Maximizing Cloud ROI - A FinOps Case Study
By Saumil Shah, Omshree Butani / Apr 01, 2023
This case study highlights the difficulties encountered by a security software vendor in their journey towards achieving FinOps maturity, particularly in terms of optimizing costs. Additionally, it outlines the systematic approach Intuitive.Cloud utilized to help them overcome these obstacles. The study discusses the technology solutions, implementation strategy, results, impacts, and lessons learned.
Name: Security Software Vendor
Location: Austin, Texas
Customers: 3500+ customers worldwide
The customer faced several obstacles while striving to attain maturity in their FinOps practices, specifically related to cost optimization. These challenges included the importance of continuous optimization, the potential benefits of automation, and the need for education and accountability among team members.
To address the challenges faced in their FinOps maturity related to cost optimization and security, the company decided to work with Intuitive.Cloud. Intuitive.Cloud in turn used a methodical approach to cost optimization using “nOps” a specialized FinOps tool and enhanced their infrastructure according to industry best practices.
The nOps tool aided in the identification of potential areas for cost optimization
- Rightsizing of EC2 & RDS instances
- Underutilized EC2 instances [Compute]
- Low-traffic AWS (Amazon Web Services) EC2 instances
- S3 bucket storage optimization
- Unused AWS EBS volumes
- Reserved Instances and Savings Plan coverage
Intuitive.Cloud team reviewed each of these cost optimization opportunities with the customer to decide which ones to implement and devised an execution plan including the setup of FinOps governance.
The customer expressed a desire for a comprehensive approach to cost optimization, prompting us to initiate the first phase of the FinOps lifecycle, which involved gaining a thorough understanding of their current infrastructure and cloud expenditures. After completing this initial phase, Intuitive.Cloud proceeded to undertake a series of steps to achieve overall optimization.
- Conducted a maturity assessment for the organization to fit in the crawl, walk or run phase of the FinOps maturity model.
- Conducted a comprehensive cost and infrastructure analysis and identified areas of rapid cost optimization in the first phase.
- Gaining visibility into current infrastructure through proper tagging and reporting.
- Perform rightsizing for current infrastructure & terminate unused resources.
- Optimize cost by refining the current reservation and saving plans
- Enable proper activity monitoring in all OUs.
- Established monthly reporting for the areas the customer could have visibility into and suggested an implementation strategy to optimize their current infrastructure.
- Continuous monitoring was implemented to track and benchmark the performance subsequent to the execution of optimization strategies.
Results & Impacts:
The customer after their maturity assessment and rapid cost optimization phase had clear visibility of their cloud spends, also brought engineering, finance, and business teams together for their future cloud spends and optimizing the current.
Other results & impacts:
- Improved visibility of financial data to help identify cost-saving opportunities.
- The potential saving identified during the first phase of engagement was 60%. Further analysis with the customer, 41% was realized.
- Showback reports have helped the engineering team become accountable for their spend.
Continuous learning and improvement are necessary: FinOps is a continuous process, it does not end so investing and educating the organization on it is very crucial for better success.
Clear communication and collaboration are critical: The key to success in achieving greater heights in FinOps is centralized decision making and thus collaboration between engineering, finance and business teams is necessary.
FinOps governance is crucial: It is a set of processes, tooling or other guardrail solution that aims to control the activity as described by the Cloud Policy to promote the desired behavior and outcomes.
In summary, the case study showcases the challenges faced by security software vendor in their quest towards achieving FinOps maturity. The company was struggling with cost optimization, which was hindering their cloud usage. However, by collaborating with Intuitive.Cloud and leveraging nOps, the company was able to gain better visibility into their infrastructure and optimize their costs. The results were significant, including improved financial data visibility, potential cost savings, and better accountability.