7 Tools That Help Forecast Your Cloud Services Bill

by Aaqib Gadit  June 28, 2013

Last year, InformationWeek published a piece about a software house that forgot to turn off a 250-server cluster and got billed 10 times of what they expected. They are not the only ones. While the utility model of the cloud has saved enterprises from buying their own servers, the issue of cost overrun has made many run out of their budgets.

7 Tools That Help Forecast Your Cloud Services Bill

With cloud industry to reach more than USD 20 billion by the year 2015, cost volatility is one of the top five concerns of most enterprises. In this post, we will be covering different ways to prevent overbilling.

What causes cost overruns in cloud?

#1- Haphazard cloud deployment

Most businesses rush towards adopting cloud computing and deploy their servers without any guidance from cloud experts. In a survey conducted by Symantec, 77 % of the enterprises saw rogue cloud implementations last year. Dave Elliott, Symantec’s senior manager for Global Cloud Marketing, believes: “It’s not getting any better.”

Hiring a cloud consultancy firm or managed service provider to plan your cloud adoption cannot just help you make right choices, but it will have a long lasting impact on your cloud experience. This is why at Cloudways we provide cloud infrastructure planning for absolutely FREE! We believe half of cloud management and cost control happens right when you take careful decisions at the time of implementation.

#2- Idle cloud environment:

Not keeping a check on in-use cloud services is another reason of out-of-control cloud budget. Bringing down unused servers can lead extra costs which can be a burden on a company. SaaS applications rented by businesses usually stay dormant after a brief usage. This is not just an expenditure problem, but if these idle servers are not properly looked after, they can also make you prone to security risks.

The tools that we will mention in the later half of this blog do not just monitor your cloud services but some also give recommendations on how you can control your cloud spending.

#3- Unmanaged Servers:

Companies either ignore the fact that cloud servers too require proper maintenance or they do not put proper estimations for operational costs. In either case they come up with unexpected expenses that can be limited if proper attention is given towards optimization. At Cloud Connect 2013, it was revealed by Cloudyn—a cloud cost assessment firm—that more than half of its customers run applications without keeping optimum cost effectiveness in mind.

While tools can provide recommendations to increase server efficiency, it is the managed service provider that can actually help you turn the right stone. Cloudways provides management at both server and application level, so your cloud investments give you the best returns.

#4- Complex Cloud Operations:

Even the companies that provide cloud-linked cost estimations are sometimes unable to predict the right amount of billing. Cloudyn further revealed that the forecasted cost was lower than the actual cost due to changes in Amazon’s AWS reservation system. In AWS heavy utilization reservation, you need to pay upfront along with an estimated hourly usage fee in advance. So even if your actual usage is lower, your AWS bills will be apparently higher.

Operations like these require careful analysis, and only IT experts or cloud engineers can help you with that. With the recent advancements in cloud computing, CIOs are now in a better position to understand these complex cloud operations. All of this is paving way for increased trust of enterprises on cloud based services.

Is it possible to tame your cloud costs?

With a bit of proper planning and monitoring, you cannot just keep hidden costs under control but you can even get a higher ROI (Return on Investment). Companies can lower their budget considerably even if they properly scale their instances and keep a check on the applications in use.

The good news is a handful of tools have appeared that not only monitor your cloud costs but some even notify when excessive servers are in idle mode. Furthermore, companies now actively plan their cloud deployment. Cloudability, a cloud cost management firm is now handling cloud spending worth half a billion.

Here are 7 amazing tools that help you tame your cloud costs:

 



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About Aaqib Gadit

As Co-founder and Director of Cloudways, Aaqib is responsible for the services portfolio, strategic planning, product and business development.

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