As the conclusion to my 3 part Cost of Cloud Follow-up (click here to read part 1, click here for part 2), I wanted to focus on development and testing in the cloud and what questions you need to answer before beginning any tests.
Example #3 – Development and Testing in the Cloud: Although spinning up new test and development environments in the cloud improves agility, the essential questions to ask are:
- Internal or Cloud: Is it more cost-effective to host the application or service internally or in the cloud? Can IT prove its decision?
- Which Cloud is Best: Which cloud vendor should be chosen?
- How Much will it Cost: How much will this service/workload cost month over month?
- Failsafe Cloud Alerting and Reports: Additionally, the added problem of developers forgetting to de-commission cloud infrastructure and services drives major cost overruns. Proper notification of these ‘cloud zombies’ is essential to prevent large bills over time. While services like Amazon’s AWS are an incredible boon to being able to create development and test environments in a few clicks, there are latent costs which aren’t always readily apparent – stopped instances still consume storage resources (and cost), snapshots linger even when volumes are deleted (and add more cost), just to name a few. IT needs better visibility.
As stated earlier (part 1), there are no tools that can help IT (or LOBs) model the cost of their cloud needs, predict their workload costs or notify when costs are escalating. However, there are tools coming in the future.
The most fundamental aspect of optimizing performance monitoring in the cloud is to understand the relationship between application/infrastructure performance and cost. Presently, the industry is just beginning to understand how to monitor the performance of applications in the cloud, yet it lacks a cloud costing dashboard necessary for IT managers to make smart budget related decisions. How can organizations understand the cost of cloud computing without a deeper level of visibility? It has become crucial for IT to tie cloud success to cost analysis, as well as overall system performance.
Conclusion: So to Cloud or Not to Cloud? How will you tie your cloud decisions to cost for justification to senior management? Or will you just deploy and cross your fingers?