23rd March, 2022
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Cloud cost management is a business practice to discover, monitor, and optimize spending on the cloud. IT teams may use native or third-party tools for this.
The biggest disadvantage of using cloud-native tools is that you are required to log in to hundreds of apps to figure out what's going on individually. On the other hand, many third-party tools provide complete visibility into your cloud resources.
Nowadays, most businesses are shifting to the cloud, and the rise of remote work culture has accelerated this. Hence, it has become essential to monitor, discover and optimize cloud resources.
Cloud cost management tools provide insights to IT teams and engineers about the cost impact of the various cloud resources used in the projects. Further, it helps the IT and finance team to collaborate better on future cost projections and budgeting on cloud resources.
In this post, we have discussed various cloud cost management tools which IT teams can use to get a complete understanding of its cloud resources and make data-based decisions.
Before discussing the tools, let’s first see some of the things which you should look at in the cloud cost management tool while considering it for your organization.
Visibility: The tool should provide visibility of various resources (applications, servers, containers, etc.) that are being used in the cloud environment. Further, it must provide the state of resources to understand how it is used and whether it is fully utilized or underutilized.
Automated cost optimization: A tool that enables you to automate the scheduling of resources to turn on and off helps in optimizing cost and reducing manual efforts.
Multi-cloud support: If your cloud resources are across multiple cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Microsoft Azure, then it becomes a necessity to have a tool that supports multi-cloud environments.
Support: Good customer support and service is always beneficial. As it helps in reducing the time required for resolving issues as well as clearing doubts whenever you get stuck anywhere.
Ease of use: An intuitive tool with a minimum learning curve helps your team to get the benefit from it from the beginning.
Pricing: It's a very important factor, and you have to understand the budget and the value that you'll get with the tool.
Now, let’s see some of the cloud cost management tools.
A cloud cost management tool that proactively detects anomalies sets a threshold on spending and gives visibility of your cloud resources (apps, clusters, environments, etc.). Further, it predicts your cloud spend and supports multiple integrations.
Harness empowers IT teams to make data-based decisions by providing insights, such as utilized, idle, and unallocated cloud resources. Moreover, it automates idle resource management. Harness can be an excellent addition to your organization's IT, engineering, and finance teams.
Proactively detects spend anomalies and provides alert
You can set a threshold on spend to avoid over and surprise spends
Features spend forecasting to understand the budget requirements
Built-in continuous delivery platform
Supports multiple integrations
Gives granular expense reporting of cloud resources
With some initial training, it becomes easy to use
A new tool with some missing functionalities, but you can expect continuous improvement.
Expensive depending on how your cloud infrastructure is provisioned
Require initial training to get comfortable with it
It is an in-built cloud cost management tool for Amazon Web Services. The IT team can use this to understand the utility and cost of their AWS cloud resources. Organizations can identify spending trends, cost drivers, and spend anomalies with the help of AWS Cost Explorer. It provides high-level data of usage across various accounts and total costs.
AWS CE is good for companies operating at a small scale, but for a larger scale, it becomes operationally inefficient.
Allows to set budget alerts
Provides a high-level overview of usage and cost
Recommendation for saving based on the usage
Comes free for companies already using AWS
Custom report based on the requirements
Good for companies operating at a small cloud scale
Not suitable for hybrid or multi-cloud
Cluttered user interface
Capterra- No ratings yet
It is a free tool available for Microsoft Azure cloud users to understand their billing and get a high-level overview of spending. Azure Cost Management is highly customizable and enables users to integrate with other tools to gain more control over it. By integrating it with PowerBI, you can present better and more detailed reporting.
Provides recommendations for spend optimization
Helps to manage billing data of both Azure and AWS (if you use)
Allows you to set budgeting alerts
Free for Azure users
Does not give visibility of idle or unallocated resources
Steep learning curve and users must have good tagging capabilities to get most out of it
ParkMyCloud is a multi-cloud management tool that helps organizations automatically identify and eliminate wasted cloud spend on the cloud across AWS, GCP, and Azure. It allows you to control costs by rightsizing and scheduling when your resources run and stop.
Further, it enables teams to easily manage, govern and optimize their spending across multiple public clouds.
Automatically recommend resources that are regularly underused to resize it for cost-saving
Recommend to turning on/off resources and helps to create a schedule for automatic allocation of resources
Provides alerts via Slack and other ChatOps bots.
Easy to use and provides API for quickly adding several accounts
Allows quick searching and grouping of resources with sortability by price, region, and team
Seamless integration with SSO for unified and quick access
A bit difficult to understand the idea of overriding a schedule
Not very useful for reserved instances
Support takes time to respond and resolve issues. Also, the response time is very high.
The spot is an easy-to-use cloud cost management tool with advanced capabilities to automate cloud infrastructure cost optimization. Unlike traditional cloud management tools, it automatically optimizes the recommendations rather than done manually by teams. Further, it supports multi-cloud visibility across AWS, Azure, and GCP.
Gives a comprehensive view across pages, accounts, usage type, workload, and more.
Its extensive analytics empower you to make data-driven decisions
Provides actional recommendations and implements automated optimizations
Discovers usage patterns and cloud cost trends
Affordable and easy to use
Great automation capabilities for cost optimization
Supports multi-cloud environment
To get granular level visibility into cloud cost requires good tagging skills.
It is easy to start with basics but getting the best out of it takes time to learn.
Displays costs at daily granularity only
Densify enables organizations to manage cloud resources across multiple platforms such as AWS, Azure, and GCP. Its machine learning-based analytics helps to optimize the consumption of resources by eliminating waste. Furthermore, it ensures that performance is maintained after the removal of over-provisioned resources.
Integrate with management and provisioning systems and provide optimal resource specifications
Provides comprehensive recommendations for cost optimizations
Various automation to reduce manual efforts and optimize resources
Robust reporting and analytics help in making quick decisions
Customer service is excellent, and they resolve issues quickly
It can be difficult to operate initially due to its overwhelming features. Hence, it requires time to learn it.
Offers comparatively lower performance metrics than other tools
Clumsy user interface
Capterra- No ratings yet
Apptio Cloudability gives visibility into cloud spending and helps to optimize its cost. It is used by IT, finance, and DevOps teams to collaborate to optimize cloud resources for speed, cost, and quality. Further, it has many tagging options, mapping, views, dashboards, and reports to organize and manage cloud costs.
It closely forecasts budget
Detects anomalies in spend
Rightsizing and reservation purchase management
Support multi-cloud visibility
Easily customizable and has various integrations with ITFM tools
Intuitive user interface
Provides many cost optimization functions
Steep learning curve, and you may expect some occasional bugs
Does allow to dig down into the cost of unallocated and idle resources
Poor object storage optimization
CloudZero is an easy-to-use and robust cloud management tool that helps in optimizing cloud spending. It reduces the effort involved in manual tagging and is automated to get relevant data. Also, it provides reports as per the business need to make data-driven decisions.
Provide alerts via Slack when there are any cost anomalies
Give real-time cost monitoring across public, private, hybrid, and multi-cloud environments, including Kubernetes and Snowflake costs.
Its code-driven approach enables companies to organize cloud costs without tagging.
Multi-cloud environments support
Easy to use and intuitive navigations for report filtering to get data as per requirements
Initial setup is tedious and requires manual tinkering
There are occasional slow down of some pages
Does not support Google Cloud Platform
Capterra- No ratings yet
GCP Billing is a built-in tool of Google Cloud Platform that provides a high-level overview of costs and saving opportunities across the whole cloud infrastructure. It automatically distributes spending reports at a regular interval and gives budget alerts to teams.
It is not suitable if you have intensive cloud resources due to the lack of granularity and advanced capabilities which you require at scale.
It provides recommendations on preventing overspending
Gives regular reporting and spend analysis that helps in making data-driven decisions
Free for Google Cloud Customers (GCP) customers
Simple to use as its interface is intuitive
Helps to avoid human error by reducing manual work and automating repetitive tasks
Gives visibility of spend and provide regular alerts
Sometimes get blank, and because of that, you may require to refresh
Poor customer service and takes time in resolving issues
As you can see, there are many tools available that you can use for managing your cloud cost. But, depending on your requirements, you should opt for one which meets your present business needs as well as possess the potential to help your business when you scale.
If your business uses very small cloud resources, then you can use the native cloud cost management tool offered by the platform itself. But as your business grows, you will have to move on to a tool that provides granular level data about spending.
One key cloud saying can be in the form of SaaS apps. Today, it's common for employees to sign up for apps with the goal of increasing their productivity or making a task easier. It might even be a free version that was signed up to become paid after a period of time, or the employees may have used the corporate card.
In the absence of a central system of record, it's almost impossible to get visibility into your organization's SaaS spending. The growing use of SaaS will only worsen this problem. If you are looking to manage SaaS spending, the best choice is to go with a SaaS management platform (SMP), like Zluri, Zylo, or Blissfully.
These platforms not only help you with SaaS spending but with managing your SaaS stack completely. You can automate your IT tasks, like onboarding and onboarding. They also help you stay compliant and secure with identifying risky apps used in the organization and getting rid of them.
10% of company revenue is spent on SaaS. It’s a staggering metric, and a high percentage of income is wasted inefficiently on business tools. In comparison, companies spend, on average, 15% on employees annually.
With this explosion of SaaS at companies, there arise SaaS challenges caused by apps getting out of your control. These SaaS challenges varies in three dimension: spend management, security and complance risks, and various SaaS operations tasks like automating SaaS procurments, renewals, employees onboarding and offboarding.
‘Muda’ is used to describe any activity that uses resources but doesn't generate value. It is the Toyota system for identifying and eliminating waste in all forms. It is the same thing that helps Toyota sell more cars than Ford, General Motors, and Honda at a higher margin.
An obese SaaS stack leads to SaaS wastage. It's a disease! It not only causes financial issues but also gives you security and compliance problems. That's why you must keep tight control on your SaaS stack. And it begins with managing your SaaS vendors.
In this post, we've discussed 7 symptoms of an unoptimized SaaS stack and solutions to optimize the same.
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