Slack based Cloud Cost Management – Doing it the right way

John Kurian
4 mins
read
June 10, 2020

In this day and age, managing any infrastructure, whether it is on the Cloud or OnPremise require an efficient management model. Managing all operations through a UI based interface is not that efficient and is old school. Somebody has to login to an application to keep track of what is happening with a system, make the required decisions and then execute a set of tasks from UI. During the last couple of years, with the evolution of ChatOps, that model has changed drastically. Nowadays, UI is only a system configuration interface and to perform any action, Slack is the ideal and preferred tool of choice.

Welcome to the world of ChatOps !

Imagine a scenario like this. A developer comes to office (Even this is starting to look a bit like old school!). He / She wants to bring up a set of AWS EC2 instances. The developer would issue a command on Slack saying “start my ec2 instances”. Going further, if a set of instances across multiple cloud providers need to be brought up at one shot, they can just issue a command “start all my instances” on Slack. All the instances with matching conditions will be brought up across different cloud providers (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud etc).

This is the quintessential ChatOps phenomenon that has stormed the Cloud Ops world in the last few years. Any number of lifecycle operations can be performed in this model. Now, let us go one step ahead.

How do I use ChatOps to reduce my Cloud expenses?

Well, this is precisely the problem that we want to solve at Corz.io. We strongly believe that for enterprises to reduce Cloud costs, the developers or end-users of Cloud resources need to be empowered with the right set of information and tools. And something as simple as Slack based cost management is one of them.

How does it work? Here is a simple example that illustrates the same against our test cloud accounts.

To empower developers and administrators, all of our Cost API’s and actions are slack-enabled. The moment any organisation uptakes Corz AiCloud, the first thing that happens is that all Cloud resources get an owner. There are no longer any “zombie” resources on the Cloud.  Now, that allows us to add a lot more workflows.

Team owners can set up different configurable Cloud spending policies. Alert individual engineers if their individual cloud costs exceed a particular dollar value for the month. Alert administrators if there are large number of optimisations that need to be applied. Alert team managers or owners whenever their forecasted costs exceed a particular threshold or whenever there is a sudden spike.

Well, that information that was hidden in a 1500 line AWS billing invoice is now suddenly exposed to a developer or end-user. Like always, when a user is made aware of his / her spending, he / she will ensure that the spending is done judiciously. Now, they will have more incentives to reduce cost.

Hey, how about organising a competition for the greatest saver in the organisation? Works good for your employee morale and works great for your Cloud cost optimization as well.

This is the new model of Cloud cost management advocated by Corz.io. It is not about a set of tools. It is about how easy one can put these into practice. Sure, this alone would not reduce your Cloud expenses beyond a point. But this is the easiest starting point. Like the old saying goes: A penny saved is a penny earned. It is not a bad idea after all to add a bit more savings to your Cloud savings bank.