Cost, Performance, and Security Optimization for the Public Cloud

Aaron Klein

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Reserved Instances offer AWS users an opportunity to reduce their bills by over 50%. So, here is a six-step process to help purchase Reserved Instances. Step #1: Size your instances. Check your utilization metrics so that you are correctly provisioned. Remember, AWS is elastic - so do not rely the data center only use 20% rule. Instead, architect horizontally, construct auto scaling groups, and be comfortable with higher utilization levels. Step #2: Compile your concurrent usage. Properly choosing Reserved Instance purchases require tracking concurrent instance usage. Reservations function like coupons and can only be used 1x per hour. So, knowing how long any particular instance is running does not help.  You must know when instances are running to compile a map of matching instance sizes, AZ, and platforms. Step #3: Compare your usage against your Reserved Instances... (more)

Ten Common Cloud Usage Traps

Many cloud users moved to the public cloud for cost reasons, but stay for the availability benefits. AWS (and other public clouds) offers users tremendous advantages in terms of elasticity - need another 100 servers?  We can spin those up instantly. Unexpected CDN demand? No problem.  Want to test something out? We'll get the resources right away. In short, the public cloud offers users nearly unlimited capacity in a comparatively (to the old "order the servers from IT") instantaneous manner. However, along with the fantastic increase in availability, we have found that using a ... (more)

Why Worry About Public Cloud and AWS Cost Optimization?

Cost optimization is a hot topic because of the enormous opportunities for the average user to reduce AWS costs. CloudCheckr surveyed 400 of its users and found that the average potential saving exceeded 40%. The results should not have been surprising. Cloud cost sprawl is not a secret. CloudCheckr and other solution providers are constantly shouting: "We can improve your ROI!"  Respected journalists such as Barb Darrow at GigaOm, Beth Pariseau of SearchCloudComputing.com., and Charles Babcock at InformationWeek all provide consistent high-quality coverage of the issue. Why are ... (more)

Cloud Monitoring Essentials: Part 1 | Cost

Cloud elasticity delivers significant increases in availability and scalability with enormous cost reductions relative to comparably functional data centers.  Harnessing this strength and optimizing your cloud usage means monitoring and understanding what is occurring within your deployment - for cloud users, there is no such thing as benign neglect. Just as data center users require solutions to assist in optimizing and controlling usage beyond the application layer, so to do public cloud users. In fact, given the complexity and evolving innovation of cloud architecture, tools a... (more)

Cloud Monitoring Essentials | Part 2: Security

The cloud offers users agility and flexibility at, potentially, a far lower cost than a traditional data center model. However, with these benefits come risks from cost sprawl, security holes, and availability management. Part 1 of Cloud Monitoring Essentials focused on cost concerns. This second part looks at security. Security: The dynamic nature of the cloud, with ever-changing security groups and rules, makes security difficult. New instances, auto scaling groups, and buckets are created and terminated daily.  Resources that were ‘secure' yesterday may be altered today and y... (more)