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Turbonomic Blog

Is Financial Accounting the New Class for IT Ops?

Posted by Ben Yemini on Nov 10, 2017 3:00:24 PM
Ben Yemini
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I have a confession to make. I got a P in accounting. What is a P you might ask? It’s based on the grading system business schools use to make “Type As” feel better about themselves when they are surrounded by similar types. In the real world, it’s a C.

Accounting and IT Operations

What does this have to do with IT operations? Architects and operations teams are increasingly concerned with financial decisions. After all, cloud service providers claim and often provide infinite capacity. What used to be a compute, storage and network resource constraint that required navigation is turning into a financial constraint.

To address this challenge there are multiple tools focused on aggregating billing data from AWS, Azure or GCP. Whether it’s reading the cost and usage report files from AWS, parsing that data and then allowing the user to generate custom reports, or taking that data and pushing it into a charge back workflow, the primary objective is reporting on the past and holding departments, app owners, or developers accountable for their spend.

Now I Can See

Over the last few months I’ve spoken with dozens of Turbonomic customers and even more prospects that are well on their hybrid cloud journey. Most get very excited about the ability to get better visibility and understanding of their current cloud bill because many of the cloud service providers have made it a bit harder than it should be to understand how much your spending.

Despite the cynic in me, I’m convinced that this is not a nefarious activity but rather as we’ve seen in the mainframe and virtualization days, the platform vendors do not spend their efforts on management. Rather, they let their ecosystem take care of it and later acquire other companies that have already solved this problem.

A recent example of this is Microsoft’s acquisition of Cloudyn. This acquisition allows Azure customers to understand how much their spending and report on this information more easily than it was pre-acquisition.

Beyond Visibility

At Turbonomic we’ve been providing our customers with visibility into their cloud costs and, sure, we can even aggregate and report on historical data with the best of them. But unless you are an accountant, that is not really the point of Turbonomic’s hybrid cloud management platform. Our focus is on empowering you to control the costs while improving performance and maintaining compliance.

Here are a couple of examples using Turbonomic 6.0.

The platform collects daily cost data by service from both AWS and Azure and presents it across the various services that have been provisioned. Rather than focusing purely on what has been spent you can quickly see the trends and if a new service that has been added is crossing the set budget so that you can take a corrective action.

Turbonomic Cost Breakdown

Taking a step further you are actually presented with specific actions that can be taken straight form the user interface and even have the option to fully automate these actions which reduce compute spend. See the image below:

Turbonomic Actions

You can also easily understand potential opportunities to delete unattached AWS EBS or Azure Disk volumes that are costing you dearly but not being used.

Turbonomic Group Storage View

Lastly, you can set a policy to automatically shut down cloud servers when they’re not using any resources and are currently not deemed critical. For example, turn of the test and dev environment at 6 pm every night.

Turbonomic Automated Cloud Actions

Conclusion

All of the above examples show how Turbonomic takes hybrid cloud management beyond visibility because at Turbonomic our goal has always been for users to take action or, even better yet, automate those actions so they can focus on more important tasks than baby-sitting the environment or run-away bills.

With 6.0, our expanded capabilities into the public cloud landscape allow IT operations teams, and even accountants that want to go beyond reporting, the ability to drive impact for their organization.

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