The Basics of AWS Cost Optimization | #cloudsecurity

Organizations are migrating their data to the cloud because of its scalability, agility, security and flexibility. And by using a fully optimized AWS environment, users are able to get the most out of the cloud’s many benefits.

But to actually reap those benefits, users should plan ahead of time. Organizations will experience high costs and technical debt if they don’t fully prepare before their cloud journey begins. Although businesses might feel some skepticism to join AWS, such as complicated pricing and billing or incomplete governance control, the cloud platform comes with many advantages.

Here’s a closer look at AWS Cost Optimization, including the best strategies to save money, improve security and ensure top-tier customer service.

Get Down to the Basics: AWS Cost Optimization

As defined by my company, InterVision, a leading IT strategic service provider and Premier Consulting Partner in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Partner Network (APN), AWS cost optimization is “the process of examining and correcting existing conditions within the AWS environment to better fit within a predetermined budget.” When using this optimization process, organizations should focus on leveraging the unique native features of AWS that allow customers to reduce costs in as many ways as possible.

Unfortunately, many organizations are unaware of how to best use the AWS native tools and resources, resulting in high and unpredictable costs. This makes it difficult for organizations to budget and plan for growth.

Organizations should have a keen understanding of three areas when optimizing their AWS environment for cost savings: architecture, FinOps and governance controls. 

Architecture: The organization’s architecture in the AWS cloud should act as the necessary foundation for all other cost savings. In order to do this, businesses should be knowledgeable of the platform at all levels, including infrastructure, application, data, security, policy and pipeline.

AWS is able to deliver top-of-the-line customer service that is secure, scalable and financially predictable due to its detailed analysis of usage patterns and failures modes. This understanding lets organizations take full advantage of cost optimization by strengthening infrastructure, decreasing unused storage, reducing unnecessary data transfer and analyzing scheduling opportunities for resources to turn on or off. 

FinOps: FinOps can be described as “the practice of bringing financial accountability to the variable spend model of cloud, enabling distributed teams to make business trade-offs between speed, cost, and quality.“ This is why organizations that migrate to the cloud must make FinOps a top priority.

AWS can help with FinOps in multiple ways, allowing users to save on expenditures as much as possible.

Some of these AWS features are reserved instances, spot instances and saving plans. All three of those features must work together and create a symbiotic mixture to fully optimize spending in the AWS environment.

Governance Control: Governance is a critical component in getting the most value out of the cloud, though sometimes it’s overlooked. This concept refers to the tools organizations can leverage to track and manage daily operations and kick-start change across the team.

When governance is used and applied correctly, it can accelerate velocity. When automated through a revamped CI/CD strategy, governance also can further improve security and cost optimization.

Bringing it all Together

Organizations that fully maximize optimization in the cloud will have an established cost savings culture. However, AWS cannot help with that—it’s all on the users.

Migrating to the cloud is a big change, and change can be difficult for any company to navigate, especially when certain leaders are resistant. The best way to overcome this hurdle is to seek advice from third-party experts or peers who have experience transitioning to the cloud.

Companies that focus their optimization efforts on improving their AWS architecture, leveraging FinOps capabilities and increasing governance controls will find great success in the cloud. Not only will those organizations find cost savings, but they will also have better security and an overall improved AWS cloud experience for all users.

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