Five priorities to reduce cloud costs and improve IT operations

Over the past decade, enterprises have either built critical computing workloads on public and private cloud infrastructures or migrated workloads to the cloud. Gartner predicts: Global end-user spending on public cloud services will reach $591 billion in 2023, an increase of 43% from 2021. This is a huge leap, and suggests that many companies were optimizing their cloud migrations for speed, and managing cost and operational efficiency was likely a secondary concern.

Although Gartner predicts global IT spending to grow 2.4% in 2023some analysts reduce their expectationsand many IT leaders Planning for spending adjustments.

The first race to build cloud capabilities is toward controlling costs, optimizing infrastructure, and automating more operations.follow up on my recent post 7 Ways to Reduce Costs with Agile and DevOpshere are five recommendations for IT teams to optimize their cloud stack to reduce costs and improve operational efficiency.

1. Standardize build patterns with infrastructure as code

“Infrastructure has passed the point of complexity where manually deploying infrastructure and applications is an anti-pattern,” he said. Semaphore CI/CD. “Set up your cloud infrastructure using an infrastructure as code (IaC) tool such as Terraform.”

Other IAC Platforms and Tools Includes AWS CloudFormation, Azure Arm Templates, Red Hat Ansible, Progress Chef, Puppet, and Kubernetes. These platforms let you set infrastructure standards (sometimes called patterns or templates) and use code to manage configuration and deployment. IaC eliminates manual steps to build, configure, and deploy cloud infrastructure such as networking, compute, storage, and services.

Anastasov said: With IaC, you get better visibility into the services you’re running in the cloud and the ability to run automated cost analysis tools. ”

my view: Using IaC is an important step, but organizations seeking efficiency should standardize cloud architectures and reusable IaC patterns. There is a trade-off between giving DevOps teams complete infrastructure flexibility and standardizing their cloud stack and infrastructure for efficiency. However, IT teams using IaC and automation can increase the number of supported infrastructure patterns.

2. Focus on concurrency when scaling cloud-native apps

We have previously discussed CI/CD (continuous integration and continuous deployment), continuous testing, and other DevOps practices. These are expected practices when developing cloud-native applications.Agile teams must also address these Security risks in software development and increase DevOps observabilityConsider these key DevOps practices: all application.

Beyond these basics, what should development teams do when developing apps and microservices where high usage is expected and consistent performance is a key requirement?

Arjun Chander Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Industrial MLAnswers, “When designing a new cloud technology stack with functionality intended to be distributed across a large number of clients, making design choices that improve concurrency is an excellent way to improve the customer’s experience.” Using a concurrency-friendly language and framework saves you headaches when scaling.”

my view: When developing new apps and services, product managers and agile teams need to see which non-functional criteria are prioritized. For some apps it’s scalability and performance. For others, it could be reliability, flexibility, or meeting compliance requirements. Teams that recognize these priorities upfront are better prepared to discuss trade-offs as they design their architecture and develop their code.

3. Maximize your opportunities with virtual desktops

More and more organizations are moving away from desktops and laptops to virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) running on the cloud. 1 market research VDI market valued at $16 billion Over 20% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to 2023.

“Enterprises are modernizing end-user computing with cloud PCs. This is a valuable addition to their cloud computing strategy and provides greater agility in uncertain times.” work spot“Because hyperscalers have different cloud capabilities and costs, enterprises can benefit from deploying cloud PCs across multiple cloud regions and clouds to optimize costs for each use case. , is an important innovation when budgets are tight.”

my view: Many organizations moved to VDI during the pandemic, resulting in a one-size-fits-all configuration with many rubber stamps. While this is an efficient way to solve urgent problems and manage IT resources, it can result in a poor user experience, especially for employees with above-average computing needs. IT finds greater overall efficiency by investigating the impact of VDI technology on employee productivity, identifying her usage persona, and creating her VDI deployment patterns optimized by persona can do.

4. Strengthen monitoring and improve incident management

Moving more workloads to the cloud is just the first step in your modernization journey. Delivering an efficient and responsive Day 2 model to ensure a reliable, efficient, and performant cloud stack and workflows requires IT teams to iteratively improve operations.

said Ming Gong, Vice President of Products at Irresponsible, to improve efficiency in incident management practices. “We have found that a poorly defined incident management process is a hindrance to both productivity and innovation,” he says. “Optimizing the incident management process to remove effort and reduce ambiguity can go a long way toward improving IT operational efficiency.”

Incidents, outages, and poorly performing systems create downstream impacts that are easily measured in e-commerce and customer-facing systems, but difficult to quantify in many departmental workflows and operational systems. AIops platform Helps incident management teams reduce the mean time to resolve and manage incidents Service level targetThese are two best practices for reducing the cost and productivity impact of incidents.

IT operations teams deploy monitoring tools, observability practices, and AIops into the cloud stack, but they also need virtual desktop and user experience monitoring. Davidson said: This powerful feature enables IT teams to provide the highest reliability and availability and maximize productivity. ”

my view: I believe you can’t improve what you don’t measure. This is often the idea of ​​renowned management consultant Peter Drucker. Whether you’re looking to reduce costs, manage more cloud workflows, improve the experience, or improve reliability, we recommend prioritizing observability, monitoring, and AIops at the forefront of your Day 2 model. .

5. Examine IT priorities and financial discipline

“During economic downturns, companies need to examine their existing technology stacks to assess which IT initiatives can have the greatest impact with the least lift,” he said. clear sky CEO John Milburn.

Dan Ortma, Global Finops Practice Director software oneadded, “Recession concerns and an overall priority for spending optimization are driving finops growth. It’s a cloud financial management practice that aligns with cloud usage and spending goals.”

IT leaders know that rapidly innovating and deploying reliable applications requires a partnership between IT and finance. Prioritizing finance over IT can lead to delayed project planning and underfunded Day 2 operating models, often accelerating technical debt. Arming IT without financial discipline can lead to inefficiencies and systems with insufficient business impact. cloud finops is one approach that helps engineering, finance, technology, and business teams work together to make data-driven spending decisions.

IT leaders must develop an architectural strategy that encourages platform development and reuse of functionality. “Check out the features and solutions that exist within the platform to get the most out of your current investment,” Milburn said. To do.”

Anastasov shares this AI example. “Running AI workloads is expensive because it requires powerful GPU hardware. Let’s say your application goes viral. It’s great,” he says. He suggests that IT teams “release features only after doing a comprehensive cost analysis.”

my view: IT teams must prioritize experimentation and manage innovation pipelines to develop new products, improve experiences, and build data-driven practices. Next, establish financial discipline while planning for pilot and production use cases. This helps clarify cost and efficiency considerations during the development phase. For systems already in production, seeking cost and operational improvements is one way to fund the reduction of technical debt.

Copyright © 2023 IDG Communications, Inc.

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