Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Kevin Benedict, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog

@CloudExpo: Article

Three Ways to Keep Internal Cloud Computing Infrastructure Costs in Check

Achieving a high level of efficiency at a low level of risk

Many organizations are building internal clouds to capitalize on the agility cloud models offer and avoid the risk of putting mission-critical infrastructure outside of the enterprise's firewalls. The goal is to reap the benefits offered by public clouds, but with much higher levels of control, security, and availability. Building a private internal cloud, however, can come with a hefty price tag.

The Private Cloud's Critical Cost Drivers
The promise of increased agility and standardization in the supply of IT capacity is extremely compelling. Unfortunately, these benefits come at a cost, not only in terms of the technical challenges, but also in terms of the behavioral changes that can arise when users are given "self-service" access to capacity. A combination of low perceived cost of cloud capacity, lowered barriers to access, and a lack of visibility into new application requirements (requiring users to err on the side of caution) can combine to create a situation where too much capacity is deployed. Like an all-you-can-eat buffet, plates are piled a lot higher when you help yourself than when portions are decided by the chef. In addition, unlike virtual environments that allow for customized sizing and growth, capacity requirements in the internal cloud will always be rounded up to the next available standardized container. As a result, organizations will deploy more hardware to avoid exceeding over-commit policies.

Costs can also climb when designing the private cloud. Although standardization will save money in the long run, building a cloud catalog that matches the precise capabilities that previous environments maintained can be cumbersome, often requiring retesting and rebuilding to suit application owners. Cloud designers also must consider the nature of self-service capacity models, which necessitate a demand buffer be created to fulfill new planned and unplanned requests, and to accommodate organic growth, future capacity requirements, failures, operational policies and more. Much like airline overbooking, this "whitespace management" often requires deep analysis as organizations can easily be left with too much or too little capacity.

The Path to the Efficient Cloud
To keep costs in check while achieving agility promised by internal clouds, organizations should follow three key principles:

  • Define policies governing how cloud capacity will be allocated and used. Considerations such as target density, business criticality, data sensitivity, service-level agreement (SLA) requirements, regulatory compliance, and security standards all factor into cloud usage policies. Defining these policies and leveraging them to qualify and route workloads can enable automated decision support, allowing the right workloads to be put in the right place without creating a small project every time. Policies should also be defined governing when and how resources will be given and taken away from applications in cases where they are under- or over-provisioned. Not only does this save time, but it ensures that workloads are placed into appropriate infrastructure.
  • Consider a "soaking pool" of capacity for profiling and housing new workloads. Create a dedicated infrastructure of resources to serve as an incubation center for new workloads. As the behaviors of new workloads are largely unknown, a soaking pool enables workloads to be profiled and analyzed before releasing them into the environment. This creates opportunities for infrastructure and operations teams to confidently size and place workloads without undue excess capacity. Application owners receive the fast response they want and reduce risk in assigning capacity and configuring virtual machines.
  • Measure efficiency for the cloud, not legacy environments. Avoid the temptation to use CPU, memory utilization or other legacy efficiency measures in cloud environments. The only true way to measure efficiency is to determine how much infrastructure is needed and compare this to how much is in use. By monitoring infrastructure requirements such as resource utilization and allocation, over-commit policies, density targets, adherence to business policies, security constraints and HA and DR strategies, this provides a "fully loaded" utilization metric that enables organizations to know exactly how much infrastructure is required to safely service workloads, allowing excess capacity to be accurately measured and reclaimed for other purposes.

According to James Staten at Forrester: "Success with your internal cloud won't come simply because you build it." Only by methodically analyzing the workload demands against the resource supply, and meticulously managing the placements of cloud instances and the resources allocated to them, can internal cloud environments achieve a high level of efficiency at a low level of risk, and ultimately provide a level of agility that will truly transform the way IT resources are managed - without breaking the bank.

More Stories By Andrew Hillier

Andrew Hillier is CTO and co-founder of CiRBA, Inc., a data center intelligence analytics software provider that determines optimal workload placements and resource allocations required to safely maximize the efficiency of Cloud, virtual and physical infrastructure. Reach Andrew at [email protected]

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
It is ironic, but perhaps not unexpected, that many organizations who want the benefits of using an Agile approach to deliver software use a waterfall approach to adopting Agile practices: they form plans, they set milestones, and they measure progress by how many teams they have engaged. Old habits die hard, but like most waterfall software projects, most waterfall-style Agile adoption efforts fail to produce the results desired. The problem is that to get the results they want, they have to ch...
Organizations planning enterprise data center consolidation and modernization projects are faced with a challenging, costly reality. Requirements to deploy modern, cloud-native applications simultaneously with traditional client/server applications are almost impossible to achieve with hardware-centric enterprise infrastructure. Compute and network infrastructure are fast moving down a software-defined path, but storage has been a laggard. Until now.
"Venafi has a platform that allows you to manage, centralize and automate the complete life cycle of keys and certificates within the organization," explained Gina Osmond, Sr. Field Marketing Manager at Venafi, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"We're focused on how to get some of the attributes that you would expect from an Amazon, Azure, Google, and doing that on-prem. We believe today that you can actually get those types of things done with certain architectures available in the market today," explained Steve Conner, VP of Sales at Cloudistics, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that the upcoming DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO New York event will feature 10 companies from Poland to participate at the "Poland Digital Transformation Pavilion" on November 12-13, 2018.
Without a clear strategy for cost control and an architecture designed with cloud services in mind, costs and operational performance can quickly get out of control. To avoid multiple architectural redesigns requires extensive thought and planning. Boundary (now part of BMC) launched a new public-facing multi-tenant high resolution monitoring service on Amazon AWS two years ago, facing challenges and learning best practices in the early days of the new service.
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
The best way to leverage your CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at CloudEXPO. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audienc...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors!
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and ...
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smart...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that All in Mobile, a mobile app development company from Poland, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. All In Mobile is a mobile app development company from Poland. Since 2014, they maintain passion for developing mobile applications for enterprises and startups worldwide.
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
We all know that end users experience the internet primarily with mobile devices. From an app development perspective, we know that successfully responding to the needs of mobile customers depends on rapid DevOps – failing fast, in short, until the right solution evolves in your customers' relationship to your business. Whether you’re decomposing an SOA monolith, or developing a new application cloud natively, it’s not a question of using microservices - not doing so will be a path to eventual ...
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous ar...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICC-USA, a computer systems integrator and server manufacturing company focused on developing products and product appliances, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. ICC is a computer systems integrator and server manufacturing company focused on developing products and product appliances to meet a wide range of ...
Sanjeev Sharma Joins November 11-13, 2018 @DevOpsSummit at @CloudEXPO New York Faculty. Sanjeev Sharma is an internationally known DevOps and Cloud Transformation thought leader, technology executive, and author. Sanjeev's industry experience includes tenures as CTO, Technical Sales leader, and Cloud Architect leader. As an IBM Distinguished Engineer, Sanjeev is recognized at the highest levels of IBM's core of technical leaders.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
We are seeing a major migration of enterprises applications to the cloud. As cloud and business use of real time applications accelerate, legacy networks are no longer able to architecturally support cloud adoption and deliver the performance and security required by highly distributed enterprises. These outdated solutions have become more costly and complicated to implement, install, manage, and maintain.SD-WAN offers unlimited capabilities for accessing the benefits of the cloud and Internet. ...