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The Secrets Behind Azure and AWS Costs that IT Companies Don’t Want You to Know

If you’ve moved to Azure or AWS already and been surprised by the cost, you’re probably not alone.  Many businesses migrated their applications and data from traditional data centres on the promise of big savings which then failed to materialise. 

However properly managed, public cloud solutions in Azure and AWS should be cheaper and easier to manage than legacy servers, but in many cases, they aren’t.  Here are 5 reasons why you may be paying more than you need to, and what you can do to solve the issue:

1. The architecture isn’t right for your needs

Within both Azure and AWS, there is a vast range of different virtual machine configurations available.  These have different specifications, with different processor types and different amounts of memory and storage.

Each Virtual Machine type is optimised for different types of usage.  A machine that’s been designed to run a large application database with a lot of users has a much more powerful specification than one that’s been designed for simpler tasks such as handling your front end.

Incorrectly specifying high performance (and more expensive) virtual machines for the various components of your cloud infrastructure may mean that you’re paying for capacity that you simply don’t need.  Analysing your usage and reviewing the architecture of your deployment to ensure that the different components match your needs can help reduce costs and improve performance in areas where underpowered machines have been deployed.

2. Your provider doesn’t scale resources up and down based on need

Very few applications have a consistent load throughout the day.  During peak business hours, usage may be much higher than during the evening.

Both Azure and AWS offer customers the ability to scale the amount of resource that is dedicated to an application so that it better reflects demand.  If your cloud infrastructure is “always on” to meet maximum demand, you will be paying for that full capacity all the time.

By monitoring the amount of usage and switching off unused capacity or scaling to different specification of machines at low-demand times, costs can be reduced significantly without affecting end user experience.

3. You’re paying for resources that you don’t even need

Azure and AWS make it simple to add extra machines to your account.  It’s simple to set up a new virtual machine for running a test or developing a new feature for your application however unless you regularly check usage, these machines may not be switched off when they’re no longer required.

Regular analysis of usage across your Azure deployment is essential in avoiding the build-up of redundant capacity.  A comprehensive audit should be carried out to ensure that you’re not paying for anything that you no longer need.

4. Your provider isn’t passing on savings based on their consumption

As with any commodity, bulk buying by a provider can lead to lower costs.  There are multiple ways for large providers to build discounts into their spend such as advance purchase or moving capacity between geographic areas.

While some cloud providers will pass on their savings to clients, this isn’t always the case – the clients still pay the full price while the discount is taken as margin.

Without transparent pricing, and comprehensive information about billing and usage levels, it may not be clear to you what you’re actually paying for, which in turn means that you’re likely paying over the odds.  If your cloud supplier is charging a percentage mark-up on your Azure or AWS spend, they’re disincentivised from reducing your costs because it reduces their income.

5. Your payment method may not be right for your business

If you buy Azure or AWS direct from Microsoft or Amazon, then you’ll normally pay for the service using a credit card. 

That’s rarely ideal for businesses and can lead to nasty surprises if costs rise. 

Working with a partner to manage your cloud will usually mean that a business can move to a more convenient and consistent invoice model for payments.  This makes it easier to manage budgets over time and identify issues more quickly.




Want to find out more?

Our technical team can provide a risk-free review of your current deployment to determine whether you’re getting what you need. 

Request a review today and download our guide to migrating to a new partner to understand how straightforward it can be to move your data and applications within the cloud.

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