There are a lot of tools available for organizations looking to improve cloud performance. A recent addition to the list is Spot's Cloud Analyzer, which became generally available on March 25.
Spot is the new name for Spotinst, a company that has been active since 2015 with a suite of tools that integrate machine learning to help organizations optimize cloud deployments. Existing services in Spot's portfolio include the Ocean serverless container offering and Elastigroup, a multi-cloud automation service. With Cloud Analyzer, the goal is to give organizations visibility across cloud accounts into how money is being spent and where resources are being consumed.
"All of our other products that we have in our portfolio are focused on automation, like the deployment and management of compute," Amiram Shachar, founder and CEO of Spot, told ITPro Today. "We saw that we were actually missing showing the bigger picture to customers because we were solving a specific problem, which is orchestrating the compute, but customers didn't really get the broader visibility."
How Cloud Analyzer Works
There are many sources of data about cloud resources that an organization can tap into to improve cloud performance. Cloud Analyzer abstracts the native sources of information from the various cloud providers in an attempt to provide a one-stop shop, Shachar said.
Cloud Analyzer uses two key sources of information: the cloud billing files and cloud APIs to help enable automation. Spot then overlays those two sources of information to find insights.
"We look at what's going on with your billing, what's going on with your usage and what's going on with what you're deploying in the cloud," Shachar said. "That lets them see what's happening in real time and what's changing."
Public cloud providers already have tools for helping users optimize workloads, including AWS Trusted Advisor and Microsoft Azure Cost Management. Shachar argued that the AWS and Microsoft services provide functional recommendations for specific issues.
"Cloud Analyzer shows the big picture and how workloads are deployed with a lot of context that you don't get from the cloud providers," he said.
The Cloud Efficiency Score
Spot had more than 200 Cloud Analyzer beta customers before it became generally available, according to Shachar. One of the key benefits that emerged during the beta period was a better understanding of cloud provider service-level agreements (SLAs) and performance.
One of the ways Cloud Analyzer helps users understand performance is with an approach that Spot has branded as a cloud efficiency score. The score works from a breakdown of all of an organization's different cloud accounts. The ranking score is based on several criteria, with initial context about the workload being the starting point. Based on the context, it's possible to determine what type of cloud instance should be used, Shachar said. Running the right workload on the right type of cloud service is a core part of the cloud efficiency score.
"For example, if it's a database, you know that databases usually need to run on reserved instances, rather than on on-demand expensive infrastructure," he said. "With the score, the application owner or the CIO can understand really well where they have problems and what are the actual actions to fix those problems."