Digital Planet: Reducing the Financial Risk of Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing certainly has its benefits, increasing organizational efficiency, improved data accessibility and so on and so on but cloud computing also carries risks. One of which is the potential for costs to spiral out of control.

Migrating to the cloud leads to efficiencies such as reduced infrastructure costs, low cost server provisioning based on cloud service providers’ economies of scale and reduced power costs at your organization’s location.

But once you’ve moved to the cloud, there are risks you need to be aware of and prepare for in order to avoid huge financial costs.

So here’s 3 handy tips to reduce the financial risk of cloud computing. 

1) Provision servers only when you need them

One of the issues we’ve come across for cloud service users is facing a larger than expected AWS bill. The reason for this is that many organizations over-provision the amount of servers they need, or often invest in a much larger server than is necessary.

If this sounds a bit like your company, consider doing some extra research to see how much server capacity is actually needed. By purchasing the server size and power actually needed, you may be able to cut down your bill.

High costs are also incurred when an organization spins up a new server for testing, but ends up leaving it on for months, not realizing that all of this server usage (which isn’t always necessary) is contributing to a large bill.

A great way round this is to consider some of the tools on the market that can help reduce the time that the server is switched on. Scheduling tools can be helpful and allow you to turn the servers on and off based on certain times.

Cloud Machine Manager (CMM) actually uses server automation and an on-demand server switch as well as scheduling to control servers and reduce cost by only allowing the servers to be on when they are needed.

2) Measure your server usage

Keep track of metrics such as CPU, network bandwidth and storage consumed etc. so you can gain a better understanding of your server usage and figure out where you can cut back.

You can even do this through automated processes which keep track of server usage and automatically turn off idle servers. The benefits of an automated process are that even if you forget to turn servers off when they are not being used, the automated process will do this for you, ensuring you only pay for what you use.

Automation of cloud server activity also reduces the amount of time the IT department spend on managing cloud server usage, freeing up their time for other tasks and increasing their efficiency.

CMM’s Automation feature sends you a notification when it detects a server that is not being used and switches it off.

Ultimately, by pin-pointing the specific areas of your cloud deployment that are not efficient, you can take action to restructure your cloud server activity to potentially save yourself thousands of dollars a year. Not bad, right?

3) Keep your cloud secure

Security fears are one of the biggest reasons a company won’t adopt the cloud.

The last thing an organization wants is a security breach of their cloud servers and potentially, customers’ data being exposed to the world. The costs of such a security breach can go into the millions, but cause further costs in reputational damage and loss of customer trust.

But the chances of a breach of your cloud can be reduced by bulking up your cloud security. You can do this with two-factor authentication which consists of a combination of a password and a second authentication method such as a numerical code or hardware token to gain access to cloud servers. This multi-layered protection can help to reduce the chances that hackers will gain access to your data.

So remember, you can reduce the financial risks of cloud computing by;

  • Provisioning the right kinds of servers only when you need them
  • Tracking your server usage to ensure you are using resources efficiently
  • Keeping your cloud secure and reducing the chances of a security breach

Cloud Machine Manager (CMM) can help you reduce your financial costs by putting in place an on-demand cloud server switch which means the servers work only when they’re needed.

By Martin Green

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