What if we say that merely adopting cost-slashing techniques won’t do much to optimize your cloud costs? 

“Huh seriously?”- might be your first response but it's true. Despite a steady implementation of cloud cost management frameworks, cloud professionals are still facing challenges in these 3 major areas:

  • Analyzing the source of the costs
  • Assessing the costs for specific teams and applications
  • Forecasting costs for budgeting purposes

So, how does one tackle each of these challenges? Enter FinOps with Observability.

FinOps helps you maximize cloud investments while ensuring seamless application performance. With observability as an added capability, you can get complete visibility into the state of complex hybrid cloud environments. But what is observability? Well, it is the process of helping organizations gather insights into the performance and behavior of applications, tools, and systems through collecting, assessing, and visualizing data from multiple sources. Its main aim is to maximize returns on cloud usage by minimizing waste, reducing costs, and enhancing efficiency.

Cloud FinOps+ Observability = Maximize your Business Value

With 30% of idle cloud resources resulting in a loss of a whopping $147 billion, here’s how organizations should maximize the full value of FinOps with observability:

  • Determining your data: Prioritize which data is important to your company. This can range from system performance data, application logs, to user activity data, and metrics data.
  • Enforcing monitoring and alerting: Deploy tools to identify areas for cost optimization. At the same time, utilize the tools’ smart capabilities to detect and assess root causes of data discrepancies, to offer remediations to improve the performance of their data systems.
  • Examining data: You may wonder how this unique combination of FinOps and observability can aid in analyzing cloud costs.  Here’s the thing: If there is an application that demands high resource utilization, takes up more database size, or triggers more API calls that are redundant, then your cloud costs are likely to shoot up. Understanding what to store where, may reduce your costs drastically. Another way to spot hidden costs and areas of cloud waste is to leverage cloud/multi-cloud observability. This will help in detecting discrepancies, tracing the cause of anomalies, and enabling actionable measures to curb under/over utilization of resources. This helps keep cloud bills in check, in near real time, while maximizing value over investments in the long run.
  • Take data-driven actions: Now that you have gathered all the data, use relevant insights to resolve any discrepancies in your systems or applications. Once these four steps are covered, it’s time to move towards resource optimization. This is where distributed tracing comes into play. Distributed tracing transmits information to the backend servers and cloud infrastructure, helping cloud professionals gain visibility into how their resources are consumed by different applications, tenants, and business units. This can help in proper capacity planning and growth maximization.

Practice and Preach: Some sample Cloud Optimization Techniques on AWS

Companies have reported a 33% reduction in cloud waste on Amazon Web Services (AWS). If that’s not all, organizations can reduce 70% of costs while closing non-production instances outside working hours. So, if your goal is to migrate your infra to AWS, here are 6 best techniques to optimize your cloud costs on AWS:

  • Detect Amazon EC2 instances with low-utilization
    By deploying AWS Cost Explorer Resource Optimization, get insights into EC2 instances that are underutilized or idle. Minimize the costs by either downsizing or completely eradicating such instances. To do this, you can enable the AWS Instance Scheduler to stop such instances or utilize AWS Operations Conductor to resize the instances. 

    To configure resources for the observability of your Amazon EC2 instances, you need to deploy CloudWatch agents for each of these instances.
  • Identify Amazon EBS volumes with low-utilization
    EBS volumes that are not utilized for more than 7 days should be identified through Trusted Advisor Underutilized Amazon EBS Volumes Check. After doing so, take a snapshot of the volume and delete them to prevent unnecessary costs.
  • Examine Amazon S3 usage
    Enabling S3 Analytics can help you assess storage access patterns to object data for more than 30 days. Based on its recommendations, cloud managers gain insight into areas where they can enable S3 Infrequently Accessed (S3 IA) to minimize cloud costs.
  • Detect Amazon Redshift instances with low utilization
    Deploy Trusted Advisor Amazon RDS Idle DB instances check to look for DB instances that have been left underutilized for 7 days.
  • Remove Idle Load Balancers
    Get insights into load balancers with RequestCount of less than 100 by leveraging Trusted Advisor Idle Load Balancer. Delete these idle balancers to curtail the costs.
  • Use Amazon EC2 Spot Instances to reduce EC2 costs
    Enabling spot instances can slash your cloud costs by 90%. Usually, workloads comprise containerized workloads, big data, high-performance computing, and webservers. By deploying EC2 Autoscaling, you can establish both Spot and On-demand instances to meet a specific target capacity.

These are just a few things you can do. If you look more into the cloud usage and cloud costs and connect them with business impact, you will be able to unearth more optimization opportunities.

Are you also looking for an expert who can help you with optimizing your cloud costs on AWS? Cloud4C, one of the leading AWS managed service providers, brings to you FinOps-as-service and Observability Monitoring services, exclusively designed to maximize your business value. We build FinOps frameworks on AWS to help businesses gain at least 50% cost savings with robust cloud cost optimization techniques along with establishing financial governance across the organization.

What’s more, our clients have saved 100x on every dollar they have spent on FinOps. Want to know how? Drop us an email and take our FinOps assessment today!

Most organizations do not think about FinOps until they hit $100 Mn in cloud spend. Don’t be that them!


author img logo
Vamsi Karnati

Architect - AWS

As a certified AWS architect, Vamsi helps organizations blueprint their AWS journeys, assessing existing workloads and developing a custom solution on the cloud. His keen technical expertise ensures that every migration or modernization exercise on AWS is achieved fool-proof at zero data loss.

author img logo
Vamsi Karnati

Architect - AWS

As a certified AWS architect, Vamsi helps organizations blueprint their AWS journeys, assessing existing workloads and developing a custom solution on the cloud. His keen technical expertise ensures that every migration or modernization exercise on AWS is achieved fool-proof at zero data loss.

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