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Cost Optimization in Cloud Computing Doesn't Mean Sacrificing Security

Copado DevSecOps - Blog SeriesOriginally published by New Context.

Congratulations! It may seem like only yesterday that your business was being referred to as a startup and the future looked promising, but also daunting. Today, you have a firm grasp on a share of your industry’s competitive, yet expanding market. This growth wave, coupled with the enthusiasm that has greeted your product and/or services, has catapulted your company solidly into the SMB arena. With this success, you are ready for a digital transformation that will transform your organization. However, data security is a major concern, as is managing costs. 

It may appear on the surface that data security and costs are directly proportional and that implementing and maintaining an effective cloud security infrastructure means continually escalating spending. Fortunately, this premise does not have to be true. Cost optimization in cloud computing can be achieved in concert with strong and adaptive security, provided that you have the right security partner with the right tools.

Requirements for Cost Optimization in Cloud Computing

It is likely that your digitization strategy will be multicloud and include both public and private integration. This may include several vendors, cloud-based and local legacy applications, and other systems. The challenges are to know what data and information are needed in order to manage your costs and to choose tools that provide sufficient access to pertinent analytical data—as visibility is a primary key to managing costs.Cost Optimization in Cloud Computing - Copado

Essentials to Cloud Cost Optimization

Cloud cost optimization is essentially about managing your cloud infrastructure in the most efficient manner. Doing so requires the following:

  • Optimizing resource usage
    Resources need to be constantly monitored for idleness, with a view towards minimizing waste. For example, rarely used resources at a flat rate may be better billed based on actual usage.
  • Knowing cost details
    It may sound simple, but you need to know what your actual costs are. This means having access to details in an itemized manner to enable you to make wise decisions about what is truly beneficial and what is not.
  • Leveraging price breaks
    Another method to lower costs is to be aware of and take advantage of commitment or volume discounts.

    Using these keys effectively requires that you have access to detailed information about your network activity. And access depends upon the tools that your cloud deployment uses.

Cloud Cost Optimization Tools

There is no shortage of tools for tracking and managing the costs of your cloud migration and ongoing deployment. These include public and third-party options.

Public tools that can be used with other vendor products and/or services:

  • Flexera
  • VMWare
  • Cloudcheckr
  • Apptio
  • Turbonomic

Tools utilized by third-parties to provide cloud services

  • Google Cloud
  • Azure
  • AWS

Depending upon your particular cloud deployment, one or more of the tools listed above may be options that provide sufficient insight into your cloud cost structure. However, the most important consideration when deploying to the cloud should be security and ensuring data security compliance throughout and after the migration. Therefore, when choosing a cost optimization tool, you must also ask, “What about security?"

What About Security?

The biggest threat to the integrity of your business operations in the cloud is not understanding the cloud security vulnerabilities that your network may have and taking adequate steps to mitigate them. One of these steps is to apply centralized visibility management, which allows for cost optimization targeting, as described above. However, your choice of tool must also include dedicated security measures to prevent breaches that may hamper or cripple your systems.

Just as cost optimization in the cloud is based on awareness of what resources are being used and your actual costs, so too is cloud security. This includes both pre-event and post-event awareness:

  • Pre-Event Awareness: Structural awareness includes developing an understanding of risks and implementing safeguards such as container visibility, VM encryption, VPNs, and others prior to events.
  • Post-Event Awareness: Post-event awareness is the ability to identify and respond to security events quickly and effectively. This is accomplished through the utilization of DevSecOps, compliance automation, and other security risk mitigation tools.

Therefore, to best serve your cloud management needs the tool selected needs to incorporate these security requirements, along with the cost optimization capabilities described above. AWS with nOps meets this criterion. 

AWS and nOps

Amazon Web Services (AWS) contains many of the most-used tools for cloud networks, including advanced security applications for both pre-and post-event awareness. When coupled with nOps cost optimization software you have access to detailed resource and cost information, as shown below, which enables you to fully manage your network’s expenditures.AWS and nOps - Copado

Example of nOps for AWS

nOps provides advanced cost optimization management, enabling the monitoring of costs for new and existing resources (some of which that may no longer be needed), individual employees to track efficiency, specified intervals for resource changes and cost comparisons and other tracking and monitoring to help you achieve optimal budgetary control, which aids in minimizing risk and improving overall security.

AWS and nOps can be the best solution to achieve cost optimization in cloud computing for your SMB. By incorporating these tools as part of a Lean Security Intelligence Platform (LS/IQ), you ensure your enterprise clients of your ability to fully integrate the best cloud cost optimization management solution with and meet their security requirements. However, deployment of these advanced capabilities requires experience and expertise that is hard to find without outsourcing. Therefore, you should give serious consideration to working with a consulting partner that can help you revolutionize your operations through an effective digital transformation that not only manages costs, but also maximizes security.