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What is Cloud Waste and How to Tackle it?

Mohammed NaserMohammed Naser

Cloud waste is the sum of unused cloud resources and its unchecked expenditure. Find out how managing such wastage can be lucrative for your business!

cloud wasteAre you acquiring more cloud than you need? Is your utilization rate of cloud services slower than that of adopting new cloud features? Think hard, because you may be creating cloud waste.

The worldwide public cloud services market is forecast to grow 17% in 2020 to a total of $266.4 billion USD up from $227.8 billion in 2019. Impressively, revenue from public cloud services is set to reach $331.2 billion by 2022 from $182.4 billion in 2018. Some of the reasons for cloud waste include both static and dynamic workloads. Without differentiating between them an enterprise is likely to come across wasteful strategies in running their cloud. Wasted cloud spend is estimated at $14.1 billion in 2019 due to these factors.

Cloud waste is not only significant in terms of resources that go unused but also the expenditure on these resources goes unchecked. Monitoring usage is very important for both small and large enterprises to carry out their day to day tasks in a cost-effective manner.

To understand cloud waste better, we need to look at some of the main causes of the issue:

Idle Resources

Actual computing load vs maximum computing load, companies usually opt for the latter. It is a way of ensuring that everything runs smoothly when they need to use resources at peak capacity. But on most days the consumption requirement is much lower and it is only occasionally that every bit of the resource purchased is used.

This is common practice in development companies, where the DevOps teams run both the test and development environment even after the release of the application. This can be extended to storage, networking and memory capacity as well. Businesses even run their virtual machines around the clock. Certain times it is necessary to do so, but active monitoring is essential to prevent cloud waste and in turn latency issues.

Size of Infrastructure

You might be wasting money if your servers are too big for your company. Oversized infrastructure is caused by the ease of acquiring it through on-demand services. It is a more lucrative opportunity for the short-term as servers are made available immediately, but in the long run, these investments have poor ROI and only increase spending.


Companies tend to put all their eggs in one basket when it comes to cloud computing. It is more likely for them to have all their data in one public or private cloud at a certain data center. This leads to getting resources in bulk by overestimating the instance size that they require. It has been estimated that over $5.3 million is spent on oversized instances.

Companies also boost capacity to manage peak loads when data is being accessed from different locations for different purposes. This seems fairly normal till you look closer, the peak in the usage of all services does not occur at the same time and not even in the same amount, so one big boost might match the requirement for one service but leads to wastage in several others.

Avoiding Cloud Waste

Here are some actionable ways in which companies can reduce cloud waste:

  1. Estimating capacity - Organizations need to estimate their user requirements more accurately. Adding capacity gradually rather than bulk buying resources is more favourable for both the growing business and the cloud environment that is purchased. For this, a realistic approach is key.
  2. Auditing - Utilize the dashboard that comes with your cloud platform to its full capacity. You can track down idle/unused resources with ease and can save a lot in terms of cloud spending. Keeping track of purchased capacity is the next step after estimation.
  3. Spinning down - monitor unused CPU time and storage usage. Proactive monitoring will allow you to cut down on development environments that are no longer in use.
  4. Auto-scaling - Get your capacity automatically allocated and released during workload fluctuations. For those that have large workloads on a regular basis, it is healthy to maintain multiple environments so that you can auto-scale only those which cater to services with fluctuating workloads. It is easy to forget the total amount of time and money invested in a cloud environment due to its abstract nature. But the cumulative expenditure on this solution is high for many users. Controlling cloud spend is not only lucrative for businesses but also the environment. Reducing cloud waste is closely linked to reduced energy consumption, therefore, leaving the world greener than we found it!

At VEXXHOST, we channel our years of expertise into helping you deploy the optimal Private Cloud. We provide inputs on your existing hardware, if any, and even make recommendations based on your requirements. If you don't have hardware of your own, the VEXXHOST team is always happy to plan the best practice environment for you and make the right tools available. Not only do we customize your private cloud, but we are also make attempts to prevent cloud waste in our public cloud environments. With us, you can implement a cost-effective cloud management strategy.

Contact our experts to know more about how we can give you a healthy cloud ecosystem.

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