Cloud Optimization

Spend less and achieve more by
optimizing your cloud environment

From startups to billion dollar enterprises, the cloud is both here to stay and growing at pace.

As cloud environments grow, so do the opportunities for cost-savings, tailoring, and provisioning that can maximize value for businesses great and small.

The challenge is in both finding and knowing how to capitalize on those opportunities.

Enter cloud optimization, and Vertice’s Cloud Cost Optimization platform designed from the ground up to bring cloud costs down and raise cloud environments’ impact.

Read on to learn more about what cloud optimization is, how to achieve it, and how Vertice can supercharge your efforts to make the most of cloud in 2024 and beyond.

What is cloud optimization?

Cloud optimization is the selection and allocation of cloud computing resources to meet the needs of your applications and workloads while minimizing waste and excess costs. Essentially, it’s about striking a balance between performance, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness throughout your cloud environment through processes like:

  • Automation of routine workflows
  • Ensuring efficient resource allocation
  • Tracking performance metrics against SLAs
  • Adopting a centralized vendor management system (VMS)
  • Maximizing application performance and reliability through load balancing
  • Autoscaling cloud services based on real-time business needs
  • Reducing spend by eliminating unused resources
  • Enhancing security and minimizing risk

You may also have heard of cloud cost optimization. While these two concepts are similar, you can think of cloud cost optimization as a subset within a broader cloud optimization strategy. 

The former focuses more specifically on reducing overspending and delivering cost savings by right-sizing cloud resources, eliminating redundant services, and negotiating more favorable contracts. Generalized cloud optimization, on the other hand, looks at the bigger picture to get maximum value via targeted cloud asset management.

Why cloud optimization is important for modern businesses

Today, cloud infrastructure plays a prominent role in modern IT strategies for businesses of all sizes. With the number of benefits the cloud offers compared to on-premises solutions, it’s easy to see why. 

Unmatched scalability means businesses can adapt to fluctuating workloads with ease. The burden of maintaining an on-prem data center and hardware is shifted externally, freeing up staffing and budget for more strategic activities. And thanks to constant innovation from cloud providers, organizations get access to cutting-edge technologies like AI and machine learning without making significant investments. 

However, widespread cloud migration brings its own challenges. One of the most significant is cloud sprawl. If the proliferation of cloud services within an organization goes unchecked, a multitude of problems can arise:

  • Excessive resource usage and overprovisioning can lead to an increased cloud bill.
  • Improper allocation of resources can hinder the performance of cloud applications and negatively impact the user experience.
  • Poor visibility into your cloud environment can result in security vulnerabilities, potentially leading to data breaches or outages.
  • Managing your cloud deployment can be cumbersome and time-consuming, diverting IT resources away from core business activities.

By implementing optimization tools and best practices, organizations can ensure their cloud environment remains aligned with their business needs while reducing costs and improving performance.

Cloud optimization challenges and opportunities

Various roadblocks stand in the way of effective cloud optimization, but these challenges can become opportunities to improve your cloud environment’s efficiency with the right approach. Let’s take a look. 

  • Challenge – Complex IT environments make it difficult to gain a holistic view of your cloud usage, leading to inefficient resource allocation and potential overspending.
  • Opportunity – Implementing a cloud optimization platform offers a unified view and central management console for your cloud resources across multiple providers, leading to simplified monitoring, cost analysis, and resource allocation. 


  • Challenge – Unused resources can be a major source of cloud waste. Identifying and eliminating these idle resources requires constant monitoring and analysis.
  • Opportunity – Adopting cloud cost management tools offers real-time insights into resource utilization. Additionally, automation tools can automatically scale down unused instances, eliminating unnecessary costs.


  • Challenge – Traditional departmental structures can create silos between finance and IT teams, hindering the adoption of best practices for cloud optimization.
  • Opportunity – Fostering a culture of FinOps — a collaborative approach to cloud spend management — can establish clear cloud governance and ensure responsible resource usage. 


  • Challenge – Complex or multi-cloud deployments may increase security risk and exposure.
  • Opportunity – Deploying a cloud optimization platform within your stack can make enforcing consistent security policies across cloud providers easier, reducing your exposure to data breaches and malicious behavior.

 

  • Challenge – With CSPs constantly delivering new features and functionality, keeping pace with the evolution of the cloud landscape can be challenging for IT teams.
  • Opportunity – Investing in training and upskilling your staff can generate significant cost savings and improved performance over the long term, as your team will be better equipped to leverage the latest capabilities and properly optimize resource allocation.

Cloud optimization best practices

Before diving headfirst into cloud optimization, building a solid foundation through best practices is a must.

Here are some key points to consider throughout your organization’s cloud optimization journey:

  • Right-size resources – Regularly monitor resource utilization like instance type, CPU, memory, or storage, and scale up or down based on your actual needs. 
  • Leverage autoscaling – Many cloud services offer autoscaling tools, such as the Kubernetes Horizontal Pod Autoscaler, to automatically adjust resources based on real-time demand. This ensures performance during usage spikes while optimizing costs at off-peak times. 
  • Automate workflows – Ease the burden on your IT staff by automating repetitive everyday tasks like provisioning and scaling to improve efficiency and minimize errors. 
  • Explore reserved instances – If you have predictable workloads, reserved instances (RIs) can offer significant discounts and favorable pricing in return for a fixed usage commitment.
  • Consider spot instances – For workloads that can safely be interrupted, spot VMs are often more cost-effective than on-demand compute capacity. 
  • Employ serverless computing – Services such as AWS Lambda, Azure Functions, and Google Cloud Functions eliminate the need for provisioning and managing infrastructure. They’re often cheaper too, as you’ll only pay for the compute resources consumed by executing code.
  • Implement cost monitoring – Cloud cost management tools are the best way to gain granular cloud spend insights, giving you a clear understanding of where your budget is allocated through real-time dashboards and analytics. 
  • Embrace FinOps – By promoting joint ownership of cloud activities and expenditures within your organization with a Cloud FinOps philosophy, it’s easier to encourage responsible cloud usage across every department. 
  • Adopt a cloud-native approach – When building new applications, consider leveraging cloud-native technologies designed for scalability and efficiency, such as containers and serverless computing. 
  • Optimize application performance – Consider your SaaS applications and infrastructure when optimizing your cloud environment to identify performance issues and bottlenecks.
  • Continuously refine your approach – Cloud optimization is an ongoing approach, especially considering the rapidly evolving cloud landscape. You should regularly monitor your deployment and adapt strategies depending on business needs and service offerings throughout a project lifecycle or wider timeframe.

Cloud optimization tools

There’s a broad selection of cloud optimization tools on the market, catering to all manner of deployments and set-ups. 

Most CSPs provide native functionality for optimization of their products and services:

  • Microsoft Azure customers can use tools like Azure Resource Management for handling deployment and resource allocation, Azure Cost Management for FinOps functionality, and Azure Arc for maintaining hybrid and multi-cloud environments.
  • Within Amazon Web Services, CloudWatch can be used for application performance monitoring (APM), while CloudFormation provides tools for AWS resource orchestration and management with features like resource provisioning, automated deployments, and rollback capabilities.
  • Organizations using Google Cloud Platform get access to several cost management tools that help reduce complexity and increase the predictability of cloud costs. The Active Assist solution can also optimize your cloud footprint through intelligent recommendations to reduce spending, increase performance, and improve security.

You’ll also find a significant number of third-party DevOps solutions that can be valuable weapons in your cloud optimization arsenal. A few examples include:

  • CloudHealth – This multi-cloud management platform offers a unified view of your cloud resources across various providers, including AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud. It provides functionalities like cost management, automated optimization recommendations, and resource tagging for improved visibility.
  • Datadog – If you’re running a multi-cloud or hybrid deployment, this cloud monitoring platform provides a unified view of your infrastructure performance through real-time monitoring, anomaly detection, and log management functionalities.
  • Terraform – An open-source infrastructure as code (IaC) tool, Terraform allows users to automate infrastructure provisioning, manage Kubernetes clusters, and deploy serverless functions with its advanced API. 

If you’re looking to optimize your AWS cloud environment, why not consider letting Vertice help? 

Our Cloud Cost Optimization tool can bring significant savings within your AWS footprint. Accurate forecasting and alerts let you stay on top of your cloud spend and understand what’s driving costs, while our Continuous Recommendation Engine monitors more than 40 AWS services to produce actionable suggestions for improvement. 

Using the Reserved Instances Optimizer, you can automatically save money through algorithmic buying and selling of RIs. Additionally, our experts can negotiate a competitive enterprise discount on your behalf thanks to market intel and vendor knowledge. Get in touch to see how Vertice can help you optimize your AWS costs.

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