July 27, 2023
 min read

How To Lower Your Cloud Bill (And Improve DevEx In The Process)

Learn how you can leverage emerging best practices with your internal developer portal.

Can platform engineers unlock cloud cost savings beyond what cost optimization tools offer (and improve the developer experience in the process)? You bet. Let us show you how.

Reserve instance buying optimization and auto-stopping are proven tactics to reduce waste, but are those the only forms of waste that exist in your cloud budget? Of course not.

Think about all the times environments have been brought up and then stayed up longer than needed. Or all of the times a commit changed the way data is stored, which spiked the cost to operate. Or the times when a commit changed how memory was used, causing autoscaling.

So the question becomes, what is the most efficient way to identify and root out additional sources of savings while also balancing governance and agility? Bottoms-up, collaborative cost management may offer a solution.

Collaborative cost management involves pushing knowledge and functionally directly to the application and data engineering teams that own and operate code every day. This does not mean ceding centralized cost control to developers, but rather arming them with timely, actionable insights inside their everyday workflow and, where appropriate, enabling action on a self-serve basis.

How does this work in practice? It starts by enabling teams to see the daily costs for the services and environments they own. Now, teams can understand when cost spikes occur.

From here, enable them to drill into per-resource costs for a given service or environment during the selected timeframe to understand which resources spiked in cost. They’ll likely also want to see deployments, commits, and explore observability data during this timeframe as well. They may need to drill into a specific resource to see its cost drivers whether those spiked during the timeframe.

Once a thesis on root cause is developed, if it involves a resource, enable your engineers teams to see the resource's configuration settings, size the blast radius of a change by looking at other resources linked to the resource of interest as well as the environments and services that depend on it. This information can help teams figure out which resources and actions they wish to take in order to improve efficiency.

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(c) configure8, Inc.

Now, engineering teams are ready to take action. 

Certain actions can be instantly executed on a self-serve basis inside the configure8 developer portal by the engineering team leveraging golden paths built by the platform engineering team. Platform engineering teams can also define which actions are appropriate for a given resource or resource type and each engineering team in order to delineate between actions engineers can safely take on their own versus those requiring collaboration with centralized teams.

Other actions require collaboration with a central team; however, by pushing cost insights to engineering teams at the service level on a daily basis and enabling self-serve cost explorations central teams can facilitate more timely, informed conversations that can foster internal alignment and action more efficiently.

Best of all, you don't need to buy another vendor to achieve this solution. You can accomplish it all inside your internal developer portal, and it is remarkably easy to integrate in three simple steps.

Learn more about collaborative cost management with configure8. See a short demo on this product page, and you can review installation instructions here. It’s free to try and easy to use. Let us know what you think!

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