May 17, 2021
Throughout the history of engineering, new systems typically start with significant wastage and become efficient over time. Commercial air conditioning was first used in the early 1900s. Over the last century, its efficiency has improved by leaps and bounds. But, even after all these years, air conditioning in many commercial buildings continues to have tremendous wastage. From cooling unoccupied spaces and fans running 24/7 to operating at a constant cooling capacity irrespective of demand (occupancy, nights/weekends, outside temperature, seasons, etc.), energy is being wasted adding to building operations costs (US DoE – ). Innovations such as smart thermostats and occupancy counters are projected to drive down air conditioning utility costs by 50% or more. Likewise, we now see significant waste in the cloud and significant opportunities to cut cloud costs through optimization.
This is the final article in the following three-part series on cloud optimization. In the first two articles, we looked at the importance of cutting cloud waste and the reasons why wastage creeps in.
1. Cloud cost optimization needs to be driven from the top
Cost optimization needs to be driven by CTO, CXOs, VPs, and Directors. Cloud comes with a different operating paradigm enabling an agile approach to resource provisioning. To reap the most productivity benefits, teams need to provision resources on demand. This demands a strategic rethinking of resource cleanup. This is a challenge that needs attention, leadership, interaction, collaboration, and continuous guidance from upper management. As explored in the first article, the cost-benefit returns are significant and worth the time of executive management.
2. Cloud optimization requires a comprehensive approach
Cloud offers a greater variety of resources than traditional data centers, leaving IT to manage a larger variation of resources. With the flexibility to acquire cloud resources on-demand combined with a faster pace of change and the constant shifting of workloads, resource wastage is spread out in a greater number of areas. As a sample, below are some sources of waste in compute, storage, and pricing plans.
- Idle VMs with no workloads
- Infrequently used VMs
- VMs with more cores, memory, and IOPs than needed
- Unused, Under-utilized disks
- Stale disk snapshots
- Pricing plans
- Resources being consumed at list prices
- Reserved plans that are underutilized
As you can imagine, a piecemeal approach to cloud optimization will not help you take control of the problem.
3. Continuous optimization is a must to optimize effectively
Adhoc and manual attempts at cloud optimization:
- turn out to be tedious, expensive, time-consuming, and often fruitless
- limit the details and options that can be considered and evaluated
In the end, at best a sub-optimal solution will be chosen and, at worst the optimization initiative dissipates leaving no dent in cloud waste.
Effective automation on the other hand helps to:
- Analyze resource details at a greater depth
- Evaluate a significantly larger set of options in a fraction of time
- Detect waste and perform cleanup continuously
- Achieve the greatest cost savings
Cloud enables organizations to gain a competitive advantage by successfully addressing increased customer expectations. Organizations that adopted the above strategies have been able to get the most value out of the cloud by cutting costs up to 65% or more.
I am Surya Challa, Founder-CEO@CloudAccel. Our latest solution, CloudOptimize – Continuous Cloud Optimization platform has been reducing cloud costs by 30-65%. Want to learn more? Take a trial run here.
- Washington Energy Services – Air Conditioning History and Timeline
- US DoE – Energy Savings and Economics of Advanced Control Strategies for Packaged Air-Conditioning Units with Gas Heat
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