Here at ParkMyCloud, we often ask ourselves “why doesn´t everybody use a VM scheduler to automate the process of switching off their non-production VMs when they are not using them?” Businesses do not get charged for provisioning non-production instances when they are switched off, so a VM scheduler would seem to be an obvious way to reduce cloud bills. You might be surprised by some of the answers we hear.

Some businesses believe it is cheaper to have their developers switch off their non-production VMs manually. Others are of the mindset “why buy when we can build”. In our opinion manual processes and scripting have their disadvantages. Furthermore, our VM scheduler provides businesses with the tools they need to improve the governance of their teams and get total visibility over their cloud accounts – ultimately helping to optimize their cloud costs.

The Disadvantages of the Manual Process

The primary disadvantage of the manual process is that it is manual. Developers can forget to switch off-their non-production instances or get into bad habits such as switching off the instance´s operating system from the remote desktop rather than through the management portal (in which case the business continues to pay for the provisioned resources). There is also a cost attached to the manual process – a cost some businesses may not have considered.

The cost of the manual process is each developer´s time switching instances on and off. It may only take thirty seconds each time, but how many manual processes are required before a developer can start work? Five? Ten? Even at ten manual processes, that is five minutes each day switching instances on, and another five minutes switching them off. Over the course of a month it is a fair assumption to make that the cost of the manual process is far more than the cost of an instance scheduler.

The Disadvantages of Scheduling Scripts

The same cost disadvantage can be applied to writing scheduling scripts. If you reassign developers from their core tasks to write and maintain scheduling scripts, it is costing you money – maybe not as much as the manual process because once the scripts are written they perform the same task every day. But what about if your development teams work irregular hours? Or work on different projects as demand requires? What then?

Well, in most scenarios, the answer would be to edit the scheduling scripts every time a developer needed access to a non-production instance that is switched off by the scheduling scripts. That too may only take thirty seconds, but those thirty seconds soon add up. Then, of course, what happens when your developer forgets to edit the scheduling script again to switch the instance off when he or she has finished using it? These disadvantages simply do not occur when you have an instance scheduler.

How Our Instance Scheduler Overcomes these Disadvantages

When you use ParkMyCloud to automate on/off times for non-production instances, you don’t have the disadvantages of forgetfulness or bad habits, nor the disadvantage of cost. Schedules are applied according to regular working patterns, or the instances can be “permanently parked”. Either way, when access to a parked instance is required, the schedules can be interrupted with the click of a mouse and the instance available within a second.

Did we forget anything? Oh yes – reactivating the parking schedule. If your developers forget to reactivate the parking schedules, ParkMyCloud returns instances to their dormant state after a period of inactivity. Typically, ParkMyCloud will save you 65% of the cost of deploying non-production instances on Azure, AWS or Google Cloud Platform, tell you how much you are saving in advance, and give you the tools you need to optimize your cloud costs.

Try Our Instance Scheduler for Free

If you have never tried using an instance scheduler to automate on/off times for your non-production instances, we invite you to take a free trial of ParkMyCloud and compare the advantages of our instance scheduler against the disadvantages of the manual and scheduling processes. Not only will you be able to try an unlimited number of schedules to find out which are best for your specific requirements, you will also have access to a series of management tools that can help you optimize your cloud costs.

The fully-enabled version of ParkMyCloud you will be invited to try during your free trial includes such tools as role-based access controls, audit logs and administrator reports on cloud activity. You will also be able to identify unused or overprovisioned resources, and instances that should be placed into a more cost-effective pricing plan. It does not matter whether you deploy your resources on Azure, AWS, Google Cloud Platform or all three, contact us today to start your free trial of ParkMyCloud.

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