Cloud Cost Optimization Tools


‘Cloud’ is one of the most popular terms one can relate to. The terminology, in terms of its utility and popularity, has gained wide recognition in the entire gamut of the IT industry. In this article, we try to take a more detailed approach towards understanding what is cloud, how to align tasks with cloud infrastructure, the cost involved in a cloud model, how to optimize cost, and basically how to make the most efficient use of cloud in software deliverables.

Why Cloud?

Remember the time when a software development life cycle (SDLC) took ages (pun intended) to be completed. The organizations mostly followed a step-by-step approach to meet the deliverables schedule. This was a very tedious process and often the results consisted of erroneous outcomes. As each phase of SDLC had to be finished within a timeline, it was not possible to go back to the previous stage for implementing any change and then resuming with the ongoing process. This traditional approach, known as the ‘Waterfall Model’, was not iterative in nature, which caused inconveniences.

Over the years, the approach towards software development took various forms as per industry requirements, and ultimately, we have ended up with ‘Agile’. Agile is simply a methodology of catering to the ‘implement as per requirement’ approach. With such a humongous set of feature-rich applications being released, all for the very purpose of meeting the market demands, it has become imperative to incorporate the end-user requirements in applications with persistence.

Cloud has thus emerged as a savior in this ever-changing technology battle, as it provides a robust platform to cope with the dynamic nature of the software industry. A cloud platform can be thought of as a decentralized infrastructure, which assists with the server, storage, databases, networking, analytics, and so on, which are crucial for achieving a consistent and continuous integration and delivery of a software product. With a cloud infrastructure in place, the users of the platform can upload their code from any system, irrespective of location. It also eliminates the hassles of managing and provisioning a software development environment.

Cloud Optimization

The process of analyzing and configuring essential cloud resources, which form the core for the applications, infrastructure, and volume of data to perform, is known as Cloud Optimization. A cloud platform should be scalable enough to enable the addition of enhancements in any software and thus should facilitate maximum performance and speedier deliverables.

Cloud Cost Optimization tools:

A cloud optimization tool helps organizations to manage their expenditures on cloud services by monitoring whether the services align with the utilization of resources. A cloud cost optimization tool is software that notifies the user about the least used resource and creates alerts for cost effective packages as per the use.

There is a wide range of tools in the market, so which one to choose?

Well, the purpose is to maximize performance at minimized cost and assessing the capabilities of such tool, and largely focusing on the Return on Investment (RoI) factors, before opting for it.

Some of the popular cloud cost optimization tools are as follows:

  • Amazon CloudWatch - the tool offers monitoring capabilities that can be used by developers, engineers, administrators to keep a check on the resource usage, thereby deriving actionable insights that aids in performance monitoring, optimizing resource utilization, and capturing the overall operational health of the cloud platform
  • ParkMyCloud - it is a product by Turbonomic, which is a SaaS-based platform. It can be very useful in identifying idle resources and eliminating the need for using such resources. This can save users from wasted cloud expenditure.
  • Nutanix Beam - The tool is XiBeam and is a great source of cloud cost optimization for public and private clouds. It has got intelligent resource sizing and sharper accuracy in monitoring utilization activities.
  • AWS Budgets - the tool lets the user set custom alerts and budgets for cost optimization. Organizations can create monthly, weekly, or half-yearly reports which outline the budget’s upper limit, based on a certain amount of use, which when exhausted will be notified to the user. Thus, one can keep a close vigil on their expenditure on the cloud by setting limits and getting alerts for the same.
  • Azure Cost Management - A product by Microsoft, Azure Cost Management is a SaaS-based solution that helps organizations to monitor, allocate, and optimize resources being used in the cloud environment.
  • Cloud Zero - Another cloud cost optimization model, which lays emphasis on automated cost analysis and keeps up with the continuous delivery workflow.
  • Spot Cloud Analyzer - Spot is a cloud computing and cost optimization tool which was acquired by NetApp. Users of this tool can plan a very simplified approach towards provisioning and autoscaling their cloud infrastructure and control over expenditure on Cloud. The unique feature of this app is that it provides complete integration of Microsoft Azure’s Spot Virtual Machines (VM), thus enabling the Azure group of users to benefit from the combined platform.
  • CloudHealth - A product by VMware, this is a cloud platform that facilitates automated cloud operations, reduced risk, and control over expenditure. CloudHealth offers integration with various other cloud solutions such as -
  • Amazon Web services - a very comprehensive cloud platform that offers the most feature-rich data services across the globe.
  • Amazon GuardDuty - an efficient threat detection mechanism, which helps to monitor malicious and unauthorized activities in the AWS cloud.
  • Amazon SQS - With Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS), users can send and receive any volume of data without losing any message or depending on any additional support.
  • Chef - The tool has a very simplified configuration and management framework, which enables businesses to build, deploy, and manage any software from anywhere across the globe.
  • Docker - This tool offers an end-to-end experience for developers, as they can develop and scale distributed applications with a secured approach to enhance efficiency and innovation.
  • Datadog - it is a monitoring service, which gathers data from servers, database applications, and various services to provide a unified view of the applications running on the cloud. The features are powered by a SaaS-based data analytics tool, which provides a collaborative approach for developers and operations teams to ensure performance problems are solved on time.
  • New Relic - New Relics Software Analytics Cloud helps organizations to monitor their software in the production environment, from across any part of the globe. The aim of this organization, New Relics, is to provide insights into real-time data to more than 15,000 customers, globally.

Benefits of Cost Optimization tools:

Few noteworthy benefits of cost optimization tools are listed as follows:

  • Keeping Unused Resources under check: Usually, the cloud tools are designed in a way that it notifies the user about the daily usage of resources (database, storage, networks). This is way, it saves the user from paying extra when something is not of much use. For instance, a Virtual Machine in the cloud environment is no longer needed, so the platform will notify the user about the same and it could thus be discontinued.
  • Identify Idle Resources: Suppose a cloud infrastructure is billed for a certain percentage of CPU utilization but the actual usage might be very less. This is where an efficient cloud optimization strategy comes into the picture, which should consolidate such different aspects into fewer resource utilization mechanisms.
  • Resource Scheduling: An efficient cloud optimization model offers automatic scheduling of resources, which means that the cloud model will detect the least used resources and will discontinue the services. This is definitely one big merit for using a cloud cost optimization model, as it is a convenient and efficient way to save expenditures
  • Right-sizing and Resource Cleanup: There are always options to discard the data which is no longer in use and shall serve no purpose. Choosing the right tool will help automate this process and scale up in terms of storage space, thereby reducing wastage of resources


Among the wide range of cloud cost optimization tools available, the choice of a tool will largely depend on the type of cloud infrastructure, the volume of resource utilization, and the pace of application development. Any organization would aim to maximum benefit at minimum cost and therefore we encourage all the developers and engineers out there to opt for a viable solution, which helps them build better products for the audience with minimum efforts on the management of resources used for application development and deployment.