You’ve heard of Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery/Deployment (CD), but how about Continuous Optimization (CO)?
DevOps professionals have optimized the software development lifecycle with the CI/CD method, delivering higher quality apps and digital services faster, and with fewer interruptions. Automation has played a key role in enabling CI/CD: reducing human error and eliminating manual approval processes that create bottlenecks. Now, FinOps professionals have a similar opportunity to simplify and streamline the cost optimization process with automated, Continuous Optimization (CO).
Managing commitment discounts is complicated and time-consuming
Making commitments to cloud providers in exchange for reduced rates has long been a proven strategy for optimizing overall cost, and in fact, optimizing the rate you pay is one of the best ways to save money in the cloud. But managing these commitment-based discounts like Reserved Instances and Savings Plans is complicated. Users have to figure out which resources and services they should cover, how much they should commit, if they should pay anything upfront, and if they should make 1 or 3-year commitments. Further, the sheer volume of rate optimization opportunities can be overwhelming, and the time and resources spent evaluating, purchasing, and modifying these discounts can outweigh the savings realized.
VMware Aria Cost Savings Automator enables Continuous Optimization (CO) in conjunction with CI/CD
Because DevOps teams are continuously making changes to the environment, optimization needs to happen in this continuous fashion as well. VMware Aria Cost powered by CloudHealth Savings Automator brings Continuous Optimization (CO) to the CI/CD pipeline. With Savings Automator, businesses can save time and money by putting rate optimization on autopilot. No more spending hours analyzing, purchasing, and managing commitment-based discounts. And critically, because implementation is automated, you avoid the bottleneck that grows when someone has to review and approve each individual purchase or exchange. Now, FinOps professionals have a CO tool to keep costs optimized at the speed of DevOps.
How does Savings Automator work?
Savings Automator continuously ingests the customer’s cloud cost and usage data, asks for their desired state, and automatically implements applicable optimization recommendations. Savings Automator accounts for the customer’s:
- Anticipated cloud spend over the next year
- Workload volatility
- Upfront payment budget limits
- Date constraints
- Desired balance of commitment vs. savings
Currently, Savings Automator can modify and exchange existing AWS Convertible Reserved Instances. But this is just the beginning. Our vision for Savings Automator is that it will become an easy button for all cloud rate optimizations, supporting automated rate optimization for numerous commitment-based discounts across clouds.
Automation doesn’t have to be scary
We understand that automation can be scary, especially when dollars are being spent, so we’ve built several features to help customers have confidence in, and control over, the automated actions that Savings Automator can take.
First of all, you don’t have to turn it on yet! You can just open up the tool and see simulations of what would happen if you were to go ahead and hit that easy button, enabling automation.
After taking time to gain trust in the commitment recommendations, when you are ready to automate those purchases and exchanges, customers can choose which linked accounts to enable automation for, and leave it off for other linked accounts. You don’t have to have automation running for every linked account under your master account. And you can turn automation on or off at any time. (We’ll retain the historical savings data even if you turn it off.)
Budget and Date Limits
Another control we have in place is budget and date constraints. Users enter a period of time during which the tool can take automated actions, and it won’t do anything outside of that date range. Users can also enter a budget for making upfront payments when exchanging CRIs. After the budget is expended, or the end date has been reached, no more exchanges will be made that require upfront payment.
Balance Commitment vs. Savings
The final control we have in place for automation is allowing customers to tell the tool how aggressive they are willing to be with their commitments in exchange for more savings. The more you pay upfront, and the longer duration that you commit to, the lower rate you’ll get. Customers choose one of three options:
- Minimize Commitment – Savings Automator selects options that require less commitment, but do not provide as much cost savings. For example, the tool may make short-term commitments or use no upfront payment options.
- Maximize Savings – Savings Automator selects options that require maximal commitment but provide the greatest cost savings. For example, the tool may make long-term commitments or use all upfront options.
- Balance Commitment and Savings – Savings Automator takes a balanced approach between commitment and cost savings. For example, the tool may choose short-term commitments with all upfront payment options, or long-term commitments with no upfront payment options.
The “Easy Button”
Savings Automator is the “easy button” for cloud cost optimization. With Savings Automator, FinOps practitioners can put rate optimization on autopilot, enabling CCoE teams to focus on what they do best: optimizing cloud policies and operations to keep the environment in a cost optimized state.