Enterprise organizations around the world have been forced to transform themselves digitally to maintain business operations. Resilient infrastructure is key to scaling and keeping operations running, but how can your business grow sustainably without getting lost in IT spending?

What's the Problem?

When we talk about costs beyond the basics expected for infrastructure, most companies face these common problems:

Poor Application Architecture Design
Technical decisions are made without conducting a study to identify the best solution.

Improper Provisioning
Resource oversizing is a very common practice, often due to the lack of visibility of system needs.

Lack of Visibility
Without a tagging system and monitoring, it's difficult to find cost reduction possibilities.

The Growth of FinOps

FinOps is a model for operating cloud resources that uses systems, best practices, and culture to give an organization the ability to understand IT costs in the cloud and make business decisions regarding investments.

The term has gained popularity and interest not only in technology, but also in business and finance. In every field, the focus is the same: Cloud Financial Management.

There are several principles of FinOps. The established performance phases consist of: 1. Inform (Visibility & Allocation), 2. Optimize (Utilization) and 3. Operate (Continuous Improvement & Operations).

When we talk about cost reduction, there are always two factors - regardless of the methodology - that directly play into the strategy and prioritization of activities. They are Potential for Cost Reduction and Effort of Action.

Short Term: Pay as You Need

For the pay-as-you-need model, it's smart to focus on using only the infrastructure you need, limit who can create resources, remove waste, and optimize wherever you can. There are several activities that you can perform to reduce costs in the short term, and these do not require drastic changes in your environment or application level. Some of these activities are listed below:

 

Activity

Potential

Effort

Enforce controls

Low

Low

Identify idle resources

High

Low

Right-size resources

High

High

Commitment plans

High

Low

Lifecycle policies

Low

Low

Schedule resources

High

High

Leverage lower price resources

Mid

Mid

Exclude unused logs

Low

Low

Long Term: Rehost, Refactor, Replatform

Sometimes it takes much more than governance and resource optimization to reduce costs; modernization is necessary, and changes that directly affect the application are more difficult to implement, but some of them have a much greater potential for cost reduction. Below are some of these possibilities:

 

Activity

Potential

Effort

Redo feature selections

High

High

Opt for cloud-native solutions

Mid

Mid

Embrace serverless

High

Mid

Multi-tenancy whenever possible

Mid

Mid

Improve your CI/CD

Mid

Low

Avoid licensing

High

High

Partition and cluster data

Low

Low

Create a robust cache policy

Low

Low

Start Small, but Never Stop

Costs with cloud resources will always be a topic to be dealt with in the fields of technology, business, and finance, so regardless of your role in the organization, turn cloud cost optimization practices into culture, always keep useful dashboards at your disposal, and make recurring analyses of your environment.

 


Author

Douglas Augusto

Douglas Augusto is a Lead Solutions Architect at Avenue Code and is passionate about Cloud Computing. He is a Google Developer Expert (GDE) for Google Cloud Platform and a Mentor in Cloud Computing at Google for Startups.