cloud cost optimization

The Most Popular Cloud Cost Optimization Tools

Cloud environments and their pricing models can be difficult to control. Cloud computing does not offer the best visibility and it is easy to lose track of which price control factors are having an impact on your budget. Having the right tools can help put value to parts of an environment and provide guides on how to better bring budgetary issues back under control.

What is Cloud Cost Optimization?

Cloud Cost Optimization is the process of monitoring, measuring, and adjusting what a cloud environment spends its resources on to get the best performance for what the budget provides. Usually, cloud operation costs increase with the number of users accessing services provided through the environment. Though the cloud offers opportunities for quickly and securely providing new resources as needed, this comes with associated risks of overprovisioning or underprovisioning. Technology has allowed improvements where wasted resources are not nearly as common with tools such as AWS Lambda, designed to help minimize potential downtime and over-procurement.

The goal is to determine if increasing costs are tied to legitimate company growth or a waste of funding and resources. It depends on how customers are using the product and if they are using the resources they are provided without creating waste. This could easily point to increasing the cost of services to customers, planning future budgeting, completely depreciating services that aren’t useful, discovering future opportunities, or if services need to undergo restructuring. As such, there is a market for cloud cost tools designed to provide better visibility and help decide how healthy a cloud environment is.

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AWS CloudWatch and AWS Cost Explorer

AWS CloudWatch and AWS Cost Explorer

CloudWatch is Amazon’s native solution for managing costs on AWS. It directly pulls data from over 70 services and resources to report in almost real time, placing all relevant data on a single dashboard with the depth and complexity needed to understand the cost factors. Users can add tracked variables to their needs, set budgetary constraints with alarms for when an environment is brushing up against thresholds, and establish behavioral changes depending on those parameters. CloudWatch naturally integrates with other native tools AWS provides to understand AWS costs completely.

If users run exclusively in AWS, Cost Explorer tracks AWS resource use and associated costs and displays data. It leverages other monitoring tools on the platform to gather and manage data to provide detailed resource use statistics down to the hour.

Azure Cost Management

Microsoft Azure Cost Management

Microsoft’s Azure has its own internal cost management tool for its own services. Because these are native to Azure, it’s designed to monitor and analyze costs, manage budgeting, export relative data, and provide recommendations abiding Azure’s best practices. If users are using Azure with AWS, Azure’s cost management tools can cover both environment types.

Virtana Optimize

Virtana Cost Optimization

Virtana Optimize does provide some unique features, such as identifying wasted resources and providing cost vs. utilization reports on what to change. It’s even compatible with Azure virtual machines and Amazon EC2 instances.

Harness Cost Optimaztion

harness cloud cost optimization

Harness tracks usage data by the hour, whether it’s utilized, unallocated, or idle. Though it doesn’t directly tie costs to specific features or projects, it does provide context for the costs and can highlight abnormally high costs for further investigation.

Flexera Cloud Cost Management

flexera cloud cost management

Flexera’s offering provides exceptional visibility. Along with many of the standard features of a cost management tool, it can go further and specify sources among cost centers and teams. It provides automatic budgetary alerts and visibility in private and public environments.

VMWare Tanzu CloudHealth

VMWare Tanzu CloudHealth Optimization

VMWare has its own management system with chargeback features to ensure better accountability with CloudHealth. Its analysis tools can inspect previous spending to predict better future costs, with filters for wasted expenditures and rightsizing options. There is also an AWS version of CloudHealth for users on an AWS environment.


Nops.io Cloud Cost Optimization

Working as a third-party option for AWS, nOps makes the most of machine learning to quickly adapt to the users’ cloud usage habits. It quickly automates everything needed for cost optimization, picking up on idle and unused resources before shifting over workloads to the most affordable spot instances. For AWS users looking to achieve AWS Well-Architected Framework standards, this might be the most optimal tool available.


Finout Cloud Cost Optimization

Finout is reported to more efficiently analyze cloud spending than what most native tools can provide. Users can individually customize dashboards and reports; costs are directed to cost centers, namespaces, and beyond; alerts can be set up to notify specific teams of threshold limits. Finout’s most attractive feature is its multiplatform functionality, which can be used with AWS, GCP, Kubernetes, and Databricks.


Cast.ai Cloud Cost Optimization

Cast.ai is a multi-function Kubernetes management platform with AI functionality to help monitor and maintain clusters. Using K8s cost management, it enables quick changes for the best performance, whether it’s hibernating unused instances or rebalancing. Additionally, it’s compatible with EKS, AKS, GKE, and more.


Kion Cloud Cost Optimization

Kion is a cloud management platform with financial management features typically expected, namely budget forecasting, savings recommendations, and proper attribution of spending to cost centers and cost per service. More importantly, it is incredibly flexible for a third-party platform. Kion is compatible with AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.


Zesty Cloud Cost Optimization

Zesty can help alleviate some of the hesitation in choosing reserved instances over on-demand instances on AWS. Users can automatically buy and sell reserved instances or adjust their disk capacity to meet their current application requirements.

Apache Cloudstack

Apache Cloudstack Cloud Cost Optimization

Apache Cloudstack is a popular choice for building open-source infrastructure as a service because of its support options for hypervisors and how it handles billing and metering. It’s fairly simple to manage large networks of virtual machines while simultaneously managing their collective cost factors. The UI is intuitive, usage details for memory and storage are clearly labeled, and it has been more cost-effective than some VMWare-based hypervisors. However, since it is open-source, users are required to do their own training and provision their own environments.


IBM Cloud Cost Optimization

IBM’s Turbonomic isn’t necessarily a cost-optimization tool. Still, it does come with cost optimization functions and the capacity to work with on-premises, cloud-native, or hybrid cloud applications and structures. It incorporates cost details on databases, containers, network I/O, and reserved instances with automated scaling and performance functions.

Vega Cloud

Vega Cloud Cost Optimization

Vega Cloud is enterprise-ready and can work with multiple cloud providers using FinOps concepts. It has several metrics and custom tags that can be used together and work for all major cloud providers.

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Dolan Cleary

Dolan Cleary

I am a recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin - Stout and am now working with AllCode as a web technician. Currently working within the marketing department.

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