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Cloud cost optimization

How to make better use of the cloud? It’s not about the cost. It’s all about optimization.

Cloud adventure may be a multi-level, challenging, and disappointing experience. Cost management appears to be one of the decisive factors for cloud adoption evaluation and satisfaction.

Thus, competencies and methodology of cloud cost optimization become crucial success factors. Optimization is not a one-time exercise. It should be a constant process, a fundamental part of the organization’s cloud strategy, established at the beginning of cloud transformation. It helps fulfill business organization needs from the end-to-end perspective regarding cost, architecture, and technology.

Business users quickly learn the apparent benefits of the cloud model: its speed, flexibility, scalability, and rising spectrum of ready-to-use and easy-to-apply services. Internal IT units, absorbed with adopting a new ecosystem, may lack the resources to create, learn, and establish optimization frameworks.

A firm partnership enables them to embrace and customize optimization rules and practices. Organizations should not hesitate to arrange cooperation with a third party. A neutral and technologically agnostic partner with expertise in cloud optimization processes and techniques can give a helpful hand.


How do you become a maverick and cost-efficient cloud organization?


Mindbox represents such a neutral and agnostic role in the cloud market landscape. In a positive sense, we know how to challenge clients and vendors to help provide an optimized cloud environment regarding cost, effectiveness, strategic flexibility, and security.

We defined three dimensions that help design and control the road to maturity of cloud optimization: commercial, architectural, technological, and operational. Pacing with our clients through these paths, we establish a cloud optimization process.



Know your rights, grab the opportunities

The commercial dimension
of cloud usage optimization is the most evident. There are multiple purchase model options depending on usage profile and growth plans. They should be updated regularly regarding changes in business context and conditions. In the first step, we help organizations learn how to use ordered services effectively, reserved instances, and savings plans. Committed usage and volume discounts should be monitored.


A great savings potential enables an active attitude toward spot instances. You may choose the optimal time spans for batch-type data processing – and take the best advantage of resources. However, with an adopted design, spot instances may also be used for mission-critical processes. Many companies arrange spot-based architecture to manage core business operations even with rigorous requirements, such as video streaming services. Both low- and high-profile types of spot instance use cases are encouraged by significant discounts. Providers offer up to 90% reductions of the introductory price.



Take a chance on cloud costs


Some of the efforts you can take in the same breath have more technical and architectural character. It may be, however, in some ways parallel to companies’ preceding experience.

Firstly, embracing a well-known approach and struggling to automate deployment as much as possible would be helpful. Using standards and straightening the paths eliminate quirks, accidents, and unverified attempts that teams may try to apply for any reason during the manual procedure. Automated deployment is a prerequisite for an easy configuration tuning of various instance types and service options. Harvesting low-hanging fruits is a good start for further optimization.

Secondly, the architectural perspective imposes effective resource management. This means the ability to dynamic assessment and serve actual needs. Skills in that area enable companies to cross-check the requests and monitor the environment for surplus instances and overscaled orders. Proper cloud resource management avoids unused and “zombie” services – and costs. We estimate that these fundamental practices may bring from 5 to 10% savings on the original cost.   

Thirdly, those two activities help to establish and later – constantly refine – the practice of rightsizing. Of course, clouds have no natural limits on capacity and volume, but this leads, in many cases, to overbooking the resources over actual needs. Companies usually order far too much capacity and services. The exact reason is not to assure needs or mitigate well-defined risks for certain critical operations but the lack of control. They cannot estimate how much computing power or services they need or count how much they use. Matching capacity with demand and scaling dynamically according to different workloads may bring up to 50% savings.   



Try harder and gain more from a new platform


After introducing the abovementioned customs, the company reached the space to arrange more sophisticated techniques. They require interference in solutions and/or architecture but offer more benefits.

Re-platforming is an optimization technique that helps adapt legacy applications to a new cloud platform without profound changes in core architecture. It enables such cloud features as auto-scalability. A great example of this option is the AWS Database Freedom program which helps companies migrate to the AWS database and related services cluster. It offers comprehensive assistance and support during the migration process to make it smooth and significant savings as a final result.

Updating existing systems and workloads to a cloud paradigm improves its performance, lowers cost, and adds flexibility because of the transition to cloud-based services and a pay-as-you-go/subscription model.

The platform change answers the critical problem of cloud transformation: how to ensure that migration to the cloud will boost general performance. This change also offers significant savings on maintenance, further development, and application integration.


Savings from properly executed re-platforming may vary from 10% to 40% of the overall cloud costs.


Tuning your architecture to the cloud

Companies encouraged by the above-mentioned good practices may turn to an even more profound orchestration of technology stack with the cloud. Re-architecting means overlooking the entire enterprise architecture to find and match all the existing application resources with the cloud as the technological core. It may be a medium- or large-scale effort, depending on the existing architecture. This complex and multi-thread operation requires good scheduling of re-architectural review and resultant work on modularizing architecture segments, as some systems will require rewriting the code. It’s a radical move that needs investment and time: a dedicated budget and relevant skills on board. Re-architecture offers significant saving results coming up to 90%. 



Cloud Economics – Toward Financial Cloud Management  


These achievements open a third perspective of cloud optimization. Companies shouldn’t rest on their laurels as they are on the operational and financial cloud management threshold.

It is the beginning of natural cloud economics management with defined roles and KPIs. We will then start talking about tagging and cost allocation, cost and purchase control, forecasting, and budgeting in the cloud context. Usually, it is associated with – and tends to unite with – mature and effective cloud management from the technological perspective. With this in mind, company decision-makers are heading to genuinely strategic, effective, and consistent use of the cloud.

The estimated savings from the previous optimization steps are based on Mindbox’s expert judgment. They are not cumulative and depend on existing architecture, current and future usage profiles, maturity of cloud implementation, and practices. The forthcoming measures and goals will arise internally from what companies constantly learn and improve, thanks to the cloud optimization process.



Mindbox approach: self-funding cloud optimization


Cloud optimization is necessary for all organizations intensively using the cloud, especially those who decide to use a multi-cloud approach or plan to do so. Our expertise – including the described above model for cloud optimization maturity – arises from the experience of our consultants who used to work for top hyperscalers. Mindbox aims to establish a self-funding process of cloud optimization in partners’ organizations.

This is how Mindbox’s approach toward cloud optimization efforts works. Starting with low-hanging fruits – searching and correcting preceding sub-optimal choices and embracing opportunities enables companies to dive deeper into operations and architecture. Savings and profits gained on the first steps create mechanisms providing funds for more profound changes focused on re-architecture. Fortunately, we will reach the open sea from the foggy bay with complete visibility, relevant instruments, and a competent crew on board to navigate.



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