Cloud Crunch
Cloud Crunch

Episode · 1 year ago

S2E13: 5 Strategies to Maximize Your Cloud’s Value: Strategy 5 - Reducing Cloud Spend While Accelerating Application Deployment


Covering the 5th and final strategy in our series on maximizing your cloud's value, cloud cost optimization expert, Jeff Collins, joins us today to examine our 7 Pillars of Cloud Cost Optimization. Find out how to apply these pillars to reduce your cloud spend without decreasing the benefits of your cloud environment.

...involve solve, evolve, welcome to cloud Crunch, the podcast for any large enterprise planning on moving to or is in the midst of moving to the cloud hosted by the cloud computing experts from Second Watch, Ian will be chief architect Cloud Solutions and Skip Very, executive director of Cloud Enablement. And now here are your hosts of Cloud Crunch. Welcome back to cloud crunch. If you've been listening for the last few weeks, you know, we've been talking about strategies you can use to increase the value of being in the cloud. We've already examined the first four strategies and have arrived at the fifth and final strategy we're going to discuss in the Siri's reducing cloud spend while accelerating application deployment. Today, I'm joined with my co host, Skip. Very Skip. Good to see you. Good to see you in Awesome. Awesome. And today our guest is Jeff Collins, who is one of our product managers here at Second Watch, who has a lot of experience in this area and particularly out modernization in all kinds of things along those lines. So what we want to do Jeff, is welcome you to the show first. Thank you guys. appreciate. Yeah, Now this is great. We have the opportunity to work with Jeff quite a bit, so we know his experience out in the field is very relevant. And, you know, that's what we try to do on this show is is bring the real world examples and our experience back to our audience. You know, with the business and the technology focus, of course. And Jeff is an ideal candidate to talk about this topic today. So, Jeff, let's just dive right into this. Let's talk a little bit about how you can reduce your cloud spend without decreasing the benefits of your cloud environment. Yeah, and I guess that, you know, Cloud spin is probably one of the one of the most important elements when you do move to the cloud, you know, because that's kind of the the initial thought process. You know, I can get out of my data center and I can save X amount of dollars on network and power and storage costs, and I could move into this fancy new cloud thing and just click some buttons and deploy my stuff that was in the data center into the cloud. Problem is you can actually spend way mawr if you're not careful. So you gotta kind of know what you're what you're doing. And typically, when you do a migration into the cloud, it could be like a one for one transition. So a lot of customers, if they're not quite to that point where they can start thinking about optimizing or app modernization? Well, basically, just take an export of what's there running in the data center, say they're on being where they've got a 200 VMS, for example. They want to put that in the AWS. So they go and spend up the same number of instances with the same amount of horsepower. Set up a kind of the same type of networking configuration. And that's how they do their migration without any kind of pre thought into what you know, What can I do to make my environment better than what I had before and take advantage of some of these additional technologies? The cloud provides. So wait a minute. You're telling me that you could end up spending more in the cloud? It's possible. Yeah, yeah, yeah. What is it? That what they used to call it the double bubble bump. Whatever the first bump or whatever, when you put workload in there, is that still a thing? Double bubble, Yeah, especially if you don't know what you're doing. There's lots of even click on. You know, when you log in to the console lots of buttons to click on, you click on the wrong thing. You you could easily start over spending. Yeah, I think we should probably explain the audience that may not know that term. The double bubble is basically when you are in the process of migrating to the cloud and you're both you're paying for that application resource is both in the cloud and on your prem data centers wherever that may be. So the promise that, you know, I just want to backfill this is that that bubble will go away in a relatively short period of time. How short? Hopefully shorter the better, right? I mean, that's that's what we're trying to shoot for here and get back to that payback period. Brings in the interesting topic of optimization. A swell, right, Right, right, right. And... we are very excited. Jeff, you know, for me this topic from being in pro serve and you know what you all do and you know where we are and working on this Very interesting. Uh, talk about some of the technologies out there, you know, from if you look at it from the pillars of cloud optimization from your perspective. Yeah, and there's there's various tools that you can deploy to get, do a lot of reporting and do some recommendations. E don't want a dog. You know any specific tools, But if you do that, you're kind of silo in yourself. So what we kind of like to look at is your cloud environment as a whole. And to do that, there's some pillars that we've kind of set up on the optimization side that will help guide that conversation and help look for elements that can save you money, right? So there's seven of them that we use here a second watch. The first one kind of takes on that whole. If you're familiar with Finn ops and kind of those methodologies of how you can centralize your spin and kind of delegated out to your different business units within an organization, we do take advantage of that, um, that mentality. And that could be anything from kind of looking at reserved instances savings plans, purchases to getting into like GDP and be a negotiations. Kind of further of the financial staff was kind of looking at all those various elements and what I mean, what's going to make the most sense for your environment and how it's running today so that that's 11 element. Second one would be auto parking, and the theory behind that is, you know, even if you have coverage within with the reserved instance or a savings plan, it might make more sense just to cut the thing off. You know, especially if you only need it running for a couple hours a day, or just 9 to 5 business hours. You're not. You're not paying for those. Compute Resource is to be sitting there idle, you know, while they're not needed. Third one rightsizing that zit. That's definitely a big one. You'll see a lot of tools out there that'll give right second rightsizing recommendations, basically, just based on your CPU and memory metrics. A lot of them actually don't pull in the real time memory metrics. They always set that to like 100%. So you're not really getting the actual amount of compute usage that you're using, believe it or not, so that that's something to look out for when we're providing recommendations. Our customers here second watch, we pull in real time memory metrics and make sure that your your instances or your VMS are properly size based on what's actually running on them on the next one would be family refresh. And that one like you, you know another kind of thing about the cloud. You know, it's It's not like this vapor of stuffs. That stuff just runs on right. There is a data center sitting there. There are physical servers, lots of them, um, that air running and occasionally you know, they get old and they have to be refreshed. So a lot of the public cloud providers will will provide incentives when some of that hardware is becoming end of life and they want to migrate to new families. That will probably give better performance for your applications anyway and also provide some additional savings for running on the on the old legacy stuff. Um, the key point, I believe. Just a drill down on that one, Um, you know, in the in the cloud itself, it's really you know, the panache now becomes how how well you are as faras managing all this right with the with the ever evolving landscape inside someone else's data center, a k a. Someone else's cloud, right? So it's a very salient point. Your former job of how you made that hardware last for three years is now. How do you maximize your spend? Really, in every time something new comes out a new instance or family or what have you? So that's I spent a lot of time talking to, you know, my counterparts in a customer explaining that situation just a mind shift itself that it takes. Yeah,...'s a It's a very valid point because we often walk into a customer, will ask them what their refresh cycle is beyond. It's usually between three and seven years. I think when they're at seven years, they usually publicly don't like to talk about the seven years died, but five is pretty typical. But this you know that this family refresh just a drilling for those that may not understand the family. The instance types obviously like If you look at Amazon, they have a C type. They started with C one a long time ago. Now they're upto See, I don't know, 900 At this point, I believe it's C six, but every time the generation obviously the chip sets that architecture gets better. So But, you know, it's really fascinating to me. So if you have, like one family and they come up with a new instance type mean it breaks the whole refresh model, right? I mean, it's not like you're not gonna wait for five years. You can wait for the maintenance window to hit it. Yeah, just to follow on before you get into the last two. Jeff, I want to take a step back because I think it's a very important part to mention Ah, lot of this isn't even technology. It's about contractual management aspect. You mentioned E d. P. Volume licensing. Can you Can you drill down into that a little bit more to just about you know, not necessarily what second watch offers, but just the mindset that we try to instill in our customers. Uh, e guess there's different. You can think of it kind of is a cake right When it comes organization. There's different layers of that cake that you could apply to achieve the most savings you know. So and take AWS, for example, savings plans could be a layer of that cake. Reserved instances, even though they're they're kind of going away. Savings plans kind of give you a better coverage. It's a lot more flexible. You kind of base your amount of coverage on your actual usage and spread it across multiple cloud services a little bit more flexible. Think of that is the layer of the cake. And then you also got kind of your overall overarching contract with with a W s that you can negotiate better rates for dependent, Understand? So when you take all those different elements, um, it's kind of like it's kinda like baking a cake, right? You've got this multi layer. Um, it's a great analogy. Which part of the E pretty good, you know. But once you what, you get all those pieces in there, you've got a pretty good cake. If you want to use that analogy s just different. Different things to look at a very critical part of the all this for sure? Yeah. 11 thing That's just a touch on the family Refresh. I did notice that you've seen a lot of announcements. Especially, totally reinvent, I would say, probably the last, I don't know, six months or so from AWS. More, more So it reinvent like I just said, but around Amazon kind of getting into that. You know, there are cloud provider, but now they're getting into the hardware space. We saw it with this. Drives like where they would they would go to, Ah, Western Digital or C gate. I would say, you know, for for the glacier, we want you to provide us this speck of disk. You know, we don't If it breaks straight, we'll throw it away or well, don't throw it away. Well, recycle it. But we wanna is cheapest possible. And now you kind of see that mindset going into processors with their announcement of the gravity on to and how much cheaper they are, you know, So it'll be interesting to see kind of how that's gonna affect the different families that they come out, especially if you're moving away from an celery and B to provide additional cost savings e feel. It's like almost the last dagger to push into the chest of getting out of a data center. Because that seems to be where the I want to say the reluctant are still. But But that seems Thio they're taking that last obstacle out of Why would Why would you still have your own infrastructure and what have you So it will be interesting to see I agree how that plays out. Especially 21. Yeah. Yeah. Now you have so many choices on these different types of, you know you know? You know, components. I mean, who would have thought that Amazon would be making their own ship sets, You know, I mean, it makes sense when you finally realize..., but they're they're large consumer of them, but it's fascinate. And I'm gonna pull a skip here, I'm gonna say, But before we go on to the next to I wanna go back Thio phrase because it's just kind of lingering out there. Finn ups. Yeah, Let's go back and dive into that a little bit further. And if you could I mean, you kind of touched on what it was, but what's your definition of Yeah, it's more like a kind of a methodology. It's not like a you know, from what I've read, at least it's not like a you know, there's a set tool to give me a fin office Reports were more kind of like a mentality that you get in. Like, for example, we've got a large customer that that has kind of like their Central I T department that deals with all of the financial aspects of the business, right, So they're the ones that will do the E, d, p and the savings plans out. External of that, they've got multiple, different business units that operate from whatever guidelines that the central group says right so they don't necessarily take can take advantage of all of the discounts that the overall organization is getting that got set internal rates, and it's really just kind of a way. Not that not that they're charging themselves more money or anything. But it's really a way to kind of get your arms around best practices financially and make sure that all of your groups are kind of being held responsible for what they're spending their aware of their spend, and it allows that central group to kind of control the mindset of those different organizations internally. Yeah, yeah, that's the conversation that I was mentioning earlier, that I have often of, like, trying to get the traditional infrastructure director or VP to get their mindset in that in that world in that realm, right, new. It's a new thought for them. Really? Yeah, way have seen that play out. I don't think it was called pinups when we initially saw this. But when somebody from finances attached to I t. Particularly their cloud center of excellence and then they're they're helping understand and do that, you know, making sure the charge backs everything are all good. It's the first time I ever got the ability of how much I tease costing each business owner so exactly exactly it's not. It's not a one and done thing either. It's ongoing, you know. So once you kind of get these like I said, I would I would picture it. Maura. Just kind of a way of thinking or a methodology. Once you kind of start adopting those those different strategies, you know you can apply and going forward and, you know, see additional cost savings and efficiencies. All right, now that you've satisfied my a d d me jump back around, let's see if we continue on to the next couple. Yeah, yeah, way Actually have three more. We have a new one that we had recently, but no one is the next one's waist. So any anything that's out there like, you know, unattached storage volume instances or VMS that have been sitting there idle, not not getting in a use for for, you know, 30 60 days old snapshots. Now a lot of a lot of companies will have, Ah, good backup policy, but not necessarily a good snapshot deletion policy. So making sure that, you know you're not keeping things any longer than you have to because the cloud provider is going to charge you, you know, whether you use it or not, as long as the storage is sitting there. So just kind of getting some good visibility into what those different waste elements are. The next one we storage storage has gotten. I wouldn't say complicated, but I would say there's tons of options out there, even though even like with S three and Glacier, there's multiple flavors of each one and kind of having a good understanding of what your customers workloads look like. And setting a data retention policy that's gonna work best for them, you know, based on frequency of retrieval. Or you know how, how quickly, how how important a piece of data is. You know, can you go through it in Glacier? And if you can pull it out within, you know, a day or two is...

...that fine? You know some of the data? Yeah, some of it may be not. So you've got a kind of balance, those different elements to make sure that that you're not over paying for your storage costs because they don't typically go away. You know, either store Cem Cem data or you don't. Right. So they're going to charge you if it's sitting there. Even if there is ah, you know, compute tied to it. You might not not necessarily be charged for the compute portion of it, but storage is gonna take up space, and they're gonna they're gonna ding you for those charges, regardless on then The next one is kind of a new one. Like I mentioned, it's kind of more of a step into continuous optimization, and it's it's specifically around spot resource is so if you have customers that can take advantage of that, used to be kind of a pain, right? You had to go to the market place. You had Thio. Basically go buy some unused resource is Jeff. If you could just explain to our audience what you mean by spot? Yeah. So spot is a is a methodology of buying. Compute resource is that people no longer need They might have purchased it and they're looking to they don't need any more. So they sell it on a marketplace, which it used to be a pain to manage a lot of the cloud native tools over the past year to have gotten a lot better at it. We partner with a company called Spot I O um, basically takes that whole headache out of the way. So basically, you you target a workload. It could be a auto scaling group. It could be a just an instance of VM. Uh, they can also be containers. It could be ks kubernetes E C s. And you basically loaded into the into the tool and it finds those spot resource is based on availability, and it's going to run them, you know, constantly. So you could You could actually run production where close. And there is well these days. And if for some reason that spot resource goes away, it'll just convert over to on demand. So basically takes away all that headache of ensuring that you've got those resource is available and automates it so that that's that's another one for workloads that can take advantage of it. Now, that's great. Yeah, we're seeing more and more of that. It's getting more sophisticated as well. Yeah, there's a lot of people that I think are terrified of using spot because particularly have state collapse, that it may shut down on them. And then they're they're losing some data. So obviously we want Thio that gets a nap. Modernization. How do you re architect that app to make sure that you could take advantage of all these things as well. Do you want to tell one story, though you have to be careful. Obviously, you follow these rules, you get the optimization, you get your backups in place and then you find out the most expensive part of your platform for and I'll pick on what I want is the name of it. But there's Ah, very traditional big data platform that people often migrate directly to the cloud. And if you start backing that up frequently like you should your cross your spiral out of control. So you have to kind of look, you know, that's when you need to start at modernizing using cloud native Technologies as well. We had one client that we didn't set this part up for him, but they were spending almost $200,000 a month on back up just for one application. So we had to go back and re engineer that with them and say There's a better way of doing it and it really dropped it down. So just be aware that you gotta gotta watch those costs on a daily basis when you double bubble with people would be mighty upset with. It's really it's really looking at the whole thing holistically, eso Like I said earlier there, there's no easy button to do this, You know, you gotta you gotta know what you're looking at, you know? And you've got to be a pull in the right data and apply different algorithms to get the right. Um, I'll say the accurate recommendations, you know, based on on actual usage, you know, And then once you make the recommendation, then you kind of got the the whole issue of getting the customers to go deploy them and make those changes. You know that that's a...

...whole another issue because there's got sometimes the recommendations. There's reasons why things are set certain ways, and, you know, those could be excluded kind of on the as you as you start doing optimization reviews, you know, I'm on an ongoing basis, but yeah, the remediation part can be could be just a challenge. And what's their identified? Hey, when we when we met with Willie last year, we talked about this a little bit to quote the episode number. But you're your perspective, Jeff. What's the single first place to start? You know, obviously we have the pillars here or what have you, But if you're if you're just new to this obviously overwhelming right, it could be overwhelming potentially. But where's where some small winds media gains that you would pick on? I guess it zits just being familiar with with what you're gonna be building in the cloud, right? So if you can get so you've got a VM our environment and a data center, more accurate information you can pull out of that in terms of actual usage. That would probably be a a good start. And a lot of this like I mean, from what we've seen, that a lot of customers won't even get into optimization until they're already migrated. But the sooner you can start thinking about these different things and do a little research, see what's gonna make the most sense the better. And this is how it kind of ties into at modernization. So maybe maybe you're, you know, 100 VMS could run better and again, containers are on service. So it's kind of looking at that application and identifying potential candidates. Thio, you know, take advantage of some of those higher and cloud services s. So the sooner you could do that, the better. You know? Then I would say from from a lot of customer standpoint, you know, they just want to get out of their data center. They want to get our they have to get out of Davis and a lot of them are hybrid. You know, maybe they wanna build another environment, but they don't want to go, You know, by another 10 rat cage and all this additional power network Thio power it. So they want to go build it in the cloud. Right? So it was kind of having that mindset, knowing what their applications actually require, how flexible they are. That could go a long way. And I think also often what we're seeing is there maybe five environments for a particular application, only one being production and they're not working the whole 168 hours a week. I think that's the number of hours in a week so that auto parking is another one. I find that yeah, we put out there so that you're only running at about 24% of the time. I mean, you talk about that's a 75% savings. If you only have that on this production environments. Yeah, from experience. That's the biggest mind shift really to get around. People said, I know what you're referencing before, and you and I have intimate knowledge of that situation and to get there even from So you had you referenced the backup. But even from a Q A dev test environment of where you don't need that full onslaught of you know, that the calvary of what you had on Prem It's a great example of where you could save a lot of a tremendous amount of money. Yeah, Yeah, that. Make sure those back up in data retention policies to on those non production environments. You need some, of course, for compliance and other things, but you don't necessarily need the same level. So making sure that you create those, uh, different categories of data retention I think are very strategic as well. Let me let me ask interesting perspective here because this is something that last week I was challenged with as well. If a company is looking customer client, what have you is out there looking to start this initiative? Where do you guys think it fits in their environment? Is this like an initiative of a c o E. When they start? That is that the ops team is ITM or from a you know, the Dev side of the house. How do you think it gets ingrained into the culture or to start there? Yeah. I don't know if it hits anyone specifically, you know, because I think each each team is gonna have different requirements and drive additional e wants additional, but different types of costs potentially.

Um, you know, like your your APP team could take mawr advantage of Dev ops types, tools, server, less things that, you know, since they're constantly producing new code for things that will enable them to roll it out faster, you know, but yeah. So there wasn't, you know, E. But I would say Skippy touched on C c. O. And we've talked about that before a class center of excellence, which is a group of stakeholders across the organization. And it should include somebody from finance. Right? And I think if you've got if you have somebody from the financial aspect from day one in your cloud strategy sessions, they're going to keep asking, what about the cost, And then it's gonna be everybody's job because they know that questions coming right. They gotta answer it. And plus, now with that visibility that you've never had before Like, I know how much my application costs now, you never knew you kind of knew, but you didn't really know. Now, you know, probably too much, right? Right on. Well, this is great. So, Jeff, before we get going, is there anything else that you wanted to share with us? Yeah, there was one. And I guess it's more kind of Okay, well, what's next from optimization perspective, right. That's that's kind of, you know, what do you What do you look Thio Add to the service or where is it going? Probably the next, you know, year so and it's going to get into the application space. So I guess the idea would be to kind of take these principles that are in use today around optimization and apply them higher up stack because, you know, infrastructure, you know, rightsizing, auto parking, that that's not going away anytime soon. That's always gonna be a piece of it. Let's say you're doing a recommendation session with a customer. You make these recommendations, they go make changes. The next time you get on there, they're gonna say, OK, what's next? You know how you save me X amount of money on this last one? What? You know, we haven't really changed anything or added anything, our environments fairly static. What you know, How can you How can you save us money on this? Go around. So it's kind of taking those principles and and looking mawr into the application layer. There's a couple of products, like any kind of a PM type of products that will give you visibility into the application flow and identify elements in their bottlenecks that if you could either re factor the app, potentially move it to containers or service, you're going to see X amount of additional performance on that particular application. It might not save you on the public cloud side, you know. But if you can speed up your transaction process, say, for example, and you could now sell 10 more widgets per second, then you could before you know your your profits are going to go up. Not not on the cloud side necessarily. Think your spin your profits would not because you're not making money on the cloud. Yeah, you would see it on the other side, right? So you could it affect your bottom line? So that's, um, that's kind of where we're looking to go with, kind of how optimization will morph into additional pillars specific to app modernization. Very salient point. Sounds like a next podcast. Thio. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, that's where today we talked about how to save money in the bottom line, but yes, but once you take these principles on to the next phase, you're adding, hopefully money to the top line. So that's what that's what we all strive for. Well, thanks, Jeff. I really appreciate your time. Skip as usual. Thanks for joining us, Jeff. Enjoying absolutely thanks everybody for listening, please. Email is that cloud crunch at second watch dot com. We welcome your ideas, suggestions and comments. Thank you again.

You've been listening to Cloud Crunch with Ian Willoughby and Skip Very. For more information, check out the blogged. Second watch dot com slash company slash vlog or reach out to second watch on Twitter.

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