IaaS Cost Savings Intro: Cost Control Analysis Realizes Valuable ROI

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Cost Control Analysis Realizes Valuable ROI

Now more than ever, our clients are evaluating ways they can optimize their cloud environments and control their monthly spend. Cost inefficiencies can happen. For example, in a multi-account environment, over time accounts can become “orphaned.” Perhaps a project was spun up and was cancelled or moved to a production environment leaving secondary accounts’ usage minimized.

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Cost overruns due to unnecessary or underutilized cloud resources is a constant risk when running in a highly dynamic cloud environment for two primary reasons. First, there is often a new team or project kicking off that wants their own cloud accounts and resources. Second, in many organizations the person or people who have responsibility to track cloud spending, lack the business and/or IT context to identify areas of spending that can be reigned in or eliminated.

There are a number of paid-for, free, and cloud-provider native cost-analysis tools that help clients track and identify the sources of their cloud spend. While insightful and powerful, these tools stop short of remediation. This is where having a team of experts, who support your cloud initiatives and also understand your business goals are able to suggest, design and implement solutions that save money. 

When clients ask us to help them reduce their cloud spending, they are often looking for immediate relief.  In these cases, our approach to cost cutting efforts is to first identify services our clients are no longer using (and have not yet spun down.) Next we analyze their instances and services. Huge cost savings can be realized by right-sizing instances, purchasing reserved instances, and doing things like converting highly available (multi-AZ) databases and services to single-AZ services in non-production accounts. As a best practice Foghorn likes to make sure all assets are tagged, helping make cost tracking easier in the future.  Once we’ve optimized for the current infrastructure, we often work with clients to see if their architecture can be adjusted in ways that will bring further cost efficiencies.

Recently I had the opportunity to help one of our clients evaluate their AWS environment and identify opportunities to cut costs using some of the methods described above. We were able to cut their monthly spending by nearly 60%. It was an enjoyable project to be a part of, because I got to see the immense satisfaction the client had when we streamlined their infrastructure and saved them a sizable amount of spend per month. 

Our FogOps model gives our clients access to a dedicated team of cloud engineers. Our FogOps clients are also entitled to an annual well architected review.  By pairing cloud expertise with knowledge of our clients business, we can ask the detailed questions required to help identify areas where costs can be saved. 

Stay tuned for our IaaS cost savings series. We will cover in more detail how we were able to help this client and other clients achieve dramatic savings. We will dive deep into right sizing best practices as it pertains to:


  1. Optimizing Purchasing Options (RIs, Savings plans, Enterprise agreements)
  2. Tracking and Pruning (tagging, showback/chargeback)
  3. Monitoring and RightSizing (instance scaling/sizing)
  4. Collaborating with the Business (context)
  5. Architecting for cost optimization (cloud native services, when to go serverless and when not to go serverless, block storage vs. object storage, horizontally scalable, failure tolerant for spot compatibility)
  6. Licensing (OS Linux vs. Redhat vs. Windows, MySQL/Aurora vs. Oracle, etc.)
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