Not only has it become apparent that public cloud is here to stay, it’s also growing faster as time goes on (by 2020, it is estimated that more than 40% of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud). IT infrastructure has changed permanently, and enterprise organizations are coming to terms with some of the side effects of this shift. One of those side effects is the need for tools and processes (and even teams in larger organizations) dedicated to cloud cost management and cost control. Executives from all teams within an organization want to see costs, projections, usage, savings, and quantifiable efforts to save the company money while maximizing IT throughput as enterprises shift to resources to the cloud.
There’s a variety of tools to solve some of these problems, so let’s take a look at a few of the major ones. All of the tools mentioned below support Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.
CloudHealth provides detailed analytics and reporting on your overall cloud spend, with the ability to slice-and-dice that data in a variety of ways. Recommendations about your instances are made based on a score driven by instance utilization and cloud provider best practices. This data is collected from agents that are installed on the instances, along with cloud-level information. Analysis and business intelligence tools for cloud spend and infrastructure utilization are featured prominently in the dashboard, with governance provided through policies driven by teams for alerts and thresholds. Some actions can be scripted, such as deleting elastic IPs/snapshots and managing EC2 instances, but reporting and dashboards are the main focus.
Overall, the platform seems to be a popular choice for large enterprises wanting cost and governance visibility across their cloud infrastructure. Pricing is based on a percentage of your monthly cloud spend.
Cloudcheckr provides visibility into governance, security, compliance, and cost problems based on doing analytics and checks against logic built into their platform. It relies on non-native tools and integrations to take action on the recommendations, such as Spotinst, Ansible, or Chef. CloudCheckr’s reports cover a wide range of topics, including inventory, utilization, security, costs, and overall best-practices. The UI is simple and is likely equally well regarded by technical and non-technical users.
The platform seems to be a popular choice with small and medium sized enterprises looking for greater overall visibility and recommendations to help optimize their use of cloud. Given their SMB focus customers are often provided this service through MSPs. Pricing is based on your cloud spend, but a free tier is also available.
Cloudyn (recently acquired by Microsoft) is focused on providing advice and recommendations along with chargeback and showback capabilities for enterprise organizations. Cloud resources and costs can be managed through their hierarchical team structure. Visibility, alerting, and recommendations are made in real time to assist in right-sizing instances and identifying outlying resources. Like CloudCheckr, it relies on external tools or people to act upon recommendations and lacks automation
Their platform options include supporting MSPs in the management of their end customer’s cloud environments as well as an interesting cloud benchmarking service called Cloudyndex. Pricing for Cloudyn is also based on your monthly cloud spend. Much of the focus seems to be on current Microsoft Azure customers and users.
Unlike the other tools mentioned, ParkMyCloud focuses on actions and automated scheduling of resources to provide optimization and immediate ROI. Reports and dashboards are available to show the cost savings provided by these schedules and recommendations on which instances to park. The schedules can be manually attached to instances, or automatically assigned based on tags or naming schemes through its Policy Engine. It pairs well with the other previously mentioned recommendation-based tools in this space to provide total cost control through both actions and reporting.
ParkMyCloud is widely used by DevOps and IT Ops in organizations from small startups to global multinationals, all who are keen to automate cost control by leveraging ParkMyCloud’s native API and pre-built integration with tools like Slack, Atlassian, and Jenkins. Pricing is based on a cost per-instance, with a free tier available.
Cloud cost management isn’t just a “should think about” item, it’s a “must have in place” item, regardless of the size of a company’s cloud bill. Specialized tools can help you view, manage, and project your cloud costs no matter which provider you choose. The right toolkit can supercharge your IT infrastructure, so consider a combination of some of the tools above to really get the most out of your AWS, Azure, or Google environment.