What are cloud automation tools? These are basically tools that will unlock speedier application delivery and improved workflow. Do not waste time searching for one tool that encompasses everything. The best possible option is to utilize a variety of different tools for server provisioning, configuration management, and similar efforts. When searching for appropriate tooling, you should think in terms of faster code deployments, efficient monitoring, and automated builds. Other objectives on your list should be cost reduction, a faster and streamlined CI/CD process.

Categories for Cloud Automation Tools

Tools currently available for infrastructure automation and cloud automation can be divided into the following categories:
  • Infrastructure Provisioning Terraform
  • Configuration Management Ansible or Chef
  • Containerization Docker
  • CI/CD DevOps Bamboo

Infrastructure Provisioning

Provisioning is a process of building or setting up IT infrastructure. It denotes certain necessary steps for managing access to data and resources before they are made available for users and systems. Do not confuse this with the configuration process, which is also a vital component for any deployment. Bear in mind that there are various types of provisioning. It may refer to network provisioning, server provisioning user provisioning, and more. Infrastructure as Code (IaC) comes into play here. Rather than manually setting up servers, just define a configuration script; then a provisioning tool takes it from there.

Terraform

Setting up the first cloud building blocks is a crucial step. If you are looking for a cloud infrastructure provisioning tool, Terraform is the top choice. The widely used tool helps you describe infrastructure with code. Terraform is used to rapidly spin up resources. In addition, you can manage, and modify any individual resources in parallel. Utilizing Terraform state files, you can maintain the state of your infrastructure. Any environments you set up in Terraform (public cloud or private cloud infrastructure), can then easily be configured further with config management tools. You can also learn more about Terraform as an open-source tool and how efficient Terraform is for cloud deployment.

Configuration Management

Once you are done spinning up resources for a new cloud environment, via Terraform, it is necessary to configure this environment for upcoming projects.

Ansible

If you wish to have a configuration management tool with continuous delivery and quicker deployments, Ansible is one of the best choices. With Ansible you get a straightforward methodology for automating apps and infrastructure. It entails automated application deployment, configuration management, as well as Continuous Delivery. It also automates cloud provisioning and similar recurring tasks. Ansible connects the nodes and pushes out small programs called modules to them. Then it executes these modules and removes them when the execution is complete. Learn more about Ansible.

Chef

Chef is a popular Ruby-powered DevOps config management tool. It is popular for a reason. The tool is a very good alternative to Ansible and it can be used to manage the infrastructure for web-scale IT ops. Whether you are working with machines that are physical or the cloud, you will be able to handle any configuration management without much of a hassle. This refers to configuring any infrastructure that is smaller and simpler. Should the infrastructure scale-up, you may need a different tool. That is where Chef comes in. It allows you to perform automation and offers a range of ways to speed up any intricate tasks. Learn more about Chef.

Containerization

Employing application containerization, a constantly evolving technology that developers use to run tests and run application instances within the cloud. The greatest advantage of containerization is using a less resource-intensive way to run an application on a VM. Application containers can share resources and memory without the need for an OS to power the app. One of the leading DevOps tools in that area is Docker.

Docker

The widely used open-source containerization platform, known as Docker, allows developers to package applications into containers. Containers are standardized executable components that combine the application source code with OS libraries and dependencies that are necessary to run the code. The process of application containerization was, in fact, made popular by Docker. Developers now commonly utilize Docker to build, ship and run applications in any environment. These processes can be done efficiently and rapidly in Docker. There are several advantages of Docker containerization. When apps are isolated and separated into containers, you increase security as well. In addition, Docker maintains a private registry for image storage, management, and configuration. This open-source cloud automation tool has other plus points. Major cloud platforms like AWS, Google, and Azure all have added support for Docker. Discover more advantages of Docker.

CI/CD DevOps

To ensure the best possible DevOps practices, IT teams need to set up CI/CD pipelines (i.e. Continuous Integration / Continuous Delivery). This allows you to develop, refine, and release app/project changes through code in an efficient way.

Bamboo

Bamboo is an essential CI/CD DevOps tool for enabling an automated delivery pipeline (build to deployment). When you utilize Bamboo for your projects, you will notice certain advantages almost instantly. There are lots of prebuilt functionalities. These would otherwise have to be configured manually if you are using tools like, say, Jenkins (which has over thousands of plugins, as opposed to Bamboo which has only about a hundred). Thanks to such characteristics Bamboo is used to perform tasks out of the box. You save time with configuration. What is more, Bamboo integrates seamlessly with numerous other products and services such as Jira, Bitbucket, and the like. The intuitive UI offers various handy features such as auto-completion, tooltips, and so on. On top of that, you gain access to built-in Git and test environments.

What You Get with Infrastructure and Cloud Automation Tools

Utilizing these cloud automation tools gives you the opportunity to:
  • Reduce complexity: cloud automation tools greatly decrease the complexity of infrastructure provisioning and management. IT teams gain instant value. Planning, optimization, implementation, and maintenance becomes simpler.
  • Reduce Errors: if you rely on infrastructure automation you will be able to reduce human-related errors, which occur often when provisioning resources manually. With infrastructure automation, IT teams concentrate on other tasks that are more important for the business.
  • Increase Cost-effectiveness: thanks to these automation tools, you will not have to rely on huge teams working manually to get things done during projects. In other words, you are effectively eliminating staff costs.
  • Speed Up Delivery: with infrastructure and cloud automation tools listed above, IT provisioning becomes rapid, significantly decreasing the time and work usually required to build underlying infrastructure. Project delivery, product launches become faster to boot.
Feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions regarding cloud deployment, cloud automation, or any other cloud-based technology that could improve your business.

Date/Time

Date(s) - 01/01/1970
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Location

600 5th ave. NY, NY
Organizing and streamlining cloud-based workflows and business operations can get chaotic at times. Both Microsoft’s and Amazon’s cloud computing platforms are equipped with a variety of cloud optimization tools and services, as part of Azure and AWS suites. We have selected some of the most frequently used tooling to help you analyze, manage, and monitor cloud performance. In addition, these handy tools allow you to establish a reliable methodology for cloud cost optimization. You can also implement standardized processes, efficiently right-size your deployments and more. Mastering the tools you see below will speed up your cloud adoption journey, as you optimize for better ROI and harvest the significant benefits of public cloud.

7 Key Best Practices for Cloud Cost Optimization

Before we get into specific cloud tools, here is a quick overview of some of the best practices for cloud cost optimization:
  1. The first step to effective cloud optimization, in general, can be done through automation – utilizing powerful cloud deployment tools such as Terraform and effective containerization via Kubernetes and Docker.
  2. Pinpointing and addressing idle resources (right-sizing the computing services before migration).
  3. Managing cost variables for long-term cloud commitment: like RIs (Reserved Instances), upfront payment, storage types, and so on.
  4. Leverage and rely on Spot Instances to keep an eye on AWS or Azure spend.
  5. Utilizing heatmaps helps with your overall cloud cost optimization.
  6. Rely on the auto-scaling nature of the cloud to reduce costs and design workloads by switching off resources that are not needed.
  7. Save time and reduce operating expenses by utilizing powerful serverless computing services such as AWS Lambda.
Before we take a deep dive into cloud cost optimization tools, you may want to have a look at how financial services and hedge funds can tackle Cloud Cost Management and Return on Investment (ROI).

AWS Cost Explorer

With the Cost Explorer, you can access and look at costs, as well as ROI for Amazon services. Utilizing this tool gives you data and relevant info for the previous 13 months. You will be able to plan any future investments and budgets effectively. Another useful option is to customize views. As a result, it is easier to pinpoint areas where improvement is needed. Cost Explorer also provides an API that lets you access the data via your analytics tools. The tool also features daily and monthly granularity, which is another vital component for effective planning. Learn more about AWS Cost Explorer.

AWS Budgets

AWS Budgets is fairly similar to Cost Explorer, although it remains yet another helpful tool that gives you a chance to implement and analyze budgets for Amazon services. When the budget is reached or surpassed, you will get an email or message via the Simple Notification Service. Connecting your budget to specific data points is very straightforward, and you also get fast access to vital data such as data usage or the number of instances. Learn more about AWS Budgets.

Amazon CloudWatch

When it comes to cloud cost optimization, there are numerous tools that are very handy. Amazon CloudWatch is one of them. With it, you can set alarms for a huge assortment of metrics and data from Amazon services. It is frequently used to keep an eye on EC2 instances. You can choose to get an alarm or notification regarding the utilization of the EC2 instance. If it goes below a certain percentage, you will know about it instantly. This means you can see if the instance is underused, and take action to right-size the instance or combine workloads. Learn more about Amazon CloudWatch.

AWS Trusted Advisor

AWS Trusted Advisor offers help for users and best practices regarding various Amazon services. It features automated suggestions on four crucial optimization factors that are free of charge: Service Limits Check, Security Groups, IAM Use Check, and MFA on Root Account Check. Essentially, all these optimization factors help you keep an eye on reserved instance optimization and lease expiration, low utilization of EC2 instances, idle load balancers, underutilized Amazon Redshift clusters, and more. The Service Limits Check, for example, lets you know if you are utilizing over 80% of your allocation resources like EC2 instances and EBS volumes. Learn more about AWS Trusted Advisor.

Azure Advisor

Similar to the AWS suite, Azure also includes its own advisor tool. This way you can optimize Azure cloud resources. The general goal is to improve aspects such as performance, availability, security, and cost. Think of Azure Advisor as a personalized cloud consultant that allows you to scan resource usage and configuration. There are over 100 custom-tailored recommendations specific to your Azure cloud optimizations. The tool helps you optimize Azure deployments fast and easy, in addition to offering detailed guidance on relevant actions. Learn more about Azure Advisor.

Azure Architecture Center

Cloud architecture is a unique and complex process. With Azure Architecture Center you will unlock an assortment of free guides to organizational and architectural best practices for optimizing workloads. It also makes it easier to design a fresh workload for the cloud or migrate an existing workload from on-prem to public. Microsoft has also thrown in various helpful features such as cloud adoption frameworks, application architecture guides, and reference architectures. Learn more about Azure Architecture Center.

Azure Pricing Calculator

Microsoft’s Azure Pricing Calculator is an elegant and simple, web-based tool for getting quick prices. You receive estimated costs for diverse Azure products and features, including Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), Azure Functions, Azure App Service, Azure Batch, Service Fabric, Container Instances, Virtual Machines (VMs), and more. As you figure out overall costs across all used Azure services and make all the necessary calculations, you will be able to establish a concise and detailed plan around your cloud expenses. Learn more about Azure Pricing Calculator.

Microsoft Test Tool for VMs

The MS Azure cloud platform bestows users with a dynamic ecosystem. If you aim for optimizing costs you should also properly optimizing your VMs. Growing your cloud-powered business from there on is easier thanks to the Microsoft Certification Test Tool for Azure Certified Virtual Machines (VMs). MS offers an application that tests your VM, which verifies how efficiently it runs in Azure. It carries out an assessment of compliance to technical requirements. After the tests are completed, the results can be submitted to MS. They will then make the proper classification, making you Azure Certified. Learn more about Microsoft Certification Test Tool for VMs.

Other Useful Cloud Monitoring and Cloud Cost Optimization Tools

Remember, each tool listed above was designed to simplify your journey. Using these cloud optimization tools, and cloud enablement tools is going to make for a more efficient cloud adoption process as well. In this instance, you can also consider Tagging. Having a solid resource tagging strategy helps with tools such as AWS Cost Explorer and provides multiple dimensions to better understand the cloud spend. You focus on the price of the production environment, VDIs, and so on. Bear in mind, that apart from the ones we have listed, there is a range of third-party cloud optimization and cloud cost optimization tools out there, including the following:
  • Zabbix
  • Weavescope
  • Zenoss Zenpack
We are mindful of the complexity of cloud adoption and cloud management. If you are still having trouble with cloud optimization, cost optimization, and cloud management, feel free to reach out to us.

Date/Time

Date(s) - 01/01/1970
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Location

600 5th ave. NY, NY