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Hybrid Cloud cost management

Managing costs across multiple clouds in a hybrid environment can be a big challenge, and incomplete planning can lead to unexpected costs and budget overruns. To overcome this, organisations need to have a solid hybrid cloud strategy that will provide a more accurate forecast of expenses and better visibility of cloud infrastructure once in use.

As noted by Sid Nag, Gartner Research Vice President, from data based on their recent surveys, 

“As cloud continues to become mainstream within most organisations, technology product managers for cloud related service offerings will need to focus on delivering solutions that combine experience and execution with hyperscale providers’ offerings,” said Mr. Nag. “This complementary approach will drive both transformation and optimization of an organisation’s infrastructure and operations.”

Sid Nag, Gartner

They also need a new suite of user-friendly self-service tools that manage costs across all public and private cloud environments.

These management tools could include:

• A cost management tool – this could assist your organisation with monitoring resource consumption, and providing the reports required for the team to accurately assess and measure cost / profitability of the cloud services you are using.

• A utilisation management tool – this could assist with monitoring the resources that are being hosted on the cloud, including the cost of virtual machines and utilisation of shared resources running in the cloud. This can provide insights into capacities and efficiencies, which could simplify your cloud infrastructure management.

• A cloud optimisation tool – this could assist with optimising cloud cost and performance of public and hybrid cloud deployments, providing insights on spending and helping the deployment of resources internally.

There are of course many providers of these types of tools to choose from, and you should opt for a tool that addresses each of the functionalities you require to best assist with your cloud management.

Breakdown of costs for Hybrid Cloud deployment

While the long term savings will eventually overshadow them, there are some initial costs associated with switching to a hybrid cloud environment over and above the actual build. These can include:

  • Customisation – There may be costs associated with customising on-premise applications being migrated to public clouds so they will work in the hybrid environment. Configuration work and testing may need to be done. If the application is not compatible, it may need to be rewritten.

  • Management – Once installed, multiple environments will need to be managed including on-premise and public clouds. If current IT staff do not have the required skills, they will need to undergo training in the management and maintenance of the hybrid cloud environment.

  • Compliance – If an organisation is subject to compliance obligations, the cloud service(s) being used may need to be audited to ensure they meet the appropriate requirements. This would be an added expense in addition to the organisation’s existing on-premise audits. Customers may also require official proof of compliance.

Cloud pricing models

As far as initial costs go for pursue a hybrid cloud deployment, there are a wide range of prices offered by cloud service providers which take into account factors such as CPUs, RAM, and storage as required. Enterprise organisations may be able to negotiate flexible payment terms with public cloud hosts based on their scale of operations and annual budget.

Some typical pricing models being offered in today’s market include:

  • Free trial – Most providers offer free, limited access to cloud resources to try out PaaS environments without any up-front financial commitment.

  • Low cost trial – Developers may be offered more resources and longer use periods than no cost trials to test experimental applications, often because of their organisation’s larger overall relationship with the provider.

  • Pay as you go – A cost effective strategy requiring no up-front investment which involves no-commitment billing for the use of cloud computing services. “Pay as you go” means that you only pay for the resources you specifically consume.

  • Reservation – A commitment for a specific period for a given workload or service at a much cheaper rate than pay as you go, but where you are billed for 24/7 use whether you utilise it or not.

  • Dedicated host – A subscription to a dedicated server as a web host for a predetermined period or perpetually as a reserved resource.

  • Capacity boost – An on-demand capacity boosting agreement where more VMs are made available if required.

  • Excess capacity return – An agreement allowing the release of unused reserved capacity either for a guaranteed return value or by selling to another customer.

  • Batch computing – Access to spare capacity at a significantly reduced price, for off-hours non-urgent computing needs.

  • BYO licence – The option to re-use an existing licence or migrate a licence from on-premise to a cloud to acquire computing resources at a lower cost.

  • MSP pricing – You will most likely have a predictable monthly management fee, which could cover various elements of the above.

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Common examples of how an organisation might use a Hybrid Cloud include:

  • Using a private cloud for internal traffic and a public cloud for overflow capacity during peak times
  • Storing sensitive data in a private cloud while using a public cloud for less sensitive data
  • Running critical applications in a private cloud while using a public cloud for less critical applications
  • Orchestrating and managing multiple clouds from different providers

One example of hybrid cloud working is when a company uses a private cloud for their intranet traffic and public clouds services for overflow capacity during peak times. Another example of hybrid cloud working is when different clouds are managed by different providers with sophisticated orchestration and management tools.

How does CBS help with Hybrid Cloud deployment?

CBS can help with all aspects of your hybrid cloud deployment. Our approach starts with understanding your organisation's goals and operating environment to define and set your cloud strategy. No matter if the strategy calls for a full cloud transformation or simple workload migration, our Professional Services team brings the skills and capabilities needed to help your team implement the hybrid cloud deployment. Our heritage in infrastructure and managing secure and compliant private cloud environments means we have deep experience in helping organisations to get the best of cloud while still maintaining the benefits of their on prem environments. Finally our Microsoft Azure practice is one of Australia’s leading, with one of the few partners holding 3 Azure Advanced Specialisations in Security (Identity and Access Management, Cloud Security and Threat Protection).

Are you looking for a partner that brings true hybrid capability across a variety of on-prem, private and public environments, matched with deep security and compliance skills? If so then it's time to get in touch with our team of cloud engineers to discuss how we can help.

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