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Cloudspend part 1: The move to the cloud

Migrating business operations to the cloud is a trend that has been going on for some time. The cloud therefore offers the necessary advantages, but also requires a careful approach. In this first blog in a series of three, Gerard Zuidweg, co-owner of OptimaData, discusses the main concerns of cloud migration. He also introduces the concept of FinOps – the merging of Finance and DevOps – and provides five general tips for managing cloud costs, with a focus on database management.

Gerard Zuidweg

Managing Partner
Gerard Zuidweg - Managing Partner

The move to the cloud continues

The trend of cloud migration where companies move their applications, data and infrastructure to public cloud platforms such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Platform has been evident for several years. The COVID-19 pandemic pushed that process even further. During that period, many companies had to switch to remote working in a hurry. To make that happen quickly, cloud-based tools and infrastructure were indispensable.

Cloud migration is complicated

So the benefits of cloud migration such as scalability, flexibility and cost savings are great. But as we have pointed out in previous blogs, it is not wise to proceed overnight. Cloud migration is a complex process that requires careful planning, flawless execution and proper management.

You need to consider factors such as application architecture, data security, compliance and legal requirements. Cloud migration also requires considerable investment. This must also be taken into account in achieving an acceptable return on investment.

Financial Operations

Organizations that do not adequately prepare can quickly become uncomfortable in the cloud with rising monthly costs. Within larger companies in particular, an entirely new multidisciplinary discipline is even emerging: FinOps. FinOps – an amalgamation of Finance and DevOps – combines practices, principles and technologies that help organizations effectively manage and control cloud costs.

That way, they can get maximum value from their cloud investments. By adopting FinOps practices, organizations can reduce wasteful spending, optimize their cloud resources, and increase transparency and accountability across the organization.

Five tips to control cloud costs

Medium-sized and smaller organizations often have to work on controlling cloud costs themselves. There are many general tips and tricks for this, but certainly also from our own specialty -database management- many best practices are available. Here are five general tips.

1.    Monitor and analyze your cloud usage

Use cloud monitoring tools, such as Datadog, Appdynamics, Cloudchekkr or New Relic, to track your cloud usage and identify areas where you can optimize. Also, formulate KPIs and monitor excesses so you can make adjustments in time. The larger cloud providers also offer tools. Consider Azure Cost Management, Google Cloud Cost Management and AWS Cloud Financial Management.

2.    Use tools to automatically scale and allocate resources

Automatic-scaling and resource-allocation tools ensure that your applications and services consume only the resources they actually need.

3.    Choose the right pricing plan

Choose a pricing plan that fits your usage and budget. For example, reserved instances and spot instances can provide significant cost savings compared to on-demand instances.

4.    Consider cheaper storage options

Consider using cheaper storage options, such as Glacier, for data that is not used often and regularly delete unnecessary data to save storage costs.

5.    Increase ownership

Implement cost allocation and tagging to better track costs and assign them to specific projects or teams. That way, you increase ownership for the cloudspend.

Want to know more?

In the next two blogs, I will elaborate on the opportunities that good database management offers to keep cloud costs under control. Already curious how we can help you manage cloud costs and how exactly that works? Take a look at our Cloudspend consultancy services and feel free to contact us! We like to think along with you.