From IT to marketing, cloud computing has revolutionized the way the world does business. We now a maintenance-free to get unlimited scalability and reliability, and we’re all going to live happily ever after, right?

Well, not exactly. While it’s definitely a huge plus to have massive scalability and storage capacity at our fingertips, without the hassle of on-premises servers, the elasticity and rapid scalability of cloud computing also means it’s pretty easy for costs to spiral out of control.

According to research from 451 Research, enterprises were expected to spend about 26% more on cloud services in 2018, which outpaces spending increases on overall IT. But, according to a report from 2017, businesses waste a staggering $62 BILLION a year on cloud services that they don’t even need.

So how can businesses reign in runaway cloud costs, and impress the boss with their business acumen while they’re at it? Enter Cloud Monitoring.

Cloud monitoring is the process of reviewing and managing the operational workflow and processes within a cloud infrastructure or asset. It’s generally implemented through automated monitoring software that gives central access and control over the cloud infrastructure. Admins can review the operational status and health of cloud devices and components, most importantly, for our purposes at least, they can track historical trends in usage and billing.

Below are three ways you can use cloud monitoring to stop run-away cloud-usage bills and impress your boss in the process.

Monitor Cost vs. Usage

When we first implemented cloud monitoring in WhatsUp Gold, one of the most requested features from our customers was the ability to monitor the resources your business consumes in the cloud and the cost of those resources. While AWS or Azure give you this capability—sort of—it can be easy to lose track, and that can make budgeting an endless nightmare.

Luckily, we always listen to our customers, so in WhatsUp Gold 2018 we implemented cloud cost monitoring, which lets you track and report on cloud billing with a simple dashboard and generate executive reports to justify expenditures. With a cloud new billing monitor, you can monitor trends for cost vs. usage, keep track of budgets set up for hybrid cloud environments, and even set alerts for exceeding a spend rate.

Set Up Alerts and Proactive Automated Actions

Alerting IT staff is a good start, but IT teams need to be able to proactively handle issues in the cloud, especially with billing. If activity exceeds or falls below defined thresholds, the right solution should be able to automatically add or subtract servers to maintain efficiency and performance. The same thing goes for performance issues. Not only does this make IT teams much more productive, but it also makes them look good by resolving issues before they impact end-users.

Track Long-Term Trends

Most monitoring tools provided by cloud service providers only maintain data for a limited time (usually 30-60 days). That’s not nearly adequate for long-term trend analysis. Your monitoring tool should support maintaining that data in order to show trends over several months at least. Network activity in January is likely to be very different from network activity in July, but that’s impossible to analyze within a 30-60 day window. Understanding long-term network trends can make it easier to run your network more efficiently, saving both time and money.

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Jeff Edwards

About Jeff Edwards

Jeff Edwards is a tech writer and analyst with three years of experience covering Information Security and IT. Jeff has written on all things cybersecurity, from APTs to zero-days, and previously worked as a reporter covering Boston City Hall.


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