Famous writer Oscar Wilde once said, “We live in an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities.” However, when putting a finger on the pulse of the both the business and the customer, the first thing usually recognized is a dire need for cutting costs. In today’s slow economy, it’s no longer a significant perk to be able to slash spending, but for many, a true necessity.
In light of this, I was able to speak with Nick van der Zweep, VP of Products and Strategy at Cloud Cruiser, about what he has been seen in the cloud computing market over recent years and ways to cut cloud computing costs as we welcome 2013.
Today’s technologically-infused times can be easily summed up as the “Veruca Salt Era,” reminiscent of that cute but tempered blonde girl’s infamous song from “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” titled “I Want It Now.” Considering today’s rapidly paced ways, it comes as no surprise when van der Zweep tells me that one heavily growing trend over recent years is the need for instant gratification.
“[End-users and developers] want to be able to get capacity and get infrastructure right now; they want unlimited capacity at their fingertips and they want it at a low cost. A lot of this has been driven by new development methods where developers are developing software and getting new versions of it to test pretty much on a weekly basis,” he explains, adding that this new and agile development technology offers a black and white comparison to more “old school” methods, where it would take up to six months of development to test.
Seeing how this need for speed is far from slowing down as we ring in the New Year, how can these new methods translate to enterprises that still rely on traditional data centers? Van der Zweep says the fact that many have been migrating away from centralized data centers in favor of more usage-based, public cloud ones such as those supported by Rackspace (News - Alert) and Amazon is very telling of the direction we’ll be continuing in the coming years. Meanwhile, IT and CIO’s will increasingly turn to the private cloud for instant gratification in self-service provisioning, customization and increased control.
But although the customer wants self-service, completely handing over the keys to a developer is like giving a bag of Little Debbie cakes to a child. The issue at hand is making sure the customer stays responsible by not over-deploying and then never shutting anything down.
“This is where financial management is important, so that they can see the costs, get a bill on a monthly or orderly basis or even have a portal to see their usage on a regular basis,” he explains.
Cloud Cruiser is a company that specializes in pulling in these bills from such businesses as Amazon, and by analyzing them, allows IT departments to chargeback developers and businesses in a more logical fashion.
As we glide through December, many take the opportunity to make a New Year’s resolution of better budgeting. Similarly, businesses can do so by improving cost-cutting efforts. Thankfully, van der Zweep helps us by stressing three ways that companies are consistently wasting their money on cloud computing.
1.) Forgetting to shut down during a testing phase
A “classic example” van der Zweep begins with is when users deploy a system to test a new application but then forget to shut it down. Typically, when testing out applications, the system is mostly idle, which means you’re unnecessarily wasting funds while leaving it running. “You’re only using it once a month, why don’t you shut it down, release it and bring it up once a month so you stop paying for it?” he asks.
2.) Allocating Resources
This lies similar to number one, where van der Zweep explains, “I’ve seen this multiple times where the user allocates infrastructure and then forgets they allocated it, and then the IT organization upgrades them to new versions of operating systems and software, when the end user is not even using these things.” So do yourself a favor and check in on your allocating storage and resources on a routine basis.
3.) Deploying services in the wrong place
While it could be good to deploy resources out of a public cloud for intermittent use, doing so for consistent or everyday use for long periods of time is more trouble – or in this case, dollar signs – than it’s worth. Instead, van der Zweep suggests, look to a private cloud, which will usually be more cost-effective in this case. Cloud Cruiser plays very nicely in these types of situations, where it can identify services running in both public and private clouds to suggest alternative methods for more cost-efficiency.
Just today, Cloud Cruise released its Cloud Service Provider Edition 2.0, as well as a promotion aimed at showcasing its new profit boosting features. By delivering a rich feature set specifically designed to drive the profitability of service providers, Cloud Cruisers’ 2.0 Cloud Service Provider Edition boasts flexible pricing models, secure, customer accessible cost portals for end-user reporting access, and P&L statements displaying the health of the user’s cloud with a profitability analysis by customer and service.
Want to learn more about cloud computing solutions geared specifically towards small to medium-sized businesses? Don’t miss the Cloud4SMB Expo, collocated with ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida. Stay in touch with everything happening at Cloud4SMB Expo. Follow us on Twitter.
Edited by Jamie Epstein