What is cloud wastage and how to avoid it

Johannesburg, 09 Mar 2021
Read time 3min 20sec

When it comes to cloud, adoption doesn’t always mean optimisation. Especially when you consider that over a quarter of global cloud spend is wasted, according to a 2020 report based on a survey of 750 executives from businesses across the globe. The study found that spend went over budget by an average of 23% and yet these business leaders expect their investments in cloud to continue to increase going forward.

Nebula CTO, Andre Witte, moved to Amsterdam last year and he chatted to Silicon Canals, a European tech news Web site, about this very topic. Witte suggests that increased complexity is a major factor in cloud waste. He explained that billing may be getting more transparent, but the products themselves are now far more complex so bills can include endless lines of data that are confusing and hard to understand.

So, what is cloud wastage?

As the name suggests, cloud wastage occurs when you consume more cloud resources than you need to run your business and bear unnecessary expenses as a result. Cloud wastage takes many forms. For example, you may have resources that are larger than needed to complete the task at hand, or perhaps you’ve left resources running 24/7. It’s a bit like putting a massive spotlight into a room, that is far brighter than needed, and then never turning it off.

To prevent cloud wastage, you need to acknowledge that it happens and identify where you may be spending unnecessarily. Below are our top tips to keep your cloud spend in check.

Eliminate idle/unused resources

Often, businesses go for the maximum computing load to ensure that everything runs smoothly when they are running at peak capacity. But on most days, your consumption requirements are much lower, and paying for idle capacity equates to cloud waste. To avoid this, make a habit of taking stock of your needs, especially once projects have reached their endpoint.

Rethink infrastructure size

In line with the above, remember that you can access resources on demand; so you are able to bring in more or reduce the amount you use almost instantly. As such, it makes little sense to use resources that are larger than needed to do the job.

Use reserved instances strategically

Did you know that cloud providers offer virtual machines that are always available, no matter if you are using them or not? Business can pay for these in advance and receive large discounts for the commitment. While reserved instances can be a great cost saver, you need to manage them very closely and have a clear understanding of what you need in order to use them effectively.

Buy by region

Cloud vendors have different pricing for the same instances across different regions. If you can handle a few milliseconds of latency across certain workloads, you could be looking at cost savings of up to 25%.

Clean up

Delete unused snapshots and clean up old volumes and machine images. While these don’t cost very much individually; if you continue paying for loads of obsolete snapshots and volumes, you could be adding a lot of money to your monthly bill.

Now is the perfect time to end wasted cloud spend. At Nebula, we can help. Our solution, OneView Cloud Expense Management, provides you with all the visibility you need to monitor your entire multicloud environment and ensure that you’re only paying for what you need. The solution is free to trial on the Microsoft Azure Marketplace. Find out more about OneView Cloud Expense Management here.

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