Public Cloud Cost Clarity And Optimisation – At No Additional Cost

Ensuring cost clarity and optimisation on any public cloud platform is valuable.

Ensuring cost clarity and optimisation on any public cloud platform is valuable. Unfortunately, most companies struggle with attaining either or both of these goals. We at Nordcloud believe that a real Solution Provider should do this for the customer. At no additional cost.

For years public cloud has delivered IT Infrastructure as it should be, an on-demand service charging only for the actual use. Resources and services can be fired up and turned off instantly and programmatically as they are needed. More often than not, users are quick to move ahead in resource and service use – but a lot slower in cleaning up or shutting down unnecessary resources.

Public Cloud Cost Clarity And Optimisation

Billing data is very granular and can even go down to the level of cost of an individual request, delivered kilobyte or second of resource use. This granularity delivers the ultimate “pay only for what you use” promise. The flip side is that with any significant public cloud use, the billing data becomes huge and eventually a nightmare to make any sense of. We have all heard which road is paved with good intentions!

Public cloud cost clarity means really understanding what is driving its costs, how costs could be contained – and ultimately who should pay for these costs. A pay-as-you-go model does not really work if the costs are allocated inaccurately in the organisation. To add to the mix, providers offer several ways to reduce service costs by choosing the right service types, through volume discounts, reservations or discounts from continued use. While buying public cloud services has become more flexible it has also become more complex.

Our customers are undisputed leaders in their respective fields. They use the public cloud to make product and service innovations, deliver value to their customers every day and disrupt their industries. This is their core competence – not necessarily the public cloud itself. A master carpenter often does not know how to make the best possible chisel, he just uses it artfully. Why should a world leader in specialist travel experiences shift their focus to public cloud cost reporting, sorting out allocations every month or try to learn ways to save money?

Monitor And Analyse The Public Cloud Spend

Public cloud cost optimisation requires deep and consistently current understanding of the many ways to purchase it – and how they would fit the organisation’s current and planned use. You pay too much If you don’t do anything – you may pay too much if you optimise the wrong way. Our customers’ experiences and skills in cost optimisation vary greatly and results follow this variance. As with many other things in life – optimisation is best left to experts.

We at Nordcloud help our customers with both cost clarity and cost optimisation. We provide our customers with Nordcloud Insight, a proprietary tool, enabling our customers to view, monitor and analyse their public cloud spend in various ways. We also provide regular cost optimisation proposals driven by both artificial and real intelligence on how to save costs from the public cloud. Most importantly, we do this as continuous operations – professional cost optimisation is not a one-time event.

So far we have found meaningful cost savings opportunities from all of our customers – even those considered widely as best practitioners in the field. Typically we find opportunities ranging from 20-30% of their current public cloud costs. In the “best practitioner” category, our findings have still been well over 10%.

We deliver cost clarity and cost optimisation at no additional cost to our customers. We believe public cloud is different. We believe our customers should also be treated differently from the traditional hosting company customers.

Why not contact us and see how we could not only deliver cost clarity to you but also lower your cost of public cloud.

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    Security In The Public Cloud: Finding What Is Right For You

    What many businesses still don’t realise is that the public cloud is a shared responsibility, from both the cloud provider and customer.

    Security concerns in the cloud pop up every now and then, especially when there has been a public breach of some sort. What many businesses still don’t realise is that the public cloud is a shared responsibility, from both the cloud provider and customer. Unfortunately, 99% of these breaches are down to the customer, not the cloud provider. Some of these cases are due simply to the customer not having the competences in building a secure service in the public cloud.

    Cloud Comes In Many Shapes And Sizes

    • Public cloud platforms like AWS, Azure and GCP
    • Medium cloud players
    • Local hosting provider offerings
    • SaaS providers of variable capabilities and services: From Office 365 to Dropbox

    However, if the alternative is to use your own datacenter, the data center of a local provider, or a SaaS service, it’s worth building a pros and cons table and making a selection after that.

    Own data centre
    Local hosting provider
    Public cloud
     – Most responsibility
     – Competence varies
     – Variable processes
     – Large costs

    However

     – Most choice in tech
     – A lot of responsibility
     – Competence varies
     – Variable processes
     – Large costs


     – Some choice in tech
     – Least responsibility
     – Proven competence & investment
     – Fully automated with APIsConsumption-based


     – Least amount of choice in tech

    Lack of competence is typical when a business ventures into the public cloud on their own, without a partner with expertise. Luckily:

    • Nordcloud has the most relevant certifications on all of the major cloud platforms
    • Nordcloud is ISO/IEC 27001 certified to ensure our own services security is appropriately addressed
    • Typically Nordcloud builds and operates customer environments to meet customer policies, guidelines and requirements

    Security responsibilities shift towards the platform provider the more high value services like IaaS, PaaS, SaaS are used. All major public cloud platform providers have proven security practices with many certifications such as:

    • ISO/IEC 27001:2013 27013, 27017:2015
    • PCI-DSS
    • SOC 1-3
    • FIPS 140-2
    • HIPAA
    • NIST

    Gain The Full Benefits Of The Public Cloud

    The more cloud capacity shifts towards the SaaS end of the offering, the less the business needs to build the controls on their own. However, existing applications are not built for the public cloud and therefore if the application is migrated to the public cloud as it is, similar controls need to be migrated too. Here’s another opportunity to build pros & cons table: Applications considered for public cloud migration ‘as is’, vs app modernisation.

    ‘As is’ migration
    Modernise 
     – Less benefit of cloud platform IT-driven

    BUT

    – You start the cloud journey early
    – Larger portfolio migration
     – Time to decommission old infra is fast
     – Slower decommissioning
     – Individual modernisations

    BUT

    – You can start you cloud-native journey
     – Use DevOps with improved productivity
     – You have the most benefit from using cloud platforms

    Another suggestion would be to draw out a priority table of your applications so that you gain the full benefits of the public cloud.

    In any case, the baseline security, architecture, cloud platform services need to be created to fulfil requirements in the company security policies, guidelines and instructions. For example:

    • Appropriate access controls to data
    • Appropriate encryption controls based on policy/guideline statements matching the classification
    • Appropriate baseline security services, such as application level firewalls and intrusion detection and prevention services
    • Security Information and Event Management solution (SIEM)

    The areas listed above should be placed into a roadmap or project with strong ownership to ensure that the platform evolves to meet the demands of applications at various stages in their cloud journey. Once the organisation and governance are in place, the application and cloud platform roadmaps can be aligned for smooth sailing into the cloud where appropriate, and the cloud-native security controls and services are available. Nordcloud’s cloud experts would be able to help you and your business out here.

    Find out how Nordcloud helped Unidays become more confident in the security and scalability of their platform.

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      The True Cost Of Private Cloud

      In public cloud you only pay for consumption, not for development, maintenance etc. The private cloud costs start to stack up over time.

      I love cloud, so any step towards it I personally see as being truly great. But all choices have consequences and with this article, I want to highlight those of moving to private cloud.

      A private cloud solution vendor can easily show you a calculation showing how much more cost efficient it is compared to public cloud, and of course, there are scenarios where that is true. If you have a set of applications that only require specific infrastructure services, the life cycle of those apps is known and predictable and your growth is also known and predictable. Ultimately, an Onprem Hyper Conversed solution with some private cloud features is probably cheaper, at least for a period of time.

      However, The Private Cloud Costs Start To Stack Up Over Time…

      Who does the R&D to maintain your private cloud stack (the software functionality to automate your infrastructure)? Take OpenStack, VMware stack, or any other way to build the needed cloud functionality. You can have over 20 software components each that have their own life cycle, and any update needs to be tested against all other components. Vendors are addressing this by packaging the components and doing the testing for you, but then you are tied to their cycles and version choices.

      What does it cost to build additional services beyond basic IaaS features? Continuous delivery pipeline features which integrate your favourite tool to your private cloud, automated provisioning of entire servers including database and app servers, PaaS features, machine learning features, and these are just the bare minimum.

      Lifecycle Costs

      There are of course, the costs of planning capacity and maintaining needed as a buffer for growth. But a far bigger cost is the tech refresh cycle with much needed migrations and forced upgrades. Let’s assume you have a 4 year refresh cycle. Year 3 and 4 capacity upgrades are ridiculously expensive. What if the private cloud had room for year 5 growth? How much does the maintenance extension cost for year 5? The list goes on, but I still have never seen calculations considering these unpleasant surprises which are, in most cases, inevitable (who knows how much capacity we would need in 4 years!)

      Multiple Cloud Costs

      There is no single cloud stack (hardware and software) that covers all your needs. The requirements of basic VM IaaS to SAP S4 Hana to Machine Learning are very different on all levels. As a basic example, ML requires GPUs, SAP requires a huge amount of memory etc. There is no practical way to deliver that from one cloud, so be prepared to build and manage multiple private clouds.

      Consider all the costs of maintaining and developing your private cloud. Then consider the situation 4 years from now and the money you could potentially spend on that. Wouldn’t you have been better off spending that money modernising your applications and creating new digital innovation for your business and customers?

      The cost of these in public cloud? You only pay for consumption, not for development, maintenance etc. The list goes on… Read more on public cloud cost clarity and optimisation in our blog post here

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        Why The Financial Services Industry Needs To Rethink Its It By Embracing The Cloud

        To be relevant in the future, financial institutions should partner with hyper-scale cloud providers and enablers like Nordcloud.

        2018 has witnessed PR failures from some of the major global financial institutions in the UK after the breaching of certain regulatory compliance due to outdated technical architecture and processes which fail to manage risk within these businesses.

        This is not only a huge reputation risk but also highlights the weak areas and slow pace of innovation at these big conglomerates.

        At the same time, these financial institutions are taking a hit on their customer satisfaction and loyalty due to operational glitches/service non-availability. In an industry where the competition and cost of customer acquisition is fairly steep, this is an anti-pattern which should be avoided.

        Regulators and banking associations have significantly improved their messaging. Instead of giving hints and tips, they are coming out in the open and offering solid guidelines & directives for the Financial Services Industry to think about the changing technology landscape, business dynamics (as new customer products & offerings emerge), and increased regulatory overhead which is mandatory to gauge the health of the FSI vertical.

        How To Improve Operation Resilience For Financial Market Infrastructure

        Recently, Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) and Bank Of England (BoE) published an article and also kicked off a joint discussion paper (DP) to improve operation resilience for financial market infrastructure in the light of recent incidents. Yet another great example of how regulators are trying to push the boundaries and asking these firms to think ahead and embrace new technology to solve business problem.

        They laid down a few key concepts:

        • Business continuity planning (BCP) to manage operational resilience

        BCP is key to operational resilience, a lot needs to be done (from procuring to testing to maintaining) to have a truly good BC plan. Buying upfront capacity and taking a hit on CapEx is an option but clearly losing out on the opportunity costs (what else can you do if not this?) and also not viable long-term strategy. Public cloud offers amazing business agility and with automation that can manage back-ups, auto-provisioning and disaster recovery across the globe they can significantly improve operational resilience at much lower costs and let you focus on what you’re best at.

        • Board approved tolerances and level of disruption

        This again highlights the holes in the existing IT governance and how an exacerbated IT demands good governance. Cloud not only offers the right tools to give management level visibility and KPI tracking, it also enables smarter governance by automation & effective risk management through infrastructure as code and compliance as code. It’s important to re-organise, up-skill, and operate with a new governance model to set tolerances and manage them better.

        • Planning for failures

        This is a great point. Financial institutions often plan for service operations and not really for failures. This requires significant scaling capabilities along with full infrastructure for IT teams to perform a series of non-functional tests before they can ship their products to the market. Cloud is perfectly suited to offer the on-demand scalability along with tools that boost staff productivity and improve code quality through DevOps process improvement.

        Public Cloud Providers Can Solve Operational, Technology and Security Issues

        We think it’s a great start and a perfect way to start discussions within the FSI and to help them re-focus on operational challenges. More importantly, it will help with what they want to do today, tomorrow and next year to make them profitable.

        It’s clear that financial institutions are great at creating financial products and public cloud providers are great at solving operational, technology, security issues as they have the skills and the resources to do so. It’s important that financial institutions start off-loading these non-core functions and look for partnerships or create joint ventures with hyper-scale cloud providers and enablers like Nordcloud to be relevant in the future.

        Cloud Computing Is On The Rise In The Financial Services – Are You Ready?

        Download our free white paper Compliance in the cloud: How to embrace the cloud with confidence, where we outline some of the many benefits that the cloud can offer, such as:

        • Lowered costs
        • Scalability and agility
        • Better customer insights
        • Tighter security

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          Digital Design Forecast: Cloudy with a Chance of Dropping Jaws

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          Tomorrow’s services are designed, developed and run on the cloud. What once was science fiction is now readily available for anyone. But technology itself is of little value unless it solves a relevant problem. For designers, this is both a challenge and an opportunity.

          Better Services Live on the Cloud

          Hyperscale public cloud platforms solve problems related to managing servers, developing software, and scaling services. They provide organisations with benefits such as lower costs and faster time to market.

          But the benefits of modern cloud technology are not only about making existing stuff cheaper and faster. They’re about making better stuff.

          Going into the cloud is not just about refactoring — it’s about reimagining.

          I’m talking about new service concepts, intuitive human interaction, and simpler ways for you to serve your customers.

          But technology alone won’t do any of those things. Not without some help.

          And that’s where design comes in.

          Cloud-Powered Designer Emerges

          Design is about conceptualising and creating new things; designers imagine and designers make. Design differs from art in that it solves problems by delivering what people need.

          Consider an industrial designer set to design a chair. The designer would have to understand who will use the chair, for what purpose, and where.

          For example, watching TV with the family requires a different kind of ‘sitting solution’ than, say, manning an information desk at a shopping mall.

          To design a chair that can be physically built, the industrial designer must also understand the properties of materials, such as wood, metal, plastic, and fabrics.

          The same principles apply to digital design in the cloud.

          For a new breed of cloud-powered designer, the beginning of the design process is the same. They too must understand who is going to use the digital service, for what purpose, and in what context.

          But when it comes to the materials, the two designers deviate. Where the industrial designer uses tangible substances, the cloud-powered designer’s materials are in the cloud.

          It’s not Science Fiction Anymore

          All hyper-scale cloud platforms feature pre-made components, e.g. image recognition, language processing, intelligent search, decision making, machine learning…

          There’s a new one almost every week. For the cloud-powered designer, those are the building blocks of services that help users reach their goals easier and faster.

          For example, Uber is using Microsoft Azure’s Cognitive Services to offer real-time ID checks. Drivers verify their identity using selfies before they are able to accept rides.

          Uniqlo uses Google Cloud Platform’s Dialogflow to offer a new type of shopping experience through a messaging interface, and responses are constantly improved through machine learning.

          Tinder uses Amazon Webservices SageMaker to simplify machine learning and build models for predictions that create new connections that otherwise might have never been possible.

          These are but a few examples of cloud-enabled building blocks that today’s digital designers have at their disposal.

          Yesterday’s science fiction is today’s pre-made component.

          And with those building blocks, we can create some jaw-dropping stuff.

          Reimagining the Future, Together

          The future of digital services is in the cloud, and those services are being imagined now. Going into the cloud is not just about refactoring — it’s about reimagining. As Abraham Lincoln said, the best way to predict the future is to create it.

          For organisations, this means learning and working together.

          If you’re a technologist, you must understand that design is the only thing that will differentiate you from the rest. Design makes for better business. Design is not only what it looks like; it’s about how it works.

          If you’re a digital designer, you must become comfortable with technology. Become comfortable with the cloud; learn all about the building blocks of great digital services. It will be a challenge, but to design better things, you must know how to make them.

          If you’re anyone involved in creating digital services, say hello to new team members outside the obvious realms of business, design or technology. Say hello to data scientists, futurists, anthropologists, social scientists, ethicists, philosophers… or people beyond the comfortable set of disciplines.

          The future will be imagined and built by diverse groups of skilled people working together as teams toward common goals. For this to work well, everyone must be curious beyond one discipline.

          By nature, designers have a massive opportunity to be the glue that binds everyone together.

          Let’s use the best technologies to solve relevant problems. And let’s work together to create a more humane digital future.

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            Webinar: Get to know the coolest of Google Cloud tools

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            Webinar: Get to know the coolest of Google Cloud tools

             

            Ready to unlock Google Cloud?

            In this webinar, you’ll hear

            1. Coolest Cases: Hand-picked case studies of the best tools in Google Cloud
            2. Are you Cloud-Ready: What it takes to supercharge your organization with Google Cloud
            3. Most Common Challenges: What look out for when moving to Google Cloud?
            4. Navigating the Obstacles: Nordcloud’s end-to-end solutions to secure your cloud journey and unleash the potential of Google Cloud

            Since 2011, Nordcloud, a Google Cloud Premier Partner, has completed more than 1000 successful cloud deployments. Nordcloud has worked with Europe’s largest enterprises, e.g. most of OMXN40, to harvest the full benefits of the public cloud, such as increased security, agility, scalability and reduced costs.

            Register here.

            Date:

            August 28, 2019

            Time

            1 PM – 2 PM CEST

             

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              HUS chooses Nordcloud and Google to Accelerate its Digital Competence

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              Nordcloud will harness its years of expertise in public cloud to benefit HUS in migrating to Google Cloud and its services.

              Google’s europe-north1 region, located in Hamina, Finland, is a determining factor for many Finnish organisations in choosing between hyperscale providers.

              The arrival of Google’s public cloud in Hamina was a central developmental step for digitalisation of public sector in Finland. Google Cloud’s Finnish region enables the use of cloud tools and added value while at the same time storing the data physically in Finland”, says Lars Oehlandt, VP Google Partnership of Nordcloud.  “As the Nordic public cloud pioneer with hundreds of projects under our belt, Nordcloud has refined a method we call Cloud Journey for taking business to cloud in a controlled and smart manner. Our cloud journey concept is an excellent fit for both public administration and health care organizations in order to secure full value of public cloud.”

              Google Cloud’s Finnish region enables the use of cloud tools and added value while at the same time storing the data physically in Finland.

              – Lars Oehlandt, VP Google Partnership, Nordcloud

              In addition to the advantageous region, HUS will obtain access to Google Cloud’s numerous features: advanced analytics, machine learning and container services, high-level information security, and world-class infrastructure.

              “Our cooperation with Nordcloud has deepened fast with the interest and demand generated by the Hamina region. Together we will serve Finnish companies and public administration organisations that are developing and modernising their operations with Google Cloud”, says Carita Mäkinen, Field Sales, Google Cloud Platform.

              Google announced in May that it will invest 600 million euros to expand its data center in Hamina. The new construction will add to Google’s existing data-center complex in Hamina on the south coast of Finland, taking the company’s total investment there to 1.4 billion euros. Google’s Hamina complex will be powered by renewable energy acquired from three new wind farms in the Nordic nation

              Earlier this month, Nordcloud was the first Nordic company to achieve the status of Authorized Google Cloud Platform Training Partner.

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              Let’s discuss how we can help with your cloud journey. Our experts are standing by to talk about your migration, modernisation, development and skills challenges.








                Administrating Cloud Databases

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                Life at Nordcloud

                Time for a new Nordcloudian story from our Polish cloud database administration!

                1. Where are you from and how did you end up at Nordcloud?

                I’m working at Nordcloud as a Cloud Database Administrator. From early childhood, I’ve been fascinated by the analysis of information and solving puzzles (of course at an appropriate age level 😊). This is why I came across computer science in primary school by enrolling in a Computer Club at the Youth Cultural Center. There, I learned to program in such languages ​​as LOGO or PASCAL on ZX-Spectrum or Amstad Schneider.

                Later on, I also worked on Commodore C64 and IBM PC 386 (I developed my university projects on the latter, which was a big challenge and good training of writing efficient applications). After years of working as a DBA with various systems and database engines, I wanted to gain even more knowledge and started to look for more possibilities. I heard about Nordcloud from my colleague who convinced me that I would be able to carry out my tech aspiration in cloud native company like Nordcloud. It was hard to believe, but now I know it’s true. Apart from daily tasks I enjoy the atmosphere of work. The general enthusiasm of the cloud here very often reminds me of the fascination with the technology that I had in the Computer Club (the form of breaks is similar :D).

                What’s more, I’m just a Polish woman who is fascinated by the diversity of other cultures and think that every culture is a beautiful part of the entire history of the world, which is good to know and understand.

                2.What is your core competence?

                Relational Databases and data analysis.
                First I was working as a DB2/zOS Database Engineer and also used my knowledge on such environments as DB2/AS400, DB2 LUW (Linux,Unix,Windows). The next step in my experience was gathering an Oracle/Linux, Oracle/Windows Database and SQL Server Database. The icing on the cake is using and expanding my experience in the multi-cloud environment. It’s really awesome!

                3.What do you like most about working at Nordcloud?

                Here I can develop my skills in many areas of database engineering. Being able to work with databases in public clouds such as AWS, Azure and GCP is a unique opportunity to gather experience in such broad areas. Here I can work with people who have the same passion in what they do.

                The possibility of remote work makes it easier to fulfil professional and family duties.

                Nordcloud is a company that brings together exceptional specialists in various fields of computer science.

                4.What is the most useful thing you have learned at Nordcloud?

                Cloud is the future in the rapidly changing world of IT, which is worth of attention. By working in the cloud, the boundaries between teams, such as the system administrator, database administrator, network administrator or developer are blurred, but skills in all these areas are still very desirable.

                5.What sets you on fire/What’s your favourite thing technically with public cloud ?

                Everything. The solution is very complex and amazing.

                6.What do you do outside work?

                After work I’m involved in advanced optimisation of structural household processes implemented as a part of individual projects at my home.
                I support ventures in board games and lessons on percussion. 
                In a nutshell, I have two fantastic sons 😊

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                Get in Touch

                Let’s discuss how we can help with your cloud journey. Our experts are standing by to talk about your migration, modernisation, development and skills challenges.








                  OnBoard Kubernetes Engine | Copenhagen

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                  Join Nordcloud at OnBoard Kubernetes Engine – Copenhagen on May 23This free-to-attend, one-day event will provide you with industry best practices and tips to accelerate your ability to design solutions using Kubernetes!

                  OnBoard Kubernetes Engine | Sorte Diamant, Det Kongelige Bibliotek

                  OnBoard Kubernetes Engine – Copenhagen is a free full-day enablement and training event that will give you an understanding of containers and Docker, an overview of Kubernetes Engine technology, deploy to Kubernetes Engine and setting up continuous delivery.

                  OnBoard Kubernetes Engine has been designed for IT Managers, Systems Engineers and Operations professionals, Developers, Solution Architects and modern business leaders who are exploring cloud solutions or are new to Google Cloud Platform. Leveraging the GCP Kubernetes Engine course, the event will provide you with the technical training you need to get started as well as access to tips and tricks, industry best-practice and questions and answers from the Google Cloud team.

                  Check the event agenda and register here.

                  Date

                  May 23

                  Location

                  Sorte Diamant, Det Kongelige Bibliotek
                  Søren Kierkegaards Plads 1
                  Copenhagen, Denmark

                   

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                  Get in Touch

                  Let’s discuss how we can help with your cloud journey. Our experts are standing by to talk about your migration, modernisation, development and skills challenges.








                    The Key Factors to Supercharging your Digital Success

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                    Innovation, agility, and cost-efficiency don’t have to be tradeoffs in digital transformation

                    This IDC Infobrief, “Hyperscale Cloud Platforms as an Accelerator for Digital: the Role of Transformational Partners“, sponsored by Nordcloud,  dives into the success factors of DX transformation.

                    The majority of European CEOs face enormous expectations to transform their organizations into agile, digital-driven champions.

                    digital transformation

                    IDC forecasts that worldwide spending on digital transformation (DX) initiatives will reach more than $1.2 trillion by the end of 2019. CEOs are increasingly under pressure to deliver the financial outcomes associated with these digital transformation investments. 

                     

                    To be successful in leveraging new cloud platforms for DX initiatives, get three key areas right

                    1. Skills

                    2. Governance

                    3. Finding the right transformational partners.

                     

                    Download the IDC Infobrief to find out how you can deploy these key factors to drive higher revenue.

                     

                    Download the Infobrief here

                     

                     

                    Digital Transformation with Nordcloud

                    We are ranked globally #2 by Gartner capability assessment in Mode 2 use cases such as supporting agile applications and cloud native transformation. We can help you move away from legacy applications and update your workflow with modern, cloud-based applications that are tailored to solve your most challenging problems. Benefit from scalability, and easier and more flexible management.

                    How can we help you take your business to the next level? 

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