FinOps is the cloud operation model that consolidates finance and IT, just like DevOps synergizes developers and operations. FinOps can revolutionize accounting in the cloud age of business, by enabling enterprises to understand cloud costs, budgeting, and procurements from a technical perspective.
The main idea behind FinOps is to double the business value on the cloud through best practices for finance professionals in a technical environment and technical professionals in a financial ecosystem.
What is FinOps?
In the cloud environment, different platforms and so many moving parts can make the cost-optimization of cloud resources a challenge. This challenge has given rise to a new discipline: financial operations or FinOps. Here’s how the FinOps Foundation, a non-profit trade association for FinOps professionals, describes the discipline:
FinOps is the operating model for the cloud. FinOps enables a shift — a combination of systems, best practices, and culture — to increase an organization’s ability to understand cloud costs and make tradeoffs. In the same way that DevOps revolutionized development by breaking down silos and increasing agility, FinOps increases the business value of the cloud by bringing together technology, business, and finance professionals with a new set of processes.
How to optimize your cloud costs?
If you’re a FinOps professional – or if you’re an IT or business leader concerned about controlling expenses – here are several ways to optimize cloud costs.
#1 Make sure you’re using the right cloud. Your mission-critical applications might benefit from a private, hosted cloud or even deployment in an on-premises environment, but that doesn’t mean all your workloads need to be deployed in the same environment. In addition, cloud technologies are getting more sophisticated all the time. Review your cloud deployments annually to make sure you have the right workloads in the right clouds.
#2 Review your disaster recovery strategy. More businesses than ever are leveraging AWS and Azure for disaster recovery. These pay-as-you-go cloud solutions can ensure your failover site is available when needed without requiring that you duplicate resources.
#3 Optimize your cloud deployment. If you’re deploying workloads on a cloud platform such as AWS or Azure for the first time, a knowledgeable partner who knows all the tips and tricks can be a real asset. It’s easy to overlook features, like Reserved Instances, that can help you lower monthly cloud costs.
#4 Outsource some or all of your cloud management. Many IT departments are short-staffed with engineers wearing multiple hats. While doing business, it’s easy for cloud resources to be underutilized or orphaned. The right cloud partner can help you find and eliminate these resources to lower your costs.
#5 Outsource key roles. Many IT roles, especially in areas like IT security and system administration, are hard to fill. Although you want someone with experience, you may not even need them full-time. Instead of going in circles trying to find and recruit the right talent, the use of a professional service company with a wide knowledge base can give you the entire solution, it's a huge advantage and can save you a lot of money.
# 6 Increase your visibility. Even if you decide to place some or all cloud management, you still want to keep an eye on things. There are several platforms today such as Spotinst cloud analyzer that can address cloud management and provide visibility across all your cloud environments from a single console. Nevertheless, the use of these platforms should be part of the FinOps consultation.
AWS Lambda Cost Optimization
Although moving into the cloud can mean that your IT budget increases, cloud computing helps you customize how it runs. There are many advantages to using AWS - whether you're using it for just one application or using the cloud as a data center. The advantage of using AWS is that you save money on other aspects of your business, allowing you to spend more wisely on AWS services. For example, monitoring time zones to the only charge for the services used at peak times means that costs can be managed anytime.
Before we get into the meat and potatoes of understanding how to lower costs, let's review how Amazon determines the price of AWS Lambda. Amazon's Lambda has several indicators to calculate how much it will cost to run them. The duration is measured according to the time your code began executing until it completes or otherwise ends. The price depends on how much memory your function requires.
The AWS Lambda service is part of Compute Savings Plans, which provide low prices for Amazon EC2, Amazon Fargate, and AWS Lambda if you commit to using them consistently for a period of one or three years. You can save up to 17% on Amazon Lambda when you use Compute
- Free Tier: 1 million monthly requests
- Then $0.20 for every million requests
- 400,000 GB-seconds free per month
- $0.00001667 for each GB-second afterward
Function configuration memory size.
An invocation consumes 1.5 GB or less of memory, multiplied by the duration. In practice, GB-sec proves to be rather complicated, despite its simple appearance. If you want to see what your function might cost, you can try an Amazon Lambda cost calculator.
How to Optimize AWS Lambda Costs?
Monitor All AWS Lambda Workloads
There are over 120,000 AWS Lambda functions in the wild. Let's say you own a business. If you want to see every single function, you'd need over 2000 computers in your network just to keep up with what's running. While that's a horrible amount of computer resources, many of us don't have that capability. You can create instances with many cores, memory, storage, and other resources to monitor what's going on.
Your Lambda function will keep running, but as long as you can monitor the outcome, it's effortless to see what's going on in there. AWS Lambda dashboard from AWS allows you to view metrics from your Lambda functions. You can see live logs of how long functions run and which parts of your code are processing or not.
Reduce Lambda Usage
Lambda usage can be easily optimized and significantly cut down, by simply turning off and downing Lambda services whenever they are not in use. You can configure AWS Lambda to function on a per-task basis. It might even inspire you to do the same for your other services. Don't use lambdas for simple transforms, or you will find yourself paying more than $0.20 per 1000 calls. If you are deploying a serverless API using AWS AppSync & API Gateway, this happens quite often.
Cache Lambda Responses
Instead of sending a static string to all API endpoints, developers can send response headers that include the exact value the user needs and even identify the intended application using a unique ID.
One of the keys to delivering a very efficient response is to cache those responses, so your endpoints don't need to send them all the time. A function that is not called doesn't add to your bill. Further, this allows developers to save time and energy and achieve implementations that enhance user experience.
Use Batch Lambda Calls
Sometimes, a server may be under heavy load, and the peak traffic will fluctuate due to intermittent events. Good use of queue could be utilized to make this an effective, fast solution to pause Lambda execution and "batch" code executions. Instead of calling functions on every event, you will be calling only a set number of times during a specific event period. If the function call rate is constant, the other requests can wait until the function is called. For outstanding performance, Lambda has native support for AWS queuing services such as Kinesis and SQS. It's essential to test your function optimally and follow these best practices to ensure your data is batched properly.
Never Call Lambda Directly from Lambda
If you want to change the AWS Lambda endpoint on the server, you can't call it directly. This is another example of why Lambda isn't meant to be a transactional backend or database but rather a real-time event-sourced service. You may be using AWS Lambda today without knowing this, but it's easy to minimize your AWS Lambda costs with this knowledge in mind. There are many options available when it comes to AWS queuing services. SQS, SNS, Kinesis, and Step Functions are just a few that set AWS apart for those tasks that require heavy-hitting responses. You can notify clients with WebSockets or email as your needs arise.
Cloudride specializes in providing professional consultancy & implementation planning services for all cloud environments and providers. Whether the target environment is AWS, Azure GCP, or others, Cloudride specialists are experienced experts with these systems and cater to any need. You no longer have to worry about reducing cloud costs or improving efficiency—just leave that to us. Give us a call today for your free consultation!