By building in cost control automation from the very beginning, you can keep your cloud costs low while encouraging innovation.
Infrastructure automation has become vital for every modern sys admin and operations team. Applications and systems are evolving from single-host mainframes to distributed microservices architectures. This automation has gone from basic operating system installation and setup to full-blown multistep deployments of production code from a single developer’s commit. By automating these mundane processes and eliminating the element of human error, production systems are much more stabile than ever before.
But why stop at automating deployments? There are other elements that need to be automated, too. One of the main ones is cost control.
Continually rolling out new infrastructure without ever taking a step back to analyze the cost often leads to the panic-driven cloud-bill-based phone calls from your finance department. Instead, applying automation to your cloud costs can help you to save money, so you never have that unpleasant surprise of a major bill.
Scaling Up Without Ever Spinning Down
Developers and operations teams often use infrastructure automation early in application development and deployment processes to get servers and databases deployed and functioning. Modern automation tools aren’t just powerful, but they’re also quick to deploy and fit into your current workflow. This is fantastic, but the problem is the automation effort can taper off once the environments are running—too often, users and teams move on to the next project before figuring out a way to keep costs from getting out of control. Then it’s too late, and users simply accept that money needs to be dumped into the deployment pipeline to keep everything on task.
Easy-to-use automation is the key to spinning these environments up efficiently. It also can be key for keeping the costs of these environments low. Sure, you may need to keep the production systems scaled up for maximum application performance and customer satisfaction, but what about the test lab, sandbox environment, dev systems, UAT servers, QA deployments, staging hosts and other pre-production workloads? Having giant environments with system sizes that match production can be useful for some testing, but leaving it all running can be easily doubling your cloud costs. This is true for each environment you have, including for elements that are only used for a fraction of the time.
As your infrastructure automation toolkit grows and evolves, there are a few things you should start building into all of your applications and deployments. These include:
As this list grows, there’s one more thing you need: continuous cost control.
By building in cost control automation from the very beginning, you can keep your cloud costs low while maintaining the flexibility required to keep up the pace of innovation. Without this, your costs are destined to rise faster than you intended, which will then cause headaches (and endless meetings) in the future. It may not be coming out of your bank account directly, but saving money at an enterprise organization is everyone’s job. Automating this is the key.