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RightScale Compute: Plan Cloud Costs Now, Save Money Later

As the co-founder and product manager of PlanForCloud, I have talked to hundreds of people about their cloud costs. They are confused by the complex cloud provider pricing strategies that make it hard to understand where the majority of their cloud infrastructure costs are going and even harder to optimize their cloud costs.

It’s time to change that! At RightScale Compute 2013 I’m leading a three-hour workshop on cloud cost budgeting. My goal is for you to walk away with information and tools you can use right away to better understand and plan for your cloud costs.

Here’s what I’ll cover:

1. Understand the CFO Perspective

Why should you care about what your CFO thinks of the cloud? If you want your cloud strategy to be successful, you need to work successfully with all levels of your organization. Your CFO has veto power, so I’ll focus on how you can understand and align with the CFO perspective by using the RightScale CFO as a case study.

2. The Big Shift

You need to shift to a new mindset when you start thinking about the cloud. You have to consider private vs. public cloud costs, TCO, and capital vs. operating expenses. Even if you’re on top of all these factors, the complexity of public cloud prices is daunting. We currently maintain more than 12,000 price points in our PlanForCloud free cloud cost simulation engine. That is a crazy amount of information to be able to digest and use to accurately budget for your cloud project. I’ll demonstrate how you can budget for your specific cloud projects.

3. Investigation and Planning

Every project runs through cloud adoption lifecycle phases. I will cover each of these phases, introducing the challenges that you can expect to face and provide the tools to help you meet these challenges. The investigation and planning phase is an especially important one because it can set you off on the right (or wrong) foot.

4. Deploying and Monitoring

With cost in mind, I will cover the points you should look at when deploying your application to the cloud. There are a number of things that you need to keep in mind to be able to control your cloud costs at this stage. Once you have deployed your application, you will want to monitor your costs and make sure things are running according to plan. I’ll walk you through the tools that can help you with this.

5. Optimization

Once you have settled into your comfy new home in the cloud, the optimization work begins. I will cover the two main optimization techniques:

  • Resource optimization involves using your cloud resources to make sure there is no waste, and automating the steps. I’ll cover top tips for saving money on the cloud.
  • Cost optimization includes looking at purchase options, such as reserved instances, six-month plans, daily deals, and spot instances. I will walk through the business decisions you’ll need to make to optimize your costs.

6. Advanced Next Steps

I’ll talk about chargeback, cost allocation, cloud provider price changes, and new features for serving your use cases better. I want this workshop to be a two-way conversation, so please come with questions relating to your specific scenarios and use cases.