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Introducing Cloud Analytics: A Better Way to Manage Cloud Costs

Seven years ago, RightScale pioneered the concept of cloud management with an on-demand solution to provision and manage applications in the cloud. Since then, we’ve continued to innovate at a furious pace: expanding to manage cloud storage and networking as well as compute resources; adding a slew of governance features; and broadening support to ten leading public and private clouds. Along the way, we’ve helped thousands of customers in virtually every industry to manage millions of cloud servers. Today we are redefining the playing field yet again. We’re thrilled to announce RightScale Cloud Analytics, a new product from RightScale that enables you to visualize, forecast, and optimize costs across your entire cloud portfolio. The end result for your enterprise: lower cloud costs and more accurate cloud budgets.

Data, Data, from Everywhere

Analysis and cost management tools are only as good as the data they collect. RightScale Cloud Analytics leverages deep, resource-level integration to collect data on from all of the major public and private clouds — including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Windows Azure, Google Compute Engine, and Rackspace public clouds as well as CloudStack and OpenStack-based private clouds.

Most companies using public cloud services are still struggling to get a handle on where their cloud spend is going. Cloud provider bills often provide too little information too late. By the time you've realized that your spend was higher than you realized, it's too late to fix the problem. Cloud Analytics provides you with access to the details of what you are spending in near-real time so that you can avoid any surprises. Extensive drill-down options help you identify the source of spending changes including a department that launched a new application to a surge in user demand.

"RightScale Cloud Analytics is an important first step in integrating cloud analytics with cloud management across public and private clouds — a true analytics platform for cloud computing."

Holger Mueller, Vice President and Principal Analyst for Cloud Computing at Constellation Research

In addition to collecting data from all of your clouds, RightScale Cloud Analytics goes well beyond scraping billing information to collect data for each individual cloud instance for each minute across all your cloud accounts — creating a robust datastore that enables you to analyze data for any time interval and any level of detail that you choose. As you uncover insights through Cloud Analytics, your IT team can use these instance-level details to identify servers where they need to make changes.

Analyze from Any Angle

To get a thorough understanding of cloud usage and costs, you need to look at data from every angle. With Cloud Analytics you can start by visualizing trends over months or years and then focus in on particular weeks, days, or even hours. Explore further by drilling down into costs or usage by cloud, by account, by application, by department, by team, by user, and by instance size.

 

View your cloud usage trends over time

Visualize cloud instance costs      Visualize your cloud deployments

Visualize trends over time and drill down by application, department, cloud, or instance type.

 

Every cloud user has had the unfortunate experience of finding out that they have instances running in the cloud that they are paying for but not using. This happens most often when users forget to shut down temporary instances, like those used in development or testing. Using Cloud Analytics, these situations become readily apparent through the tell-tale trends of usage by your development and testing teams. Once you've identified the problem, Cloud Analytics provides a detailed list of all the instance IDs involved so that you can shut them down with RightScale Cloud Management.

Forecast the Future

Cloud cost management needs to go beyond what happened in the past to model what will happen in the future. Cloud Analytics combines past and present usage with information you provide about your future business plans. You define growth patterns based on your business expectations and incorporate one-time or seasonal adjustments that impact cloud usage. Expecting a holiday spike? Planning a new product launch? Anticipating an event that will drive increased load? Include all of these circumstances in your forecast to get an accurate picture of cloud spend. Cloud Analytics will create three-year cost forecasts based on your plans.

 

See future cloud cost growth patterns

 

Define future growth patterns that combine steady-state growth and seasonal trends.

 

You can also define and save alternate scenarios, such as optimistic and conservative growth rates, as part of a sensitivity or “what if” analysis. Once you’ve finalized your scenarios, you can use the detailed Cloud Analytics forecast data to set your budgets.

"RightScale Cloud Analytics promises to help us quickly understand our current cloud usage, accurately forecast and optimize our future cloud spend, and identify and eliminate undesirable costs. The combination of Cloud Analytics with RightScale Cloud Management promises to be a game changer — Cloud Analytics will enable us to close the loop and take action on the insights we gain.”

Scott Mills, Principal IT Infrastructure Engineer at Progress Software

With a complete picture of past, present, and future cloud usage, it's time to look for ways to save money. Cloud Analytics provides tools for you to:

  • Forecast your usage level going forward and identify the optimal number of reserved instances (RIs)
  • Evaluate how different purchase options will change your costs going forward
  • Look for opportunities to adjust instance sizes and counts to reduce overprovisioning
  • Uncover phantom instances that are left on after use

Analyze the impact of reserved instances on future cloud spend

Analyze the impact of reserved instances or other purchase options on future spend.

 

Calculating the right level of RI purchases can be challenging. RightScale experienced this phenomenon firsthand when a cloud provider recommended purchasing RIs based on historical usage trends. Unfortunately, the recommendations were completely wrong because the cloud provider didn't understand our future plans — including growth, new applications, changes in regions used, and changes in instance sizes. Only by combining past usage and future plans could we make an accurate decision on the optimal RI purchase. Once you gather critical insights into your past and future usage, you can leverage RightScale Cloud Management to implement the actions you've decided on.
 

From Insight to Action

Cloud Analytics is the first solution that combines historical usage with sophisticated forecasting to streamline cost management across ten major public and private clouds. Most importantly, Cloud Analytics integrates with RightScale Cloud Management to allow you to take action on your insight and optimize your cloud usage. For a better way to visualize, forecast, and optimize your cloud costs, get a free trial of RightScale Cloud Analytics.

 "A survey of cloud providers recently conducted by 451 Research found the market is rife with confusing models and metrics. Integrated cloud analytics and management tools such as RightScale’s can help consumers understand this complex landscape, and take actions to manage their cloud expenditure.” 

Dr. Owen Rogers, Cloud Economist at 451 Research

RightScale Cloud Analytics Free Trial

 

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