Meet the Instance Slayer, who Fought to Control Cloud Costs - ParkMyCloud

Meet the Instance Slayer, who Fought to Control Cloud Costs

jack the instance slayer who fought to control cloud costsToday I’d like to tell you a story* about how one company learned to control cloud costs. Let me introduce you to Jack.

Jack is the instance slayer.

“The instance slayer?” you ask. “What does that mean? It sounds fun and powerful.”

Powerful? Perhaps. Fun? Not exactly.

You see, Jack is a software engineer at a large financial services company. Unlike some of his co-workers who are more specialized, Jack is, well, a jack-of-all-trades. He does a little in mobile, a little in infrastructure, a little in architecture. He’s busy.

One day, Jack’s boss came to him with a new task.

“We need to take control of our department’s cloud instances to control cloud costs,” his boss said. “I need you to come up with a way to ensure that instances are turned off when they’re not being used.”

So, Jack developed a set of scripts that determined whether everyone’s instances met the new on/off compliance standards. These standards required non-production instances to be “stopped” when not being used. If they were left running when they shouldn’t have been – and a lot were – Jack would first send an email to the owners of the offending instances. But if after the email they still didn’t comply, Jack’s scripts would terminate the instances overnight.

As you can imagine, people got quite annoyed when Jack’s scripts terminated their instances.

“Well, I warned you,” he would say. What could Jack do? This wasn’t his idea. He understood that there was a lot of wasted cloud spend each month, but ultimately this was just a task he was carrying out at the request of his manager.

Nonetheless, Jack made a couple of enemies. They’d call him the Terminator. The Instance Slayer.

Jack didn’t mind the enemies. It was the time out of his day that it took to wrangle them, email them, and clean up their instances that irked him. He had things on his to-do list that he’d much rather spend his time on.

Then, Jack’s teammate Roland introduced ParkMyCloud to the team. A bunch of people tried it out, including Jack.

“This is great,” Jack told Roland. “If I set up simple automated policies to put everyone’s instances on schedules, I won’t need to chase them about turning their resources off when they’re not being used. I’ll have more time for my other projects.”

Everyone else was happy, too. With ParkMyCloud’s simple governance model, Jack and the other administrators could add users and create teams, enabling end-users to apply their own schedules. Plus they got reporting to know if instances weren’t complying. Remember those scripts? Well, Jack didn’t need those anymore.

Jack gets free time: Jack wins. Jack’s teammates get more control over their resources: Jack’s teammates win. Jack’s company gets to control cloud costs by cutting wasted spend on unused cloud time: Jack’s company wins. Win, win, win.

Jack may have stood down as the instance slayer, but his name will live on in legend.

 

*This is based on a true story! Names changed & company anonymized to protect our customer’s privacy – especially Jack.


About Katy Stalcup

Katy Stalcup is the Marketing Manager for ParkMyCloud, where she’s responsible for a wide variety of content development, campaigns, and events. Since ParkMyCloud’s founding, she’s evangelized its message of simple cost savings and automation (seriously, in the words of one of our customers, “There is literally no reason not to use ParkMyCloud”). Katy is a Northern Virginia native who is happy to contribute to the region’s growing reputation as an East Coast gathering point for technology innovation – particularly as a graduate of the Alexandria, VA Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. She also earned bachelor’s degrees in communication and psychology from Virginia Tech. In her free time, she enjoys reading novels, playing strategy board games, and travel both near and far.

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