Cost-Efficient Tips for Provisioning Your Cloud Resources

Published on 17 May 2018

Cloud migration has become one of the essential tenets of digital transformation for enterprises across the world. Cloud services allow organizations to be more agile, flexible, and more competitive in their industry. However, the benefits offered by cloud services can be cost-effective only when the enterprises use them optimally. Poorly designed or executed cloud migrations, and improper usage of cloud services can produce hefty bills in lieu of those services, thereby discouraging them from completely taking the cloud path.

Indeed, more and more research indicates that enterprises over-utilize cloud services under the fear of underutilizing them.

There is a strong need to provision enterprise cloud resources in an optimal manner, such that they deliver maximum benefit to the businesses, while keeping the costs low. Here are some tips in this direction.

Monitor Services Usage and Automate Their Utilization

Cloud services are expensive. Therefore, most cloud services charge on a minute or an hourly basis. Businesses can use this to their advantage.

Cloud applications can be theoretically categorized into two groups for the sake of this discussion, usage-wise.

The first group of cloud applications has fixed hours of usage. This includes those applications that are needed during the working hours of the weekdays, say, from Monday to Friday 10AM to 5:30PM. Enterprises can schedule their applications or the virtual servers hosting them to start and stop as per a predetermined time schedule. This way, these applications never work even a minute longer than they have to.

The second group of applications are those that need to be online round the clock. However, the resource utilization is not constant. When analyzed closely, such applications have a fixed pattern of usage. Perhaps, they utilize the most resources during the night, during the day, or some other hours. By monitoring these patterns, enterprises can automate the resource allocation and utilization of such applications, thereby optimizing the costs, while ensuring maximum performance.

Both of the above cases are ideal scenarios. In practice, even the first group of applications usually have usage patterns and therefore, their resource utilization can be optimized automatically based on their patterns.

Seamless Hybrid Integration

The cloud is for highly responsive applications only. So, there is no need to keep all the data on the cloud. Especially because cloud storage services are prohibitively expensive. Secondly, there are many cases wherein it’s simply better to keep some of the data on-premises. For all these reasons, enterprises should pursue a hybrid storage model.

Businesses keep host mission-critical data and the data supporting highly responsive systems on the cloud, while continually moving all other data collected by the cloud applications to the on-premises servers. This way, they will need less cloud storage capacity, and consequently, attract significantly lower bills.

Automate Scaling

It is humanly impossible to monitor the performance of all the enterprise cloud applications and provision new nodes to maintain the performance of those applications at the desired levels. Well, at least for any human. That’s where automation comes into the picture.

Amazon, for instance, offers the Auto Scaling feature, which allows businesses to automate the provisioning of new nodes. In addition, Amazon’s cloud platform supports multiple third-party configuration management tools, such as Puppet Enterprise. Puppet Enterprise allows businesses to set the launch configurations for AWS’s Auto Scaling feature. So, Auto Scaling registers, provisions, and configures new nodes as per the instructions of the business.

This way, Puppet Enterprise supported Auto Scaling achieves two goals. Firstly, it eliminates the need for businesses to constantly monitor the resource demands on their cloud applications and allocate additional resources to meet the higher demand. Secondly, it prevents businesses from over-allocating cloud resources under the fear of not meeting unexpected high demand.

Cloud Management Platforms

Choosing the right configuration, setting the right workloads size, effective migration of applications and data between on-premises hardware and cloud, and optimal provisioning of cloud resources are complex tasks which can take an enormous amount of human resources. There are well over 50 different instance types in Amazon EC2 alone. Even if one of these are not at their optimal levels, it can lead to either performance issues or high cloud costs.

The most effective way to avoid such situations is by using cloud management and migration platforms.

There are a multitude of cloud management and migration platforms that automate, streamline, and simplify a significant amount of administrative tasks involved in cloud migration, and provisioning of cloud resources from workflow automaton to performance tracking and resource allocation to scaling outs. They reduce the expenses on cloud services, while simultaneously freeing up the IT labor in enterprises to perform more productive tasks.

Best Cloud Management Agenda

Puppet Labs’ Puppet Enterprise is one of the most popular, powerful, and feature-rich cloud management tools out there. It automates a plethora of cloud management tasks like performance monitoring of applications and provisioning of resources accordingly, configuring of new nodes or instances, management of hybrid environment, dynamic configuration of nodes based on the state of other nodes, and so on.

In summary, Puppet Enterprise optimizes the resource allocation to enterprise cloud applications in such a way that their performance is always at the desired levels, while the expenses on the cloud resources are minimized for the enterprises.

To know more about Puppet Enterprise and discover how it can transform your organization’s cloud strategy into a leaner, more agile, and highly cost-effective endeavor, contact AsiaPac here.

Tags:  AzureCloudMicrosoftProvisionPuppet Enterprise

Other blog posts you might be interested in: