Cloud Cost Optimization: Moving Mountains With Shovels

The front lines of the Cloud Cost Optimization battle are not going well for many. Sadly, the worst part of the story is, that most don’t even know it yet. As Cloud investments go deeper and broader throughout corporate computing environments, so too is the waste and damage to IT budgets. I’ve been in IT long enough to witness hundreds of companies implement and manage thousands of different environments with hundreds of various suppliers. Suffice it to say, I’ve been around. So, when I tell you that waste and overspend on Cloud are at frightening levels, you should pay attention when I share why, and what you might be able to do about it.

Below I’ll break out a few of the top barriers I see on the front lines as we help Cloud customers grasp the enormity of the issues and come to grips with how to solve them.

Moving Mountains – With Shovels

The enormity of the task in continually monitoring and managing the thousands of Cloud elements for continual cost savings is enormous. Take some of just a few examples compute instances or VMs only that can impact your Cloud spend:

  • Cores
  • Clock Speed
  • CPU
  • Memory
  • Geographic Regions
  • Instances: On Demand, Reserved, Savings Plans or other

Each of these have potentially hundreds of permutations of customer usage, but where the fun really begins is the related and varying price lists and possible discounting the Cloud providers have for each compute instance that is made up of myriad permutations of these various elements. Evaluating how best to use each instance and the related commitments have a level of complexity that only those on the front lines can appreciate.

Cloud IT Teams – Need Help

The front-line IT folks trying to manage these environments are the real hero’s today. All too often there are just a few people who are armed with maybe a third-party cloud management or cost optimization tool, and a Cloud contract to manage their entire Cloud infrastructure. Most companies are simply not dedicating enough resources to address these complicated issues in a meaningful way.

Attacking these complexities calls for dedicated data scientists and or FinOps teams who have experience in deep diving into these hundreds of possible permutations. Without the resources and experience, teams can never get ahead of the consumption, let alone make ongoing recommendations based on ever-changing usage dynamics. Just one complex application stack might take a dedicated team to manage, let alone dozens.

Typically, what we see are teams focusing on just one out of hundreds of line item products they are getting billed every month for. And most of the time, even with just that one-line item product, they are unable to fully manage or ‘get ahead’ of it.

Tools – Are Not Enough

Simply put, tools aren’t going to tell you everything you need to know. They take some complexity out of the process, but we still need humans to interpret it and understand the application behavior and what it’s used for.

  • Interpret the data – Only humans fully understand the operating environment and the application behaviors and the context of what they are being used for. For example, is an application being used in production? What is used for? Data modeling for example might show low memory usage, and thus something that can be optimized. However, if it’s in the production environment, it may have to scale quickly where memory or CPU usage will spike. How does that impact cost?
  • Actualization – Humans must be the ones to use data science to analyze and understand where implement the recommendations and see them through to results.

To summarize in a simple analogy, attempting to manage Cloud costs in a continual state of optimization is like moving a Mt. Everest size pile of dirt with a shovel. Every month. And just when you think you’ve moved a tiny pile of dirt (i.e. achieved a sliver of optimization), the next month, the entire mountain appears whole again, and has moved miles away from you. Now you pick up your shovel and start over.

This is where having a team of experts with a continual cost optimization process, coupled with the right analytical tools can not only help you move that entire mountain of dirt, but actually move it in near real time and be waiting for the next one when it appears.

Continual cost optimization is a practice that requires a team of cloud cost optimization specialists backed by data scientists who have the tools, experience, and a thorough understanding of how Cloud pricing works to bring it all together for you.   NET(net) has that practice and the expertise you need. Contact us today to learn how we can help you move that mountain.

About NET(net)

Founded in 2002, NET(net) is the world’s leading IT Investment Optimization firm, helping clients find, get and keep more economic and strategic value. With over 2,500 clients around the world in nearly all industries and geographies, and with the experience of over 25,000 field engagements with over 250 technology suppliers in XaaS, Cloud, Hardware, Software, Services, Healthcare, Outsourcing, Infrastructure, Telecommunications, and other areas of IT spend, resulting in incremental client captured value in excess of $250 billion since 2002. NET(net) has the expertise you need, the experience you want, and the performance you demand. Contact us today at, visit us online at, or call us at +1-866-2-NET-net to see if we can help you capture more value in your IT investments, agreements, and relationships.

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