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According to a pair of recent reports, organizations are becoming sensitive to cloud computing costs more than ever before. This is good news for managed service providers (MSPs) though, as it’s creating new opportunities.

Impacted by sudden cloud costs

A survey of 1,000 developers conducted by Civo, a provider of cloud services, finds 37 percent of respondents have been stung by unexpected costs in the last 12 months. Half of those affected said that it was a mistake or configuration change that led to the unexpected cost.

More than a third of respondents (34 percent) also noted it’s difficult to calculate the amount that their cloud provider is going to charge them each month. In fact, only 17 percent said that there were no areas that they find difficult to monitor. The most challenging service areas to monitor include data transfer (21 percent), compute (16 percent), storage (15 percent), and on-demand instances (14 percent).

Containers are a growing challenge

Meanwhile, Sysdig, a provider of tools for monitoring IT resources and protecting application runtime, reports cloud costs are likely to become even more challenging to control. An analysis of more than 700 organizations that are running containers, finds that they could be spending as much as $400,000 more each year than required if they have deployed more than 20 Kubernetes clusters in a cloud environment.

Employed to run next-generation cloud-native applications based on containers, the survey finds 60 percent of the containers deployed had no CPU limits defined, while more than half 51 percent had no memory limits defined. Of those clusters that did have CPU limits, the survey also found on average 34 percent of CPU cores were unused.

The valuable opportunity that lies ahead

It’s clear most organizations are struggling to control cloud costs. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of workloads being deployed in the cloud naturally spiked as on-premises IT environments became less accessible to developers working remotely. Now that most organizations have adjusted to a new IT reality, many of them are becoming more aware of the true cost of cloud computing. MSPs that can provide actionable insights into cloud spending patterns will be rendering an incredibly valuable service.

It’s not likely organizations will be able to rein in cloud spending costs any time soon. At the root of the issue is a need to enable developers to programmatically spin up cloud resources on demand, to accelerate application development efforts. Many of those projects are driving digital business transformation initiatives that organizations are betting their futures on. However, as cloud resources are increasingly squandered, it’s only a matter of time before finance leaders start asking some difficult questions. Savvy MSPs have an opportunity to insert themselves between two camps within an organization that often has conflicting interests.

MSPs, arguably, are the only trusted source of cloud cost analytics. Developers are always going to be suspicious of data collected by an internal IT team, especially those that may view the cloud as a threat to their jobs. Finance leaders are not likely to fully trust either party. From the perspective of the finance team, it’s always going to be important to trust but verify. After all, it’s not so much one party will rig their analysis one way or another to prove a point, as much as it is there is always going to be a level of bias in the underlying assumptions that a trusted third-party can make clear to all concerned.

Photo: prasit2512 / Shutterstock

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Mike Vizard

Posted by Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard has covered IT for more than 25 years, and has edited or contributed to a number of tech publications including InfoWorld, eWeek, CRN, Baseline, ComputerWorld, TMCNet, and Digital Review. He currently blogs for IT Business Edge and contributes to CIOinsight, The Channel Insider, Programmableweb and Slashdot. Mike blogs about emerging cloud technology for Smarter MSP.

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