5 Ways in Which You Can Reduce Your Cloud Bill

5 Ways in Which You Can Reduce Your Cloud Bill

Multi-cloud strategies are quickly becoming the cloud computing norm in 2019 as organizations continue to explore new avenues to bring down cloud-related costs. According to reports, about 50% of the respondents spend more than $1.2 million every year on Public Cloud. And 13% of them spend as much as $12 million!

As evident, an un-optimised cloud strategy can spiral costs out of control before you know what went wrong. So let's get to the chase and take a look at the checklist that will help you avoid such a mayday:

1. Drill Down on Unused Resources

While this is an obvious one, some important checks/solutions here can include:

  • Turning off temporary servers when the job is done.
  • Removing the storage attached to instances that are terminated
  • Using AWS OpWorks and Elastic Beanstalk to quickly deploy and redeploy apps

2. Use an Appropriate Storage Class

Cloud Providers include different tiers of object storage classes. For every tier, costs are broken down according to the actual storage, number of HTTP PUT and GET requests, and the volume of transferred data. To optimise cloud data storage costs, your develop or cloud manager needs to leverage object life cycle management that automatically transitions data between storage classes.

3. Select a Relevant Instance Type

To reduce costs, it is crucial to deploy the most cost-effective practices for your application workload. Consider variables such as the amount of required memory and the type of processing unit. Further optimisation can also be realised by tagging instances and setting up ‘No Tags, No Instance’ policies with dedicated tools.

4. Constantly Monitor Cloud Usage

Using cloud usage monitoring and management tools, such as TrustedAdvisor and CloudWatch, is mandatory if you plan to scale. Not only do they collect crucial cloud usage data, but they can also identify idle cloud resources via configuration checks. Such tools can even help you leverage the best cloud management practices, set up alerts, monitor log files, and automatically react to changes.

5. Use Reserved and Spot Instances

Instead of one-time buys, use reserved and spot instances to significantly bring down your cloud costs. Even though it would make you commit to the cloud platform for a period of 1-3 years, the resulting savings are totally worth it if you have large-scale cloud dependencies. By selecting the right reservation, you can even pay cloud costs on a per month basis.


When it comes to cloud savings, always keep in mind that numerous small gains will eventually amount to big differences in your cloud bills. This is especially true for organisations who are in the scaling stage. Leveraging all of these tips cohesively can significantly help your case.

Why Workload Automation is a Critical Cloud-first Strategy

Why Workload Automation is a Critical Cloud-first Strategy

Every bold prediction of cloud pundits has come true over the years. Cloud computing has gone way beyond its initial use case of easing the headache of maintaining basic IT systems. In fact, research from Forbes expects investments of $277 billion in public cloud services by 2021 alone, marking it as a bold foray into uncharted territories.

But, implementing a cloud ecosystem is one thing. Scaling it without bottlenecks is a different beast altogether. And this is exactly where cloud automation comes in.

Unboxing Cloud Automation: What It Is and How It Works

Automating workloads means that admins no longer need to execute mundane and repetitive tasks that eat away at their productivity. The immediate result? Breezy management of various cloud functions such as:

  • Backups and storage.
  • Creating new instances as per scale.
  • Security and compliance.
  • Code deployment.
  • Changes to settings.
  • Configuration management.

Challenges Faced By Cloud Environments

Although companies have been quick to turn to cloud computing, they have done so hastily and in an unplanned fashion. Lack of resources and inconsistent communication practices only add to the mayhem. The challenges include:

  • Complex-to-manage Cloud infrastructure with enterprise governance.
  • Lack of visibility of cloud spend and its alignment with business.
  • Scalability challenges while managing extensive customer data.

Cloud Automation: Productivity with Wings

Cloud automation explores productivity in a manner that removes inconsistency in communication practices. Immediate benefits of the technology include:

  • Cloud agility and business scalability.
  • Simplified business processes.
  • Speedy management and deployment.
  • Cost reductions and better control.
  • Enterprise-grade cloud services on multiple platforms.

How to Implement Cloud Automation With Flint

Flint empowers you to bring every facet of your cloud ecosystem on the same boat. It then fills the arsenal with multiple workload automation capabilities such as:

  • Infrastructure provisioning.
  • Configuration management.
  • Workflow Automation
  • Cloud Self-service Catalog

This will enable you to bring your cloud utilization under control, lower your resource costs and automate service requests.

Intrigued yet? Visit this link to learn more about every cloud solution that we offer.

How to Automate Okta Administrative Operations for Higher Productivity

How to Automate Okta Administrative Operations
for Higher Productivity

As veteran AWS users are aware, Identity and Access Management (IAM) is a web service that enables them to control access to their AWS resources securely. With IAM, managers and project leaders can authenticate and authorise team members to use various involved resources.

Although IAM tool Okta is used for this purpose, it can quickly turn into a scaling bottleneck for large enterprises that include multiple users. With Okta, users can manage access rights and connect to the requisite SaaS apps, mobile apps, devices, on-premise apps, and infrastructure systems. But, the tool falls short in the case of the following challenges:

  • Admins need to perform manual and repetitive tasks. These range from resetting user passwords to managing service desk requests.
  • Mundane tasks like manual provisioning and de-provisioning consume resources and increase costs.
  • Employee productivity reduces substantially owing to the time consumed by admin tasks.

All this and more call for a dedicated solution that automates such redundant tasks and saves admins from unproductive operational loopholes.

And this is exactly where Flint comes in!

How Flint Automates Okta Admin Operations

Flint is an IT platform that orchestrates digital processes and automates cloud services. It readily integrates with Okta to pave the way for seamless component communication, imparting intelligent workflows into the equation.

With exclusive out-of-the-box services for Okta, admins can deploy automated workflows for tasks such as provisioning/deprovisioning users, resetting passwords, locking users, and more. Admins can perform every Okta action that they usually do, while also tying them with automation.

The resulting custom workflows trim down lengthy and repetitive processes into their flexible counterparts that can be remotely triggered from any ITSM platform. And this is securely executed through self-service portals.

And the best part? Every workflow can be hyper-customized to cater to complex employee onboarding processes of organizations.

Benefits of Flint for Enterprises

Apart from Okta, Flint includes valuable integrations with numerous ITSM self-service portals. It even allows users to define workflows by stitching together distinct out-of-the-box services. This eliminates the need for human intervention in low-grade IT support and admin tasks. As a result, organizations realize the following benefits with Flint:

  • Reduction in the time spent on manual Okta requests by multiple bounds.
  • Overhauling entire routine workflows and setting them up for automatic triggers in the case of predefined events.
  • An increase in the quality and reliability of workflows since all similar actions are executed identically.
  • Higher levels of employee motivation and productivity while also boosting innovation capabilities.
  • Significant reduction of costs and turnaround times of support requests and admin tasks.
  • Higher availability of organisational resources for other complex tasks.

Use-case of Okta User Provisioning with Flint

Let’s dive deeper into the practical aspect of the integration and understand how Flint bridges the gap between manual processes and automation.

Consider the legacy workflow of Okta user provisioning from an ITSM tool:

  • A new employee Jane has recently joined a company. The HR executive needs an employee account for Jane to complete her onboarding process.
  • The HR rep raises a service request on the ITSM tool to request the same.
  • The admin manually visits the ITSM tool and notes down all relevant details of Jane.
  • He/she then acknowledges the raised request and logs into Okta to enter the requisite details.
  • The account is finally created, and the admin reverts back on the ITSM tool with details.

With Flint, here is how users can leverage automation to eliminate the associated operational hassle:

  • The HR executive raises a request on the ITSM tool for user provisioning.
  • Every subsequent step is automatically handled by Flint!

And that’s not all!

Flint can also simultaneously handle hoards of such requests without any lag in performance.

The Verdict

Flint’s Okta integration capability empowers Okta users to execute mundane tasks with minimal human intervention. Not only does it eliminate the involved inaccuracy-related risks, but it also imparts a next-gen operational ecosystem that can be scaled beyond measure!

Visit our website to learn more about how we can make automated Okta admin workflows a reality for your organization.

Flint Platform + ServiceAide

Flint Platform + ServiceAide

Smart tools work wonders when together. Flint platform and ServiceAide integrated to make ITSM and ITOps Automation work for you. Service requests, support tickets from ServiceAide ISM when demands end-to-end automation or automated resolution are routed to Flint for unattended automation. Automated support ticket and service fulfilment mean you don't need a human workforce to be available 24x7. Leverage closed-loop automation capabilities driven by seamless integration of ServiceAide with Flint platform.

Bundled ISM Automation of ServiceAide and Flint

The objective:

The integration of Flint with ServiceAide is aimed at being an extension of ServiceAide capabilities to automate requests being processed manually. The tickets raised, irrespective of if they are categorized under Incident management, change management or Problem, are re-routed to Flint if they can be auto-resolved. This eliminates the redundancy an operational workforce has to go through in a day and helps to bring in greater efficiency at reduced long-term costs.

Benefits of the integration:

1) Flint does not only auto-resolves a majority of the tickets raised but also organise the ones that do require intervention by human agents on the basis of priority, sending out proactive alerts and push notifications to agents for their involvement, as and when required.

2) Flint - ServiceAide in tandem also opens up the option to choose whether to perform service management operation using on-premise IT infrastructure or migrate to the cloud.

3) A unified view over the IT operations will result in more efficient identification and resolution of problems, as you can efficiently zero-in on any underlying issues and negative patterns that can trigger system crashes and breakdowns.

5 Things to Look for in a Cloud Management Solution

5 Things to Look for in a Cloud Management Solution

Since its inception, there is no denying the fact that cloud computing has quickly risen the ranks of emerging technologies to find firm roots in the global digital ecosystem. The Cisco Global Cloud Index reiterates this and suggests that by 2021, 94% of workloads will run in the cloud.

But even after such rampant proliferation, cloud migration and management remain critical hurdles for project managers today. And as fate may have it, almost all cloud issues can be traced back to a single decision - choosing the right cloud management partner.

So, does your Cloud Management Solution fit the bill of the ideal cloud partner? Here are some features that it might be lacking:

1. Built for the Future:

The ability of operating various cloud platforms in conjunction with each other imparts a high level of flexibility in your tech ecosystem. Without this, it would be impossible to run applications in foreign infrastructures without significantly tweaking the underlying code. And as the number of new entrants in the IaaS playing field, such as AzureStack and GCP keep increasing day by day, the menu of services they provide and the strength of vendors’ offerings will look quite different in a year's time.

To this end, the platform's ability to support multiple cloud providers including Public, Private, and Hybrid is incredibly important.

2. Support for Application Lifecycle:

It makes no business sense to deploy a different cloud environment for every stage of the application lifecycle. Not only can this spiral costs out of the project’s leeway, it can also turn into an upskilling nightmare for your teams. An ideal cloud management solution should be able to handle disparate life event such as code updates, security and vulnerability patches, capacity management, performance optimization, and regular backups.

3. Intuitive Automation:

Capacity management, continuous integration, and resource orchestration is key for any cloud platform. But this often involves repetitive tasks that interfere with productivity and pave way for unforced errors. Without automation, something as menial as VM provisioning or push code can prove to be serious operational bottlenecks, especially for large environments.

4. Seamless Monitoring and Control:

Without the ability to track resources, projects can go down unprecedented tangents. An ideal cloud environment or IaaS partner enables users to monitor resources in real-time, create custom environment reports, and more.

5. Expense Management:

It is crucial to have a constant overview of cloud-related expenses in order to keep projects under control and realize optimized resource management. With an expense management system in place, you will be able to access dedicated insights about both present and historical cloud utilization patterns along with unused instances that might be increasing costs.

The Verdict

All such features need to cohesively function as cogs in a wheel for managers to realize high payoffs. The ideal cloud management solution does everything in its power to make this a reality.

What are your views about this? Share with us in the comments section.

Effective Solution for Cloud Sprawl You Never Knew Existed

Effective Solution for Cloud Sprawl You Never Knew Existed

The cloud adoption growth trajectory in a considerably short span of time has been downright remarkable. As per latest prediction, almost 90 per cent organisations will have moved some or all of their tech operations to the cloud by end of 2019. The remaining 10 per cent will, in all likelihood, follow suit by 2021. For all its advantages and transformative abilities, cloud operations do have an undeniable downside too – cloud sprawl.

Cloud sprawl refers to the unchecked proliferation of an organisation’s cloud services triggered by an expansion of cloud-based computing resources that far outdoes the requirement. Since organisations pay for cloud computing resources on per-use basis, cloud sprawl can prove to be a costly enterprise.

Strategies to Contain Cloud Sprawl

If left unchecked, cloud sprawl can trigger a host of other problems within an organisation. Therefore, effectively containing this phenomenon is a crucial part of IT operations. Flint cloud management services are aimed at helping you solve this problem with unique yet effective solutions based on a unified management approach:

Clearly Defined Cloud Strategy

Before addressing cloud sprawl, Flint tackles the root of the problem by establishing a clearly defined cloud strategy for its clients. This includes solutions such as role-based access control, establishing protocols and putting in place migration and use policies, which when communicated to all stakeholders and users can ensure seamless weeding out of cloud sprawl.

Expert Handling of Cloud Migration

A well-executed cloud migration strategy can in many ways mitigate the risk of cloud sprawl altogether. With a thorough understanding of how, when, and where to move workloads, Flint can be your reliable partner in expertly handling cloud migration.

Unified Management Approach

Instead of setting up different points of access, Flint offers a unified platform, a single pane of glass, if you will, for managing diverse workloads, cloud resources, and taking automated actions all from one place. This empowers cloud operators and admins to base their management decisions on actionable insights.

Developing Cloud Governance Policies and Protocols

Setting in place cloud policies and requisite protocols play a fundamental role in checking cloud sprawl as these can enable automatic de-provisioning and shutdown of unnecessary workloads after a pre-determined period. Flint helps you set these policies for governance that touch upon not just the broad issues of proliferation but also finer intricacies such as access to applications, cloud services, as well as SaaS solutions usage, for employees working remotely.

Handling Cloud Sprawl Holistically

All these cloud sprawl containing solutions and strategies can yield results only when they are backed by a platform capable of managing a combination of cloud providers in a holistic manner. Flint with its streamlined cloud management solutions that rely on a standardised management approach toward the public, private, and hybrid clouds makes it easy to handle cloud infrastructures diverse in structure, usage, and cost from a single platform. This enhances the ability to collect, consolidate, and analyse utilisation and performance metrics to deliver greater transparency, which ultimately helps in reining in any tendencies of cloud sprawl.

Being one of the few cloud management platforms capable of handling public, private and hybrid cloud, Flint also delivers the added advantage of increased flexibility through swift deployment and development of applications. This agility helps rein in incidence of cloud sprawl considerably by deployment of workloads anytime and anywhere without the need for maintaining an IT infrastructure capable of supporting these changes. This not only helps boost performance but also keeps costs under check.

The element of versatility is another driving force behind Flint's effective multi-cloud management. As a cloud management platform that can be either consumed as Saas or deployed on-premise, Flint enables automation, optimises management and provides greater control to create an environment designed to drive operational efficiency.

Automated fulfilment of Freshservice SRs

Automated Fulfilment of Freshservice Service Requests

Driven by Automation: Flint Integrates with Freshservice

Prompt response and quick turnaround time not only translate to a satisfied customer-base but also offer a valuable insight into what the market expectations are. That’s why these two parameters rank high in priority for all industry verticals. Employing efficient IT service management tools and automation are among the most reliable approaches for optimizing response and turnaround time. The integration of Flint with Freshservice brings you benefits of both on a single platform.

The Integration

Flint is a unified automation platform applicable to both IT Operations and cloud management. To automate IT operations, it wires together different elements of IT infrastructure such as systems, applications, and devices. This results in better management, unified control, greater visibility, and ultimately, improved ROI.

Freshservice, on the other hand, is a service management tool designed to help customers submit requests for services within an enterprise. This robust ticketing and IT support system that operates as a plug-and-play widget for IT service management can prove useful for organisations from all industries and sectors. In simple terms, it is akin to a universal service desk operating through various channels.

Enterprises sought an extension of Freshservice capabilities to automate requests being processed manually with help of standard procedures laid out in a pre-existing knowledge base. The integration of Flint with Freshservice addresses that requirement of the target user base by introducing an element of automation. It brings in the capability to automate the process of picking up and fulfilling requests, just like a human would.

The Objective

The integration of Flint with Freshservice has been done with the prime objective of making ITOps and ITSM automation a feasible reality. As a result, service requests and support tickets that can be processed through automated resolution are re-routed to Flint. This eliminates the need to maintain an operational workforce 24x7 and helps to bring in greater efficiency at reduced long-term costs. The integration of the two platforms remains absolutely seamless, thanks to the closed-loop automation capabilities employed by Flint.

Benefits of Flint - Freshservice Integration

The integration is aimed at strengthening the basic premise on which Freshservice operates, building a bridge between companies’ endeavours to cut costs and customers’ emphasis on the quality of a service. Here is how the Flint-Freshservice integration is a crucial spoke in that wheel:

  • Flint’s extensive automation capabilities for IT processes will support Freshservice’s 24x7 access to support through a cloud-hosted, hassle-free system that is available to customers at any time of the day.
  • The integration will not only automate a majority of the service requests but also organise the ones that do require intervention by human agents on the basis of priority, sending out proactive alerts and push notifications to agents for their involvement, as and when required.
  • Using Freshservice in tandem with Flint also opens up the option to choose whether to perform service management operation using on-premise IT infrastructure or migrate to the cloud.
  • Greater control over IT operations and working through a unified platform would result in more efficient identification and management of problems, as you can efficiently zero-in on any underlying issues and negative patterns that can trigger system crashes and breakdowns.

Smart tools can work wonders when clubbed together. The Flint-Freshservice integration is a fine example of it.