FinOps: Make your cloud match your needs!

ProfSea Labs’ top expert, Anton Grishko, was speaking at DevOps Stars Online Summit for DevOps, presenting the topic “FinOps: Make your cloud match your needs.” As an indisputable DevOps expert with more than 14 years of cloud experience, Anton was sharing his excellent FinOps expertise to unlock the best FinOps practices and state-of-art FinOps tools and platforms leveraged to reduce cloud costs and manage cloud infrastructure.

“Each company should have an engineer whose role would be to have the company's resources under control,” said Anton in his speech. “This engineer should be responsible for: resources budget planning, resources purchasing, resources operating, resources tracking, reporting the situation of resources consumption, resources forecasting and, more importantly, resources optimization strategy development. This engineer is a FinOps engineer. FinOps is a very special methodology that basically means for organizations to team up with a dedicated engineer who will be in charge of cloud costs optimization strategy.”

FinOps: what is it and why do we need it?

In the past couple of years, IT organizations vigorously have been moving their infrastructures to the cloud. It's a neat move considering how beneficial clouds are for businesses. What is the problem then? You can ask. The problem lies in the annually growing cost of cloud technologies. According to Flexera's State of the Cloud Report (one of the many cloud surveys), 36% of IT business leaders (out of 750 respondents) said their annual cloud spend exceeded $12M, and 83% said their cloud spend reached $1.2M a year. Compared to last year's 20% of over $12 million and 74% of over $1.2 million, this year's numbers show an unfavorable rise. This is where FinOps saves the day since the FinOps core idea is to lay down financial best practices for the cloud to optimize cloud spending.

According to FinOps Foundation experts, “FinOps as the operating model for the cloud — a combination of systems, best practices, and culture to increase an organization’s ability to understand cloud costs and make tradeoffs.” More FinOps key features like principles, phases, domains, and personas are well-reported here.

“Before clouds, we had on-prem-based infrastructures. And the process of getting the new hardware was pretty much straightforward, but took lots of time”. said Anton. “If you needed to add more service to your data center, you actually would go to your organization's Finance Department, and they would do the procurement for you. Of course, this model wasn't perfect and companies had issues with space and maintenance, however, the financial part was under control, teams knew what team was handling the process. Then clouds popped up, and I am, as a DevOps engineer, gladly welcomed clouds because of all the benefits. At the same time, quite a big problem appeared – the procurement process was broken – any DevOps engineer could basically request a resource, and resource consumption appeared to be out of control. In most cases, companies cannot follow how much money they're spending. As a result, a need for organizations to involve Finance Literacy in the process of cloud management arrived. FinOps is all about cloud cost optimization. And, in general, FinOps engineer or FinOps team is a must-have for IT organizations. As it’s shown by this graph, FinOps experts are currently in great need, and numbers continue growing.”


“You’re probably also thinking that cloud cost is always about automation. We can simply automate everything to optimize our cloud infrastructure.” continued Anton. “True, automation helps to streamline the processes and increase productivity but it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. This graph shows that almost half of the companies here have no automation at all. So automation is a great thing but it will take a lot of time for companies to automate cloud processes, while they're already spending tons of money on their clouds. So, what can be done?”


ProfiSea Labs is all about FinOps and far beyond

Gartner says that end-user spending on public cloud services is expected to reach $482 billion in 2022. Furthermore, public cloud spending is expected to exceed 45% of all enterprise IT spending by 2026. In addition, since public cloud service providers are now ubiquitous and the market is overloaded with services, cloud service sprawl is now causing total disorientation for cloud non-experts. That is when ProfiSea’s DevOps engineers step in trying to streamline, simplify, and optimize cloud processes at most.

“Many of our customers shared their concerns about cloud costs uncontrolled sprawl and enormously swollen cloud bills,” said Anton. “It’s hard to believe that just a year ago we were operating our customers’ cloud infrastructures and were handling our customer’s cloud costs mostly manually. We had an Excel file where we specified all of your resources, their pricing, and we were building the charts and graphs also mostly manually. And we started thinking: what can be done with those resources? Can you decrease them? Can you change the type of your instances or maybe you can change the whole architecture, etc.”

“It hit us that it was a very slow work to collect all the resources that customer has to excel and analyze them,” continued Anton. “And we decided to write a couple of scripts, which could help us to automate this tedious process. Then those scripts became a tool, and in a while, the tool turned into a portal, and then it became a startup, ProfiSea Labs. And now we have a platform that helps us perform cloud cost optimization for our customers. We are willing to share this solution with all of the DevOps engineers around the globe. It’s free of charge. We just want all of the DevOps/CloudOps engineers and managers to optimize their multi-cloud infrastructures to the best possible level.”

ProfiSea Labs is an AI-based multi-cloud platform, that successfully combines an innovative approach of visual representation of all the company’s cloud assets and well-rounded cost optimization automation that works together so customers can see all the wasted areas and make saving decisions quickly and safely. ProfiSea Labs already supports major cloud vendor Amazon Web Services (AWS), and support for Google Cloud, MS Azure, and other top CSPs is to follow shortly.

“We mostly concentrate on four areas: FinOps to analyze, manage and optimize cloud costs, DevOps to design and build cloud infrastructures following DevOps best practices, and DevSecOps to implement continuous security vulnerability detection and lightning-fast troubleshooting,” said Anton. “Also, we concentrated on visualization. All accounts and instances network diagrams coupled with detailed status data, credits consumption graphs are gathered in one dashboard. ProfiSea Labs is automatically generating diagrams with the resources lists, diagrams with the network flow, and so on.”

ProfiSea Labs is well-placed to conquer the digital market and leave other market players far behind, as their cloud solutions are mostly first-generation and cannot catch up with cloud computing functions' rapid evolvement. In addition, these prototypal solutions are extremely expensive and enterprise-focused, leaving SMBs and startups to face the unresolved problems of CloudOps. As a next-generation solution, ProfiSea Labs is transforming the cloud industry and making efficient cloud management equally accessible to small, medium, and large companies.

“In terms of cloud cost optimization, we saw a couple of opportunities, first of all, right-sizing”, said Anton. “Our machine learning algorithm is basically checking the current size of your resources trying to understand if that size of machines is right for your business needs. ProfiSea Labs gives recommendations on what types of instances can be used to optimize cloud costs to the best possible level. Intelligently scheduled spots – our development, that lets machine learning algorithms see the pattern when your spotted machines are taken. ProfiSea Labs tries to minimize the downtime, using our smart scheduling based on machine learning models capable to work with stateful and stateless spots. It's our patented technology: smart scheduling and smart spotting together. In addition, ProfiSea Labs gives a detailed cost analysis, revealing what resources waste money. Waste Management is one of our features that shows the untouched volume of unmanaged resources. ProfiSea Labs also deals with reserved instances and savings plans presenting tailored to your special case step by step recommendations.”

“CloudList, CloudMap, and CloudNet – our features that visually show cloud resources, all the details, and also automatically generate cloud maps of your infrastructure, where CloudNet is providing a diagram in form of a networking perspective, showing how the traffic is flowing inside of your infrastructure,” Anton continued his speech.

“As I mentioned, we are using machine learning-based algorithms that are working behind the scenes”, added Anton. “For example, we're using ML for spot pricing monitoring, which helps make a bid and establish smart scheduling.”

So, basically, ProfiSea Labs:

  • Tackles all scope of CloudOps challenges, presenting the innovative approach, where the visual representation of cloud assets and excellent cost optimization automation are working together to enable customers to see all the waste and make savings decisions quickly and safely.
  • Combines all cloud costs optimization best practices in the unified, unique saving strategy to release or downsize an unused capacity.
  • Suggests and manages AI-based scheduling policies, reduces costs with a patented spot management technology, and manages reservations with a smart offering.
  • Helps users to visualize and save up to 90% utilizing a unique AI-powered strategy of smart scheduling, spot management, and many other features.
  • Provides explicit analytics and reporting. Analytics and reporting is a one-click matter with ProfiSea Labs.
  • Streamlines and automates all DevOps-related SDLC processes at most, enabling DevOps engineers, FinOps experts, and IT managers to easily manage cloud spending and have more time to focus on creative and business-related tasks.
  • Boosts experts' productivity. Teams get their hands free from tedious, manual work and mostly concentrate on creative tasks more valuable for the business.

Final thoughts

“So the takeaways from here are very simple,” summarized Anton. “Our platform is built by DevOps engineers for DevOps engineers, and anyone who wants to curb cloud costs. We are a fast-growing young startup built to handle all the most painful points for DevOps/CloudOps engineers and IT managers who face increasing pressure to save IT costs in no time, but in ways that do the least harm to business health.”

If you have any FinOps/DvOpsOps-related questions, please contact us for a free consultation.