Control public and private cloud spend with cost center budgeting


Managing the IT spend for multiple teams across multiple cloud services is a daunting prospect, particularly, when you have to monitor usage for each cloud and team. Cloud environments promise scalable, pay-as-you-use pricing, and easy setup. On the flip side, organizations running workloads on multiple platforms and hybrid clouds lack visibility, which is critical to cost governance and understanding the total cost of ownership (TCO). ElasticBox can help you gain visibility and control over the foggy world of cloud deployments with the help of Cost Centers.

Suppose you want to monitor what developers consume as part of testing on Amazon cloud or a private datacenter like vSphere or OpenStack. There are three ways to control cloud spend:

  1. Monitoring usage
  2. Applying usage limits
  3. Enforcing limits

Overspending mainly occurs when people forget to turn off machines, which can happen time to time. Using the 3-step approach you can keep on top of cloud costs and inform developers when they’re close to hitting the allowed quota.

Monitor usage and apply limits

So the first step is to set up a way to monitor and measure cloud spending. In ElasticBox, you do this in the Admin Console under Cost Centers. A cost center represents the users, teams or projects in your organization. It’s a place to define and track the amount of cloud resources they consume. Create a new cost center as in this example below. Add users and team workspaces to the cost center and track the cloud accounts they use.


Here you can set the usage limit for a public cloud by cost or by resources such as CPU, memory, and storage for a private cloud.



Once setup, the Cost Center section lets you monitor public and private cloud usage against the spending limit.


So what happens when a user tries to consume beyond the limit? ElasticBox duly informs her that she’s over the limit at deployment time as shown.


To stay within the limit, users quickly become aware that they can shut down machines manually or automatically by scheduling instance expiration. In many cases, setting limits promotes good usage practices.

Enforce limits

Sometimes, you might want to impose a hard limit by enforcing a quota on a cost center. To do that, simply turn on the Enforce Quota option for the cost center. Now in addition to the limit warning, users will not be able to deploy new instances when they hit the limit.

Another useful thing is when users are likely to hit the limit, we notify them at deploy time suggesting a time and date by when they can safely schedule the instance to shut down and stick within the limit. By enforcing limits, you can rest easy that if users forget to terminate unused resources, ElasticBox can do it for them.



Together, cost center budgeting, enforcing quota limits, and scheduled instance expiration all combined give you full control over managing cloud usage and costs. They help you not only to monitor spending, but also inform users of the limits and enforce them when necessary. Cost centers keep your costs under control while helping multiple teams succeed across public and private cloud deployments. Lift the fog from your cloud deployments and gain both control and visibility with ElasticBox cost center budgeting. Learn how to set up cost centers for your organization to monitor and measure cloud spending today.


Categories: Cloud Computing, Cool Features & Tutorials, DevOps
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