What Differentiates Cloud Optimization Products?

Cloud optimization solutions can be grouped into two discrete segments:

  1. First-generation tools that are built on the central thesis of managing cloud costs from the perspective of making optimization recommendations based primarily off billing data
  2. Next-gen cloud optimization looks much deeper, focusing on using analysis of the resource utilization of each workload to identify precise optimizations that will reduce spend while maximizing performance

First-Generation Optimization Products Focus on Cost Management & Reduction

Most cloud optimization solutions are focused on optimizing cloud cost and spend. These tools provide competent baseline capabilities that work well for organizations that are challenged by managing cloud infrastructure costs and must provide extensive reporting and justification to Finance departments.

Cloud cost management and optimization has grown to be an area of concern for Finance because of the on-demand nature of cloud. Resources are purchased without ongoing due diligence and public cloud spend waste results—to the tune of tens of billions of dollars across all public cloud service providers.

First-gen tools identify waste by revealing efficiencies across cloud resource use in an ongoing manner, and often can deliver immediate savings.

These cloud management platforms generally provide capabilities that include:

  • Multicloud cost management across Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud
  • Cloud spend analytics and analysis that report on and attribute cloud resource utilization and cost over time
  • Financial transparency and accountability: department/cost center attribution, budgetary reconciliation, and visibility of this information for Finance
  • Governance and cloud cost compliance management features focused on strategically constraining and enforcing spend through policies
  • Cloud spend monitoring
  • Consumption planning

Specific tactics leveraged by first-gen cloud optimizers include:

  • Identification of idle and underutilized cloud instances and the ability to shut these resources down
  • Running dev instances only when development is underway instead of continuously
  • Cleaning up unused storage
  • Evaluation of regions and use of those that are the most cost-effective
  • Identification and usage of bettermatch instance sizes and more updated families to control costs
  • Management of usage so that it leverages existing discount commitments most effectively
  • Leveraging the most effective discount options for each resource (AWS RIs, Committed Use Discounts, etc.)
  • Implementing budget controls to limit spend to fixed levels
  • Ongoing monitoring and alerting of inefficiencies
  • Automated cloud cost management

Next-Generation Optimization Solutions Focus on Maximizing Cloud Value

Next-generation cloud optimization solutions have a different focus—primarily around accelerating efficiency, increasing confidence and reducing business risk, and increasing revenue margins for the organization as a whole by:

  1. Delivering a stable and performant hybrid cloud environment with reduced risk
  2. Automating cloud resource selection and usage in a way that is customized to the business:
    • Machine-learning-made recommendations are delivered automatically, but implemented manually (self-aware infrastructure), OR
    • Implementation is automated through ITSM workflows, OR
    • Implementation is fully autonomous and AI-driven through optimization as code (self-optimizing infrastructure)
  3. Ensuring financially-prudent cloud spend
  4. Creating operational efficiency in the way an organization leverages, selects, and deploys apps in the cloud

Compare Cloud Optimization Solutions