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5 Ways to Reduce Cloud Spending Right Now

Keeping cloud costs under control doesn't have to cost a lot of money. Here are 5 easy ways to reduce cloud spending.

Companies not only stand to lose hundreds of millions of dollars when the right cloud expertise is not in place, but also when they mismanage cloud resources.

New statistics from RightScale, which provides AWS cost management tools, estimates that companies waste, on average, 35 percent of their cloud spending.

RightScale VP of cloud cost strategy Kim Weins said that this equates to $6.4 billion in annualized wasted cost for AWS along, and when you factor in the other two top public cloud providers Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform, that annualized waste tops $10 billion. This is as vendors are bringing even more granular billing options to the market, allowing customers to drill down to the second.

While there are many third-party options for managing public cloud spend – including tools from companies like RightScale, Spiceworks, and Cloudyn – there are basic guidelines to ensure you are not throwing away money on cloud resources you don’t need. Here are five ways to get your cloud costs under control right now, according to RightScale:

1. Make sure your instances are the right size

Oversized cloud instances are a big factor in companies spending more than they need to on cloud resources. According to RightScale, 40 percent of instances are sized larger than is required for the workload, and could easily be scaled down without impacting application performance.

In making sure instances are the right size, it is important for companies to be application aware, and have an understanding of their performance requirements and resource utilization. Not understanding these factors leads to overprovisioning, according to experts.

2. Turn off VMs when they are not in use

Virtual machines in the public cloud are designed to be easy to scale up and down when needed, but many VMs are left running when they are not in use. RightScale says that shutting down development instances that are not used after business hours could save 67 percent of the cloud spending.

3. Pick a cheaper cloud region

Cloud providers offer regions to help customers store resources closer to where they need to be. According to RightScale, 13 percent of all cloud instances are running in more expensive regions despite a less expensive location being available nearby.

4. Watch for discounts

While this step may take a little more upfront work in terms of deciding how much cloud resources you use, it could result in savings up to 70 percent, according to RightScale. Reserved instances – available from AWS and Azure – offer significant savings because the vendor locks you into a longer term commitment of one to three years. Another bonus is you avoid the public cloud bill shock at the end of the month.

5. Delete unused storage

As VMs are shut down, sometimes the storage attached can be left running, which contributes to unnecessary spending, RightScale says. Make sure to delete unused storage so money is not wasted.

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