Webinar Recap: ParkMyCloud + CloudHealth for Hybrid Cloud Governance and Cost Optimization

Webinar Recap: ParkMyCloud + CloudHealth for Hybrid Cloud Governance and Cost Optimization

We recently announced that ParkMyCloud and CloudHealth Technologies have joined forces, merging cloud cost optimization with hybrid cloud governance and bringing you the best of both worlds. To demonstrate the value of this partnership, we held a joint webinar last week to discuss the customer case study of Connotate – a business that specializes in providing web data extraction solutions, and was able to optimize their cloud environment and maximize their ROI thanks to ParkMyCloud and CloudHealth, together.  

The webinar panel included Chris Parlette – Director of Cloud Solutions at ParkMyCloud, JP Nahmias – Director of Product Development at CloudHealth, and Andrew Dawson – Solutions Architect at CloudHealth and the person who worked directly with Reed Savory – Director of IT at Connotate, to help in adopting the two platforms. You can replay the entire webinar, or if you prefer, check out the recap below:

CloudHealth Technologies: Leader in Cloud Management & Hybrid Cloud Governance

CloudHealth Technologies manages $4.1 billion worth of spend in cloud management – just above a quarter of Amazon’s total in AWS. CloudHealth boasts a robust infrastructure, incurring about $100 million in monthly RI purchases from their clients.

CloudHealth works by collecting data from various different cloud providers (AWS, Azure, Google) and consolidating the data into various different tables, taking the information and evaluating your cloud environment based on the different metrics you’re interested in, such as cost, usage, optimization, etc. CloudHealth reports metrics directly to you, but also takes a step further by optimizing your infrastructure, making recommendations, and providing hybrid cloud governance. As the customer takes the recommended actions, CloudHealth automates the environment for them.

ParkMyCloud: Leader in Cloud Cost Optimization

ParkMyCloud was created to help cloud users realize cost savings in a world of tools that give cloud users visibility into their environment without helping them take action.

ParkMyCloud automates cloud cost savings by integrating into DevOps processes. The need for such a tool came to fruition after enterprises migrated to the cloud thinking it was supposed to be cheaper, but when their bill came at the end of the month, they noticed that something wasn’t right. That something is called cloud waste.  

The Cloud Waste Problem

  1. Always on means always paying. Cloud services are like any other public utility, you pay for what you use. If you leave them running, you continue paying whether you’re actually using them or not.
    • 44% of workloads are classified as non-production (i.e. test, development, staging, etc.) and don’t need to run 24/7
  2. Over-provisioning. Are you using more than you need with oversized resources?
    • 55% or all public cloud resources are not correctly sized for their workloads.  
  3. Inventory waste.   
    • 15% of spend on paying resources which are no longer used.

Read more about cloud waste in this recent blog post.

ParkMyCloud Automates Continuous Cost Control

Not only does ParkMyCloud cut your cloud costs and eliminate waste, we make it easy through automation. Some of the ways we automate the process include:

  • Visibility and control across multiple clouds (AWS, Azure, and Google), accounts, and regions in a single UI
  • User governance – RBAC and SSO for multi-tenant user control and enterprise security
  • DevOps Integration – Policy engine, REST API, and Slack integration to automate continued cost control
  • Actionable cost control – policy driven, automated cost control for compute and database resources

ParkMyCloud Integrates Cost Control into CloudOps

ParkMyCloud also integrates with DevOps tools and into various DevOps tool kits, including:

    • Single sign-on – including Okta, Ping, ADSS, Centrify, and more, which as you go further into identity management, is a requirement for quite a few platforms.
    • DevOps & CI/CD tools – such as CHEF, Puppet, and Atlassian Bamboo
    • Chat & notification – notifications through chat services like Slack and HipChat, or via email. 
    • IT Service Management – integrates with ITSM tools to provide a one-stop shop for costs and savings information
    • Monitoring & Logging – pushing to monitoring tools, like Splunk or DataDog, but also reading information from those tools.

Connotate: A ParkMyCloud & CloudHealth Success Story

Connotate is a provider of web data extraction solutions. They make the internet a database for customers to use and ingest, harvesting data for things like price comparisons and financial analysis. Connotate differentiates from competitors because of its ease of use; anyone can easily go in and highlight a web page in a browser to extract data, and they’re able to extract from both static and dynamic web content.

Connotate had a legacy deployment in AWS along with a ton of data centers all over the U.S. Last year they decided to shut down all those data centers and go from a small AWS footprint to moving everything to Amazon. With thousands of VMs and physical servers that needed to migrate to the cloud, Connotate quickly realized that planning the migration themselves was taking extensive work and planning.

Connotate needed something to help smooth over their migration to the cloud, a tool that would give them financial visibility and predictability to model their cloud costs with. They used CloudHealth’s migration assessment to run analysis against all their data center workloads, which suggested what AWS instance to use and predicted the cost to run it, giving transparency for how to run migration before it actually happens.

Migrating to the cloud with confidence

A few months after moving their infrastructure to the cloud, Connotate found that CloudHealth’s predicted numbers for cloud costs were within $400 of their actual spend after the migration. After seeing the results, they continued doing all of their Amazon cloud monitoring through CloudHealth.  

Saving money automatically in AWS

To help control cloud costs, Connotate turned to ParkMyCloud. One of their business models involves data harvesting for customers that don’t want to do it themselves, and to do this, they use hundred virtual machines through Amazon for data retrieval and sending data back to customers. Essentially they were spinning up servers, harvesting the data, and then spinning them back down. Virtual machines were also being used by the sales team and other non-tech people for the purpose of running a demo. The servers were left running 24/7, resulting in waste for the organization. Connotate needed a tool for the scheduling servers that was user-friendly enough for non-technical people, but technical enough to be a tool that could also be used efficiently for the DevOps team in the organization.

ParkMyCloud checked all the boxes they needed to turn off servers after they were spun up, and the simple web UI really helped the non-tech people know how and when to use it, as well as not be afraid to use it. ParkMyCloud is now a big portion of Connotate’s business for cost control, and one of the major methods they use today for containing cloud sprawl.

ParkMyCloud & CloudHealth: Better Together for Efficient Cloud Management

Now that Connotate has fully migrated to Amazon, they’re making common use of CloudHealth’s rightsizing capabilities and using rightsizing reporting to understand how to better utilize their servers, as well as ParkMyCloud to park unnecessary test servers that shouldn’t be left on 24/7. Using both tools in tandem results in more efficiency, cost control, and transparency into the entire cloud and on-premise environment – a win for all!

A technical integration is in the works, which will encompass:

  • Importing cost and savings data from ParkMyCloud into CloudHealth, so you can see what you’ve been doing in ParkMyCloud within CloudHealth
  • Using CloudHealth recommendations to trigger parking actions in ParkMyCloud
  • And more, based on customer feedback

With ParkMyCloud and CloudHealth together, users can maximize hybrid cloud governance, cost visibility, cost savings, and make their CFOs happy. For a live demo of ParkMyCloud and more information about the integration – watch the entire webinar.   

ParkMyCloud Reviews – Customer Video Testimonials

ParkMyCloud Reviews – Customer Video Testimonials

A few weeks ago at the 2017 AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, we had the opportunity to meet some of our customers at the booth, get their product feedback, and a few shared their ParkMyCloud reviews as video testimonials. As part of our ongoing efforts to save money on cloud costs with a fully automated, simple-to-use SaaS platform, we rely on our customers to give us insight into how ParkMyCloud has helped them. Here’s what they had to say:

TJ McAteer, Prosight Specialty Insurance

“It’s all very well documented. We got it set up within an afternoon with our trial, and then it was very easy to differentiate and show that value – and that’s really the most attractive piece of it.”

As the person responsible for running the cloud engineering infrastructure at ProSight Specialty Insurance, ParkMyCloud had everything TJ was looking for. Not only that, but it was easy to use, well managed, and demonstrated its value right away.

James LaRocque, Decision Resources Group

“What’s nice about it is the ability to track financials of what you’re actually saving, and open it up to different team members to be able to suspend it from the parked schedules and turn it back on when needed.”

As a Senior DevOps engineer at Decision Resources Group, James LaRocque discovered ParkMyCloud at the 2016 AWS re:Invent and has been a customer ever since. He noted that while he could have gone with scripting, ParkMyCloud offered the increased benefits of financial tracking and user capabilities.

“The return on investment is huge.”

Kurt Brochu, Sysco Foods

“We had instant gratification as soon as we enabled it.”

Kurt Brochu, Senior Manager of the Cloud Enablement Team at Sysco Foods, was immediately pleased to see ParkMyCloud saving money on cloud costs as soon as they put it into action. Once he was able to see how much they could save on their monthly cloud bill, the next step was simple.   

“We were able to save over $500 in monthly spend by just using it against one team. We are rolling out to 14 other teams over the course of the next 2 weeks.”

Mark Graff, Dolby Labs

“The main reason why we went for it was that it was easy to give our users the ability to start and stop instances without having to give them access to the console.”

Mike Graff, the Senior Infrastructure Manager at Dolby Labs, became a ParkMyCloud customer thanks to one of his engineers in Europe.

“We just give them credentials, they can hop into ParkMyCloud and go to start and stop instances. You don’t have to have any user permissions in AWS – that was a big win for us.”

We continue to innovate and improve our platform’s cloud cost management capabilities with the addition of SmartParking recommendations, SmartSizing, Alicloud and more. Customer feedback is essential to making sure that not only are we saving our customers time and money, but also gaining valuable insight into what makes ParkMyCloud a great tool.

If you use our platform, we’d love to get a ParkMyCloud review from you and hear about how ParkMyCloud has helped your business – there’s a hoodie in it for you! Please feel free to participate in the comments below or with a direct email to info@parkmycloud.com


Better Together For Simplified Cloud Management …CloudHealth and ParkMyCloud

Better Together For Simplified Cloud Management …CloudHealth and ParkMyCloud

Some things in life just go together so well…whether it’s an unlikely food pairing, a well-matched color scheme, or your favorite celebrity couple. Take CloudHealth and ParkMyCloud, for example. Each on their own is pretty great – but together they join forces to save you serious time and money.

As a ParkMyCloud customer, you can control cost automatically through scheduling and enriched analytical capabilities, thus optimizing your multi-cloud environments and increasing return on investment. Now with this partnership, you can also use CloudHealth to get better governance, simple rightsizing features and management through a single platform. Customers can now buy ParkMyCloud directly from CloudHealth, and the companies are working on a technology integration which will leverage CloudHealth’s best in class cloud governance platform and ParkMyCloud’s actionable scheduling policies.

Benefits of using CloudHealth Platform:

1. Reduce Total Cost of Ownership with Reserved Instances and Rightsizing

CloudHealth Platform provides an easy way to take advantage of reserved instances (RI) in AWS and Azure from the platform itself.

Ulf Mansson, Recorded Future’s Chief of Operations and Co-Founder, says that “We needed a way to automate the management of RIs, since we didn’t have the time to constantly monitor them.” CloudHealth has helped Recorded Future to save money and use that hard earned money for more strategic initiatives.

CloudHealth helps you with rightsizing your environment. In other words, manage your underutilized resources better to ensure you are not overspending. For example, look at the report below for rightsizing EC2 instances.

2. Comprehensive management and integrations for your hybrid cloud

Bottomline for your company is the ability to manage your entire hybrid cloud from one platform. Across all your clouds and existing point management solutions. Electronic hardware and software provider, Mentor Graphics has accurately identified and allocated resources to projects and provided visibility into cost projections using CloudHealth. This has helped the company immediately see and compare the impact their decisions have on both cost and ROI.

The picture below shows the simple cross-cloud dashboard from CloudHealth platform.

For customers already using DataDog, Chef or New Relic within your environment you would want to continue using those while adopting a new platform. The CloudHealth Platform is designed with open APIs. So we made it easy to integrate all your existing API driving solutions for business and IT continuity.

3. Security for peace of mind

Not only have we designed the CloudHealth Platform to be very secure, we also can ensure your AWS accounts follow security best practices. For example, using CloudHealth policies, you can ensure IAM roles, security groups, and permissions are all configured properly. We’ve taken the best practices from AWS and from the Center for Internet security and turned them into out of the box policies, so you can get alerted any time your environment is out of compliance. We are also a SOC Type 2 Compliant company, to read more on that please click here.

All of us at CloudHealth Technologies and ParkMyCloud are pretty excited about the impact this partnership will have on our customers. It means serious value for them as they simplify governance, derive greater ROI from their cloud investments, and are able to drive more strategic projects.

Ready to get started? Learn more.

Introducing SmartParking: Automatic On/Off Schedules based on AWS CloudWatch Metrics

Introducing SmartParking: Automatic On/Off Schedules based on AWS CloudWatch Metrics

Today, we’re excited to bring you SmartParkingTM – automatic, custom on/off schedules for individual resources based on AWS CloudWatch metrics!

ParkMyCloud customers have always appreciated parking recommendations based on keywords found in their instance names and tags – for example, ParkMyCloud recommends that an instance tagged “dev” can be parked, as it’s likely not needed outside of a Monday-Friday workday.

Now, SmartParking will look for patterns in your utilization data from AWS CloudWatch, and create recommend schedules for each instance to turn them off when they are typically idle. This minimizes idle time to maximize savings on your resources.

With SmartParking, you eliminate the extra step of checking in with your colleagues to make sure the schedules you’re putting on their workloads doesn’t interfere with their needs. Now you can receive automatic recommendations to park resources when you know they won’t be used.

SmartParking schedules are provided as recommendations, which you can then click to apply. This release supports SmartParking for AWS resources, with plans to add Azure and Google Cloud SmartParking.

Instance utilization report from AWS CloudWatch data

SmartParking schedule created from instance utilization data

Customize Your Recommendations like your 401K

Different users will have different preferences about what they consider “parkable” times for an instance. So, like your investment portfolios, you can choose to receive SmartParking schedules that are “conservative”, “balanced”, or “aggressive”. And like an investment, a bigger risk comes with the opportunity for a bigger reward.

If you’d like to prioritize the maximum savings amount, then choose aggressive SmartParking schedules. You will park instances – and therefore save money – for the most time, with the “risk” of occasional inconvenience by having something turned off when someone needs it. Your users can always log in to ParkMyCloud and override the schedule with the “snooze button” if they need to use the instance when it’s parked.

On the other hand, if you would like to ensure that your instances are never parked when they might be needed, choose a conservative SmartParking schedule. It will only recommend parked times when the instance is never used. Choose “balanced” for a happy medium.

What People are Saying: Save More, Easier than Ever

Several existing ParkMyCloud customers have previewed the new functionality. “ParkMyCloud has helped my team save so much on our AWS bill already, and SmartParking will make it even easier,” said Tosin Ojediran, DevOps Engineer at a FinTech company. “The automatic schedules will save us time and make sure our instances are never running when they don’t need to be.”

Already a ParkMyCloud user? Log in to your account to try out the new SmartParking. Note that you will need to have AWS CloudWatch metrics enabled for several weeks in order for us to see your usage trends and make recommendations. If you haven’t already, you will need to update your AWS policy.

New to ParkMyCloud? Start a free trial here.

New in ParkMyCloud: Visualize AWS Usage Data Trends

We are excited to share the latest release in ParkMyCloud: animated heat map displays. This builds on our previous release of static heat maps displaying AWS EC2 instance utilization metrics from CloudWatch. Now, this utilization data is animated to help you better identify usage patterns over time and create automated parking schedules.

The heatmaps will display data from a sequence of weeks, in the form of an animated “video”, letting you see patterns of usage over a period of time. You can take advantage of this feature to better plan ParkMyCloud parking schedules based on your actual instance utilization.

Here is an example of an animated heatmap, which allows you to visualize when instances are used over a period of eight weeks:

The latest ParkMyCloud update also includes:

  • CloudWatch data collection improvements to reduce the number of API calls required to pull instance utilization metrics data
  • Various user interface improvements to a number of screens in the ParkMyCloud console.

As noted in our last release, utilization data also provides the necessary information that will allow ParkMyCloud to make optimal parking and rightsizing recommendations (SmartParking) when this feature is released next month, part of our ongoing efforts to do what we do best – save you money, automatically.

AWS users who sign up now can take advantage of the latest release as we ramp up for automated SmartParking. In order to give you the most optimal cost control over your cloud bill, start your ParkMyCloud trial today to collect several weeks’ worth of CloudWatch data, track your usage patterns, and get recommendations as soon as the SmartParking feature becomes available in a few weeks.

If you are an existing customer, be sure to update your AWS policies to enable ParkMyCloud to access your AWS CloudWatch data. Detailed instructions can be found in our support portal.

Feedback? Anything else you’d like to see ParkMyCloud do? Let us know

New in ParkMyCloud: AWS Utilization Metric Tracking

New in ParkMyCloud: AWS Utilization Metric Tracking

We are happy to share the latest release in ParkMyCloud: you can now see resource utilization data for your AWS EC2 instances! This data is viewable through customizable heatmaps.

This update gives you information about how your resources are being used – and it also provides the necessary information that will allow ParkMyCloud to make optimal parking and rightsizing recommendations when this feature is released next month. This is part of our ongoing efforts to do what we do best – save you money, automatically.

Utilization metrics that ParkMyCloud will now report on include:

  • Average CPU utilization
  • Peak CPU utilization
  • Total instance store read operations
  • Total instance store write operations
  • Average network data in
  • Average network data out
  • Average network packets in
  • Average network packets out

Here is an example of an instance utilization heatmap, which allows you to see when your instances are used most often:

In a few weeks, we will release the ability for ParkMyCloud to recommend parking schedules for your instances based on these metrics. In order to take advantage of this, you will need to have several weeks’ worth of CloudWatch data already logged, so that we can recommend based on your typical usage. Start your ParkMyCloud trial today to start tracking your usage patterns so you can get usage-based parking recommendations.

If you are an existing customer, you will need to update your AWS policies to enable ParkMyCloud to access your AWS CloudWatch data. Detailed instructions can be found in our support portal.

Feedback? Anything else you’d like to see ParkMyCloud do? Let us know!