Are you afraid of your cloud bill? We understand. Public Cloud users know: the bill is often a ferocious beast that is difficult to tame. Respecting budgets and the profitability of the Cloud is a subject that upsets the IT teams of many companies that have chosenflexibility and performance by abandoning the traditional on-premise model.
But the range of possibilities offered by this profound transformation does not facilitate the management of the Cloud invoice. The complexity of the offerings of the market's major suppliers very often leads to a loss of control and artistic blurring around expense management.
At Lota.cloud, our various exchanges with Cloud and FinOps professionals lead us to believe that this wild animal can be tamed. Like a trainer in the arena, the person or team in charge of expense management must equip themselves with the right tools and use the right levers to impose control over their bill. However, the wild animal is not meant to be tamed: beware of slip-ups and lack of vigilance, which can lead to a rapid explosion of costs. However, a good understanding of the main principles of invoicing can enable an effective strategy to be put in place.
You want to become a Cloud tamer able to control any bill? Do you want to get the upper hand on your AWS, Azure, GCP or OVH Cloud billing lines? Here are 3 basic principles to tame your Cloud invoice.
1 - Getting to know your Cloud invoice
Setting up a situation: you enter the interface dedicated to billing your Cloud as a trainer would enter the cage of a beast for the first time. The only thing you're sure of is that you don't want to be devoured. You know it well: the bill you have in front of you is fierce and hard to pin down. In order not to be overwhelmed, it is essential to know your counterpart well to discover his weak points and the levers on which you will be able to play.
To better understand who you are dealing with, here are the main
elements that make up a Cloud invoice:
- The period: we are talking about the
period on which your invoice is based. Public Cloud providers generally base their invoices on a monthly
based on a monthly period. No surprise then: you
analyze your expenses month after month. Be careful though, time is a key element in understanding
central to understanding your Cloud bill and we'll come back to this
we will come back to below.
- The amount of resources used:
this is, for example, the number of VMs opened during the month or the amount of GB
of storage used. Just to know where you stand.
- Pricing for each resource:
This is what you pay for each resource based on the granularity
defined by the Cloud provider.
- Deployment region: each cloud provider offers
Cloud provider offers to deploy your resources in different regions depending on your
depending on your performance needs and cost objectives.
Pricing varies depending on the region you choose: be sure to
to think about it.
- The ID of the resource in question
- Metadata: a crucial element
for resource allocation and tracking of your expenses
Understanding how your invoice works is the ideal way to identify the levers you can press in a FinOps perspective. Put away your whip: it's not time for optimization yet. For now, you're learning how to deal with your invoice and understand where it wants to take you.
2 - Learning to control time
Now that you're in the cage and you really have no other choice, don't turn back. The hardest part may be ahead of you, but the commitment to a FinOps strategy is a long way off and you're just beginning to get your bill under control. At the heart of the Cloud issue, the notion of temporality is really crucial. To take control of your Cloud invoice, you will have to take control of time.
The linear model and the long-term vision of on-premise architectures have shaped the mindset of most IT teams until today. The flexibility of the Cloud and its adaptability now allows companies to benefit from previously undreamt of possibilities. Of course, as with any profound change, certain mentalities are directly impacted and change management can sometimes be difficult. Compared to the on-premise model, the notion most impacted by this transformation is time.
Today, the Cloud has folded the cards: you no longer really pay for the resources you own, but rather for the amount of time these resources are turned on over a given period of time. And this paradigm shift profoundly changes the approach you need to take to your cloud bill: the instances you own may cost you nothing as long as you don't turn them on.
The granularity of the Cloud is also profoundly changing our approach to billing: whereas in an on-premise model you could consider storage costs over a month, a quarter or a year, the hourly granularity of the Cloud and its variability greatly destabilizes the certainties of most IT teams. It's difficult to project over time when certain products are billed by the second and when rates vary depending on the region, the amount of storage or the frequency of data transfers, for example.
Finally, the notion of months is to be taken with tweezers. If you want to make sure you don't get caught off guard, keep this in mind: the invoice covers expenses for the month, but the pricing is much more detailed. You don't pay X€ per day for 30 or 31 days. It's this nuance that can make the biggest consumers of Cloud resources sweat when it comes time to edit the invoice. Depending on the length of the month (30 or 31 days), the amounts logically vary according to the presence (or not) of this famous extra day. Don't panic, therefore, if after having engaged a strong optimization policy with your DevOps team, your expenses increase compared to the previous month. First of all, make sure that you are comparing exactly the same number of days.
It would appear that your bill is a beast as deceitful as it is ferocious.
3 - Surround yourself with a team of high-performance trainers
Despite all the goodwill in the world, you won't be able to face your Cloud bill alone. Your knowledge of the available data and your motivation will not be enough to tame this unstable animal. In order to carry out your FinOps strategy and to tackle the concrete optimization of your bill, you will need to surround yourself with a team of high-performance trainers and give them the best tools to succeed.
First of all, if you operate for a large company, it is necessary to consider a global FinOps strategy based on a dedicated team. These people will have a purely strategic role and will aim to act as a link between all the players involved in the transformation of your model. Because, as we recall, FinOps is not an idle idea or a succession of small decisions without consequences. It is a global model that transforms a company's state of mind and the working methods of its employees. This vision must be supported by a legitimate team that is recognized as an expert in the field.
The operational and daily application rests on the shoulders of the business teams, who are in daily contact with the product and the concrete applications. The mission of the FinOps team will be to instill a clear policy and a common direction to ensure the ideal optimization of the entire Cloud architecture. But this operational success will not happen if they do not take the business teams with them. This is where FinOps takes on a sometimes managerial and political dimension within the largest structures.
Finally, it is important to note that we do not intend to turn you all into a naughty trainer who imposes his instructions with a whip in his hand. FinOps is an accompaniment strategy that requires dialogue, exchange and healthy relationships. To enter the FinOps arena, it is necessary to have the right tools to simplify the management of your Cloud invoice and give you the best possible vision of the expenses you are incurring. Because a multitude of clever Excel spreadsheets don't always do the job properly, we believe it is necessary to have a FinOps platform that allows you to centralize your data, to be alerted in real time or to simply carry out your tagging plans. This is what we offer at Lota.cloud: a 100% FinOps platform, which perfectly meets the needs of Cloud professionals in terms of control and optimization. The ideal tool to tame your Cloud invoice in all simplicity.
If you would like more information on the subject, we advise you to try our platform. It's free and without obligation so there's really no reason not to do so. Go to this link to start your free trial! We will welcome you with a smile in the FinOps arena...