized with SmartParking – a list that also includes AWS EC2 instances, Azure virtual machines, and Google Cloud virtual machine instances.
Why not Azure? At this time, Azure databases can’t be “turned off” in the same way that AWS and Google Cloud databases can. If Azure releases this capability in the future, we will follow with parking and SmartParking capability shortly thereafter.
What Else is New?
In this release, other updates to the ParkMyCloud platform include:
Configurable notifications – users now have the option for configurable shutdown warning notification times, from 0.25 hours to 24 hours in advance. Notifications can be received through email, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, or custom webhook.
Usability updates to Single Sign-On configuration, Google Cloud Credentials add/edit screen, and filtering actions.
It’s easy to get started with Google database and RDS cost optimization! If you haven’t tried out ParkMyCloud yet, get started with a 14-day free trial. During the trial, you’ll have access to the Enterprise tier, which lets you try out all the features listed above. After your trial is over, you can choose to subscribe to the tier that works for you – or keep using our free tier for as long as you like. See pricing details for more information.
If you already use ParkMyCloud, just log in and head over to the Recommendations tab. Depending on the time-window configured for your SmartParking settings, it may take several days or weeks to accumulate enough metrics data to make good recommendations. To configure the time window for recommendations, navigate to Recommendations and select the gear icon in the upper-right, and choose SmartParking Recommendation Settings. Then, sit back while we collect and analyze your data, and your databases will be SmartParking before you know it.
Automated Cloud Cost Optimization Now Available for Public Sector Cloud Users on Amazon Web Services
February 26, 2019 (Dulles, VA) – ParkMyCloud, provider of the leading enterprise platform for continuous cost control in public cloud, announced today that it now supports AWS GovCloud (US). ParkMyCloud provides automated cost optimization through resource “rightsizing” and automated scheduling based on usage, which together can help cloud users eliminate wasted spend and reduce costs by 65%. In addition to AWS GovCloud, ParkMyCloud supports Amazon Web Services (AWS) commercial regions, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and Alibaba Cloud.
AWS GovCloud (US) is Amazon’s cloud region for sensitive data and regulated workloads. It is used by government customers, organizations in government-regulated industries, and other entities that meet security requirements. The region is highly secure, subject to FedRAMP baselines, operated by employees who are U.S. citizens on U.S. soil, and requires customers to pass a screening process.
ParkMyCloud for AWS GovCloud resides in a standalone ParkMyCloud SaaS deployment within AWS GovCloud. All ParkMyCloud products meet users’ security guidelines by requiring least-privilege access to cloud resources, so only the state of the resource can be accessed or managed – never the contents. Support includes both regions of AWS GovCloud: the US-West region that was launched in 2011, and the US-East region that was announced in November 2018.
“We currently use ParkMyCloud to manage our AWS commercial resources, which saves us about 45% of the cost,” said Pratap Chilukuri, Lead Enterprise Architect at an IT service management company. “We’ve been looking forward to ParkMyCloud’s AWS GovCloud support so we can achieve the same savings on our GovCloud resources.”
“AWS GovCloud customers have not had a lot of available options for automated cloud cost control and governance,” said ParkMyCloud CEO Jay Chapel. “We’ve received a growing number of requests for this support over the past several months, and we’re happy to deliver it.”
ParkMyCloud provides an easy-to-use platform that helps enterprises automatically identify and eliminate wasted cloud spend. More than 800 enterprises around the world – including Sysco, Workfront, Hitachi ID Systems, Sage Software, and National Geographic – trust ParkMyCloud to cut their cloud spend by millions of dollars annually. ParkMyCloud’s SaaS offering allows enterprises to easily manage, govern, and optimize their spend across multiple public clouds. For more information, visit www.parkmycloud.com.
Cofense uses ParkMyCloud for multi-cloud cost management. We talked with Todd Morgan, Senior Systems Engineer, about how his team is using the platform to gain “sizable cost savings” at scale.
Thank you for taking the time the speak with us. Can you tell us about Cofense, your role, and the team you work with?
Cofense is a SaaS company in the cybersecurity world. We’ve been around for about 10 years, so we don’t have a legacy of using on-prem infrastructure. The company has leveraged the cloud for their infrastructure needs. My role is that of engineer and architect working in a traditional IT department, and I’m in charge of managing our resources across cloud service providers.
Can you describe how you’re using the cloud and tell us more about what that looks like in your cloud environments?
We are a multi-cloud customer – it gives us a lot of flexibility. We can make cost decisions around which CSP has the most attractive cost models. Also, some solutions are a better fit for one place versus another. We leverage a wide variety of the cloud services available today, including VMs and RDS.
What was it that drove you to look for a multi-cloud cost management tool?
Part of shopping around for cost optimization was to gain insights and be able to make informed decisions for how we use our CSPs. We had been using a cloud tool for security purposes – to identify risks that we need to mitigate. We weren’t happy with the product, so rather than finding a better product that does the same thing, we expanded our scope to include other features such as cost management and config management, hoping to find one cloud tool that does it all. The search revealed that a single tool to meet all of our requirements doesn’t exist today. So, the goal shifted to finding a couple tools that compliment each other. While focusing on cost management requirements, I landed on ParkMyCloud.
I’ve kept a running scorecard of all the other cloud tools we’ve done trials and demos for. I’ve got some winners in mind to purchase, but we’re also thinking of making our own solution while the marketplace continues to evolve. We bought into ParkMyCloud because we were satisfied with the trial, the product met our requirements, and were pleased with how the product roadmap aligns with our goals.
How’d you hear about ParkMyCloud and how are you using it?
I learned about ParkMyCloud from networking conversations with current and former co-workers.
One of our requirements was to identify idle resources that were just sitting and not being used. I wanted a tool that would help give me insight into resource utilization and clearly report on idle resources. Where ParkMyCloud shined was by making the scheduling of resource on hours turnkey.
We have also been using ParkMyCloud’s API to easily override schedules. For example, if someone needs to use a server over the weekend but it’s scheduled to turn off, they can self-service the request to override the schedule.
How do you determine schedules between different departments?
I started with an aggressive plan that was based upon the usage metrics provided by ParkMyCloud. Then I would meet with each team owning a subset of resources, looking to get their sign-off on adjusted schedules. In most cases the teams would outline valid uses cases for times when resources looked idle but they do need them on. After shaving back my plan to meet their needs, we still have sizable cost savings at the end of the day.
What other benefits have you gotten from using the ParkMyCloud platform?
Something else that’s been happening is I’m finding servers that don’t need to be on at all. ParkMyCloud is proving to be a conversation starter about resource usage. These business conversations have led me to decommission idle resources altogether.
For the resources, we do schedule, at scale the cost savings is sizable. We only have a few examples of resources that need to be always-on 24x7x365. For the majority of resources, we have assigned new schedules. Also, when new resources are provisioned, we’re changing it so the default is now scoped to only be on during working hours.
Anything else to add or feedback to share on your use of the platform?
We’re very happy with the tool and the engagement with your team.
ParkMyCloud’s SaaS Offering Available on AWS Marketplace, Providing Easy Adoption for AWS Customers
December 18, 2018 (Dulles, VA) – ParkMyCloud, provider of a leading enterprise platform for continuous cost control in the cloud, announced today that it is now available on Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketplace. This allows AWS customers to purchase ParkMyCloud directly on AWS Marketplace, making it easier for enterprises to automatically identify and eliminate wasted cloud spend.
Identifying the need to have their services leverage AWS to meet customer demand, ParkMyCloud partnered with Tackle.io to get their listing up and running in less than 4 weeks. ParkMyCloud subscription purchases made on AWS Marketplace will be integrated into a customer’s AWS account and monthly bill for simplified purchasing processes. AWS customers who are enrolled in AWS Enterprise Contracts can purchase ParkMyCloud using pre-approved enterprise licensing terms to simplify and streamline procurement.
“Here at ParkMyCloud, we’re all about providing automation and simplification to our customers,” said ParkMyCloud CEO Jay Chapel. “Streamlining the purchasing process for our customers by extending our SaaS offering through AWS Marketplace is a no brainer.”
This announcement builds on an existing relationship between AWS and ParkMyCloud. ParkMyCloud is an Advanced Technology Partners in the AWS Partner Network (APN), and more than 600 AWS customers worldwide use ParkMyCloud to automatically optimize cloud costs.
ParkMyCloud provides an easy-to-use platform that helps enterprises automatically identify and eliminate wasted cloud spend. More than 800 enterprises around the world – including Sysco, Workfront, Hitachi ID Systems, Sage Software, and National Geographic – trust ParkMyCloud to cut their cloud spend by millions of dollars annually. ParkMyCloud’s SaaS offering allows enterprises to easily manage, govern, and optimize their spend across multiple public clouds. For more information, visit https://www.parkmycloud.com.
The ParkMyCloud team is back from a successful AWS re:Invent 2018! It was a busy week for all of us. There was a crowd – more than 50,000 attendees. There was a Skrillex concert. And of course, there was buzz. A few AWS announcements that caught our interest include AWS Outposts, Amazon Timestream, and AWS Lambda Custom Runtimes – but more on our favorites in a later post.
As for ParkMyCloud, we released our new rightsizing functionality and got lots of great feedback.
We also met lots of great people at the booth in the expo hall – prospective ParkMyCloud users, existing and future partners, AWS employees, and of course, our customers! As a SaaS company, events like AWS re:Invent are one of the few times each year that we get to meet our customers in person, and we always have great conversations and learn from their feedback. We asked a few ParkMyCloud customers to tell us what they would tell a prospective user about the platform – here’s what they said.
TJ Victor, Incentive Technology Group
TJ Victor, Linux Systems Administrator at Incentive Technology Group (ITG), has been using ParkMyCloud for four months. Upon seeing a demo of ParkMyCloud, ITG immediately saw the value – “we were pretty much hooked then.”
They implemented ParkMyCloud on one of their biggest projects, and TJ has been convincing managers to implement it for any project that uses EC2 instances. They’ve saved at least $15,000, but TJ notes that that’s in a small environment, and the more instances you have, the more you’ll save.
TJ says, “It’s a wonderful product, I can’t recommend it highly enough, and you make your money back in like a day. It’s seriously that good.”
He adds, “it’s really a no-brainer to use ParkMyCloud.”
Greg Cockburn, Bulletproof
Greg Cockburn is the Chief Cloud Officer at Australian Managed Services Provider Bulletproof. His team found out about ParkMyCloud via our partnership with CloudHealth Technologies, which Bulletproof already used to provide cloud visibility and governance to their customers. They immediately saw value in the platform, and had customers signed up within one day of partnering with ParkMyCloud.
Greg says, “it’s so simple. The interface is really really simple to get up and running. We’ve been able to onboard about three or four customers now, it’s fantastic.”
Greg also appreciates ParkMyCloud’s timely response and support.
Neil Groat, Dealer-FX
Neil Groat is a Senior Cloud Infrastructure Engineer at Dealer-FX, based in Toronto, Canada.
Dealer-FX has been using ParkMyCloud since 2016 to schedule resources to turn off when they’re not needed, which saves them “easily” more than $10,000 per month.
Neil says, “It’s wonderfully easy to just group a number of resources together based on tags, naming, and other conditions. And building the schedules to take care of it for you. The ease of use of the platform is what I like most about ParkMyCloud.”
Thank You for a Successful AWS re:Invent 2018
To everyone we met at AWS re:Invent 2018, thanks for stopping by. To our customers, thanks for your feedback (and if you’d like to give a virtual testimonial in exchange for a hoodie, just email me!) And to AWS, thank you for another great event.
The ParkMyCloud Team at the booth
Five lucky winners of the scratch & win game at the ParkMyCloud booth
Andy shows off the PMC wares
We spotted Lacework’s t-shirts and discovered great minds think alike
Chris and Bill with Corey Quinn of Last Week in AWS
ParkMyCloud CEO Jay Chapel, CloudHealth CEO Tom Axbey, and Eric Beller of CloudHealth enjoying a happy hour
Katy and Bill racing in the Office Chair Grand Prix at re:Play
We had a great time at re:Invent 2018! Thanks AWS!
Serving sizing in the cloud can be tricky. Unless you are about to do some massive high-performance computing project, super-sizing your cloud virtual machines/instances is probably not what you are thinking about when you log in to your favorite cloud service provider. But from looking at customer data within our system, it certainly does look like a lot of folks are walking up to their neighborhood cloud provider and saying exactly that: Super Size Me!
Like at a fast-food place, buying in the super size means paying extra costs…and when you are looking for ways to save money on cloud costs, whether for production or non-production resources, the first place to look is at idle and underutilized resources.
Within the ParkMyCloud SaaS platform, we have collected bazillions (scientific term) of samples of performance data for tens of thousands of virtual machines, across hundreds of customers, and the average of all “Average CPU” readings is an amazing (even to us) 4.9%. When you consider that many of our customer are already addressing underutilization by stopping or “parking” their instances when they are not being used, one can easily conclude that the server sizing is out of control and instances are tremendously overbuilt. In other words, they are much more powerful than they need to be…and thus much more expensive than they need to be. As cool as “super sizing” sounds, the real solution is in rightsizing, and ensuring the instance size and type are better tailored to the actual load.
Before we start talking about what is involved in rightsizing, let’s look at a few more statistics, just because the numbers are pretty cool. Looking at utilization data from about 88.9 million instance-hours on AWS – that’s 10,148 years – we find the following:
So, what is this telling us about server sizing? The percentiles alone tell us that more than 95% of our samples are operating at less than 50% Average CPU – which means if we cut the number of CPUs in half for most of our instances, we would probably still be able to carry our workload. The 95th percentile for Peak CPU is 58%, so if we cut all of those CPUs in half we would either have to be OK with a small degradation in performance, or maybe we select an instance to avoid exceeding 99% peak CPU (which happens around the 93rd percentile – still a pretty massive number).
Looking down at the 75th and 50th percentiles we see instances that could possibly benefit from multiple steps down! As shown in the next section, one step down can save you 50% of the cost for an instance. Two steps down can save you 75%!
Before making an actual server sizing change, this data would need to be further analyzed on an instance by instance basis – it may be that many of these instances have bursty behavior, where their CPUs are more highly utilized for short periods of time, and idle all the rest of the time. Such an instance would be better off being parked or stopped for most of the time, and only started up when needed. Or…depending on the duration and magnitude of the burst, might be better off moving to the AWS T instance family, which accumulates credits for bursts of CPU, and is less expensive than the M family, built for a more continuous performance duty cycle. Also – as discussed below – complete rightsizing would entail looking at some other utilization stats as well, like memory, network, etc.
On every cloud provider there is a clear progression of server sizing and prices within any given instance family. The next size up from where you are is usually twice the CPUs and twice the memory, and as might be expected, twice the price.
Here is a small sample of AWS prices in us-east-1 (N. Virginia) to show you what I mean:
Double the memory and/or double the CPU…and double the price.
It is important to note that there is more to instance utilization than just the CPU stats. There are a number of applications with low-CPU but high network, memory, disk utilization, or database IOPs, and so a complete set of stats are needed before making a rightsizing decision.
This can be where rightsizing across instance families makes sense.
On AWS, some of the most commonly used instance types are the T and M general purpose families. Many production applications start out on the M family, as it has a good balance of CPU and memory. Let’s look at the m5.4xlarge as a specific example, shown in the middle row below.
If you find that such an instance was showing good utilization of its CPU, maybe with an Average CPU of 75% and Peak CPU of 95%, but the memory was extremely underutilized, maybe only consuming 20%, we may want to move to more of a compute-optimized instance family. From the table below, we can see we could move over to a c5.4xlarge, keeping the same number of CPUs, but cutting the RAM in half, saving about 11% of our costs.
On the other hand, if you find the CPU was significantly underutilized, for example showing an Average CPU of 30% and Peak of 45%, but memory was 85% utilized, we may be better off on a memory-optimized instance family. From the table below, we can move to an r5.2xlarge instance cutting the vCPUs in half, and keeping the same amount of RAM, and saving about 34% of the costs.
Within AWS there are additional considerations on the network side. As shown here, available network performance follows the instance size and type. You may find yourself in a situation where memory and CPU are non-issues, but high network bandwidth is critical, and deliberately super-size an instance. Even in this case, though, you should think about whether there is a way to split your workload into multiple smaller instances (and thus multiple network streams) that are less expensive than a beastly machine selected solely on the basis of network performance.
You may also need to consider availability when determining your server sizing. For example, if you need to run in a high-availability mode using an autoscaling group you may be running two instances, either one of which can handle your full load, but both are only 50% active at any given time. As long as they are only 50% active that is fine – but you may want to consider if maybe two instances at half the size would be OK, and then address a surge in load by scaling-up the autoscaling group.
For full cost optimization for your virtual machines, you need to consider appropriate resource scheduling, server sizing, and sustained usage.
Rightsize instances wherever possible. You can easily save 50% just by going down one size tier – and this applies to production resources as well as development and test systems!
Modernize your instance types. This is similar to rightsizing, in that you are changing to the same instance type in a newer generation of the same family, where cloud provider efficiency improvements mean lower costs. For example, moving an application from an m3.xlarge to an m5.xlarge can save 28%!
Park/stop instances when they are not in use. You can save 65% of the cost of a development or test virtual machine by just having it on 12 hours per day on weekdays!
For systems that must be up continually, (and once you have settled on the correct size instance) consider purchasing reserved instances, which can save 54-75% off the regular cost. If you would like a review of your resource usage to see where you can best utilized reserved instances, please let us know.
Last week, ParkMyCloud released the ability to rightsize and modernize instances. This release helps you identify the virtual machine and database instances that are not fully utilized or on an older family, making smart recommendations for better server sizing and/or family selection for the level of utilization, and then letting you execute the rightsize action. We will also be adding a feature for scheduled rightsizing, allowing you to maintain instance continuity, but reducing its size during periods of lower utilization.