Special thanks to Source One Management Services for this guest post

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Everywhere you look in the IT space, the focus is all about the cloud. Most businesses are considering moving services to the cloud or have already moved multiple services to the cloud to reap the benefits. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offerings are particularly hot right now – a form of cloud computing that provides virtualized computing resources over the Internet. IaaS is one of three main categories of cloud computing services, alongside Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) with companies like Amazon bringing in almost 8 billion in revenue by the end of 2015 through their Amazon Web Services Offering (AWS).

With everyone running to the cloud attempting to reap the many benefits – such as significant cost savings, agility, innovation, and security – the monotony of the operational state of these services is usually the last on everyone’s list. Because of this, AWS costs can skyrocket out of control and bills come in much higher than the business cases used to sell the move to AWS.

To tackle the operational management of costs within AWS, it important to establish governance early on. As I noted earlier, the exciting new capabilities that AWS brings forward will likely take precedence initially as opposed to determining how the products will run operationally within your organization. Highly distributed teams will now have more autonomy over provisioning resources without the ‘red tape’ and extensive time delay of traditional IT environments.

Here are a few quick ways you can add aspects of governance into your daily operational state:

Add some ‘red tape’

It is very important to put some ‘red tape’ processes into place early on to control over provisioning resources. For example, putting an end of week check for a dev environment to quickly review and turn off unneeded resources can stop unnecessary charges over the weekend.

Review your products and look for opportunities to optimize frequently

Set up time review sessions on a monthly or quarterly frequency to review products you have deployed and look for any opportunities to optimize. Because Amazon is constantly delivering new products and services, you will find there are often many opportunities make changes. For example, AWS consistently releases new instance models which offer innovative benefits such as the ability to build up ‘CPU Credits’ during lower-usage periods.

Set bill alerts

AWS spend can quickly get out of control if teams spin up incorrect or higher resources than needed. By setting bill alerts, you can map out how your spend should look and receive automated alerts when unplanned resources come into the mix. By getting this alert, you are able to take control of the situation early on as opposed to when the bill comes in 30 days later.

Tracking AWS costs can be complex and it is important to constantly evaluate your cost-effectiveness in order to reap the maximum savings benefits the cloud has to offer.

Maria Liesen

Maria Liesen is an IT and Telecom project analyst at Source One Management Services and a crucial resource for helping companies implement cost saving and optimization strategies within their IT infrastructure. Previously to joining Source One, Liesen worked as a project manager at a leading investment firm within the IT Infrastructure Management Team. Liesen leverages her vast technical background to identify best-fit technology and cost saving solutions for Source One’s Fortune 1000 clients.

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