7 min

How to Manage Multicloud Cost Environments the Smart Way

Learn how to better manage multicloud cost environments and explore how to optimize your cloud setup within a single, unified platform.

CDW Expert CDW Expert

As organizations continue to move their IT infrastructure to the cloud, many are leveraging a multicloud approach to accelerate their digital transformation. And while digital transformation is a non-negotiable for businesses, entering the multicloud arena should perhaps come with a warning when it comes to cost management. These costs can prove difficult to manage and easily spiral out of control without a cost management strategy. To minimize the risk of that happening, you need the right tools and technologies.

This blog looks at ways to help you better manage multicloud cost environments and explores how optimizing your cloud setup can help.

The Main Challenge of Multicloud Cost Management

Cloud costs are very good at hiding; that’s due in part to having multiple cloud management portals in play with compartmentalized cost management features for each one.  Without the right planning, it often takes the shock of an unexpected bill to realize a piece of runaway code has caused havoc. And this is more likely to happen with multicloud environments because your costs and cost-tracking are spread across the cloud tech stack and isolated from each other.

For example, runaway code queries can consume compute without anyone knowing. Human error can also be a cause if someone forgets to turn a program off, and it runs all month in the background without anyone noticing. There’s also the risk of malicious actors or malicious code triggering activity out of view. All of these issues are simply harder to spot when you have complex multicloud environments.

The solutions? Well, it’s one that consolidates the views of a multicloud environment, uses machine learning to spot cost anomalies, and consolidates your multicloud budgets into one location.

Three Ways to Manage Multicloud Cost Environments

So, how can organizations keep a closer eye on multicloud costs? Here are three options.

  1. FinOps - FinOps is the financial management of cloud spend. It’s a set of principles and practices that help ensure you stay on top of multicloud costs. As such, FinOps teams are increasingly becoming a fixture at leading organizations. You can learn more about FinOps and cloud cost management by reading our white paper on the topic.

  2. Follow a Cloud Adoption Framework - Each cloud has its own adoption framework, such as AWS or Microsoft Azure’s CAF, which delivers a comprehensive guide on how a company should set up cloud IT. Many companies move to the cloud in an ad hoc or haphazard manner without any guiding framework. CAF provides this framework, including how to better manage multicloud costs.

  3. Teaming with a trusted cloud partner vs. cloud provider - To really get a hold on multicloud costs, you need to bring in the cloud experts. A cloud provider is in the business of selling cloud solutions or products, whereas a cloud partner is in the business of making the cloud work for you.

Manage Multicloud Cost Environments with CDW

Multicloud cost management requires visibility and clarity. The governance solutions that come out-of-the-box with many vendors are not up to the job, and are always only interested in monitoring their own applications. For instance, if you want discovery functionality across your entire cloud tech stack, you are out of luck. This can lead to complex workarounds for IT teams.

Additionally, your IT team might have to automate data discovery or build custom applications for greater visibility—both highly time and cost-intensive. Enter CDW’s Inscape.

Inscape™ is a suite of multicloud management tools that take care of all this and more.

Inscape Multicloud Cost Management & Visibility

With Inscape cloud management, you can inform and empower your teams with cost visibility, allocation, benchmarking, budgeting, and forecasting. Here are some of the benefits of using Inscape:

  • Quickly and easily ascertain which users, departments, teams, projects, and/or applications are accountable for cloud cost and usage.
  • Discover cloud cost and usage trends for the accurate forecasting of budgets, and the reduction of inaccuracies and anomalies.
  • Save profile templates for accounts, subscriptions, resource, and/or resource groups that your business units are responsible for and receive email notifications showing your latest cost snapshot.
  • Get the ability to quickly recognize opportunities in order to reduce unnecessary and/or wasted spend.
  • Establish fundamental business metrics to which cloud data can be strategically aligned, thus ensuring a comprehensive view of common goals and their attainment status.
  • Continual analysis and reporting of spend, inducing enterprise-wide accountability.
  • Establish budget guidelines and governance policies that proactively monitor and provide alerts, enabling complete optimization and unparalleled cost control.
  • Easily produce effective and fully customizable reports that can be automated and exported into multiple formats.

Inscape also gives you the opportunity to optimize your cloud spend and get access to recommendations related to cost savings, security and performance. Each recommendation includes an estimate of potential (monthly) savings when implemented, related to unassociated resources, underutilized resources, idle resources, low utilized resources, and more.

Inscape Anomaly

Using machine learning algorithms, Inscape Anomaly provides quick, cost anomaly alerting and prediction for your multicloud environment. A simple dashboard allows you to see what is happening in your cloud subscriptions, apply changes to alerts, and view reports. It also shows historical, current, and forecast data of your more relevant resources (those that it identifies as high priority), so you do not have to dive into hundreds of resources.

How Inscape Anomaly Works

  1. Analysis: Using machine learning algorithms, Inscape Anomaly inspects your cloud subscriptions daily by looking for anomalies that can impact your bill. Anomaly gets granular and can track your spend at the subscription, account, project or resource group level. (Individual resource level is available upon request).

  2. Alerts: Easily set up email alerts to get notified of any anomalies, including anomalies in new cloud resources. Also, get notified immediately of any creations or deletions in your environment.

  3. Discovery: Inscape Anomaly shows the changes that happened in your cloud environment at the time the anomaly was identified and the days leading up to it.

  4. Prediction: With our machine learning capabilities, Inscape Anomaly is uniquely positioned to predict future cost anomalies. It will show you the future date and associated cost prediction, and identify which cloud subscription, resource group, and resource the anomaly will happen in, so you can take action.

We Can Help

Cloud computing enables better innovation, more flexibility, and an attractive pricing model for businesses of all sizes. The cost management challenge of multicloud is an unfortunate part of the territory. But it doesn’t have to put limits on your business.

CDW can help provide the solutions and services—not to mention expertise and experience—to manage multicloud cost environments. We work with public and private sector organizations to design, deploy, and manage cost-efficient, secure, and productive cloud environments, and we can help you too.

To learn more about how our multicloud cost management tools can help you achieve your goals, schedule a free demo today.