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cloud cost management

The public cloud has led the way in transforming hosting into an affordable, mass-scale solution. However, from a cloud cost management perspective, the benefits of the public cloud are less clear cut than the major vendors would like you to believe. Once you take a close look at their opaque pricing, hidden costs, and inadequate service level of the public cloud, the managed cloud usually comes out as a better (and more affordable) choice for mission-critical applications.

The Cheap Public Cloud Narrative

The public cloud has been touted for its cheap hosting. Public cloud vendors build networks at a massive scale, and invest heavily in automation and self-servicing. They pack tenants in, maximizing utilization to control costs, while providing almost limitless scalability. Supposedly, this makes the public cloud an obvious win from a cloud cost management perspective. After all, hosting is cheap, uptime is high, and you can access resources as soon as you need them. Case closed, right?

Well, it’s not quite that simple.

Public Cloud Cost Management is Complex and Opaque

It can be very difficult to figure out what you’re going to be charged in the public cloud, and costs can easily balloon out of control — particularly with the variety of types, sizes, configurations, and pricing models public vendors offer. For example, Amazon EC2 has multiple types of instances for general purpose, compute, memory, storage and other uses, in an array of sizes. There are also many pricing options, including On Demand, Reserved, Dedicated, and even Spot instances where you bid based on demand.

All these options can make cloud cost management incredibly complicated, and can make CapEx unpredictable — particularly if your company makes extensive use of public cloud scalability and self-service (which is kind of the point). And if you need a lot of oversight just to control costs, you’ve got to ask if the public cloud is really the best place for you — particularly when IT managed services in the next generation cloud offer comparable scalability and automation.

Cloud Cost Optimization Isn’t Just About Hosting

Hosting gets a lot of attention because it’s easy to quantify, but it’s often a relatively minor factor in cloud cost management. Comparing the public cloud to a managed cloud model, you need to factor in licensing, cloud integration, and daily SAP Basis administration, as well as opportunity costs from tying up internal resources.

You also have to look at the costs of performance degradation caused by inconsistent public cloud performance, and mistakes by inexperienced internal admins. And that doesn’t even touch on the increased risk and expense of operating security and compliance in-house. Once you factor in the entire cost of operating ERP in house, managed services starts to look pretty good from a cloud cost optimization perspective.

Cloud Cost Management and Risk Management

You wouldn’t cut security spending if it meant having a warehouse cleaned out by thieves, and you shouldn’t prioritize cloud cost management at the cost of ERP stability and security. Your ERP landscape is at the core of everything your business does, and keeping it safe and responsive is absolutely essential. A managed private cloud can provide the reliability you need, and ensure all your cloud cost containment goals are met without the guesswork or uncertainty of the public cloud.

Contact us to learn how Symmetry can address your performance, stability, and cloud cost management needs.


Randy Downey, Senior Cloud Architect

Randy Downey, Senior Cloud Architect

As the Senior Cloud Architect at Symmetry, Randy brings over 14 years of experience in Information Technology with focus in Virtualization, Public, Private and Hybrid Clouds, System Design and Implementation, Data Center Operations, and Desktop/Server Engineering. He also has extensive experience with VMware solutions at the enterprise level across multiple industries including Managed Hosting, Cloud Service Providers, Global Utilities, and Healthcare.