The Secret Weapon for Cutting Cloud Storage Costs

Hey there!  Over the last three months, I have analyzed over $100 million of AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud bills.  One thing hit me hard in reviewing all these monthly and annual bills: the cost of cloud storage.  It’s like a silent budget eater lurking in your monthly bills.  But here’s a little secret I’ve learned – optimizing your storage with cloud storage cost-reduction techniques can be your golden ticket to savings.  Let me show you how.

Understanding Cloud Storage Costs

Cloud storage costs are sneaky.  They often take up a massive chunk of your IT budget, anywhere between 25% to 40%.  And it’s not just you – it’s a widespread issue.  But why?  The answer lies in our approach to managing these costs using effective cloud storage cost optimization techniques.

The Problem of Over-Provisioning

One thing I’ve seen in all of the bills I reviewed is how much storage people are provisioning compared to how much they use.  It’s not easy to know how much disc is managed versus how much has just been provisioned, but there are ways for each of the three big cloud providers (AWS, Azure, and GCP).  One of the biggest things I notice is that many companies double their storage to avoid downtime.  It’s like buying two cars just in case one breaks down.  Sounds excessive, right?  This over-provisioning means paying for more storage than you need.

The NoDev Approach to Storage Optimization

This is where the magic happens – the NoDev approach.  It’s about making storage optimization so simple that you don’t need a squad of developers to manage it.  With automation and intelligent algorithms, this approach does the heavy lifting in reducing your cloud costs.

Achieving Immediate ROI with Storage Optimization

Let’s talk about ROI – because who doesn’t like seeing results?  Storage optimization isn’t just about cutting costs; it’s about seeing those savings immediately through cloud cost optimization techniques.  I’ve seen big and small companies slash their storage costs by 40-50% in the first month alone!  This equates to 40%+ savings on storage costs (after paying for our solution).

Steps to Implement Storage Optimization

So, how do you jump on this cost-saving train?  First, we conduct a simple analysis of your storage usage.  Essentially, we grab a report to look at critical statistics (a 5-minute task for one of your admins).  A few days later, the MetrixData 360 team will return with a report showing how much our storage optimization solution can save you.   If there is an ROI and you want to move forward, we run a Proof of Value on a couple of dev workloads to show you how the solution works and allow you to work through any scenarios you want to ensure work for you.   During the POV, our team will work with you to build a business case to purchase.  We move to deployment after successfully concluding the POV and a proven ROI.  Then, monitor and adjust.  Keep a close eye on your storage needs and adapt as necessary.  The best part is turning on the solution and seeing the savings that day!

Real-World Success Stories

When we analyzed one of our clients’ Azure storage costs, we noticed they were at 9.9% disc utilization and spending $353,000 a year on storage.  Their storage costs were not just static either.  They had been growing every month.  MetrixData 360 analyzed this and reviewed what our Storage Optimization solution could achieve.  After a quick POC and full implementation, storage utilization improved to 75%, and annual storage spending was reduced to $141,000.  Oh, did I mention the $141,000 included in the costs of the solution?

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The best part for this client is that storage increased every month, so the baseline of how much storage they are growing on is now lower.  They will save between $1.0 and $1.2 million over the next 5-years!

Conclusion

Cloud storage costs don’t have to be the black hole in your IT budget.  With some savvy optimization, you can turn the tables on these expenses.  Employing effective cloud storage cost reduction techniques is about being intelligent, proactive, and sometimes, a little bold in your strategies.

And if you’re eager to learn more, why not watch our on-demand Cloud Storage Cost Optimization webinar?

 It’s your chance to dive deeper into these strategies and save significantly.

See you there!  Let’s make those clouds a little lighter on your budget.

Why Keeping a Bad Sales Rep Could Cost You: How to Get a Great Software Deal and Strengthen Relationships

As a customer, when you are looking to buy software, you want to get the best possible deal and build a strong relationship with the software provider. However, this can be difficult to achieve if a bad sales rep is working with you. In this blog post, we will explore why keeping a bad sales rep could cost you and provide actionable tips on how to get a great software deal and strengthen relationships.

Why Keeping a Bad Sales Rep Could Cost You

A bad sales rep can cost you in many ways. A bad sales rep:

  • Will not give you straight answers and will likely give you the runaround. This can be frustrating and time-consuming as you try to get the information you need to make an informed decision
  • May not be loyal to you and may be more interested in meeting their own goals than yours. This can lead to added costs, such as licensing, deployment, ongoing support, and increased costs over time.
  • Focuses on their quota and how they get paid. If you find a rep forcing you to buy products or services you don’t need, there is a reason. Reps that are focused on themselves are not going to help you accomplish what you need. 

Actionable Tips to Get a Great Deal and Strengthen Relationships

Now that we’ve looked at why a bad sales rep can cost you, let’s explore some actionable tips on how to get a great software deal and strengthen relationships.

  1. Do your research

Mistake: Not doing research 

Tip: Before making a software purchase, do your research. Look for reviews and testimonials from other customers, check the software provider’s website and social media accounts, and speak with current or past customers if possible. This will help you make an informed decision and avoid wasting time and money.

  1. Communicate your needs

Mistake: Not communicating your needs 

Tip: When speaking with a sales rep, be clear and specific about your needs. This will help the sales rep understand your needs and make appropriate recommendations. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for clarification if you don’t understand something.

Statistic: According to a survey by TechValidate, 97% of B2B buyers said that the sales rep’s ability to understand their needs was an important factor in their decision to purchase.

  1. Negotiate

Mistake: Not negotiating

Tip: Don’t be afraid to negotiate with the sales rep. Ask for discounts or special pricing, especially if purchasing multiple licenses or a long-term contract. If the sales rep is unwilling to negotiate, consider speaking with management or looking for a different software provider.

Statistic: According to a survey by HubSpot, 89% of B2B buyers said negotiating pricing was an important factor in their decision to purchase.

Get in Touch with Us to Avoid That Bad Software and Sales Rep

As a customer, if you’re looking to buy software, you want to get the best possible deal and build a strong relationship with the software provider. We’ll help you avoid those bad sales reps that cost you, and we’ll provide even more actionable tips on how to get a great software deal and strengthen relationships.

 

  1. Don’t let a lousy software sales rep cost you more. Look for warning signs like poor communication and lack of support.

 

  • Don’t settle for vague timelines or complex deployments. A good sales rep should be clear and transparent.
  • Watch out for hidden costs and “shelf-ware” bundles. A good sales rep will work to provide value and meet your needs.
  • Work with a sales rep who prioritizes your goals and vision, not just their own. Loyalty and support are critical.
  • Choose a sales rep who values security and supports your business needs. Don’t compromise on protection or solutions.

 

  1. Don’t keep a bad sales rep if you want a great software deal and strong relationships.
  • Look for warning signs like poor communication, lack of support, and unclear timelines.
  • Don’t settle for hidden costs or unnecessary “shelf-ware” bundles. A good sales rep should provide value.
  • Prioritize your own goals and vision. Choose a sales rep who will support you and work to meet your needs.
  • Don’t compromise on security or protection. Choose a sales rep who values these aspects of software purchasing.
  • Take control of the purchasing process. Don’t let a bad sales rep drive up costs or hurt your relationship with your provider.

As businesses continue to rely more and more on software, the role of the sales representative has become increasingly important. A good sales rep can help enterprises to find the right software at the right price, while a bad sales rep can do the opposite. In fact, a bad sales rep could end up costing your business more than just money. According to a study by HubSpot, over 50% of customers say they have stopped doing business with a company because of poor customer service. So, how do you avoid keeping a bad sales rep, get an excellent software deal, and strengthen your business relationships?

  1. Identify Warning Signs

The first step in avoiding a bad sales rep is to know what to look for. Here are some warning signs that you might have a bad sales rep:

  • A sales rep who is challenging to reach, doesn’t respond to emails, or doesn’t listen to your needs is a red flag.
  • A good sales rep should be there to support you throughout the entire software purchasing process, not just during the sale.
  • Be wary of sales reps who aren’t transparent about costs or try to bundle unnecessary features or services.
  •  If the sales rep is only concerned with their own goals rather than yours, it’s time to look elsewhere.

Actionable Recommendation: Watch for these warning signs, and don’t hesitate to ask questions or voice concerns to their management team. A good sales rep will be transparent and responsive.

Error to Avoid: Don’t assume that a sales rep who seems nice or friendly will automatically be a good fit. Always do your research and ask questions.

  1. Prioritize Your Goals and Vision

Your business has unique needs and goals when it comes to software. A good sales rep should prioritize your vision, not theirs. Here are some ways to ensure that your goals are being met:

  • A good sales rep will be open and honest about what they can and can’t provide.
  • Your software needs might change over time. A good sales rep should be willing to adjust to your changing needs.
  • Look for a sales rep who provides ongoing support, not just during the sale.
  • A good sales rep will be loyal to you and your business, not just trying to make a quick sale.

Actionable Recommendation: Clearly articulate your goals and vision to potential sales reps. Look for reps who show a willingness to work with you to achieve these goals.

Error to Avoid: Don’t settle for a sales rep who tries to push their own agenda or goals onto your business. Always prioritize your own needs and vision.

  1. Don’t let your sales rep talk you into unnecessary add-ons:
  • Evaluate whether add-ons align with your goals and objectives
  • Ask for data or case studies that demonstrate how the add-on has helped similar clients
  • Push back if you feel like the add-on isn’t necessary or won’t provide a good ROI
  • Don’t let a bad sales rep pressure you into making a decision that isn’t right for your business and your budget.

Sales reps are often incentivized to push additional products or services, even if they don’t add value to your specific needs. Before agreeing to any add-ons, take the time to evaluate whether they align with your goals and objectives. Ask your rep to provide data or case studies demonstrating how the add-on has helped other clients in similar industries. Don’t be afraid to push back if you feel the add-on isn’t necessary or won’t provide a good return on investment. 

Remember, it’s your business and your budget— don’t let a bad sales rep pressure you into making a decision that isn’t right for you.

5 Ways Your Azure Cloud Spend Can Creep up on your IT Budget

Did you know that the typical business spends $2.5 million annually on cloud services? That’s a sizable amount, so it’s crucial to make sure you’re making the most of your Azure cloud expenditure.

As more and more organizations move to Azure, they are discovering that their cloud spending can creep up on their IT budget if they’re not cautious. By being proactive and mindful of these potential budget traps, you can keep your Azure cloud costs in check and ensure that they remain a wise investment for your organization. 

 

1- Placing Resources in the Wrong Subscription

Placing Resources in the Wrong Subscription

Choosing the right sort of subscription is one of the first steps in establishing a new Azure membership. Production and non-production subscriptions are the two main categories. Because production assets often cost more than non-production resources, storing resources under the incorrect type of subscription could lead to greater expenses.

Before placing resources, there are a few pointers regarding production and non-production subscriptions that you need to keep in mind:

  • For performance reasons, you can use non-production subscriptions to house specific Azure features available. Without ever subjecting them to your production environment, you can activate information that will guide for these test services in your non-production subscription.
  • Azure dev/test subscriptions can be used as segregated sandbox setups. These sandboxes assist with data security and privacy concerns by enabling managers and programmers to quickly construct and destroy sets of Azure resources.

Note: The appropriate costs in production and non-production situations sometimes differ.

 

 

2- Not Deallocating or Deleting Chargeable Resources 

It should come as no surprise that cloud users end up using and paying for more cloud infrastructure than necessary. It’s normal for businesses using the cloud at scale to find themselves unable to explain extra 20% or more of the functioning cloud resources. Many of those unmonitored services are “orphaned infrastructure,” idling cloud assets in our ecosystem that have no economic purpose, even though some of them might still serve genuine corporate goals. 

It’s hardly surprising that entire divisions of experts and product suppliers have appeared to assist clients in finding and terminating abandoned assets in order to reduce their Azure costs. Since the dawn of the digital age, cloud “sprawl,” much like VM sprawl in the early 2010s, has been a significant issue, and it continues to do so, demonstrating how complex the issue truly is.

Few people are aware of the serious security risk that these unmonitored and mismanaged assets offer, despite the fact that orphaned services are widely acknowledged as a major Azure cost management issue that must be controlled. These expensive orphans are essentially deadly zombies from a management perspective.

 Therefore, de-allocating or deleting a resource when you no longer use it is crucial to avoid paying for resources you aren’t utilizing. This can be done through the Azure portal, Azure CLI, or Resource Manager templates. Deleting a resource completely removes it from your subscription, so be sure that you really don’t need it before taking this step.

 If you don’t, even though you aren’t using the resource, your Azure cloud spending will keep rising.

 

 

3- Sizing Workloads Inappropriately

 Sizing workloads inappropriately is a common mistake made by organizations when transitioning to Azure. It’s important to right-size your workloads so that you’re not paying for more compute power than you need. Right-sizing your workloads can help reduce your Azure cloud spend. There are a few ways to do this:

  • Review your existing on-premises workloads and determine which ones can be moved to the cloud. Not all workloads are suitable for cloud migration.
  • Once you’ve identified which workloads can be moved, determine how much compute power they need in order to run effectively in Azure. 
  • Pay close attention to your Azure bills and monitor your usage closely. If you notice that you’re constantly exceeding your compute limits, it’s time to scale up your VM sizes or add more VMs to your deployment.

 By keeping an eye on your computer usage and making sure that you’re not paying for more resources than you need, you can help yourself reduce your Azure cost.

 

4- Not Applying Azure Hybrid Benefits

Not Applying Azure Hybrid Benefits

If you have on-premises licenses for Windows Server and SQL Server with active Software Assurance, you can apply the Azure Hybrid Benefit to save up to 40% on those licenses when running them in Azure VMs. This benefit can help reduce your overall Azure cloud spend.

Below is a preview of what contributes to the cost of creating a Windows virtual machine in Azure and how much money the Azure HUB can save you.

  • Hourly compute costs: You spend an hourly fee for computation, whether creating a VM through the Azure interface or using PowerShell (V-cores, RAM, hard drive space, etc.)
  • Microsoft licensing: You must additionally purchase a license fee to operate a Windows virtual machine in Azure. You can host a VM in the cloud using Azure HUB by using the license for your on-premises VMs.

 

5- Not Reserving Instances

You can save money by reserving virtual machines (VMs) for one or three years. Reservations give you a discount of up to 72% compared to pay-as-you-go prices for VMs. This discount is applied to the total cost of the VM, including storage and networking charges. So if you have VMs that you know will be running continuously, reservation discounts can help reduce your overall Azure cloud spend. 

 

Conclusion 

Azure is a great platform for organizations looking to move to the cloud. Cloud migration can be a daunting task, but with careful planning, it doesn’t have to break the bank. The best way to keep your Azure spending in check and avoid any nasty surprises is to set up governance controls and processes for managing cloud resources. By doing this, you can ensure that all resource deployments are compliant with your organization’s standards and within budget.

Establishing Azure governance can be a little complicated, which is why our experts are here to assist you in managing all your Azure cloud costs with ease. So, if you’re looking for ways to cut Azure spending, request a demo on our website to find out how much you can save.

Bring Your Own License (BYOL) Rules on Third-Party Cloud Providers

Bring Your Own License (BYOL) Rules on Third Party Cloud Providers

Software licensing is ridiculously confusing, and its hyper complexity is not slowing down anytime soon. This confusion can easily lead to overspending, which equates to more money in the software vendor’s pockets, taken at the expense of your company’s software budget. how does overspending occur? One key reason behind our client’s overspending stems from the complexity of Bring Your Own License rules (BYOL) on their third-party cloud providers. 

At MetrixData360, we have helped hundreds of companies save millions of dollars, in this article, we will clear the waters by showing you the steps you can take to mitigate any potential areas of overspending in your software licensing environment.

 

 

 

Rule Change 

Microsoft changed its rules as of 1st October 2019 around how Microsoft products are licensed in 3rd party hosting scenarios.  These changes primarily impact AWS, Google, and Alibaba clouds (although others are affected).  The concept of Bring Your Own Licenses (BYOL) is influenced significantly by these changes.  Before these changes, as long as you had hardware dedicated to your use (i.e., were not using shared infrastructure), you could BYOL now.  With these changes, you may be required to purchase subscription licenses for these products through the hoster (e.g., Windows Servers, Office).  Specific versions may still be licensed via BYOL if licenses were acquired for those products before October 2019 or on a contract still active as of October 2019. 

 

To understand these rights, you must review the Microsoft Product Terms.  Below are the relevant sections: 

 

 

  1. Customers may use the server software on a Licensed Server, provided it acquires sufficient Server Licenses as described below. 

 

A Licensed Server is: 

A Licensed Server means a single Server, dedicated to the Customer’s use, to which a License is assigned.  Dedicated Servers that are under the management or control of an entity other than the Customer or one of its Affiliates are subject to the Outsourcing Software Management clause.  For purposes of this definition, a hardware partition or blade is considered to be a separate Server. 

 

 

The Outsourcing Software Management clause states: 

Customers may install and use licensed copies of the software on Servers and other devices that are under the day-to-day management and control of Authorized Outsourcers, provided all such Servers and other devices are and remain fully dedicated to Customer’s use.  The customer is responsible for all of the obligations under its volume licensing agreement regardless of the physical location of the hardware upon which the software is used.  Except as expressly permitted here or elsewhere in these Product Terms, the Customer is not permitted to install or use licensed copies of the software on Servers and other devices that are under the management or control of a third party. 

 

Authorized Outsourcer means any third-party service provider that is not a Listed Provider and is not using Listed Provider as a Data Center Provider as part of the outsourcing service. 

 

AWS is a Listed Provider.  Next, we need to determine if we have a right to utilize software at the Listed Providers through Microsoft License Mobility through Software Assurance right: 

 

License Mobility through Software Assurance 

Under License Mobility Through Software Assurance (SA), Customer may move its licensed software to shared servers under any of its Licenses which are designated as having License Mobility for which it has SA, subject to the requirements below.  Products used for Self-Hosting may be used at the same time under License Mobility through SA rights, subject to the limitations of the Self-Hosting License Terms.  

 

Permitted Use: 

With License Mobility through SA, Customer may: 

      • Run its licensed software on shared servers;  
      • Access that software under access licenses and for which it has SA, and under its User and Device SLs that permit access to the Products;  
      • Manage its OSEs that it uses on shared servers; and/or  
      • Manage its OSEs that it uses on its servers using software that it runs on shared servers. 

 

Requirements: 

To use License Mobility through SA, the Customer must: 

      • Run its licensed software and manage its OSEs on shared servers under the terms of its volume licensing agreement;  
      • Deploy its Licenses only with Microsoft Azure Services or qualified License Mobility through Software Assurance Partner; and 
      • Complete and submit the License Mobility Validation form with each License Mobility through Software Assurance Partner who will run its licensed software on their shared servers. 

 

License Mobility allows for use on a shared server.  Products that have this right associated with them allow BYOL (as long as you have active Software Assurance).  Next, we need to see if a product has Server Mobility.  For Windows Server: 

 

4. Software Assurance 

 

Windows Server does not include License Mobility rights.  For Windows Server (or any product without License Mobility), this means BYOL is only available for versions that were released before October 2019 and for which licenses were acquired prior (or on active contracts as of October 2019) to October 2019 

 

 

Please refer to the current Product Terms to ensure this info is still accurate as Microsoft makes changes frequently to their licensing rules. 

 

Start Saving on Your Software Licensing

Being able to cut software licensing costs will mean money back into the IT department for smarter and more innovative investments. This can be done by tracking the life cycles of your assets through the successful deployment of an inventory tool (along with someone who can effectively read it), through having a clear understanding of usage during contract negotiations, carefully considering your migration to the Cloud, and by conducting internal audits to ensure compliance.

At Metrixdata360, we can help you cut down your costs to save you from unnecessary drains on your budget and potentially heavy audit penalties. Don’t put off saving money, get your free consultation today!