When we think about cryptographic keys, we tend to think about closely guarded secrets. Keys are the only thing that keeps the attacker away from your encrypted data. Some keys are usually treated with the appropriate level of respect. Security professionals in the payments industry, or those that have deployed a PKI, know all too well about the importance... 

Richard Moulds

How To Handle The Shock When You Receive Your Cloud Computing Bill

How To Handle The Shock When You Receive Your Cloud Computing Bill

It is common knowledge that there are hidden costs when your cloud-computing bill is delivered each month. There are, however, tried and tested practices you can adopt to avoid surprises. According to Dave Zabrowski,CEO and founder of CloudCruiser, it is really difficult for cloud computing providers to be completely transparent, especially for public clouds, but the hidden costs can be eradicated if only these providers would make an effort to be more transparent.

Over-allocation is a basic problem being faced by cloud computing customers. When a company taps the public cloud for its storage or computing power, it usually assumes that its workload will be at a certain level and, as such, it usually over-provisions and buys a higher-priced cloud computing plan to ensure coverage. However, experience shows that the real workload is not generally as demanding as the company has assumed. A cloud computing provider must be transparent with regards to a company’s allocation and usage so that the entity can downgrade to a less pricey plan.

Firstly, so that a company can save on its cloud computing plan, it can make use of cloud cost management and cloud management tools. There are various tools available that can assist a company in fine tuning their requirements in order to maximize usage of its cloud computing power and optimize cost. Different applications can recommend proper provisioning, tradeoffs between performance and cost, and alternative pricing models. Some tools also allow setting of alerts so that a company can be notified automatically if usage exceeds certain thresholds. In essence, a company must be able to monitor its instances real-time so that the monthly cloud computing bill will not be a shock.

Secondly, create clear cost-management procedures. In traditional IT deployments, IT had clear processes and control in place when it came to provisioning and approval. However, with cloud computing there is no particular policy in place. Therefore, an organization which makes use of the cloud must have clear governance policies in place.

Thirdly, create a management role which is dedicated to cloud computing alone. If a company is moving to the cloud, it is of utmost importance that they have dedicated management personnel to monitor and manage cost efficiency. The company must also search for the appropriate cloud computing provider to be able to negotiate.  Streamlined processes must also be created to support cloud computing provisioning.

Finally, there must be checks and balances in place through automated monitoring and cost management tools. However, human intervention is still required in order to provide the rules of engagement and proper governance.

By Florence de Borja