When making a cloud migration, a common term that gets tossed around is “cloud optimization”. If your organization is new to the cloud, optimizing your environment is essential to ensuring your migration pays off quickly and continues to do so in the long term. If your organization is already established in the cloud, you may observe higher costs than expected due to cloud sprawl, under-utilized resources, and improper allocation of resources. Cloud optimization helps your organization reduce these costs and improve overall efficiency in the cloud.
What is Cloud Optimization?
Cloud optimization is the process of eliminating cloud resource waste by selecting, provisioning, and right-sizing the resources you spend on specific cloud features. In a DevOps environment, it refers to determining the most efficient way to allocate cloud resources among different use cases. The goal is usually to reduce waste while increasing performance in the cloud.
Different companies may have different cloud optimization definitions, depending on their cloud applications. A good cloud optimization strategy can help you see what you are doing right and where you need to improve to make the most out of your move to cloud and IT spending.
Why is Cloud Optimization important?
Overspending in the cloud is a common issue many organizations face by allocating more resources to a workload than necessary. Integrating cloud optimization practices can reap many benefits for your cloud infrastructure and your organization, including the following:
- Cloud efficiency: When workload performance, compliance, and cost are continually balanced against the best-fit infrastructure in real-time, efficiency is achieved. Implementing cloud optimization practices will eliminate as much cloud resource waste as possible, increasing the performance of your cloud environment.
- Cost savings: Although cloud optimization comes in a variety of forms, cost optimization is the most important component for many organizations. By reducing waste in the cloud, costs are reduced as a byproduct.
- Greater visibility: Cloud optimization practices utilize analytics to provide visibility into your cloud environment to make data-driven decisions. Implementing optimization tools also provides cost visibility, so your organization has a better perspective on cloud spending.
- Increased productivity: Once a cloud optimization strategy is implemented, IT teams will spend less time trying to solve problems because an optimized environment prevents problems before they occur.
- Organizational innovation & efficiency: Implementing cloud optimization often is accompanied by a cultural shift within organizations such as improved decision-making and collaboration across teams.
Things to optimize in your cloud environment
Here are some of the main aspects of cloud optimization.
Cost reduction is the most important factor in cloud optimization for most companies. A major issue with cloud computing is that you can easily overspend by allocating more resources to your workloads than you would on-premises.
The complex nature of cloud pricing models further exacerbates this problem. Cloud service providers often have pricing menus charging different rates for the same services in different regions or times.
However, cloud providers do not intervene to prevent users from spending too much on their platforms. They do not provide tools to work across hybrid and multi-cloud environments. As a result, cloud cost optimization strategies usually include multiple tools and methods, such as third-party services for multi-cloud architectures, rather than native, vendor-specific offerings.
Performance in cloud optimization means ensuring your services and applications operate quickly and smoothly.
Cloud performance, like cost, is a complex subject depending on many factors. One important aspect to consider is the cloud architecture’s design. For instance, a cloud architecture that requires frequent data transmission between different regions or separate clouds can suffer from poor performance due to network latency and bottlenecks.
The type of cloud service you choose may also affect performance. VM resource allocation may be more constrained for certain workloads – serverless features may perform better than standard VMs.
Even if the code is not explicitly cloud-specific, its underlying efficiency can significantly impact cloud performance. You should regularly test the performance of all application code before deployment.
Failures of the hosting cloud can make a cloud-based workload unavailable. Sometimes, workloads become unreliable because of inherent problems. It is important to mitigate these risks to maximize the reliability of your cloud applications.
Providing redundancy is a solid strategy for ensuring reliability. It involves a company deploying multiple instances of a single workload across multiple regions within a cloud or in separate clouds. However, this type of protection is often expensive, so it is important to balance the redundancy strategy with cost optimization objectives for the best overall results.
Third-party solutions that ensure enterprise-level SLAs across multiple clouds can complement these strategies as well.
Operating in the cloud can make it difficult to accurately identify security vulnerabilities and implement the appropriate security measures to mitigate them. You can handle this challenge by achieving centralized visibility and leveraging tools that provide actionable security insights.
What are some examples of Cloud Optimization?
While cloud cost optimization is a major component of any solid cloud optimization strategy, it is not the sole focus. Cloud optimization also focuses on improving organization-wide collaboration, software quality, cloud application performance, and continuous improvement strategies.
Other examples include:
- Choose an instance that fits your basic requirements at the moment or in the foreseeable future
- Using reserved instances where applicable
- Use optimization tools to improve cloud transparency
- Consider using serverless computing and microservices
- Set up a clear cloud governance structure
Cloud computing can provide computing resources, storage resources, and applications. But only through proper management and optimization will you be able to obtain maximum satisfaction from these capabilities.
By following the cloud optimization best practices we’ve described above, you’ll be able to streamline your processes, improve visibility and security, and spend your IT budget more efficiently. And most importantly, you’ll ensure your app performance is 100%.