Reducing IT costs has always been a crucial driver for the shift to cloud. Unfortunately, the reality hasn’t always matched the promise. 79% of respondents to Flexera’s 2020 State of the Cloud report said that optimising cloud costs was a major challenge, and that figure rose to 82% for IT decision makers at larger enterprises. Meanwhile, researchers at 451 Research, Vanson Bourne and IDC have all noted the phenomenon of cloud repatriation, where applications or data migrated to public cloud is brought back to on-premise hardware, frequently for reasons of cost. In IDC’s research, up to 80% of firms surveyed had moved at least one workload back.
Many firms have been unpleasantly surprised, and even organisations as big as NASA and Adobe have been caught out; one error cost Adobe nearly half a million dollars in unexpected costs. Flexera’s report has also showed that organizations cloud spend is, on average, 23% over budget, and that up to 35% of this spend is going to waste.
Of course, hybrid cloud gives enterprises a more cost-efficient operating model, enabling them to use on-premise and private cloud architecture to maintain control and keep costs predictable, while still using public cloud for its low costs, flexibility and ability to scale. Yet this only works if organisations can manage their hybrid clouds effectively, both in terms of how they’re provisioned and maintained, and in terms of how they’re used.
This isn’t easy. Complex bills and hidden service charges can make monitoring and auditing costs awkward. Add-ons and backup or data transfer fees can result in unforeseen expenses. Self-service clouds and easy provisioning can result in instances being launched then abandoned a few months later, while many firms still tend to over-provision to ensure they get the capacity they might potentially need. What’s more, comparing costs across public cloud providers – or even between public and private clouds – can be near-impossible. 41% of respondents to the State of the Cloud report described assessing on-premises vs cloud costs as a key migration challenge.
There are, of course, steps that organizations can take. They can bring in automation to shut down unused workloads after hours and eliminate inactive storage. They can also automate to right-size instances, or to shut down inactive workloads after an expiration data. And while most cloud services have discounting options, not all firms use them. Only just over half of AWS users make use of AWS Reserved Instanced, for example, while only 43% use reserved instances in Microsoft Azure. Meanwhile, further savings could be made by selecting the optimal, most cost-effective cloud for each workload, or by gaining visibility into cloud services and their overall TCO.
The problem here is that many organizations don’t have the skills or tools required. Unsurprisingly, then, many are choosing to work with managed cloud service providers for their hybrid clouds. 62% of respondents to a 2018 451 Research survey said that making their cloud more cost effective was the most important factor behind adopting managed services.
Optimising costs through the managed hybrid cloud
HPE’s Managed Cloud Service, HPE Greenlake, is arguably the best set to help firms optimise their costs. On the one hand, it provides a rich mix of on-premise, private and public cloud services through an efficient pay-per-use consumption model, driving costs down across the board. It also brings in automation to optimise utilisation and reduce the time and costs involved in management. Perhaps most importantly, HPE Greenlake gives firms the consultancy, advice and support they need to make the best decisions and avoid costly cloud mistakes.
Meanwhile, HPE’s Greenlake Central management console means businesses can monitor and configure all their IT services – cloud and non-cloud – through a single pane of glass, with visibility into near- and long-term costs and the ability to compare them across providers. Michael Goldstein, CEO of Florida IT consultants, LAN Infotech, has described this last capability as ‘a game changer’ adding that it makes ‘sure our customers can get the best price/performance for any workload, whether it is at the edge, on premise or in any public cloud.’
Combine this level of visibility and control with the simple, straightforward consumption pricing model, and businesses have all they need to keep a lid on their cloud costs. And with that in place, they’re one step closer to realising the benefits of cloud, not worrying about its impact on the IT budget.
To discover more benefits about HPE Greenlake, and how it can help optimise your hybrid cloud environment, click here to visit the HPE website.