A free service that allows enterprises to track the utilisation rate and costs of public cloud services including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Windows Azure and Rackspace, has been launched by IT management service provider Apptio.
The tool, called Apptio Cloud Express will provide aggregated data to IT executives and suggest ways that could help them optimise their cloud platform’s usage rate.
“Cloud financial ratios are not widely understood by IT leaders, with many adoption decisions based on rudimentary, incomplete data, or without any financial data at all,” said Milind Govekar, vice president at Gartner.
“As a result, many companies are only now realising they have over-provisioned virtual machines for private cloud or over-purchased licenses for public cloud initiatives, resulting in lower ROI for cloud projects.”
In order to maximise value to the business, IT must collaboratively make data-driven decisions about which products and services should be kept in-house or moved to the cloud, and which cloud model is right for each initiative.
Apptio Cloud Express users can view their cloud costs in a “bill of IT” and perform “what-if” analyses to quantify potential savings of shifting to private or hybrid cloud strategies, according to the service provider.
“Apptio allows us to understand the cost and performance impacts of our various cloud projects,” said Don Tierny, chief technology officer at Park Nicolett Healthcare. This has helped the organisation align IT with business strategies, Tierny said.
For enterprises using AWS public cloud, the tool also provides recommendations on potential cost savings of moving from On-Demand to Reserved Instances.
To get started, users simply register their accounts from the third-party cloud service providers in Apptio Cloud Express, which automatically imports billing and usage data.
Apptio Cloud Express is based on technology from the firm's recent acquisition of Raveld, a Seattle-based company providing software to help companies measure the cost and performance of public cloud computing services.
“As the open cloud company, our customers count on us to provide a clear and flexible cost structure for our public, hybrid and private cloud hosting solutions,” said Mark Roenigk, chief operating officer at Rackspace. Its public cloud is integrated with Apptio to help customers determine which cloud model is best for any given technology use case or business scenario.
According to Bill Hilf, general manager of Windows Azure marketing at Microsoft, the tool gives customers the flexibility to focus on their business rather than their technology.
Apptio chief executive Sunny Gupta added:“We’ve captured the emerging best practices for analysing costs and performance across different types of cloud scenarios, and made that information broadly available to our customers. Now, IT leaders can spend less time manually validating data and more time confidently providing answers."