Here are two indisputable facts:

  1. Unless you want to avoid the fate of the dinosaurs, your enterprise has to become more cloud-native.
  2. As you strive to become more cloud-native, it is a struggle to control cloud costs.

Becoming cloud-native promises speed, flexibility, better products, and lower costs. But here’s the rub: for many companies, the reality isn’t nearly so rosy. Most digital transformation projects aimed at making companies more cloud-native actually drive up costs.

Why? Well, there are many reasons; if you’re interested in root-cause analysis, Cloud FinOps by J. R. Storment is an excellent read. But here’s the short version: To combat spiraling costs, companies turn to three types of cloud-cost-containment solution:

  1. License management
  2. Lease management
  3. Workload optimization

Unfortunately, only one of these solutions – workload optimization – provides solid foundations for a cloud-native stance. Only workload optimization relies on real computer science to achieve its goals. The other two approaches rely on accounting and digital real estate management.

License Management

This solution category is the simplest, and it is relatively effective. The thrust is to provide some accounting oversight for license purchases and reclaim and reuse unused licenses (instead of purchasing new ones). There’s no sexy rocket scientist behind these solutions; there’s a bookish accountant striving to make your dollar go further.

The cook likes it when you eat his food, and he will insist on it. The strength coach does not care about how strong you get. The downfall of license management is that it is the cook. It just makes sure that you use your existing license. It is not a strength coach; it does nothing for making your applications run more efficiently.

Lease Management

This solution category trades the bookish accountant for a fast-talking real estate agent whose job is to find you the cheapest rental space. To automate this arbitrage chore, you will have to conform your cloud workloads to the real estate agent’s APIs. As such, the real estate agent becomes an intermediary. He offers no value other than shifting your workloads around and taking a cut off of your bill. 

Sadly, the real estate agent will make your cloud-native workloads more fragile by relocating your castle to shifting sands. By becoming the API aperture through which you have to reach your cloud provider, this lease manager puts your business at risk, if he does not keep up with the cloud service provider’s API changes. 

And here’s the thing: He won’t keep up with the cloud service provider’s API changes. The three major cloud service providers each offer hundreds of services. The real estate agent solutions cannot possibly keep up, meaning they do not provide a real solution.

Workload Optimization

With this class of cloud-cost-containment solution, there are no accountants with pocket protectors. There are no real estate agents with golden handcuffs here. There are just serious computer scientists.

Workload optimization comes in two flavors: Bin packing and workload reconfiguration. As the name suggests, bin packing is about uncovering a better way of co-locating workloads to increase server efficiency.  Think of this as VMware’s VMotion for the masses.

Workload reconfiguration is about tuning the application to use the right mix of resources (CPU, memory, threads, etc.) to get the job done. A reconfiguration is required whenever there is a load profile change or a new code release. To adapt to cloud-native velocities, workload reconfiguration needs to be continuous and autonomous.

Workload optimization is the most sophisticated of the three types of solution; but it is also the hardest to execute.

Opsani is best in class for cloud-native workload optimization

The company’s solution offers continuous and autonomous optimization, making workloads efficient, driving up performance, and reducing operational costs. 

Think back to the drivers for your enterprise’s digital transformation journey: higher velocity, more flexibility, better products, and lower costs. Opsani enables you to deliver on all of these goals.

In the cloud, there are a multitude of variables and unknowns. So build yourself a solid foundation for the cloud’s shifting sands. Don’t try to succeed in the cloud using an accountant, or a real estate agent. Lean on an elite computer scientist.

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