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Getting Started with Cloud Cost Control

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As part of Quest’s 2019 Cloud Webinar SeriesPhil Newman, Product Manager for OCI Platform, presented five ways to facilitate cloud cost control on an ongoing basis. Newman explained that customers need a cost-governance strategy that properly organizes resources and prevents overspend.

Cloud Cost Control: Getting Started

To get started, cloud cost control governance is all about setting yourself up for success. According to Newman, you should ask yourself these four questions:

  1. Do you plan to cross-charge? Figure out how to structure your tenancy using compartments and tags to make cost accountability obvious and easy.
  2. Do you want to limit expensive resources to specific projects? You can use quotas to allocate resources to compartments.
  3. Do you have a group of users who will manage costs but not resources? Create a group and grant them access to cost governance tools.
  4. Do you have custom reporting needs? Consider extending the usage report or working with a partner.

Next, start utilizing current capabilities like cost analysis, budgets, quotas, and usage reports to help you optimize your Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) usage. See below for quick tips and abilities for each tool.

Cost Analysis

Newman’s quick tips for costs analysis include:

  • Visualize costs over time by service
  • Filter by tag and compartment
  • See commitment balance
  • Look out for more improvements coming soon

Budgets

Newman’s quick tips for budgets include:

  • Create budgets per compartment or per tag
  • See all budgets in one place
  • Set email alerts based on actual or forecasted spending

Quotas

Newman’s quick tips for quotas include:

  • Allocate expensive resources to compartments
  • Disable shapes in the tenancy
  • Limit compartments to a pre-defined set of resources
  • Prevent resource creation in certain regions

Usage Reports

Newman’s quick tips for usage reports include:

  • Get a CSV file generated daily
  • Build for programmatic consumption
  • View hourly usage per resource
  • Reports are generated by OCI metering early in the metering pipeline
  • Find published guidance to build custom solutions
  • Look out for more improvements coming soon

 5 Ways to Save

Once you have a handle on these capabilities, you should practice cloud cost control by following Newman’s five ways to save.

  1. Right-Size Instances
    • It’s a human tendency to want big computers, but often, this is unnecessary
  2. Delete Unused Block Volumes
    • Add tags to resources like an unattach date and set days until termination
    • Merge monitoring data with cost data
    • Utilize Python for simple automation
    • Set an email alert when the termination date is close
  3. Block Expensive Resources from Being Used
    • Set up barriers so users can’t access expensive resources
  4. Shut Down Resources Off-Hours
    • Set a robot to find instances tagged with “shut me down at night”
    • Reduce the number of servers that serve traffic at night
  5. Automatic Resource Expiration
    • Force developers to pick when computers will be deleted
    • Create a job that covers the deletion for you
    • This will automatically reduce idle resources

Required Cost Tracking Tags

Newman shared an additional bonus tip – set required cost tracking tags on resources. Although it’s difficult to correlate cost savings to forced tagging, users will think twice about purchasing a resource with this added step. You won’t be able to directly measure the impact of this tool, but many customers believe they have curbed costs this way.

Cloud Cost Control Governance Roadmap

Here is a brief overview of planned features on the roadmap for OCI cost governance.

Improved Cost Reporting Tools Built into OCI Console

  • Simple visualization of cost over time, group or filter by service, region, SKU, compartment, tag
  • Ability to export aggregates for consumption in Excel
  • Ability to save common cross-charge reports

Scheduled Billing Reports

  • Cost reporting for cross-charging or other reporting needs
  • Delivered as a .csv to email on a weekly or monthly interval
  • Reports can be configured to aggregate by compartment or tag definition

Cost in Usage Reports

  • Simplified custom cost reporting
  • Boosts to the partner ecosystem

Rate Cards in Console

  • Customer views for rate cards in OCI console
  • Rate card details including customer rate and discount
  • API support in addition to the console for extensibility

Multiple Tenancies, One Subscription

  • Singular subscription with multiple tenancies
  • Benefits of a large commitment pool
  • Isolation from multiple tenancies

To learn more about how to control Cloud costs, check out the 2019 Cloud Webinar Series presentation attached below.

Additional Resources on Cloud Cost Control

COLLABORATE 20 will take place April 19-23, 2020 at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada! Don’t miss this chance to share inspiration, insights, and solutions with your peers, vendors, and the Oracle team! Register before March 6, 2020, to take advantage of Early Bird pricing.