Continuous cost savings practice at Nordcloud

Post • 3 min read

In Nordcloud we have automation in our DNA, be it in our infrastructure, development or even internal processes. 

In this blog post we will share some best practices we use ourselves for cloud cost management, in reducing internal costs for AWS accounts we operate...and we have close 500 of them. 

These accounts can vary, some run production systems with our software, others, run internal systems like VPNs and privacy proxies, however,  around 350 of them are so called personal AWS accounts. As part of our approach to AWS management, each employee who wishes to test something in AWS can automatically get an account and do some stuff there - like run EC2, Lambdas or EKS clusters. 

Our experienced team are all highly skilled cloud ninjas, for sure, however, invariably make human mistakes at times. This is where unnecessary cost might get generated. So how can you control this on such a massive scale?  

There are two ways: 

Enforce something or audit something and act? 

We have adopted the middle ground, able to implement both and take immediate action to reduce cloud cost in a fast and effective way.  Our cost visibility tool Insight allows us to easily spot which accounts are generating significant cost, and  we can if needed contact people owning the account to do some clean-up. Insight allows you to set budgets too and get alerts. 

In addition, we are using homegrown automation to optimise the cloud, and clean unused resources every Thursday night - we call it ‘Black Thursday’. We then stop EC2 instances and delete old snapshots, remove unattached IPs, unattached volumes and so on. The automation behind the scenes uses serverless architecture and our home built software. We can get easy access to all accounts by mass deploying a role in them with our Provisioner.

So how much have we actually saved in our IT infrastructure cost? 

When we first executed the automation on all accounts - we managed to save around 12000 E/m. If we want to save more we can adjust the rules accordingly and be less liberal on what we allow in the accounts to run. 

What about Azure and GCP ? 

Our approach isn't just on Amazon Web Services saving. At Nordlcoud our practice leads control cost with a similar automated approach, our solution  is suitable for a multi cloud approach and can be used everywhere. Nordcloud helps customers adopt  cost savings in a continuous manner via our FinOps and capacity services capacity services.

The key learnings for us and the customers on this exercise are the following:

  • Cloud cost management should be  a continuous process - not ad hoc
  • Automation is the key to reduce IT infrastructure cost
  • You won’t know how much you save if you have no cost visibility tool 

These key learnings map perfectly to our products and services: FinOps, Provisioner and Insight. 

How can your business save significant costs?

 Find our more here 

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Ilja Summala
Ilja’s passion and tech knowledge help customers transform how they manage infrastructure and develop apps in cloud.
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Group CTO