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Manage cloud waste and high costs with automation

Once you apply automation to a cloud waste strategy, it's continuously on guard and working in real time. See what manual tasks you can replace and available automation tools.

Cloud cost management shouldn't be an afterthought for your organization. Manually analyzing usage and growth patterns, allocating costs and conducting cost snapshots are time-consuming activities, prone to human error.

Organizations can automate ways to detect, track and report abnormal cloud activities to keep your cloud spending within budget. The benefits of automating cloud cost optimization include the following:

  • Autoscaling. Cloud services can scale up and down to meet user demands proactively.
  • Budget notifications and alarms. These automated notifications ensure that cloud spending stays within budget.
  • Automated shutdown. Automatically shut down cloud workloads after business hours when it makes business sense and doesn't affect operations.
  • Cost tracking. Automating cost tracking helps ensure the correct tracking and attribution of cloud costs.
  • Real-time changes. Because automation doesn't require service desk ticketing and other manual processes to engage your cloud team, these changes occur in real time and free up staff.

Read about the manual tasks automation can take off your to-do list and the helpful automation tools to consider.

Fight cloud waste with automation

There are several cloud cost management tasks that teams should automate to reduce human error and improve efficiency.

Right-sizing and instance optimization

Right-sizing instances enables organizations to eliminate overprovisioning and allocate resources optimally, reducing cloud waste. To identify underutilized or oversized instances, implement automation, and analyze performance metrics and utilization data. Some tools can recommend appropriate instance types based on workload requirements, as well as automatically resize instances to optimize cost and performance.

Discounted instances can also cut costs. Automated tools can analyze usage patterns and recommend the optimal number and type of instances. These tools can often track the expiration dates of existing reservations and provide alerts or automate the purchasing process.

Cost data collection

Automating cost data collection from cloud service providers using scripts or third-party tools saves time. It doesn't require human intervention, while retrieving and consolidating cost data from multiple sources into a centralized system or dashboard.

Cost allocation

Cloud cost allocation, especially chargeback, is too important to risk human error. Automating cloud cost allocation enables teams to automatically analyze usage data and predefine allocation rules to automatically assign costs to departments, projects or cost centers. This eliminates the need for manual data manipulation and enables organizations to deliver reporting automatically at a regular cadence -- every week or month.

Policy enforcement

Locking down policy enforcement with automation enables organizations to implement resource usage policies and rules for countering cloud waste. For example, organizations can set an automated policy to enforce tagging standards, ensuring all resources are correctly labeled for cost allocation and management purposes.

Scheduling and resource lifecycle management

Cloud teams can shut down or scale down resources during nonbusiness hours or periods of low demand with scheduling features and automation scripts. Automating lifecycle policies can manage data retention, archiving and deletion for storage resources.

Reporting and analytics

Automated reporting tools can generate cost reports, dashboards and visualizations based on predefined templates or customizable requirements. These tools eliminate the need for manual data manipulation and analysis. Automated tools help guide cloud teams to deliver appropriate and actionable data to their stakeholders.

Using automation features can help detect unusual spending patterns or unexpected cost increases. For example, automated systems can monitor spending against budget thresholds and send alerts or notifications to relevant stakeholders when costs exceed predefined limits. Additionally, there can be alerts for potential issues or misconfigurations, helping prevent costly leaks and enabling proactive cost management.

Cloud cost optimization recommendations

Despite the expertise of FinOps teams, making cloud cost optimization recommendations requires automation. Implementing AI-powered cost optimization tools enables teams to analyze historical cloud usage patterns, identify cost-saving opportunities and provide actionable recommendations.

Cloud cost automation tools

Tools can help in the journey to automate cloud cost management. Consider the following:

  • AWS Cost Explorer. This tool provides cloud reporting, budgeting, forecasting and analysis of costs for AWS resources and services.
  • CloudZero. This tool detects real-time cost anomalies and provides AWS billing data analysis.
  • Microsoft Cost Management and Billing. This offering includes cost reporting, budgeting, alerts and cost optimization recommendations for Azure services.
  • ProsperOps. This tool automates and simplifies reservation and savings plan management, which minimizes commitment risk and maximizes savings.
  • Kubecost. For Kubernetes cost management challenges, this tool manages and optimizes Kubernetes cluster costs. It offers visibility into resource utilization, cost allocation and recommendations for optimizing Kubernetes deployments.

Next Steps

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