Improving Your Cloud ROI Without Sacrificing on Compute Power

Joseph Sibony
Joseph Sibony reading time: 5 minutes
April 13, 2023

Cloud computing is happening whether we like it or not. And luckily most of us do like it. But there seems to be a slight disconnect between the amount of cloud resources being used and the bills coming through.

Perhaps you feel like your service or builds are suffering from limited cloud capacity, even though you’re spending seemingly endless amounts of cash (and hours) on keeping your cloud up and running.

Or maybe you don’t even know where to start with the provisioning of your cloud. You’re not entirely sure about how much cloud capacity you need, how it’s being used, or how best to allocate it.

Maybe you’ve suddenly been slapped with a hefty bill to pay off. Then it all starts to feel like you’ve been sold a dream only to wake up in cold sweats.

Don’t worry, you’re in the right place.

2023 is the year of the cloud, so we’re going to take you through a few pointers on making the most of your cloud environment, and ultimately boosting your ROI.

But first, let’s consider why many devs move to the cloud.

The big benefits of the cloud for developers

Cloud offers a more flexible and scalable environment for developers to build, test and deploy applications.

One of the biggest selling points is scalability. Cloud allows devs to more easily handle unexpected spikes in traffic without investing in hardware upfront.

Cloud infrastructure lends itself perfectly to a wide range of tools like machine learning and analytics. So devs can get on with the task at hand without worrying about what’s going on behind the scenes.

Plus, there’s an added layer of security with the cloud since providers often have encryption, firewalls and multifactor authentication as standard.

As a result, more and more devs are choosing to work in the cloud in at least some capacity.

“But I’m getting along just fine with being mostly on-premise, I don’t want all my builds to be in the cloud!” we hear you say. No worries, you don’t have to fully migrate all your ops to see some real benefits.

Now, let’s take a look at the questions you should be asking yourself if you want to optimize your cloud usage.

Where are you on your journey?

There are a multitude of ways to make use of the cloud as a dev. You can dip your toes in if you’re not quite ready for a swim.

The first step to figuring out how you can use the cloud most effectively is understanding where you are in your cloud journey.

Perhaps you haven’t even begun using cloud, but you’re considering it because your last build was a nightmare maelstrom of delays and frustration. All thanks to low capacity and reduced productivity.

If this is the case, your main challenges are probably long build times and poor overall dev experience. So you’re testing the waters, mostly relying on your on-premise technology, but still exploring the potential of the cloud.

Maybe you’re at a point where you’re comfortable using the cloud for some builds, but you want to keep most dev projects on-premise. In this case, your biggest issues will come from needing a consistent approach to dealing with peaks in activity.

Or finally, you might have moved all your dev operations to the cloud. Maybe you like it that way — mostly. Your main focus is keeping those costs under control. You might find that you’re always using too much or too little cloud. And you’re desperately trying to get your cloud bill to match up with your actual usage.

How you optimize your cloud usage really depends on which stage you’ve reached in your cloud journey. So take some time to figure out which of the categories above sounds most like you.

Why do many dev teams struggle with cloud costs?

Despite the varying challenges you might face at each stage of your journey, there’s one that always seems to reign supreme: cost.

While some people have been left out of the cloud game entirely because of some pretty significant cost challenges, others are stuck with major bill shock.

There are several reasons that cost is such a huge challenge for devs. For example, the pricing models are usually quite complicated, making it difficult to understand what you’re really paying for.

On top of that, there can sometimes be hidden costs for things like data egress, or for accessing services through APIs. This can lead to unexpected items showing up on your bill.

Put those together with an overprovisioning of resources, and you’ve got yourself a fairly sticky situation.

What should your cloud build look like?

Until you work out exactly how much compute power you’re using — and when you’re using it — you’ll always find yourself getting stuck with a big old bill you don’t quite understand.

So what does this mean for you? Well, you need to figure out how to match the needs of your build with the right cloud resources, at the right time, for the right cost.

Here are some questions you might want to consider if you’re wondering where to start.

  • How much compute power do your team need to work to the best of their ability?
  • How much compute power do you have to spare?
  • When can you expect lots of different tasks to demand lots of compute power at the same time?
  • How much compute power do you have on average vs. at peak times?

Keeping everything under control

No matter where you’re at with your builds or your cloud adoption, keeping costs low and utilizing as much of your cloud environment as possible are always top priorities. Doing more with less is nothing new for devs.

But keeping track of it all can feel like you need to have eyes everywhere to make it work.

Fortunately, as entertaining as it sounds, we don’t want you to turn into a 500-eyed monster. So here are four questions to ask yourself to make sure you’re not losing out on your cloud investment.

How much visibility do you need? If you’re finding yourself unsure of how much capacity you’re wasting, you possibly need more oversight of your operations.

Do you understand what you need? Investing in cloud without a clear idea of your needs could land you with major bill shock.

Are you saving time where possible? If you’re managing your cloud usage manually, the answer is: probably not.

What next?

Luckily, there is an answer. Actually, there are a few answers.

In our latest guide, So You’ve Moved Your Dev to the Cloud. Now What, we divulge all the juicy details of how to turn your cloud nightmare into a fluffy clouded dream.

Whether it’s taking on a hybrid cloud approach, making use of spot instances and autoscaling, or optimizing your builds — we’ll tell you how to make all the good stuff work for you.

Joseph Sibony
Joseph Sibony reading time: 5 minutes minutes April 13, 2023
April 13, 2023

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