The Rise of Continuous Cloud Spend Optimization
Frederik Bussler

Frederik Bussler

June 15, 2022 · 7 min read

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It's almost cliche to point out that cloud costs have spiraled out of control for many organizations. In fact, a recent study found that over a third of businesses have cloud cost budget overruns of up to 40%.

With the cloud becoming an increasingly essential part of business operations, it's more important than ever to have a handle on your cloud spend. Unfortunately, most organizations are still using manual processes to manage their cloud costs, which is inefficient and error-prone.

Cloud Spend Optimization

Enter continuous cloud spend optimization (CSO). CSO is a new approach to managing cloud costs that leverages automation and machine learning to optimize expenditures in real-time. By continuously monitoring your cloud environment and making changes as needed, CSO can help you keep your cloud costs under control.

There are a number of companies offering CSO solutions, such as Usage.AI, CloudZero, Apptio, Cloud Cruiser, and Flexera. These solutions vary in terms of features and pricing, so it's important to evaluate your options carefully to find the best fit for your organization.

If you're struggling to keep your cloud costs under control, CSO may be worth exploring. This new approach can help you optimize your spend in real-time, which can lead to significant savings over time.

The Importance of Constant Optimization

Traditional ways to optimize cloud spend, like upfront Reserved Instance (RI) purchases, are no longer sufficient. The cloud is constantly changing, and organizations need to be able to adapt quickly to take advantage of new opportunities and avoid potential pitfalls.

Usage.AI uses no-upfront RIs that are bought and sold on a real-time basis through the Amazon RI marketplace. This allows businesses to take advantage of market conditions and optimize their RI purchases in real-time, which results in significant savings.

What's more, CSO is not a one-time exercise. In order to keep your cloud costs under control, you need to continuously optimize your spend. This is where Usage.AI really shines.

Usage.AI's platform uses machine learning to automatically detect and remediate cost optimization opportunities. This means that you can continue to optimize your cloud spend even as your environment changes over time.

Automation is Key

The problem with traditional cost optimization is simple: Every strategy needs a manual intervention to work. Organisations usually rely on employees to keep an eye on their spend and make changes as needed. But this is not an effective use of time or resources.

Usage.AI's platform automates the entire process, from detecting opportunities to remediation. This means that you can optimize your cloud spend without tying up valuable resources.

What's more, Usage.AI's platform is constantly learning and improving over time. As it gains more experience, it becomes better at identifying and remediating cost optimization opportunities. This feedback loop ensures that you're always getting the most out of the platform.

10 Cloud Spend Optimization Tools

TechCrunch recently published a timely article on the rise of CSO startups amidst rising cloud costs, detailing such companies as Cloudyn, Cloudability, CloudHealth, Spot, Granulate, Cast AI, and others. 

Let's take a closer look at some of the most popular CSO tools on the market today.


Usage.AI

Usage.AI uses no-upfront RIs to achieve 50%+ average EC2 savings, which are reactively bought and sold as your needs change, automatically.

Users only pay after saving, billing for 20% of the actual savings Usage.AI helps them achieve in the month. 

This SaaS solution offers easy setup in minutes, and is fully automated.


Apptio Cloudability 

Cloudability is a tool for IT, finance, and DevOps teams to collaborate and optimize their cloud spend. 

IT Finance teams can establish team budgets and forecast and track cloud spend; business leaders can correlate spent to business value; and DevOps teams can stay informed of costs and act on anomalies. 


AWS Cost Explorer

A native AWS solution, AWS Cost Explorer gives you detailed visibility into your costs and helps you identify actionable recommendations for cost optimization.

There is no upfront investment required, and no subscription fees – you only pay for the resources you use.


AWS Cost Anomaly Detection

Cloud spend anomalies are the bane of any cloud user's existence. After all, single anomalous events can run into the tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

AWS Cost Anomaly Detection is a machine learning-powered anomaly detection solution that helps you identify and monitor anomalies in your AWS costs.

There is no charge for using this service, but as with AWS Cost Explorer, you only pay for the resources you use.


VMware CloudHealth

VMware recently made headlines for its plans to get acquired by Broadcom for $61 billion in one of the largest tech acquisitions ever.

As part of that acquisition, Broadcom will be taking on VMware's $13 billion cloud management business.

CloudHealth is a multi-cloud management platform that helps you optimize costs, resources, and security across AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud. Pricing for CloudHealth is only available via quote, but they claim to offer average savings of 25%.


Densify

Densify is a niche tool that optimizes cloud and container resources. They use machine learning to select cloud instance types and sizes, and then configure scaling groups. 

When it comes to containers, they continuously optimize your Kubernetes stack, automatically set container requests and limits, configure nodes to scale intelligently, and more.


CloudCheckr

CloudCheckr manages $4 billion in annual cloud spend, and claims to optimize cloud spend by 30% or more.

The product is more “wide and flat” than “narrow and deep,” as they offer complementary services such as cloud governance and security.


ProsperOps

If you're looking for a way to automatically reduce your AWS compute costs with zero ongoing effort, ProsperOps may be a good fit for you. The platform promises to deliver industry-leading results by intelligently managing discount instruments on your behalf. And because ProsperOps charges as a function of savings, there's no risk to your cloud budget. 

To get started, users can request a Savings Analysis from the ProsperOps website.


Spot.io

Spot.io is a cloud management platform that offers a suite of tools to help users optimize their cloud infrastructure for cost and performance. The platform's main features include Eco (reserved capacity management), Elastigroup (automatic scaling), and Cloud Analyzer (reporting and analysis).

Spot.io is available on a free trial basis for up to 20 instances, after which users can subscribe through the AWS Marketplace. Pricing is based on the number of instances managed by the platform.

Overall, Spot.io appears to be a solid solution for users looking for a way to automate and optimize their cloud infrastructure. The platform is easy to use and offers a variety of features to help users get the most out of their cloud investment.


Granulate

Granulate, recently acquired by Intel for a whopping $650 million, is a software company that provides a solution for real-time continuous resource optimization. The theme of the company's website is "remarkable cost reduction."

According to Granulate, their software can help users lower infrastructure costs while also improving workload performance. The software works in the background to identify performance bottlenecks and resolve inefficiencies - without code changes, configurations or maintenance from the user.  

Takeaways

The cloud has become an essential part of business operations, but managing cloud costs can be a challenge.

CSO is a new approach to managing cloud costs that leverages automation and machine learning to optimize expenditures in real-time. This new approach can help you keep your cloud costs under control and save money almost instantly.


The Author

Frederik BusslerContent Marketer
Frederik Bussler
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Frederik is a content marketing consultant with experience across startup, mid-market, and enterprise companies, helping them to develop and execute long-term strategies.

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