Public cloud services from companies like Amazon Web Services and Azure have allowed businesses to rapidly deploy applications at low costs while enjoying high degrees of flexibility and scalability. However, they’ve also given IT leaders (and their CFOs) a serious case of sticker shock. A common complaint is that public cloud bills don’t supply the detailed project-specific resource usage information that CIOs need to manage their cloud investments. If your monthly public bill leaves you wondering why your cloud infrastructure costs are so high, read on to learn about some common “gotchas” to avoid that can result in additional charges to your bill.

  1. Not Managing Your Instances

With an a la carte menu, it’s easy to order too much infrastructure. Here are some common mistakes that will result in a big bill:

  • Oversized Instances – Allocating instances for future or “just in case” needs is like burning money. Cloud is scalable; you can easily spin up additional resources as needed.
  • Unused Instances – It sounds obvious, but losing track of your instances, particularly those used for short-term initiatives, such as test/dev, and letting them run when your done, just racks up unnecessary costs.
  • Overtime Instances – Similarly, running an instance 24/7 when it has no use outside of business hours will needlessly pad your monthly bill.
  • Mismatched Instances – Using the wrong instance for your need also can cost you. Instance types optimized for storage, computing or memory are more expensive than general purpose versions.
  1. Selecting the Wrong Instance Billing Model

Choosing the wrong billing model for your instance also can adversely impact your costs. AWS, for example, offers a few different instance billing models:

  • On-demand Instances – This model allows you to buy instances at a fixed rate per hour with no conditions. Using this model over a sustained period can lead to higher monthly costs.
  • Reserved Instances – This model offers hourly discounts by committing to long-term purchases. This gives you lower pricing, but it’s only good if you’re planning to use your instance for at least a year.
  • Spot Instances – This model lets you bid the price for the instance you want, so you can get bargain basement pricing in non-peak time. But like the stock market, the going rate may not always be in your favor, rocketing past rack rates. Plus, you can lose instances if the price shoots higher than your maximum bid, so it’s risky to use for customer-facing apps.
  1. Overestimating the CSP’s Responsibility and Support

Assuming that migrating to public cloud will relieve your IT teams of day-to-maintenance and systems engineering tasks is a costly mistake. Public cloud is an IaaS platform that requires ongoing maintenance and troubleshooting. Make sure you know what your CSP will do and what’s in your court. Take AWS, for example. Its Shared Responsibility Model states that “the customer assumes responsibility and management of the guest operating system (including update and security patches), other associated application software as well as the configuration of the AWS provided security group firewall. AWS operates, manages and controls the components from the host operating system and virtualization layer down to the physical security of the facilities in which the service operates.” That means AWS will not maintain your cloud nor replace an instance in the event of a failure. While AWS provides services such as Auto Scaling Groups to help your team react to incidents more quickly, it will not reimburse you for service disruptions. CIOs need to budget for their IT teams to handle maintenance requests and instance failures.

Switch to Enzu and Avoid Surprise Cloud Costs

Tired of spiraling cloud infrastructure costs? Enzu’s “born in the cloud” experts can help you architect a flexible, secure and affordable cloud strategy, including private, hybrid and multicloud environments. We deliver computing, colocation and connectivity services to enterprises worldwide that need to source affordable, large-scale, enterprise-class computing infrastructure on-demand. And our transparent pricing ensures that you get the best cloud for your unique business requirements with no hidden costs and no surprises.

Want Transparent Cloud Pricing?

Consult our solutions specialists today.