Kami Haynes

Jan 31, 2017

Don’t let cloud sprawl wipe out your cost savings

Ever carried a balance on a cash-back credit card? No? Congratulations – you’re a better money manager than a lot of us! But if you have, then you’re probably familiar with that feeling you get when you realize you just paid more in interest than you got back in cash.

It’s the same feeling you get when you realize that moving workloads to the cloud is costing you more than it’s saving you. The remedy is the same, too: manage your resources better.

Start paying attentioncloudsprawl
If you don’t keep close tabs on how you’re using apps and data in the cloud, it’s easy to become a victim of “cloud sprawl.” That’s the term for when you’re not keeping careful track of your cloud activities, and you end up with more cloud instances, services and providers than you really need – along with all the costs that come with them.

The problem of technology sprawl is nothing new. We first started hearing about server sprawl years ago, back when organizations were trying to keep up with growth by just buying more servers to run more apps and store more data. Of course, you’re eventually bound to run out of room and money and resources that way. Server virtualization emerged as an alternative, but that led to problems with – you guessed it – virtualization sprawl, where organizations ended up with too many virtual machines and not enough admin power to manage them. Now we’re seeing the phenomenon repeat itself in the cloud.

Make it easy on yourself
The good news is that cloud sprawl isn’t that difficult to avoid, with some careful planning and close monitoring of your cloud operations. Start with a commitment to paying more attention to what your organization is doing in the cloud. What apps are out there? Who’s using them? Who’s not? What do you need, and what can you live without? That’s actionable information you can use to keep cloud-related costs under control.

That may sound like a lot of work, but it doesn’t have to be. There are technology tools available to give you complete visibility into cloud operations, so you can easily see what’s going on, and to allow you to centralize management of cloud activities and automate a lot of the work. Want to know more about how to conquer cloud sprawl? Take a look at A Guide to Maximizing Benefits and Controlling Risk in the Cloud to learn about this and other aspects of getting more from your investment in cloud computing.

If, on the other hand, you need help managing your credit card balance…

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