In a telling sign that capitalizing on cloud computing’s pay-as-you-go efficiencies can be a complex challenge, two vendors have introduced free tools for evaluating, monitoring, and optimizing cloud costs within a day of one another.
The first, launched yesterday by Framingham, Mass.-based cloud management vendor Unigma LLC, helps channel pros see in advance what each of the three top public cloud vendors will charge to host a given workload, so they can choose the most cost-effective option for their clients.
“Before you get into a cloud, you have to decide which one you want to use,” says Unigma CEO Kirill Bensonoff. “That’s why we've introduced this free calculator for partners to use that allows them to compare the cost of [Amazon Web Services], Azure, and Google infrastructure.”
The tool, which Unigma has been showcasing at CompTIA’s ChannelCon event in Hollywood, Fla., this week, currently provides cost comparisons for virtual machines, storage, and databases, with additional infrastructure categories to follow in the future. Once solution providers have selected a cloud, Unigma’s tool gives them tips on minimizing costs on an ongoing basis.
“Some things might not be used as much as what they thought was going to be used,” Bensonoff says, resulting in underutilized or idle compute power, memory, and storage. “All of these resources are paid for out of the customer’s pocket, and we feel it is the MSP’s best practice to help lower that cost.”
The second cloud cost tool was introduced today by Spiceworks, the Austin, Texas-based membership organization and managed services tool provider. Named the Cloud Cost Monitor, the free utility provides expense and utilization analytics for Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services Infrastructure-as-a-Service accounts.
Recent Spiecworks research shows that only 25 percent of IT professionals believe cloud services are more economical than on-premises infrastructure, possibly because they lack hard data on cloud service utilization and efficiency. Cloud Cost Monitor is designed to help fill that gap.
After just five minutes of setup, Spiceworks says, IT professionals can use the new tool to see daily and weekly trend data on spending as well as compute, storage, database, and networking usage. Armed with that information, they can then save customers money by identifying cloud services that are unused or consuming excessive bandwidth.
“The idea to create Cloud Cost Monitor came directly from IT professionals who told us IaaS is fairly easy to start using, but it’s often difficult to manage the costs,” said Spiceworks vice president of products Tabrez Syed in a press statement. “With a focus on simplifying how IT professionals get their jobs done, creating this tool was a no brainer in order to help them manage their cloud spending and have peace of mind when their bill comes.”
That’s exactly what the new system delivers too, according to Bruce Gilbert, chief technology officer at Fort Worth, Texas-based Spiceworks member YSTA Services Inc. “Spiceworks Cloud Cost Monitor has helped fill a gap in managing our cloud costs in Azure,” he said in the Spiceworks press release. “With daily and weekly spending reports, if we forget to turn off a large instance or if we used a lot of bandwidth doing a backup restore, we can easily spot these irregularities and address them before we get the monthly bill.”