7 Tips to Save Costs in Azure Cloud

Cloud computing comes with myriad benefits with its various as-a-service models and hence most businesses consider it wise to move their IT infrastructure to cloud. However, many IT admins worry that hidden costs will lower their department’s total cost of ownership.

We believe that it is more about estimating your requirements correctly and managing resources in the right way.

Microsoft Azure Pricing

Microsoft Azure allows you to quickly deploy infrastructures and services to meet all of your business needs. You can run Windows and Linux based applications in 22 Azure data center regions, delivered with enterprise grade SLAs. Azure services come with:

  • No upfront costs
  • No termination fees
  • Pay only for what you use
  • Per minute billing

You can calculate your expected monthly bill using Pricing Calculator and track your actual account usage and bill at any time using the billing portal.

How to save cost on Azure Cloud?

  1. Azure allows you to set a monthly spending limit on your account. So, if you forget to turn off your VMs, your Azure account will get disabled before you run over your predefined monthly spending limit. You can also set email billing alerts if your spend goes above a preconfigured amount.
  2. It is not enough to shut down VMs from within the instance to avoid being billed because Azure continues to reserve the compute resources for the VM including a reserved public IP. Unless you need VMs to be up and running all the time, shut down and deallocate them to save on cost. This can be achieved from Azure Management portal or Windows Powershell.
  3. Delete the unused VPN gateway and application gateway as they will be charged whether they run inside virtual network or connect to other virtual networks in Azure. Your account will be charged based on the time gateway is provisioned and available.
  4. At least one VM is required to be running all the time, with one reserved IP included in 5 reserved public IP in use, in order to avoid reserved IP address charges. If you down all your VMs in service, then Microsoft is likely to reassign that IP to some other customer’s cloud service, which can hamper your business.
  5. Minimize the number of compute hours by using auto scaling. Auto scaling can minimize the cost by reducing the total compute hours so that the number of nodes onAzure scales up or down based on demand.
  6. When an end-user’s PC makes a DNS query, recursive DNS servers run by enterprises and ISPs cache the DNS responses. These cached responses don’t incur charge as they don’t reach the Traffic Manager Name servers. The caching duration is determined by the “TTL” parameter in the original DNS response. With larger TTL value, you can reduce DNS query charges but it would result in longer end-user failover times. On the other hand, shorter TTL value will reduce caching resulting in more query counts against Traffic Manager Name server. Hence, configure TTL in Traffic Manager based on your business needs.
  7. Blob storage offers a cost effective solution to store graphics data. Blob storage of type Table and Queue of 2 GB costs $0.14/month and type block blob costs just $0.05/month.

SQL Database

A SQL Database of similar capacity will cost $4.98/month. Hence, use blob storage to store images, videos and text files instead of storing in SQL Database.

SQL Database

To reduce the cost and increase the performance, put the large items in the blob storage and store the blob record key in SQL database.

Above tips will definitely help you cut cost on Azure and leverage the power of cloud computing to the best!

8K Miles Tweet Chat 3: IAG Issues and Solutions

8K Miles organised a Tweet chat on IAG issues and solutions on May 10th, if you have questions related to IAG for your organisation or wish to understand IAG better this blog is the right place. Go through this blog which is a recap on what happened during the Tweet chat, as we compile all the questions asked and answers given by the tweet chat participants. The official twitter handle of 8K Miles being @8KMiles shared frequently asked questions on IAG issues and solutions which were discussed and answered by the participants.

Tweet Chat  Q1

A1 Answer 2

A2 answer1 - IAG issues

A3 ANSWER1

 

A4 answer

A5 answer

A6 answer

A7 answer

 

A7 answr2

 

A8 answer

 

a9 answer

A10 ANSWER

It was an informative chat on IAG issues and solutions. For more such tweet chats on cloud industry follow our Twitter handle @8KMiles.

7 Common AWS Cost Issues and How You Can Fix Them

Cloud solutions offer significant business benefits for startups as well as established enterprises. To help the cloud setup, Amazon Web Services (AWS) delivers brilliant cloud infrastructure solutions with pay-per-use service and other computing resources with respect to the growing needs of a business. However, even with all the benefits there still exist cost related issues. Even though AWS model saves building and maintenance cost there are cost management issues which users encounter while using cloud. So keeping cost management in mind, we have the 7 common AWS cost issues and how you can fix them.

Resource Purchase

Remember to check your resource utilization before purchasing. The reserved, on-demand and spot instances should be purchased appropriately depending on use and risks; as spot instances have termination risk or reserved instances become inactive due to improper mapping. For long term usage, use reserved EC2 instances.

Instance Size

Remember to analyze your needs and choose the appropriate size rather than sizing for the highest demand. As the size may vary, like large, medium or small, so do not choose the defaults. You can use autoscaling services to manage high load for certain period of time. Also, save cache or non-critical data from application into non-persistent storage, instead of increasing the size of the Elastic Block Storage (EBS).

EC2 Utilization

The Elastic Compute cloud (EC2) is charged as per their usage time even if the EC2 instance is using less than destined capacity or sitting idle. You can identify the idle and underutilized instances and analyze the CPU utilization and network activity. If these data hit low then EC2 instance should be flagged. So you could contact the instance owner and verify if the instance is needed or not or the correct size. Shutdown the instances when they are not needed. This can help you reduce cost. Also find way to reuse the unused reserved instances.

Using elastic cache to store cache information from application and database reduces the instance CPU utilization and bandwidth; this allows us to minimize the bandwidth usage and thus reduces the cost. Also, you can use ECS service on underutilized EC2 instances to increase the workload and efficiency of the Instances, instead of launching new resources.

S3 Lifecycle

Keep an eye on your object storage and regularly track the following: what storage you have, where the storages are and how you are storing it. By using the Simple Storage Service (S3) lifecycle you can control and reduce the storage costs. During expiration and transition of object storage class to RRS and Glacier you can reduce your S3 and storage costs. The data that are no longer needed or need to be highly available can be deleted or moved to Glacier storage using the S3 Lifecycle Policy.

Use Glacier to archive data for longer time period and plan the data retrieval process from Glacier, do not retrieve data frequently.

Data Transfer Charges

It is important to constantly track the data transfer charges as they could cause unnecessary expenses. Maintaining a precise resource inventory on ‘what data is transferred’ and ‘where’ (i.e. to which region) would prevent money wastage on data transfer.

AWS Support Services

The EC2 hourly charges are greater for many users than the pay-as-you-go usage charges. So using AWS support services like ELB and pay-as-you-go would help to reduce cost. Analyze your costs and check if these services are effective for your usage.

Remove Resources

Detach elastic IPs from instances that are in stopped state and release the other unattached IPs. Also, delete older and unwanted AMIs and snapshots as well as delete snapshots of deleted AMIs. These resources should be tracked regularly so they don’t get missed among the many other resources. Also individually these items cost less but together they create large expense. Meanwhile in AWS environment, all resources are accounted even if they are inactive so it is important to turn off the unused ones. So take snapshot of unused RDS instance (if needed) and terminate the RDS instance. So keep track and remove all unwanted RDS manual snapshots and all unused resources.

Though AWS is a dynamic and effective cloud service it is important to regularly check the progress manually or via automated reports to avoid mistakes. As well as these 7 cost issues can be avoided by regularly monitoring the AWS services, which will largely help to reduce the cost.

Cloud Boundaries Redefined in AWS Chennai Meetup on 30th April @8KMiles

AWS Chennai Meetup
“You don’t have to say everything to be a light. Sometimes a fire built on a hill will bring interested people to your campfire.” ― Shannon L. Alder

This is one of the days where the above quote is proven to be right. As a market leader in delivering quality Cloud solutions, 8K Miles has this habit of stretching every new service offered by different cloud service providers to explore and solve the contemporary business problems. In yet another effort in that direction, we had a bunch of technical evangelists and architects gathering at 8K Miles today for the #AWSChennaiMeetup event, to discuss two broad areas on AWS architecture designs.

1) The Pros and Cons of Architecting Microservices on AWS

2) Cloud Boundaries redefined: Running ~600 million jobs every month on AWS

AWS Chennai MeetUp I Session

Session 1: Pros and Cons of Architecting Microservices on AWS

This topic was discussed by Sudhir Jonathan from Real Image. Sudhir works as a consultant to Real Image, on the teams that build Moviebuff.com and Justickets.in. His history includes ThoughtWorks, Own Startup and a few personal projects. He is an avid coder and specialities includes Ruby on Rails, Go, React, AWS and Heroku and  a few.

AWS Chennai Meetup

His valuable knowledge sharing session started with the Pros and Cons of Architecting Microservices on AWS, also covering automated deployment, inter process communication using SQS, ECS, cost reductions using spot instances, ELB and Autoscaling groups.

Session 2: Cloud Boundaries redefined: Running ~600 million jobs every month on AWS

In the world of cloud “Speed is Everything”.  To identify various security, compliance, risk and vulnerability drifts instantly on our customer environment, 8K Miles  cloud operations team runs ~600 million jobs every month.  Mohan and Saravanan – the technical architects of 8K Miles shared their experience in running distributed and fault tolerant scheduler stack and how it has evolved.

AWS Chennai Meetup

During the event we also organized a simple tweet quiz in our handle @8KMiles for all the participants. Dwarak discussed each question in detail with all the participants.

AWS Chennai Meetup

For more detailed updates on this event, please check the hashtag #AWSChennaiMeetup and our handle @8KMiles in Twitter
**Chennai Amazon Web Services Meetup, is organized by AWS Technology Evangelists from Chennai for AWS Cloud Enthusiasts. The goal is to conduct meetups often, share and learn the latest technology implementations on AWS, the challenges, the learnings, the limitations etc.

8K Miles is a leading Silicon Valley based Cloud Services firm, specializing in high-performance Cloud computing, Analytics, and Identity Management solutions and is emerging as one of the top solution providers for the IT and ITIS requirement on Cloud for the Pharma, Health Care and allied Life Sciences domains.