A few weeks ago we co-hosted an event with our partner Apptio on the increasingly important issue of cloud cost optimisation.
Presenters from Apptio, ECS, AWS and EDF Energy shared their best practices and experiences of running IT like a business.
John Enoch, principal of cloud economics EMEA at Amazon Web Services, argued that when it comes to cloud many businesses are simply ignoring the lessons already learned from using other consumption-based services such as mobile phone services.
Interestingly, as well as managing cloud costs, Apptio’s tools also manage corporate mobile phone costs. There are many similarities between the two, particularly bill shock when users are complacent about their spending because someone else is paying.
EDF Energy – clamping down on wayward cloud costs
With 13,000 people in England and Scotland, EDF Energy both supplies electricity and generates it. At the event, Dean Hocking, Business Technology Manager at EDF Energy, likened the company’s cloud environments to a game of whack-a-mole. As soon as one cloud project is under control more pop up elsewhere.
As EDF Energy moved to the cloud, a governance framework was created to provide approval to purchase and include tagging of all services. Apptio was deployed to gain insight into AWS and Azure cloud usage and was able to start billing back the relevant departments based on this data.
The impact has been huge with EDF Energy realising over £700,000 cost avoidance during 2018. In parallel, EDF Energy is aiming to reduce bill analysis and chargeback from three days down to 20 minutes.
Dean likens cloud cost optimisation to cutting power costs in your home. You might try to switch off lights when you leave a room but generally a timer is more effective. But the most efficient approach is to go one step further and have sensors that detect when you are in the room. By only scheduling cloud services to switch on when they are needed, EDF Energy has cut one bill down to just £8 a day.
As cloud services are pay as you provision it is easy for services to be left running when finished with. With appropriate tagging, governance and using a cloud economist it is possible to manage and reduce costs. Dean is looking forward to the day, hopefully not too far away, when EDF Energy can knock the whack-a-mole cycle on the head for good.