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What is Cloud Optimization?

Updated: Oct 22, 2023

Imagine harnessing the full power of your cloud infrastructure while keeping costs in check and boosting your company's efficiency. That's precisely what cloud optimization offers, and it's becoming increasingly essential as organizations worldwide increasingly lean on cloud infrastructure to fuel their growth.


In this blog post, we'll introduce you to the new and exciting realm of cloud optimization, focusing on how it streamlines cloud rates, usage, and engineering overhead to deliver maximum value. Moreover, we'll discuss the advantages it brings to the table and illustrate how OptimNow can guide your company on a transformative journey towards cloud optimization mastery.


Unlocking the power of Cloud Optimization: Balancing Savings and Flexibility with Cloud Purchase Models


Cloud optimization is the process of configuring and managing your cloud infrastructure in a way that maximizes efficiency, minimizes costs, and enhances both the overall performance and agility of IT to better address business stakeholders' requests and challenges.


Optimizing cloud costs often starts with a focus on cloud rates and you must understand the three main Cloud purchase models: On-Demand, Reserved Instances/Savings Plans, and Spot.


On-Demand instances offer maximum flexibility, allowing you to pay for the computing power you need as you need it. Reserved Instances -and Savings Plans at AWS- on the other hand, require long-term commitments but offer significant cost savings in exchange for upfront payment. Lastly, Spot instances provide even greater cost savings by allowing you to provision unused capacity in the cloud provider's data centres, without any commitment. Still, unlike On-Demand, Spot is preemptible and can be interrupted, with a notice period that allows you to shift the workload to another instance.


Each of these models presents unique advantages and trade-offs, so it's important to select the purchase model that aligns with the specific characteristics of your workload. Optimizing cloud rates is ultimately about striking the right balance, finding the best mix of purchase models and tuning it according to the business demand.


An interesting case is Skyscanner moved from On-Demand to Spot instances for its Kubernetes clusters to achieve more than 70% savings, but also to increase application uptime, increase flexibility and scalability to manage the spikes in business demand, and reduce time-to-insight for its customers.


Companies may not always possess the necessary in-house expertise or dedicated teams to effectively implement best practices for leveraging purchase models such as Spot. However, they can turn to third-party solutions like Memverge to bridge this gap. Memverge intelligently profiles a company's computing and memory usage, enabling the right-sizing of cloud resources for optimal performance. Additionally, it automatically scales resources in and out to seamlessly meet fluctuating demands and ensures any workload can efficiently run on Spot instances. I really recommend you check it and do a free 30-day trial out here, it's a game changer.



Mastering Cloud Resource Management for Enhanced Efficiency

To optimize cloud usage it's crucial to monitor your cloud resources effectively. The Cloud Service Providers' native solutions can give you many insights into usage patterns. These solutions can help you identify underutilized resources, highlight inefficiencies, and recommend instances, Virtual Machines and services, that fit with your workloads' requirements and running patterns. The AWS native solutions like Cost Explorer or Cloud Intelligence Dashboards (CID), with the Cost and Usage Report (CUR) and Cost and Usage Dashboards Operations Solution (CUDOS) not only help visualize, but also offer some recommendations for right-sizing, or how to optimize RI coverage, or when to use AWS Graviton instances to optimize services costs and improve on their performance.


However, native tools from Cloud Service Providers may sometimes offer insufficient information, or conversely, an overwhelming amount of data. In such cases, third-party monitoring solutions can offer a more comprehensive view of your cloud resource usage. A solution like Prosperops brings a lot of value as it allows to track AWS savings with a very synthetic yet powerful KPI, the Effective Savings Rate (ESR), to assess how effective you are when using RI & Savings Plans, that will help you drive your Savings strategy. Besides, Properops now offers ‘Flex Boost’, or how to automate and optimize the management of your Reserved Instances. This leads us to the 3rd dimension of cloud optimization: Reducing engineering overhead and increasing efficiency through Cloud Automation.



Streamlining Operations with Cloud Automation


Cloud automation is the process of using technology to automatically manage and provision cloud resources. Implementing cloud automation can significantly reduce engineering overhead and improve efficiency by streamlining routine tasks, such as scaling resources based on demand, managing backups, and deploying updates. With automation in place, your team can redirect their focus to strategic initiatives and fostering innovation.


The value of Cloud Automation is very important for the management of containerized workloads and in particular Kubernetes clusters. Cloud Service Providers like Google Cloud Platform offer services for automation of nodes provisioning, upgrades and configuration, offering to manage the cluster’s lifecycle. AWS offers managed services -ECR, ECS and EKS- to automate the management and scalability of Kubernetes clusters.


Third-party solutions can bring additional and significant value. A solution like cast.ai provides a comprehensive platform to automate actions to optimize the provisioning of resources, visualize the costs of Kubernetes clusters which can be sometimes a challenge-, and offers security features to identify and remediate vulnerabilities.


But all those solutions can only provide value if the cloud teams are trained and empowered, with the organizational model and streamlined processes.


The Role of FinOps in Successful Cloud Optimization


All the solutions and technology presented in the previous paragraphs will deliver value when the cloud teams are trained and empowered. Establishing a culture of FinOps (Financial Operations) is critical for the success of cloud optimization efforts. FinOps is a collaborative approach to managing cloud costs that involve aligning all stakeholders, including IT, finance, and business teams, on the right organizational model. By training stakeholders on FinOps best practices and fostering a FinOps mindset, organizations can drive better decision-making, transparency, and cost efficiency in their cloud operations.


To evaluate the maturity of your organization on FinOps, the ‘Crawl, Walk, Run’ framework from the FinOps Foundation is a powerful approach to implementing FinOps, allowing organizations to start small and grow as business value warrants. Concentrating on achieving outcomes with the highest business value enables organizations to prioritize the development of their most critical capabilities.



Going Green: Minimizing the Environmental Impact of Your Cloud Infrastructure

Cloud optimization is not only about cost savings and efficiency but also about minimizing the environmental impact of cloud usage. By optimizing cloud resources, organizations can reduce

their carbon footprint and contribute to a more sustainable future.


The importance of this topic has sometimes been recognized by Cloud Service Providers, like Microsoft Azure which offers dashboards and API to evaluate the direct and indirect emissions related to Azure services usage. your workloads running on the Cloud. When those dashboards do not offer sufficient details and accuracy, third-party solutions like GreenPixie and open-source frameworks like Boavizta or the Cloud Carbon Footprint provide the tools to better evaluate those emissions and the overall environmental impact of the cloud.


OptimNow can help your organization pick the best solution to evaluate its cloud infrastructure's environmental footprint and will recommend best practices for carbon footprint optimization.



Conclusion: Elevate Your Cloud Strategy with OptimNow


Cloud optimization is relevant for organizations at any stage of cloud maturity, and it is crucial not only for controlling cloud costs but also for improving agility and scalability to meet business stakeholders' expectations. By optimizing cloud rates, usage, and overhead, organizations can unlock the full potential of their cloud infrastructure. Implementing a FinOps culture and focusing on reducing the environmental footprint of cloud usage are essential components of a successful cloud optimization strategy.


OptimNow's expertise in cloud optimization, coupled with our focus on simplicity, speed, and sustainability, makes us the ideal partner for businesses looking to improve their cloud operations and build their Cloud Vision. By partnering with OptimNow, you can ensure immediate cost savings, long-term benefits, and a more sustainable approach to cloud infrastructure management. Explore our services today and unlock the full potential of your cloud infrastructure.







This blog post is just the beginning of a comprehensive series that will delve deeper into each topic discussed above. To ensure you don't miss out on these insightful explorations, follow OptimNow on LinkedIn for updates and notifications about our upcoming blog posts. Embark on this cloud optimization journey with us and stay ahead of the curve by keeping up with the latest industry trends and best practices.



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