How to streamline Cloud automation and reduce costs with Corz

John Kurian
5 mins
February 14, 2022


Enterprises are adopting Cloud services in a very big way. This got really accelerated during the Covid pandemic. More and more enterprises embraced the Cloud and moved large number of their services to the Cloud. Cloud provides economies of scale which are otherwise very difficult to achieve with traditional datacenter based computing models. However, in a hurry to get more services on to the Cloud, many enterprises are overlooking the cost management aspect of Cloud, resulting in inflated cloud bills and cost surprises.

The main goal of Corz is to specifically address this problem of increased Cloud costs. There are quite a few tools in the market to manage Cloud costs. Cloud Platform providers themselves provide a host of tools. They work pretty well, if you know how to get things done and have the time and resources to dedicate to that effort. There are a host of third-party providers in this space as well. They are pretty good, but at the same time their costs become increasingly prohibitive when one starts to use them in a big way.

So, what are the options available for small-to-medium enterprises that operates on a tight budget to manage Cloud costs?

Corz has been developed specifically for this category of Cloud users. Let us see how it works.

Detect Cloud Cost Anomalies

The first requirement of any organization is to get alerted whenever something goes wrong. For e.g. a Cloud Service is suddenly racking up costs in a big way. This need to be identified and acted upon immediately, since otherwise, there will be a bloated cloud bill at the end of the month. Corz does this by default in an automated manner without requiring the enablement of additional steps. Corz generates forecasted cost for every service that is configured in an account. Corz also divides these costs across teams or different groupings. For e.g. if "Analytics team" in your organization is using AWS OpenSearch (Elasticsearch), the cost of AWS OpenSearch is tracked for that specific organization. If a cost anomaly is detected, that particular team along with rest of the stakeholders are immediately alerted.

Corz also provides a rules engine, where different alert configurations can be created specific to the needs of an organization. For e.g. a team may be using AWS Lambda heavily and may want to keep track of usage parameters and cost. This can be quickly tracked with an alerting rule in Corz. Want to get alerted whenever average weekly costs increased above a percentage threshold? Create a weekly cost alerting rule and Corz will track it for you. All of these can be done quickly without writing any code.

Identify Cloud usage across organization and perform Cloud cost analysis

Once the alerting part is taken care, the second requirement is to identify how Cloud services are getting used across your organization. This is where Cost Analysis functionality of Corz comes into play. Identify the cloud services that are getting consumed by individual teams or environments and understand the total cost of each of those groupings. Further, drill down on usage patterns of individual services and identify which component of a particular service is contributing to increased Cloud costs. Perform usage analysis of a team or environment on a particular day and identify usage peaks or unexpected cost spikes. Create alert configurations based on the analyzed usage data.

Create as many teams or groupings as per your requirement. A team can correspond to a logical team like "Analytics Team" or an environment like "PreProd Environment" or any type of grouping. Once teams are created, Corz allows you to add users who have access only to specific teams. They can monitor their specific costs and can get alerted whenever anomalies are detected. They can analyze their usage and can drill-down deeper into granular usage of individual cloud services. The same data can be used to identify how much a customer is actually costing you in terms of Cloud usage.

Optimize and streamline Cloud spending

Now that alerting and analysis of costs are done, the third requirement is to optimize costs. Engineering teams are not typically conditioned to optimize costs. They are driven to get a set of specific tasks completed. The focus is on product delivery and that worked very well in a traditional model where computing costs were more or less predetermined. However, on the Cloud, computing costs can increase drastically if resources are not used optimally. Hence the first step here is to identify a set of low-hanging fruits. These are typically underused resources, over-provisioned resources and idle resources. These resources contribute to as much as 30% of Cloud spending in some scenarios. Corz identifies these cost saving opportunities straightaway. These are also grouped team-wise or environment-wise. Hence, "Analytics team" will directly see idle or overprovisioned resource recommendations specific for their cloud usage.  Additionally, this is the stage where longer-term committed usage reservations come into play where the costs can be reduced by around 50-60%. Also, if the product architecture is fault-tolerant, spot instance usage can be implemented which drastically reduces Cloud costs to the tune of 70 - 80%.

Typically, there are two type of stakeholders in an enterprise. One set of users are major stakeholders who make decisions impacting the overall organization. These are the users who purchase committed usage reservations and make organization-wide cloud purchasing decisions. These users need an overall view of Cloud spending to make the right decisions. The second set of users are at an engineering team level, who make use of cloud services to develop and deliver a set of products or services.  It is important that any framework or tooling caters to the needs of both of these groups. Typically, most of the cloud cost management tools available in the market are targeted towards a central team who takes care of all the activities. Many times, that is not what the engineering teams want. They want more granular control over activities that impact them (for e.g. resource shutdown schedules). Corz caters to the requirements of both of these stakeholders.

Automate Cloud Operations

By now, you have identified a set of opportunities to reduce cloud costs. The final step is to automate them. Generally, significant engineering time and resources are needed to automate and monitor these scenarios. Else they will again fall by the side and get ignored. This is where a good automation platform which provides a large number of cookie-cutter automation comes into play. Shutdown resources at the click of a button or Alert and perform actions whenever a specific condition arises. If you have the bandwidth to automate, you can get engineering teams to write custom automation code. Else, you can automate these with Corz. If you are a premium user of Corz, you also get the option to ask for custom automation that can be orchestrated from both within and outside the platform (for e.g. terraform automation).

At the end of all of this, you may still have additional requirements which require custom tasks to be created or executed. For e.g. you had a lambda reliant model and want to move  to Kubernetes and are looking for a cost effective way to achieve it. Corz also provides custom automation in this area and will get this automated for you in the most cost-effective manner.

That was a very quick overview of how Corz can help you to automate your Cloud requirements and reduce costs. Sign up for a free Corz account today.