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Are you getting the most out of your cloud infrastructure? 

Are you getting the most out of your cloud infrastructure

Nowadays, organizations are increasingly migrating their infrastructure to the cloud to harness the benefits of scalability, flexibility, and cost-efficiency. However, configurations are not always optimized. This blog will guide you through the essential elements to consider when evaluating the cost-efficiency of your cloud infrastructure. 

“A penny saved is a penny earned.”  

This statement attributed to Founding Father Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) is still relevant today. As every basic economics course teaches, you can increase profit both by increasing turnover and by reducing costs. Successful entrepreneurs and managers always find new ways to get a grip on expenses.  

That is sometimes easier said than done, especially when it comes to complex IT infrastructures. Perhaps you have replicated your on-premises environment directly to public cloud services without benefiting from unique cloud capabilities. The cloud offers significant optimization opportunities, but the abundance of offerings can lead to missed chances. 

The essential elements of cloud computing  

The checklist below will walk you through key factors to examine when assessing the right configuration of your cloud infrastructure, and therefore its cost-effectiveness.  

  • Resource utilization: It is essential to determine the size and type of resources (like vCPU, RAM, storage) you need. Oversized or underutilized resources will lead to unnecessary expenses. 
  • Migration costs: If you are moving from on-premises to the cloud or between cloud providers, consider the costs involved – both monetary and time-related. 
  • Data transfer costs: Many overlook the cost of extracting data from the public cloud. Typically, public cloud companies will charge 5 to 20 cents per GB, each time you transfer data from their cloud storage to your on-premises location. 
  • Storage costs: Cloud storage pricing depends on various aspects, including storage capacity, storage performance, frequency of data access, degree of data redundancy and potential extra charges for outbound data transfers.  
  • Operational costs: In addition to storage costs, consider the costs associated with monitoring, networking, security and the like. Remember: for many companies, staff costs are among the largest business expenses. 
  • Compliance and security: Depending on your industry, you might need specific compliance measures. Be sure to research the costs associated with maintaining compliance and robust security in the cloud. Safeguarding your enterprise data may involve additional costs, especially if you maintain backups in multiple locations or regions. 
  • Support and maintenance costs: Does your cloud provider charge extra for higher levels of support or for maintenance operations? And is this service worth the additional cost? 
  • Commitment and payment plans: Providers offer discounts if you commit to long-term usage. Check the pricing benefits of reserved instances or savings plans. 
  • License and software costs: If you are using licensed software in the cloud, there might be associated fees involved. Some cloud providers also offer a Bring Your Own License (BYOL) option. If you are a Microsoft user, you should take a look at Software Assurance and its pitfalls. 
  • Hidden costs: Always check the fine print. Are there any other additional fees for things like API calls, additional features, or specific configurations? 
  • Exit costs: How easy is it to move away from your cloud provider if needed? Be sure to factor in the time and financial resources required to identify new vendors. This can be a lengthy process across various stages. And of course, retraining cloud teams across platforms, operations, applications and more means incurring significant expenses as well. 

How to get more value for your cloud money 

In an era where cloud computing is central to business success, optimizing your cloud resources and reducing costs are paramount. It can be useful to call in external expertise to discover what is the most cost-effective cloud setup for your organization. To support these goals, AWS has developed an Optimization and Licensing Assessment (AWS OLA) methodology.  

The AWS OLA measures the actual resource and license consumption of your workloads running on-premises or in the cloud. The measurements are then used to model the optimal configuration when running these workloads on AWS and to calculate the associated costs for resources and licenses. The results take into account the advantages AWS offers to minimize resources and licensing costs and to improve performance.  

If you are evaluating a possible cloud migration, our AWS OLA allows you to compare your current cost level with an optimized scenario on AWS. Just get in touch, and we will discuss the best solution for your situation.  

Or would you like a broader picture of cloud cost, AWS OLA and related issues first? In our new white paper we focus on comparing the economics of running Microsoft workloads on-premises, colocation and in the cloud. Download your copy of “Uncovering Cloud Cost Savings: A Closer Look at Licenses and Resources” here. 

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