While Covid-19 is forcing many firms to make massive cutbacks to staff and resources, the majority are unknowingly wasting around 35% of cloud spend at any one time thanks to a lack of oversight over their increasingly complex cloud estates. This equates to $80 billion of total global cloud spend down the drain every year – and for some firms, it could be even more, with estimates of up to 60% wastage.
To help firms manage this drain, ITRS has leveraged its data analytics capabilities to provide a new Cloud Cost Optimisation (CCO) solution, designed to help firms save on unused or underused areas of their cloud estates.
Run entirely as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and housed on the ITRS Capacity Planner platform, the solution analyses cloud usage to identify the size of the instance that should be running (right-sizing) and the best way to buy it or run it, including where it can be shut down altogether (right-buying). This process can be implemented at the point of migration as well as on an ongoing basis throughout the lifespan of a firm’s cloud estate.
“Although enterprises are moving to the cloud, many are still stuck with old school on-premise application launch processes,” explains Peter Duffy, Head of Product Management at ITRS Group, speaking to Data Management Insight. “Imagine you’ve got a successful retail business, and you want to launch a new store in a new town. But you’re not sure how much traffic you’re going to get, how much custom. How big do you make the store? Do you go for a market stall, or full on Tiffany’s Fifth Avenue?”
It’s a challenging decision to make – and in the old world, you’d be stuck with the lease you signed, even if it turned out to be twice as big as you actually needed. Even now, most enterprises don’t yet have processes for revisiting that sizing decision after the application has launched. But this is an option that the cloud can give them. If they’ve mistakenly chosen Tiffany’s when all they needed was Eastenders, they can downsize in the click of a button.
“Essentially, what CCO does is automatically review those sizes,” explains Duffy. “It can then recommend different instances that would be better suited to your workload, saving you significant chunks of money. The cloud represents enormous potential for businesses to reduce IT spend and improve scalability and flexibility – but it has to be used correctly.
“Too many businesses are continuing to treat it as they would their on-premise IT. Our CCO solution enables businesses to understand their entire cloud estate on a granular level, helping them to identify key areas for improved efficiency and reduced spend. The transparent, data-backed way we present our recommendations for optimisation means businesses don’t have to take our word for it – they can see the calculations right there on the page.”
CCO’s predictive analytics capabilities also allow firms to model future scenarios on the cloud estate in order to anticipate and plan for potential capacity bottlenecks or resource constraints. Accessed through a web browser, its visualisations easily identify wasted spend through a series of dashboard recommendations and future projections.
“Based on your current daily spend, we can chart how that’s going over the course of a month or a quarter, and we can project where you will be at the end of the quarter,” notes Duffy. “So you can specify, for example, an AWS monthly budget – and CCO can alert you if you are likely to breach that before you reach the end of the month.”
The idea is not new – the concept of ‘right-buying’ (looking at usage levels to recommend the appropriate purchase) has been around for a while, with players such as Aptio already active in the space. But ITRS is hoping to differentiate itself by the concept of ‘right-sizing’ – enabling firms to better match what they have to what they need, through the use of demonstrable analytics. “It’s hard to persuade a team to downsize their instances in order to save money unless you can provide them with very detailed evidence that it’s not going to affect the performance of their application,” explains Duffy. “That is where we’ve really focused, and where we really believe we can make a difference.”
The platform has already been piloted with a range of clients, with the marketing initiative announced in the first week of June and the product itself set to launch at the end of the month. “We have interest right now from over a dozen clients worldwide, from large banks to pharmaceutical firms to insurance to telcoms,” reveals Duffy.