Cloud Cost Optimization: 13 Strategies to Reduce Your Cloud Bill

Learn about the importance of cloud cost optimization and the best strategies to achieve it. Cut down your excess spending with JetBase.

April 10 | Updated on April 10 | 10 min
Alex Padalka

Alex Padalka

CEO at JetBase

Running a successful company isn’t more than building unique products and having many clients. Long-term success requires cost efficiency, making cloud cost optimization vital for businesses. Using proven strategies, you can reduce the company’s day-to-day expenses and ensure that your applications utilize cloud resources effectively.

Multiple companies nowadays rely on cloud infrastructure to host their whole ecosystem. That makes this guide to cloud cost savings relevant to businesses of any size and specialization. Here, we will describe how to leverage effective management, resource allocation, and operations structuring to ensure your budget isn’t being wasted.

This focus on smarter cloud spending should allow your business to maximize your infrastructure's potential. Let’s get started, using JetBase’s decade of experience in the market to learn the best approach.

What Is Cloud Cost Optimization?

Don’t let the singular name misguide you. Instead of just one catch-all process that reduces your spending, optimizing a cloud requires a mix of elements. Cloud spend optimization presumes using tools, management techniques, best practices, and regular adjustments. All of these efforts will ideally result in a reduction in daily spending and more efficient resource use.

What Is Cloud Cost Optimization.webp

By employing a variety of approaches, you can gain deeper insight into how your business operates and, more importantly, the reasoning behind certain decisions. Thus, you’ll determine what to adjust for greater efficiency and which elements are best left alone.

While the process of cloud cost reduction doesn’t end at simply choosing the best cloud platform and pricing plan, it’s certainly part of the suite. Smarter initial spending makes optimizing your resulting cloud capacity and managing the expenses associated with it easier. Consider is the first step of a larger endeavor.

Why Cloud Cost Optimization Is Important

Despite their seeming complexity, cloud cost optimization strategies are essential for any business that relies on a cloud infrastructure. Before we describe them and point out the best ones, let’s address what makes them so vital.

Lower Expenses

Let’s start with the obvious - optimizing your work with the cloud means spending less money. You will get the same processing power, reliability, and quality but at a fraction of the price. There is simply no reason not to look into cutting expenses. The freed-up funds can go toward new development and refining current products.

Strengthened Performance

While your ultimate goal may be to reduce cloud costs, you will also see a marked improvement in your system’s speed and stability. Simply put, optimizing your cloud has a knock-on effect that helps you access more resources or, at least, allocate them more appropriately. As a result, the processes that need it most will get more power while the load on your platform is evenly distributed.

Higher Visibility

Rooting around in your cloud architecture means gaining a unique insight into it and how it functions. As a result, your team can better understand the capabilities at your disposal and utilize them better. You will also be able to predict potential problems and diagnose issues faster. This helps ensure stability and keep your services reliable for your customers.

More Control

Going through the process of revamping your cloud platform and your interactions with it will ultimately make you more aware of how it all works. This, in turn, means you can have granular control over the precise steps for boosting performance, increasing throughput, or restructuring your databases. It can inspire new ideas, as well as make maintenance faster and less risky.

Getting Started with Cloud Spend Optimization

Your first step on the way to healthy FinOps practices is to understand your cloud better. First, let’s break down the spending into several categories. These are:

  • Computing costs
  • Networking costs
  • Storage costs

Computing Costs

These include all the RAM and core usage that your enterprise requires. While these inevitably increase along with your company’s growth, there is absolutely room to optimize them. Being more efficient with your resources and not letting idle instances hog any power is a good start. You can also consider whether some power-hungry processes are justified cost-wise and cull those that aren’t.

Networking Costs

Any bandwidth you use and data you transfer will rack up a bill, one that increases the more you use your cloud. The easiest way to start off here is to assess your usage, tracked over a long period. If you’re seeing an upward trend, upgrading your cloud pricing plan might make sense. That way, you may negotiate better terms while matching your system’s growing needs.

Storage Costs

Storage expenses are quite straightforward - the more you use, the more you pay. There is some nuance in the form of different storage types (block, file, object), but the general approach is simple. First and foremost, make sure you’re not storing anything that’s no longer relevant to your current operations. Then, consider reformatting your storage practices to capitalize on storage types’ varied pricing.

There are also extra expenses like maintenance and support. Yet, those are harder to predict due to their nature. With the cost breakdown out of the way, let’s move on to the main course - using cloud cost management strategies to optimize and reduce your expenses.

13 Best Cloud Cost Optimization Strategies

There are plenty of ways to optimize cloud costs, and each company eventually develops its own array of practices and tools for the purpose. This section will compile some of the most effective methods that JetBase has applied to restructure our clients’ spending. You can pick up something for yourself or simply use these as inspiration to craft your own suite of measures.

The Cloud Cost Optimization Strategies in 2024.webp

Avoid Overcommitting

It’s important to strive for more in the business world, but that doesn’t mean you should sign up for excessive pricing tiers. Basically, you need to have a level-headed estimate of your resource needs and pay for them accordingly. Committing to a higher pricing tier may be tempting as you expect your business to grow, but there’s no need to rush.

Decide according to your current requirements; an upgrade is always possible. Besides, it might be beneficial to negotiate a higher tier when you’ve already worked with the platform for a while. This allows you to have legacy pricing or inquire about custom plans instead of using the non-flexible general ones.

Diversify Providers

Nothing is stopping you from using multiple established clouds for your business. Depending on the purpose, AWS and Azure might both be beneficial and serve different roles. This approach also lets you keep tabs on each provider's capabilities. That, in turn, makes it easier to switch between them if a lucrative offer or feature comes along.

With all that said, having multiple clouds to focus on can be challenging without the right structure. That leads us to our next point…

Tighten Billing Processes

Truthfully, this applies to companies that use just one cloud provider and those that operate on multiple clouds. Having a streamlined, clear billing structure with full transparency is absolutely essential. It helps spot excess resource use, estimate costs, and see the full breakdown of your units’ payment histories.

It’s particularly vital for large enterprises, where departments may not have the clearest communication, resulting in excess purchases and failure to bill them properly. Implementing a unified standard for financial reporting is a good FinOps practice and will help your management.

Invest in Monitoring

Most platforms will have special tools that allow you to monitor resource consumption and track system events. It’s paramount that you monitor those and analyze the data to assess your cloud’s performance. This may help you see areas that can be retooled to use fewer resources without sacrificing their utility.

Track Separate Metrics

Similar to monitoring the overall state of your cloud infrastructure, you also need to do a deep analysis of your system’s metrics. You need to assess CPU load, network usage, storage space, and virtual machine instances. This gives insight into which parts of your system are overly resource-hungry and allows you to measure critical load times.

As a result, you’ll be able to fine-tune specific VMs and processes to consume fewer resources, saving you money. In addition, this will optimize your products’ performance, speeding it up and reducing the load on your infrastructure. Most cloud providers have the right tools for this, although using your own software to do the tracking is possible.

Automate Allocation

The provider’s own systems don’t aim to save you money. Instead, their core priority is keeping the system running stably. As a result, the auto-checks often commit too much processing power to resources, ballooning costs.

Crafting your own sophisticated systems of checks that allocate just the right amount of resources is the way out. As long as you understand your infrastructure and needs keenly, you can rely on solutions like Kubernetes services to automate the resource spread. This way, you’ll see a reduction in resource usage and, thus, the cost without sacrificing any throughput.

Prepay for Instances

Inquire with your cloud provider if they offer a prepayment plan, where you can cover 2 or 3 years of expenses for an instance. These usually provide a very lucrative price compared to monthly payments, sometimes up to a 30% discount. As a result, you can prepay for your entire cloud network and save substantially without doing much at all. This is only limited by what your providers offer, as well as your willingness to commit to long-term use of that cloud.

Cut off Excess

Idling instances or ones with minimal activity can be refactored or even removed completely. You’ll obviously have some lulls where you need fewer resources than at peak times, but it’s quite easy to spot excessive parts that only drain your budget. Knowing when to cut them is important, especially since acquiring more cloud resources in the future isn’t a problem. Keep your system lean to keep the budget healthy.

Rely on Real-Time Analytics

It’s important to see the bigger picture and track your resource use and expenses over long periods. However, it’s equally vital to base your optimization on up-to-date information. Ideally, you should have real-time analytics to provide relevant, timely status updates on your instances and processes. This way, you can pivot quickly but without risking too much.

Bid on Spot Instances

On occasion, cloud providers offer unused capacities with large discounts. While relying on these constantly is not ideal, you can use them to beef up your system at a fraction of the cost. This will give the non-essential parts of your infrastructure the processing power while saving the more reliable and expensive resources for critical infrastructure sectors.

Loop People In

Regardless of the size of your business, it’s important to ensure every manager knows what you’re doing and the budget limits. Otherwise, you may find yourself with a heavily optimized system that then falls apart because one department needs way more resources. Establishing clear reporting of team needs and expenses helps see the bigger picture.

It’s almost impossible to have lasting optimization unless your entire company works as one team and prioritizes smart spending over their ambitions. This shouldn’t curb new projects and ideas, of course. Instead, it should provide reasonable limits within which your employees and products can still thrive.

Go Cloud Native

Adapting your products and infrastructure to the cloud has long been the standard approach, but it’s not the best method anymore. If you opt to go cloud native, you will be using resources more efficiently, thus requiring fewer of them to run your services. This also helps make deployment and maintenance much easier, bringing a double benefit for companies willing to reinvent themselves.

Pick Your Storage Wisely

Similarly, your choice of storage influences both performance and cloud costs. It’s important to pick the right type—usually block or object storage. Additionally, you should have automatic management policies that work with unused data. Archiving it away from the cloud or moving it into cheaper storage may not seem like much, but it adds up to pretty solid savings over time.

Cloud Cost Optimization with JetBase

As we said above, JetBase is no stranger to optimizing cloud expenses. Our decade in the market has given our developers plenty of experience in cloud projects emphasizing cost-effectiveness.

For example, JetBase’s work on Energex was all about retooling the system with a focus on cloud cost savings. This smart home app was sending way too much data to the cloud, racking up an excessive bill. The team restructured data processing, resulting in thousands of dollars saved for every thousand devices. On a wider scale, this cut the solution's cloud costs in three.

In addition to the cost optimization, JetBase refactored much of the app’s code to facilitate IoT integration. Thanks to that, Energex can integrate with different hotel chains, tailoring its features to a particular client.

There’s a reason we highlighted the importance of automation, reflected by our experience with AdTool. This SaaS project helps manage LinkedIn ads, cut expenses, and control advertising campaigns. However, it needed JetBase’s help to automate campaign processes and establish preset budget limits. It made the app more useful for major advertising while preventing excess spending.

While we could discuss more cases from JetBase’s portfolio, it would take a while to list them all. Instead, we want to stress one more time that cloud spend optimization can benefit any business. It's the best way to cut expenses, boost performance, and ensure a bright future for your company.

To make sure the process is successful, you will need an experienced team that can guide you along or handle the job for you. Thankfully, you don’t need to look far, as JetBase is ready to lend its services. We can consult you on the best practices for optimizing costs and help implement them to strengthen your business. If you’re ready to get started, reach out to us now.

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