Reduce cloud waste with careful management of DevOps costs

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Organizations around the world have responded to the COVID-19 crisis by cutting spending. As the economy continues to suffer the devastating consequences, businesses around the world are still trying to find effective ways to cut costs without compromising business value.

With the increase in the use of cloud computing and the consumption of cloud services due to the pandemic, cloud resource management has become increasingly popular as organizations spend more money on cloud services.

What is Cost Management in DevOps?

Cost optimization is a critical requirement as cloud usage and spending increases. As cloud adoption evolves, businesses must employ proactive cost optimization strategies. However, most organizations struggle to accurately forecast or control cloud-related spending.

To survive in the aftermath of a crisis, organizations must reduce expenses and invest to position themselves for growth. Additionally, organizations must adapt to changing market demands, business dynamics, and customer expectations.

Due to the increased availability of cloud services, DevOps methodologies help organizations reduce software development, deployment, and maintenance costs. Working in a DevOps environment promotes agility and speed, which means rapid responses to business needs are crucial. However, if DevOps teams don’t have a clear strategy, they risk wasting time and money.

Can DevOps Solve the Waste Problem in the Cloud?

Garbage cloud refers to spending on cloud resources that sit unused or underutilized. The resulting wasteful spending increases operational expenses without adding value and prevents these funds from going to other areas of the business.

Cloud waste is a significant roadblock for technical and business decision makers. Unnecessary spending often occurs when companies provide more infrastructure than necessary. DevOps is useful here because it transforms the way teams build and deploy software.

Organizations need to start adopting the DevOps approach to software development to deliver value to consumers and keep up with technological change. Leverage many of the essential features of DevOps, such as holistic thinking, breaking down silos, rapid feedback, and automation to reduce cloud-related waste.

The four DevOps principles for eliminating cloud waste.

Think holistically

Resolving issues quickly and affordably is essential. However, when working in DevOps, don’t just focus on what you do best or prefer to do. Instead, consider the whole environment outside of individual experiences. Holistic thinking involves considering solutions to problems outside of coding.

Eliminate silos

The DevOps principle of no silos involves not only eliminating communication silos, but also the absence of access silos. This principle is suitable for cloud cost management issues, such as running unnecessary computing instances. If an organization assigns a single person to activate and deactivate instances, this is a single point of failure. Instead, allow administrators to enable or disable instances as needed.

Prioritize quick returns

To reduce cloud waste, locate the source of the waste and check if the instances are sized correctly. To find the answers to these questions, you need to have fast feedback and the right monitoring tools in place, ideally through a single dashboard.

Automate

The principle of automation discourages IT teams from inventing unnecessary tools. This is for troubleshooting non-code related issues. An existing tool that does what you’re trying to write will save you time and simplify processes.

Improve cost management for DevOps teams

Below are five key strategies to improve cost management and avoid spiraling costs:

1. Compare prices

Provide information on the expected cost of the resources used in advance. This information should also include a comparison of resource costs in other cloud environments. This allows for more control and promotes prudent spending.

2. Planning

When resources in cloud environments are activated, they incur costs even if they are not actively used. Schedule operating resources when they’re needed and expire them when they’re not. This will reduce the effect on expenses.

3. Optimization

Control the amount of computing power in terms of CPU and RAM for specific user groups. Create and manage these restrictions by resource type, user, or cloud environment.

4. Budget alerts

Seeing monthly expenses broken down across groups and departments helps promote cost transparency. Know which groups are consuming specific resources to aid cost-benefit analysis.

5. Integrate continuous cloud cost optimization into DevOps pipelines

Most companies today manage a release pipeline: developers merge their work into a repository, trigger a build process, and releases come to market quickly, maximizing business value. Automate cost management to reduce cloud costs. Examine DevOps processes to learn how to insert DevOps cloud cost control into DevOps pipelines. AWS and Microsoft Azure provide native cost management tools, but with limited capabilities.

Despite attempts to implement automation tools to manage the cloud development lifecycle and infrastructure costs, cloud spending has skyrocketed. DevOps teams need to move away from data retention, archiving, and deletion. Instead, focus on collecting and analyzing data to get data-driven insights. This shift in mindset produces faster and more sustainable innovation.

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