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Businesses fail to grasp the true cost of public cloud
Public cloud infrastructure as a service sounds good on paper, but a survey has found that many IT professionals are seriously overspending
Organisations are failing to grasp the true cost of public cloud services. In a study of 500 IT professionals conducted in December 2018 by cloud resource management company Densify, more than one-third of organisations admitted to being unable to keep up with and understand the impact of new cloud provider service introductions and billing option changes.
More than 40% said they had overspent on public cloud, while 32% admitted they did not know if they were overspending.
Compared to 2017, more people were aware of their cloud spend (68% versus 58%), even as cost optimisation lagged behind other cloud management concerns for the majority of IT professionals.
Despite the continued growth of public cloud infrastructure use among respondents, 45% reported needing better management visibility into their public cloud workloads, including when compared to their abilities to manage on-premise workloads.
This is troubling, as mitigating operational risks – where management visibility into workloads is a requirement – was overwhelmingly cited as the chief priority going into 2019, the Densify survey noted.
The majority (91%) of enterprises have hybrid cloud infrastructure, meaning they are running cloud technology on-premise and in the public cloud.
However, 35% of those with hybrid cloud infrastructure admitted they have less visibility into their public cloud infrastructure, compared with their legacy on-premise IT environment. More than a fifth (22%) ranked cloud spending reduction as their top priority for public cloud management in 2019.
Commenting on the results, Andrew Hillier, chief technology officer at Densify, said: “In terms of visibility, the on-premise virtual machine [VM] world is a well-oiled machine. In the cloud, there is a regression in terms of maturity.
“Looking at spending doesn’t give all the details you need. You can get a bill, but you are not sure what business group incurred the spending. This requires a greater level of detail. If you have a bursty app, it is much cheaper to run in cloud, while a more stable workload would run at lower cost on-premise.”
According to Hillier, people are buying the wrong cloud services in the cloud. He said many are not aware of the various options available, adding that he is “seeing a lot of wastage”.
This could be because IT is applying techniques from running VM infrastructure to cloud operations. “With a VM, overcommitting is a big feature because you can give out resources to multiple VMs,” he said. If a resource is not being used by one VM, the resource is available to others.
But Hillier warned that this is exepsnive in the cloud, as a workload is allocated a fixed amount of cloud resources, even if the resources are not needed. “The cloud is expensive because you pay for resources not being used,” he said.
Read more about cloud cost management
- As IT departments prepare their 2019 budgets, we assess how to avoid paying too much for cloud services.
- The use of more than one cloud provider opens plenty of opportunities for a savvy IT organisation, but the multi-cloud approach also makes cost management a troublesome chore.