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Cloud Cost Savings: Understanding Why Cloud Spend Is Up (or Down)

Cloud computing can help speed applications to market by enabling developers and business units to access infrastructure in a matter of minutes. This has led to a constant growth in cloud usage within enterprises. Understanding how your costs are changing as you grow your usage of the cloud can be quite challenging.

RightScale Cloud Analytics helps you visualize, analyze, and optimize cloud costs across public and private clouds as well as virtualized environments such as VMware. In this blog, I will show you how easily you can compare your cloud spend to previous periods of time to better understand the reasons for changes.

Imagine these real scenarios:

  • You see an increase in your cloud costs during the past week and want to assess if this is a normal usage pattern or if there are irregularities in your cloud spending.
  • You want to understand how cloud spend has changed since last month for a specific application, team, cloud account, or business unit.

Dig into Unexpected Increases
Imagine it’s Wednesday morning. Your mobile phone beeps and upon checking your email, you find your weekly Cloud Analytics report. You notice an increase in your cloud usage and cloud costs for the previous week. You arrive at the office and log into Cloud Analytics to comb through last week’s cloud costs. You drill down by day to see that there were higher costs for last Thursday:

Your IT lead says this might be a normal spike in usage on Thursdays, but neither of you are sure if this is a normal usage pattern. You need to compare this period of time to the previous period of time.

To do this In Cloud Analytics, select the date picker and choose the “Compare to previous period” checkbox:

You can now see that the increase in usage and cost is not a regular occurrence, and that your costs have actually increased by four percent since last week. Next you can use the Cloud Analytics Analyze feature to find out which applications or teams are driving the increase.

Analyze Month-over-Month Changes
Let’s say that your finance team has noticed that the monthly cloud spend for your Services account has gone up in the last month. Using the Analyze feature in Cloud Analytics, you can see that the cost is 39 percent higher than last month:

To determine why, you drill in by user and find that most of the additional cost comes from one particular user who just began using cloud resources at the end of the previous month and has increased consumption in the most recent month:

You can easily use the Share link feature to share this report with the user and start a conversation to gain a better understanding of why the spend has increased.

To try this feature, sign up for a free trial of RightScale Cloud Analytics.

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