• 12 min read
28th December, 2023
Cloud cost management tools provide recommendations for allocating resources and help effectively manage your cloud costs. This article will explore top cloud cost management tools you can consider implementing.
Unused or overprovisioned resources are key culprits in driving up cloud costs. These resources are the ones that are often left idle or have not been allocated. If you neglect them, you can potentially drain hundreds of dollars.
This is why managing cloud resources and finding ways to optimize them is crucial. However, managing these critical tasks can be very challenging as it involves lots of complexity.
So, to help simplify the cloud cost management process, you can opt for cloud cost management tools. Before we explore the best cloud cost optimization tools you can consider implementing, let's first understand what cloud cost management is and what benefits you can avail of these tools.
Cloud cost management is the process of managing and monitoring your cloud resources to reduce SaaS expenses and maximize return on investment. Furthermore, it involves a series of practices that involve monitoring how your employees use cloud resources, setting budgets, and identifying opportunities to save money. These actions are implemented in a way that helps align with the organization's financial objectives and operational requirements.
Additionally, the tools that are designed to streamline and simplify the cloud cost management process are known as cloud cost management tools/solutions. But, these tools are not just restricted to controlling and managing cloud costs; they also provide other benefits.
Given below are some of the few advantages offered by cloud cost management tools:
Anticipates Unexpected Spikes In Expenses
Cloud cost management tools help accurately forecast cloud computing needs and prevent surprise spikes in expenses that could impact cash flow. This also enables organizations to take advantage of cost-saving opportunities, such as early bird discounts through Reserved Instances (RIs) and Savings Plans (SPs).
Promotes Strategic Planning
This tool lets your IT team monitor cost data and understand usage. Further, by gaining these insights, they can accordingly shape their overall strategy for the cloud, product development, and pricing.
Helps In Unleashing Innovation through Optimized Cloud Costs
With the help of cloud cost management tools, your IT team can effectively optimize cloud costs. This further helps businesses immediately free up resources that can be directed towards innovation.
When organizations are confident in the return on investment from their cloud spending, it becomes quicker and simpler to approve additional expenses for accelerating the development of new features.
Streamlining Cloud Infrastructure For Future Growth
Cloud cost management tools help improve and simplify the structure of your cloud setup. This way, it becomes simpler to expand and adapt your tools and methods as your organization expands in the future. Moreover, a well-optimized cloud infrastructure provides a solid foundation that allows for easier growth and scalability.
Provides Visibility and Security
Cost management tools provide visibility into all cloud resources and services in use. This visibility assists security teams in identifying and monitoring potential security risks. Additionally, it frees up the budget for essential security-related expenses.
Engineers understand the benefits of transitioning to more efficient technologies and implementing strategies to manage cloud costs. But putting these ideas into practice is often easier said than done.
Balancing various commitment options, staying informed about market pricing, and dedicating time to labor-intensive manual processes for implementing cost-saving recommendations can become a demanding full-time job. This, in turn, distracts engineers from their primary focus of building and innovating.
Fortunately, a wide range of cloud cost management tools are available in the market to assist your team in these tasks. It will reduce the burden on your teams and simultaneously effectively manage cloud costs. Thus, these tools are the only solution to put a stop to overflowing cloud expenses.
Furthermore, to assist you in your research journey, we have curated a list of the best cloud cost management software that are in demand nowadays.
Below are the 11 best tools for cloud optimization that are designed to manage and optimize cloud cost most effectively.
Zluri stands out as a cutting-edge automated solution that enables your IT team to manage cloud costs most efficiently. It provides your IT team with in-depth insights about the SaaS environment, which further helps identify opportunities to optimize cloud costs. To help you understand better, let's have a detailed look at Zluri's features:
Zluri uses 5 robust discovery methods to identify all SaaS applications within your organization, providing comprehensive visibility into the SaaS stack. This visibility enables your IT teams to efficiently manage applications. For example, your team can easily identify applications that are redundant or no longer used by the employees and eliminate them accordingly. By doing so, organizations can optimize costs, allocate resources judiciously, and eliminate unnecessary spending on redundant applications.
Zluri thoroughly monitors the app usage patterns of users. This helps identify which applications are used most by the user and which are used the least. Also, this analysis helps recognize if there is a need for more applications. Furthermore, by analyzing user access behavior, login/logout times, and frequency of application use, Zluri provides valuable insights into user preferences and requirements.
For instance, Sam and Mark are from the finance department. Initially, the IT team assigned Quicken and TurboTax licenses to both of them. After a while, Sam stopped using these applications; instead, he consistently used Spendflo for his tasks.
With Zluri's app usage pattern tracking, your IT team can identify users who aren't actively using specific applications and help find out which apps they are using. This helps strategically allocate application licenses based on user needs and preferences.
Zluri provides your finance team with a complete view of all department spending. This means they can precisely track how much each department is spending. This information is invaluable for budgeting purposes, enabling your team to create budgets tailored to the specific needs of each department.
By clearly understanding departmental expenditures, they can allocate the necessary funds to ensure that each department operates within its budgetary constraints. This promotes effective financial management and ensures that resources are allocated properly across the organization.
Zluri offers you SaaS buying capabilities to procure apps at a better market price. It allocates a dedicated team of experts to negotiate the best possible deal on behalf of your team while purchasing cloud services.
These experts utilize negotiation techniques such as ZOPA (Zones of Possible Agreements) and BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement).
ZOPA (Zones of Possible Agreements): To help you understand better how ZOPA works, let's assume an instance. Suppose you want Zoho Projects's services and have a budget of $400 for this particular application. The last time you renewed this contract was 24 months ago, so there is a chance that there can be a change in license pricing.
Therefore, before renewal, you conducted market research and found that various vendors now offer Zoho Projects's licenses within a price range of $350 to $450. In this scenario, the ZOPA represents the difference between your spending limit and the vendor's price range ($350 to $450) in the market.
With this information, Zluri's experts can confidently negotiate on your behalf, aiming to secure the Zoho license at a price closer to $350 while ensuring the vendor still earns a profit.
BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement: This is another strategy used by Zluri's experts. They compare the pricing of app licenses offered by multiple vendors. If the desired vendor agrees to the negotiated price, which falls under your budget, then these experts will grab the offer, and if they don't agree, then they will choose the best alternative vendor who offers a better deal at a better price.
So, according to your buying power with Zluri's SaaS buying capabilities, you can procure app licenses for the best prices and save a lot of money, which can be utilized in other core activities.
Book a demo now, and see for yourself how it works in real time.
Renewal Calendar: Zluri offers a renewal calendar that sends real-time alerts for upcoming renewals. This feature helps your team to make well-informed decisions regarding the continuation or discontinuation of specific licenses before their renewal dates.
You can prioritize the renewals as per the requirement and also can set alerts manually set at your convenience. By default, you will get alerts for contracts 30, 15, 7, and 1 days prior to renewal, and for payments, you get 7 and 1 days prior to renewal.
Licenses Management Feature: Zluri provides your team with a detailed view of all the licenses in a centralized dashboard. With this comprehensive visibility, your IT team can easily detect used and unused licenses. Armed with this information, they can further right-size license subscriptions or downgrade to a suitable plan.
This helps in minimizing SaaS expenditures resulting from mismanagement of licenses and a lack of visibility into licensing usage.
Lucidity introduces a groundbreaking solution: Live Block Storage Auto-Scaler, addressing the often-ignored aspect of storage cost in cloud expenses. This innovation ensures seamless and autonomous adjustment of storage resources based on evolving needs.
Designed to optimize AWS EBS or Azure Managed Disk, Lucidity simplifies scaling without impacting application performance, resulting in substantial cost savings on storage and overall cloud expenses.
Automated Scaling: Lucidity eliminates the hassle of manual resource provisioning by autonomously expanding or shrinking storage as needed within minutes.
Zero Downtime: Unlike traditional methods, Lucidity's automation ensures that storage adjustments occur seamlessly, avoiding downtime or performance issues.
Harness cloud cost management platform helps your IT team focus on enhancing cost transparency, optimization, and governance. It gives your team detailed visibility into cloud expenditure, offering insights into utilized, idle, and unallocated resources.
Furthermore, this platform also provides cost insights categorized by projects, teams, business units, departments, and more. This further helps in generating accurate reports on critical cost and usage metrics.
Additionally, Harness delivers detailed reporting and practical optimization suggestions, covering aspects like cluster utilization, right-sizing, autoscaling, and removal of underutilized or orphaned resources. Also, before implementing any recommendations, Harness enables users to conduct a what-if analysis to assess the potential impact on costs.
This platform also supports budget setting, expense tracking, and continuous usage monitoring, triggering alerts when usage deviates from expected levels.
Harness provides a range of automated cloud cost management and optimization features, including AutoStopping, which automatically shuts down non-production resources when they're not in use.
Harness provides cost information for applications, services, and environments without requiring manual tagging by humans. Thereby minimizing the effort teams would otherwise need to invest in this task.
Microsoft Cost Management or Azure cost management comprises a set of tools designed to assist organizations in tracking, assigning, and enhancing the efficiency of their Microsoft Cloud workloads. While these tools are free for Azure usage, Microsoft Cost Management incurs a 1 percent charge on the total AWS-managed spend during general availability.
Furthermore, your IT team can utilize Microsoft Cost Management to generate reports and analyze cloud costs. Additionally, this cloud cost management tool enables your team to monitor cloud costs through features like budget alerts, anomaly alerts, and scheduled alerts. Also, Microsoft provides Azure Monitor, offering insights into the operation and performance of Azure resources.
Microsoft Cost Management streamlines and simplifies cost management processes by accessing and managing expenses for both Azure and AWS through a unified platform.
This platform enables your IT team to monitor resource usage and control costs seamlessly across all your cloud platforms through a unified view.
It provides your team with access to detailed operational and financial insights. This further enables them to make well-informed resource utilization and cost management decisions.
Spot by NetApp, previously known as Spot.io (formerly Spotinst), is a CloudOps tool designed to assist your engineering team in effectively and securely managing tasks. These tasks are related to cloud computing, such as deploying and running applications in the cloud.
Furthermore, this cloud cost management tool helps unlock the full potential of your cloud investment by providing visibility, insights, and automation features to continuously optimize your cloud infrastructure. This helps in cost reduction but also helps in maximizing overall efficiency, ensuring you get the most value from your cloud resources.
Despite its automation strengths, Spot has limitations, such as the lack of resource scheduling guidelines and real-time pricing details.
It monitors how the computing resources (workload) are being used in real-time. If it notices that some parts of your applications are using too many or too few resources, it recommends making changes. By implementing its recommendation, your team can efficiently allocate resources within your organization and reduce expenses substantially.
Spot by NetApp helps in downscaling or removing the least utilized nodes (physical or virtual machine/ resources that are grouped into a cluster to provide block storage and compute capabilities). By removing underutilized nodes, you can minimize unnecessary costs associated with their maintenance.
Densify is a cloud cost management tool that enables your IT team to oversee their cloud resources seamlessly across diverse platforms, including AWS, Azure, and GCP. Furthermore, it utilizes machine learning to analyze workload (activity on a system often measured by resources utilized in it like memory usage) patterns.
This helps determine in which areas there is a requirement for resources. Also, by understanding the workload patterns, your team can prevent the overallocation of resources and save on cloud costs.
Densify offers automated API-driven workload routing that uses detailed capacity analysis, fit-for-purpose analysis, and cost ranking to help your team make intelligent placement decisions. This process is executed seamlessly without requiring end-user decisions or manual intervention.
Densify utilizes patented reservation technology, which locks resources within predictive models, preventing other provisioning activities from utilizing them. This eliminates the necessity for manual adjustments to blueprints in case of unexpected resource exhaustion in VMware environments.
Apptio Cloudability is a cloud cost management and optimization solution that automatically categorizes all cloud costs through real-time ingestion of billing exports from AWS, Azure, and GCP. This further enables your IT team to allocate costs effectively.
Additionally, it provides a unified view of allocated spend with single-pane-of-glass visibility and resource-level analytics across major cloud providers. Also, it provides proactive notifications regarding significant cost events and budget compliance.
Apptio Cloudability actively helps teams optimize costs by sending automatic right-sizing suggestions for VMs, databases, and volumes directly to engineers. Plus, it gives FinOps experts insights into commitment coverage and additional purchase opportunities.
Apptio Cloudability uses powerful right-sizing capabilities across major cloud services to efficiently reduce operating expenses, creating funds for future investments and innovation.
Kubecost is a cloud cost management tool that delivers insights into Kubernete's cost. It gives detailed information about where the money is going in your Kubernetes setup and alerts you if something needs attention. Furthermore, your team can customize how it shows you the costs, like breaking it down by different parts of your setup, such as teams, applications, or departments.
Additionally, Kubecost makes it easy to see how much resources (like CPU and memory) you're using inside your system and how much you spend on outside services like databases or storage. Also, it gives cost reports that help you balance spending money wisely while keeping your system running smoothly in the cloud.
Kubecost provides real-time recommendations on spending less on cloud resources without compromising performance. You can implement these recommendations and allocate resources most effectively per your specific needs and goals.
It analyzes and understands your expenses by breaking down costs according to elements like namespace, deployment, service, and more. This helps you understand the spending patterns and determine where exactly your money is going.
AWS Cost Explorer, one of the prominent cloud cost management tools, provides a user-friendly interface for visualizing, understanding, and managing your AWS costs and usage over time. It starts by creating custom reports that analyze your cost and usage data.
With AWS Cost Explorer, your team can analyze data at a high level, such as total costs and usage across all accounts, or dive deeper to identify trends, pinpoint cost drivers, and detect anomalies.
Furthermore, your team has the flexibility to sort and categorize data using various dimensions. For instance, your team can examine your daily or monthly expenses categorized by member accounts to identify the primary contributors to your overall costs.
Also, they can group costs by services, allowing you to visualize the top nine AWS services in the Cost Explorer graph and obtain a detailed breakdown of costs per service in the accompanying table.
Additionally, they can apply filters to focus on the cost of a specific service and track how the spending for that service has evolved over time.
How to enable Cost Explorer? To enable Cost Explorer for your account, use the procedure on the Billing and Cost Management console. Note that you can't enable Cost Explorer using the API. Once enabled, AWS prepares data about your current and the last 12 month's costs and calculates forecasts for the next 12 months.
The current month's data is available for viewing in about 24 hours, while the rest of the data takes a few days longer. Also, AWS Cost Explorer updates your cost data at least once every 24 hours.
AWS Cost Explorer visually represents their AWS usage and cost over time using tables and graphs. This visual representation simplifies the analysis of intricate cost and usage data, making it easier to gain rapid insights and make well-informed decisions
AWS Cost Explorer can forecast future costs and usage by analyzing historical and current patterns. This feature assists organizations in planning and budgeting for upcoming expenses
Zesty is one of the best cloud cost optimization tools that automatically allocates to applications as per their requirements. Furthermore, it helps organizations adapt to evolving business needs, making their cloud infrastructure more dynamic and efficient.
Furthermore, Zesty eliminates the stress associated with unexpected spikes in activity that could lead to application freeze or downtime. The platform guarantees availability by strategically reserving EC2 instances during periods of scarcity, ensuring your applications run smoothly when they matter most.
In times of peak demand, Zesty secures a steady supply of EC2 Instances through reserved resources that cannot be withdrawn. This commitment to availability ensures the reliability and stability of your cloud infrastructure.
Zesty's intelligent system automatically adjusts resource and cost allocations, eliminating the need for manual intervention and providing a seamless and hassle-free experience. With Zesty, your resource allocation is always in sync with your application demands.
It ensures your applications have the right resources needed for optimal performance, regardless of usage patterns and locations.
CloudZero is a cloud cost management solution that provides in-depth insights into your cloud expenditures. This helps your team understand where, when, and how your cloud cost is spent. Furthermore, features like automated tagging and Slack alerts help your team track cloud costs invested in teams, customers, unit cost KPIs, and product features.
Also, this platform enables your team to detect areas of expenses immediately, covering costs related to Kubernetes and Snowflake across diverse cloud environments. These environments can include public clouds, private clouds, hybrid setups, and multi-cloud systems.
Additionally, CloudZero offers coaching support to help guide your cost optimization strategy.
CloudZero helps your IT team understand cloud resource usage patterns, identify irregularities, and swiftly investigate the underlying causes of any expenses-related issues. This further helps in effectively managing cloud costs and preventing the chances of cloud resource misallocation.
It leverages a code-driven approach to streamline cloud cost organization, eliminating the need for extensive tagging.
We’ve provided you with an overview of top cloud cost management tools features. However, the ultimate choice is yours to make. But, it is recommended to carefully evaluate factors such as cost, features, scalability, integration capabilities, automation, and reporting before committing to a cloud cost management tool.
To facilitate your decision-making, we suggest creating a detailed list of feature requirements tailored to your organization's unique needs. This will help you find the most suitable cloud cost management tool for your organization.
Cloud cost tools assist your IT team in monitoring, analyzing, and enhancing organization's cloud expenditures. These tools offer visibility into the usage of cloud resources, allocate costs to particular teams or projects, provide recommendations, and help your team act on the suggested recommendations.
Cloud cost management, or cloud cost optimization, refers to the strategic planning within an organization to understand and manage the costs and requirements associated with its cloud technology. This involves identifying cost-efficient approaches to maximize the utilization and efficiency of cloud resources.
Sreenidhe is a SaaS management expert and has a keen interest in ITAM and SAM practices. She is adept when it comes to SaaS Vendor Management and SaaS Spend management. Her knowledge of SaaS and SaaS management is self-thought and is based on a lot of reading. Before joining Zluri, Sreenidhe was working as a full-time journalist. She is also equally passionate about fashion and aspires to own a boutique someday.
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