4 Cloud Optimization Best Practices
Are you ready for your Cloud Migration? Moving to the Cloud is an exciting event for any company but it can be a headache if done incorrectly. Throughout our seven years in software asset management business, we’ve seen companies who have had their software costs escalate to staggering numbers during and after their Cloud migration. At Metrixdata360, we want to make sure you get the most out of your software environment, so to make sure your transition is easy, cost-effective, and stays that way as you settle into your new software estate, here are four tips you can implement for you own cloud optimization.
1. Get Ready to Move to the Cloud
Before your company comes to the decision to go to the Cloud, make sure that you are well prepared for the task at hand. According to Microsoft Azure’s How to optimize your cloud investment with Azure Cost Management, make sure you have a clear outline of what problem you aim to solve when heading to the Cloud, and make sure that moving to the Cloud is the best decision for your company.
Get everyone on board with the Cloud move, which includes making sure the Financial and IT departments are on the same page and have systems in place that can account for both cost and visibility. If you have a Software Asset Manager or Team, make sure that they are ready for the transition, as a large part of their job will be moving with the Cloud migration. Estimate how long you want your company to be on the Cloud and find a billing model that can suit your needs (there are short term estates offered by Microsoft Azure for free).
Before the days of the Cloud, companies would have to buy physical on-premise hardware that would come with a fixed amount of space and that remains the mindset of companies as they move to the Cloud. Often, they will overbuy on space in order to accommodate anticipated growth which made sense when you were dealing with a fixed asset.
Cloud, however, works more like a subscription and can be altered to fit your company’s needs on a monthly basis. Does your company have a busy season where you will need more space compared to the rest of the year? Does your company virtually shut down on the weekends? You can arrange to have your Cloud estate reflect such needs easily.
For a more in-depth look at problems your company is exposed to during your move to the Cloud, see our blog post 5 Problems When Moving to the Cloud.
2. Check Your Software Licenses
Many companies head for the Cloud thinking that they can take their software licenses with them and they are not completely wrong. Some publishers let you take their applications to the Cloud, but others distinctly do not and it’s important to know who is who. This is where Cloud optimization begins to shine and show its value.
Think about applications that might carry sensitive information like credit card numbers or patient records and it’s likely that the vendors of those applications will be unwilling to let you take their licensed software to the Cloud for security reasons.
The licensing metric changes as well once you enter the Cloud and it’s typically the case that a license, once moved to the Cloud, will not go as far to cover as many servers as it once did when it was on-premise. This will leave you with a few unlicensed servers suddenly on your hands after the transition is finished. Make sure you take extra care to understand your licenses and if moving to the Cloud is even possible without finding yourself in breach of your contracts or with a staggering compliance gap.
3. Calculate Your Cloud Costs
One thing that is also important to do before you’ve even started the Cloud transition is have a budget set in place. How to Optimize Your Cloud Investment with Azure Cost Management from Microsoft Azure points out that the Azure calculator is one available tool at your disposal that can calculate how much any combination of Azure’s services will cost. With a budget set in place to limit your IT’s spending and you can know where your money is going.
SAM tools have traditionally been an excellent way of tracking your software spending but you must ensure that your SAM tools are equipped to handle Cloud-based data, since many SAM tools struggle to work with something as new as Cloud. With a budget set in place and the right SAM tools that can monitor those changes, you will also be able to detect where you are overspending so that you will be able to re-bundle those resources to where they will actually be useful.
4. Ensure Visibility and Accountability
One of the biggest issues we’ve seen during a company’s Cloud transition is being unable to keep track of assets. Giving Cloud access to your whole IT department to spin up as many instances as they want can leave you with virtual sprawl and instances that are forgotten while they drain your software budget.
Set an infrastructure in place that can regulate who has permission to spin up instances and make sure that projects are completely decommissioned after they have concluded. In addition to monitoring usage, set a well-informed software budget and investigate if prices have unexpectedly spiked beyond your predetermined price.
2 Models for Optimizing Cloud Cost from BMC Blogs offers two types of solutions for IT departments to manage their Cloud estates. The first model depends on the IT department checking their tools daily and from there perform a series of cost saving tasks.
The model asks that IT members express constant awareness of resources, analyze those resources and from there, optimize the company’s spending with the information that they have. The second model offers a cycle that needs to be performed on a monthly or bi-monthly basis. This cycle focuses on aging, idle and inactive material.
If you are prepared for what to expect, moving to the Cloud can be a satisfying experience that can improve the flexibility of your company and better protect your data from being lost. These four practices will get you ready for your Cloud Transition and more importantly, they will make sure that your software budget doesn’t start spiking the moment you hit the Cloud. If you’re ready to improve your Cloud Optimization, continue onto our Learning Center to learn more about the Cloud.