There are various methods you can use to lower your Alibaba Cloud bill, but few are reliable or cost-effective in the long-term. For example, you could instruct your developers to switch off development, staging and testing instances when they have finished using them. That will lower your Alibaba Cloud bill in the short term, but as soon as developers forget to switch off their non-production instances, your cloud bill will begin to increase again.

Scheduling scripts are another method you can use to lower your Alibaba Cloud bill, but – once you take developers´ wages into account – the cost of writing and maintaining the scripts could be more than you will actually save. Furthermore, scheduling scripts are inflexible and, if a developer needs to access an instances while it is switched off, he or she must edit the scheduling script in order to turn it back on again – and remember to edit the scheduling script again when they have finished using the instance.

How ParkMyCloud Helps Lower AliCloud Bills

ParkMyCloud is a lightweight SaaS app that, to date, has saved millions of dollars for businesses deploying assets on Azure, Google and AWS. The way it helps lower AliCloud bills is by performing a discovery of the business´s Alibaba Cloud account (via a specially-created permissions-limited role) and making recommendations about which instances are suitable for scheduling (“parking”) based on the names and tags assigned to them.

System administrators have a choice of applying a preconfigured parking schedule, creating new parking schedules to meet their specific needs, or allowing ParkMyCloud´s “SmartParking” feature to suggest parking schedules based on the times when each instance is least used. The same schedule can be applied to all suitable instances, or different schedules can be applied to different instances or groups of instances as meet the business´s needs.

Alternatively, system administrators can apply “permanently parked” schedules to some or all of the instances. This option switches instances off until access to them is required, when the schedule can be interrupted with the click of a mouse. This is a perfect solution for development teams that work at irregular times or in irregular patterns, and safeguards exist to reactivate interrupted schedules after a period of inactivity to ensure the instances are not left running unnecessarily.

By How Much Could You Lower Your Alibaba Cloud Bill?

Typically, a business scheduling its non-production instances to be switched on between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Monday to Friday will lower AliCloud bills for non-production instances by 65% (You can find out exactly how much you could lower your Alibaba Cloud bill using our cost savings calculator). More aggressive schedules could save much more:

By How Much Could You Lower Your Alibaba Cloud Bill?
Schedule Start Time Stop Time Hours Saved Costs Saved
Mon-Sat 8.00 a.m. 8.00 p.m. 96 per week 57%
Mon-Sat 8.00 a.m. 6.00 p.m. 108 per week 64%
Mon-Sat 9.00 a.m. 5.00 p.m. 120 per week 71%
Mon-Fri 8.00 a.m. 8.00 p.m. 108 per week 64%
Mon-Fri 8.00 a.m. 6.00 p.m. 118 per week 70%
Mon-Fri 9.00 a.m. 5.00 p.m. 128 per week 76%

It is important to remember that parking schedules can be interrupted at will (subject to administrator policies below). So if your development teams tend to do most of their development, staging and testing between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. and then again between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., you could save a further two hours per day by scheduling downtime between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. That would equate to a further ten hours saved per week, per instance.

How ParkMyCloud Maintains Low Alibaba Cloud Bills

When ParkMyCloud conducts its discovery, it produces heat maps displaying how much each instance is used and when. System administrators can use this data to right-size or right-group incorrectly provisioned instances in order to optimize costs and performance. Once resources are optimized, policies can be created to monitor activity on the business´s cloud accounts and prevent certain events or alert administrators to events contrary to the policies. For example:

  • It may be wise to prevent some schedules being interrupted outside of working hours for security purposes.
  • It may be wise to prevent instances being launched above a certain capacity without authorization for financial reasons.
  • It may be wise to be notified of instances running longer hours than usual that could be moved into a cheaper pricing structure.
  • It may be wise to be notified of instances running below their capacities for an extended period of time so they can be downgraded to a cheaper option.

Automated, policy-driven governance increases accountability and enhances security – resulting in more ways to lower AliCloud bills. In some respects ParkMyCloud is similar to Alibaba Cloud´s “Resource Access Management” software – only the Resource Access Management doesn´t help you lower your Alibaba Cloud bill to the extent that ParkMyCloud does.

Register for a Free Trial of ParkMyCloud Today

Right now, ParkMyCloud support for Alibaba Cloud is under development. If you would like to be notified when the development process is complete, speak with one of our Customer Services team and leave your contact details. As soon as ParkMyCloud is ready to help you lower your Alibaba Cloud bills, we will get back in touch and offer you a free trial of our scheduling software so that you can experience ParkMyCloud in action in your own environment.

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