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Unmasking your cloud costs: Is your public cloud overspending hiding in plain sight?

Sophia Harris - June 30, 2023

In the transformative digital era, cloud computing has significantly shifted the paradigm of data management. Both large corporations and small businesses have been drawn to the public cloud's promise of limitless scalability, minimized hardware costs, and enhanced efficiency. However, as more organizations focus on cost optimization, the long-term economic sustainability of public cloud solutions is being re-evaluated. In this blog, we'll unpack the realities of cloud cost assessment and explore why a move to the private cloud could potentially save you more than you expect.

The hidden depths of public cloud costs

The marketing allure of public cloud services lies in the seemingly straightforward 'pay-as-you-go' model. Yet, the true costs of these services can be hidden behind intricate cloud billing structures, encompassing data transfer fees, premium feature costs, and the potential for over-provisioning resources. A study by IBM reported that 37% of IT professionals considered managing cloud costs a significant challenge. So how can businesses demystify their cloud expenses?

Tips for assessing your public cloud costs

When you begin to calculate your actual public cloud expenses, consider these steps:

  1. Identify all sources of cost: This includes storage, computing power, network traffic, and additional service costs. Many organizations overlook the costs associated with data transfers, inter-region transfers or egress fees, which can escalate quickly. Don’t forget to include the costs of hiring internal staff to manage your clouds.

  2. Evaluate your service level agreement (SLA): Understanding your SLA is crucial. It can help you identify and calculate costs related to service availability, data redundancy, and any other services that come with extra charges.

  3. Track your spending: Use cloud cost management tools available in your cloud platform. For instance, AWS offers Cost Explorer, Google Cloud has Cloud Billing Reports and Invoice, and Azure provides Cost Management and Billing. These tools can help you analyze and optimize your cloud costs.

  4. Understand cost of scaling: Analyze your organization's growth and assess the cost implications of scaling your cloud usage. Do you pay more for increased storage or processing power? How will this affect your Internet pipe size, load balancing, direct connect, and other networking costs? What are all the financial impacts of scaling up or down?

  5. Examine over-provisioning: Often, businesses allocate more cloud resources than necessary, leading to wastage and unnecessary costs. Check your utilization levels to identify any over-provisioning. Many enterprises have a public cloud efficiency rate around 80%, which you can use to calculate your total expenses net efficiency loss. 

Is private cloud the cost-efficient alternative?

While private cloud brings upfront costs for infrastructure setup, it could result in significant savings over time, particularly for organizations with stable workloads or high-security requirements. You maintain control over resources, mitigate the risk of hidden costs, and benefit from potential indirect savings through enhanced performance and productivity.

Making the shift

Transitioning from a public to a private cloud involves careful analysis of your organization's workload patterns, growth projections, and budgetary constraints. Still, if cost predictability, security, and resource control align with your objectives, a private cloud could provide a robust return on investment.

Before making a move, undertake a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis. Consider the direct costs (hardware, software, real estate) and indirect costs (maintenance, energy, personnel) of a private cloud compared to the variable and sometimes elusive costs of the public cloud. Contemplate the potential savings from improved performance, productivity gains, and reduced security and compliance risks.

Each organization has unique needs, and the cloud landscape offers various solutions. The public cloud might initially appear more economical, but a closer examination of hidden costs might reveal a different scenario. Conversely, a private cloud, with its more predictable costs and potential for long-term savings, might be an overlooked, cost-effective solution.

Thorough planning and strategic implementation can turn a private cloud into a key asset for your IT infrastructure, driving cost efficiency, enhancing security, and giving you the much-needed control over your resources. It's high time to expose the true costs of your cloud operations and make informed decisions that could bolster your organization's financial and operational success. 

As you embark on this journey, remember that assessing your current public cloud costs is the first step towards achieving a more cost-efficient, secure, and flexible cloud strategy. With a clear understanding of your expenses and needs, you can confidently choose the cloud solution that best aligns with your organization's goals.

The best solutions for on-prem cloud solutions

To effectively manage and control your cloud operations, whether it's moving to private clouds or optimizing public cloud costs, you need a partner that not only understands the complexity of the cloud landscape but also provides the tools necessary for this transition. This is where Mirantis steps in with its ZeroOps for Cloud OnPrem solutions.

Mirantis Container Cloud (MCC) is an innovative platform designed to automate the deployment, monitoring, and lifecycle management of clusters on private clouds or bare metal. MCC has the capability to deploy a full Mirantis Stack on a private cloud, enabling centralized observability, scaling, and lifecycle management, including rolling updates.

Mirantis OpenStack on Kubernetes (MOSK) delivers VM-based open-source IaaS on a Kubernetes framework, offering resilience and ease of updates. MOSK is an integral part of a 'full Mirantis stack' implementation, paving the way for hosting MKE clusters.

Mirantis Kubernetes Engine (MKE), on the other hand, offers a secure, production-ready Kubernetes with optional Swarm orchestration capability. MKE integrates additional products such as the Mirantis Container Runtime and Mirantis Secure Registry, ensuring compliance with FIPS 140-2, DISA STIG, and NSA & CISA Kubernetes Hardening Guidance.

Additionally, we provide enterprise support for k0s, an open source Kubernetes distribution designed to be minimal, scalable, and highly customizable. k0s provides secure, vulnerability-free system images, perfect for diverse deployments from developer desktops to large datacenter environments on VMs or bare metal.

With Mirantis, you're not just gaining solutions for your cloud operations, you're acquiring a partner equipped to guide you towards efficient cloud management. By focusing on automation, scalability, and security, Mirantis ensures that your journey to private cloud is seamless and cost-effective. The ultimate goal is to unmask your cloud costs and make informed decisions that will enhance your organization's financial and operational success.

Calculate your savings
Learn how much you could save with private cloud using our Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) calculators. Compare OpenStack and AWS or Mirantis OpenStack for Kubernetes and VMware.
OpenStack vs AWS Calculator
MOSK vs VMware Calculator

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