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As more and more companies are shifting to the cloud, the issue of cloud optimization becomes more and more important. Without proper optimization of their cloud resources, businesses may face extra costs, poor application performance, and cybersecurity risks.
So what is cloud optimization and how to do it right? Below, we’ll talk about the main strategies on how to make the most of your cloud solution.
What is cloud optimization?
Cloud optimization can be defined as selecting and assigning the right cloud resources to an application. In this way, the selection and use of correct resources maximizes the app’s performance while decreasing costs.
In order to successfully perform cloud optimization, it is important to implement a robust cloud management strategy in the first place. As the name implies, cloud management is the process of controlling and maintaining cloud resources and includes the following tasks:
- Resource provisioning: important to ensure that you use only those resources that are needed;
- Reporting: with the use of specialized tools, you can monitor the use of resources and generate reports on their costs and performance;
- Security: implies the implementation of security measures and helps you make sure that your cloud solution complies with all needed regulations;
- Cost optimization: by monitoring your cloud costs, you can identify areas for optimization and see whether there are any extra costs that can be eliminated.
And that’s not all. Cloud management is a comprehensive process and calls for a regular evaluation and review of your cloud resources in use. By closely monitoring them, you will be able to gain a better understanding of whether your app performs at its full potential or whether any improvements can be made.
Why cloud optimization is important
If your business operates in the cloud, and you don’t pay close attention to the way your resources are allocated, there may be many costs and issues that you are unaware of. Though seemingly minor, these little things can eventually pile up and result in massive spendings or glitches in the app performance. Thus, cloud optimization is important due to the following reasons:
- Better management of costs: by knowing precisely what resources are used and where, you can easily identify whether over-provisioning takes place and successfully resolve it.
- Improved efficiency: cloud computing optimization greatly increases the efficiency of your operations, as all unnecessary processes are eliminated.
- Improved productivity: with the number of issues and errors declined, your team can spend more time focusing on critical tasks instead of troubleshooting repetitive errors;
- Better security: due to improved transparency and visibility, it becomes easier to monitor and manage security policies and quickly identify any warning indicators in your system
The main areas of your cloud optimization strategy
Cloud optimization involves numerous procedures, but in general, all of them can be sorted into several categories.
Performance optimization includes all activities aimed at maintaining robust performance of your application and at minimizing the number of bottlenecks and potential downtime. When talking about cloud apps, the optimization of their performance usually depends on multiple factors, such as the architecture design, type of cloud service, or code efficiency. Thus, it is important to conduct a performance audit first in order to identity what exactly can be improved.
As for the general tips on cloud performance optimization, they include:
- Correct configuration of resources;
- Use of caching for faster content loading;
- Proper rightsizing of resources;
- Implementation of autoscaling services;
- Adoption of suitable architecture type.
Security is vital because even the smallest mistake can lead to significant damages, including financial losses and damaged reputation of your organization. Thus, it is really important to establish all needed security measures and regularly review and update them to minimize the chances of a malicious activity. Also, note that while the cloud provider takes care of securing the cloud solution, it is also the responsibility of a user to establish certain security measures. This is called “shared responsibility” and implies that you cannot fully delegate the security matter to a cloud provider. Hence, make sure to study available documentation on your specific cloud solution and implement all needed security policies from your side.
As we already stated, the optimization of costs is one of the biggest areas of focus for anyone operating in the cloud. With an array of cloud solutions and tools, it’s easy to go over your budget and let extra costs slip in. This is why we highly recommend using specialized cost management tools that help track your spendings and highlight areas where you may reduce costs. And obviously, you need to implement proper resource provisioning and consider how your resources will be allocated during the app scaling. In this way, you will avoid over-provisioning and will make sure to use only those resources that are needed.
Cloud optimization best practices
When talking about the cloud optimization strategy, it is important to remember that the optimization process will vary depending on the provider. Whether you work with Amazon, Azure, or Google, each vendor offers its own set of tools, suitable for specific tasks. Nevertheless, we can still list down a set of best practices, universal for any cloud platform:
- Select a suitable instance type: depending on the workload type (e.g., memory intensive, CPU-intensive), you will need to select a corresponding instance type like C5 or M5 for CPU-intensive workloads in AWS or M1 or R2 for memory-intensive workloads in GCP.
- Use auto-scaling: for better resource management and automatic adjustment of instances, deploy the auto-scaling feature.
- Detect and eliminate unused resources: not only do unused resources impact your costs, but they can also affect the performance of the application. Hence, it’s important to regularly review available resources and ensure all of them are used as intended.
- Optimize storage: eliminate unnecessary duplication and improve your storage capabilities by optimizing it with the help of specialized tools.
- Merge idle resources: if you have idle resources that are frequently underutilized, you can merge them to reduce costs while increasing the productivity of these resources.
Cloud optimization solutions to consider
As already stated, there are multiple cloud optimization solutions available to successfully manage and optimize your cloud solution. Below, we list a few examples of such tools (note that these examples are platform-specific):
|Google Cloud Platform
|AWS Auto Scaling
|AWS Budgets, AWS Cost Explorer
|Azure Cost Management and Billing
|Google Cloud Billing
|Amazon RDS (for relational databases), Amazon S3 (for object storage), Amazon ECS (for container orchestration)
|Azure SQL Database (for relational databases), Azure Blob Storage (for object storage), Azure Kubernetes Service (for container orchestration)
|Cloud SQL (for relational databases), Cloud Storage (for object storage), Google Kubernetes Engine (for container orchestration)
|Amazon S3, Amazon EBS
|Azure Blob Storage
|Cloud Storage, Persistent Disk
The question “what is cloud optimization?” is a frequent one and usually arises at the beginning of one’s cloud computing journey. In order to mitigate potential financial losses and decrease the number of possible risks, we highly recommend adopting the proactive approach to cloud optimization by implementing preventative security measures and selecting the right tools from the start. In this way, you will not only safeguard your application but will contribute to its robust and smooth functioning in the long run.