The progression of technology is never ending. That’s what makes it exciting. What was once new and unknown eventually becomes a tried-and-true, reliable tool. This is happening before our eyes with the cloud. At first, the thought of putting your company’s sensitive data in the cloud brought concerns about security, and likely some sleepless nights worrying about outages.
Now? The cloud is an indispensable tool for organizations of all sizes looking for efficiency and reliability for their data and applications. According to RightScale’s “2017 State of the Cloud Report,” almost 80 percent of all respondents’ workloads are run in the cloud. To give some perspective, that is about the same as the market penetration for cell phones in the U.S., according to comScore.
Just like other technologies that have moved along this path to the mainstream, concerns about the cloud have shifted to the bottom line: How do you manage cloud costs and get the most out of your cloud deployment? Many companies are making use of multi-cloud strategies to try to keep costs low and performance high.
Like the cloud itself, multi-cloud is quickly becoming standard operating procedure for many organizations. According to the same RightScale study, 70 percent of enterprises are embracing hybrid cloud by deploying multiple public and private clouds, with the average cloud-using organization running applications in four clouds, and experimenting with four others. Cost problem solved, right?
Not by a longshot. Somewhat surprisingly, RightScale found that “managing cloud spend” tied for the most-mentioned concern among organizations using the cloud, and “optimizing existing cloud use (cost savings)” was the most popular initiative for 2017. Anecdotally, we’ve found that many of our customers also list cost savings when discussing their goals for their multi-cloud strategy. Clearly, just adopting a multi-cloud model isn’t enough to bring that cloud spending down to where most businesses want it. In fact, doing only that could result in just the opposite outcome.
So, what can companies do to realize all the promise multi-cloud can bring? Here are three things that make sense right off the bat when considering your multi-cloud costs and how to rein them in.
Get a full accounting of costs.
When most companies begin evaluating potential storage options, the metric they tend to look at is dollars per gigabyte ($/GB). This is true whether companies are looking at multi-cloud options, or traditional on-premise models. Realistically, though, this is only a part of the cost equation. To really evaluate solutions, you have to look beyond $/GB to total cost of ownership (TCO).
TCO includes everything from real estate and power, to backup and disaster recovery, to the personnel it takes to manage each solution in your multi-cloud model. Whether your company has been in the cloud for years, or is just considering it now, a thorough accounting of all your storage costs is the first step to getting costs under control.
After you’ve examined all your organization’s cloud costs, you’ll likely be surprised at the amount of waste you see. You’re not alone. Rightscale found the amount of cloud spending that was deemed wasted was between 30 and 45 percent. Now, you’re not going to be able to eliminate all your waste, but even tackling 50 percent of it will drastically reduce your spend.
Some of the most popular ways companies are eliminating waste, according to the report, are “monitoring utilization and right size instances” (52 percent of respondents), “automating shutdown of temporary workloads” (38 percent), and “shutting down workloads during certain hours” (35 percent). The point that jumps out to us about these strategies? Even though they are relatively easy to do, and can save significant resources, not many organizations are actually doing them.
Consider a managed service.
We understand how stretched IT departments are. It’s not like most companies have the spare time or resources to conduct these studies and take action without moving resources away from business-critical projects. This is especially true when you’re utilizing many different cloud vendors.
That brings us to our third piece of advice. A managed service provider can help you make the most out of your multi-cloud strategy. For example, let’s look at our on-demand primary storage solution with built-in offsite backup and disaster recovery (DR) in a single service. Since it runs in the public cloud, you can choose the right cloud for your multi-cloud environment, while also leveraging public cloud compute for processing without having to copy any data. Our recently announced partnerships with some of the leading public and private cloud providers makes management easier, still.
Take control and get started today. Making use of these three tips can get those multi-cloud costs under control, and allow cloud infrastructure to start delivering on the savings you expected.
Contact us to start bringing your multi-cloud costs under control.