Reducing your costs with DevOps — and reducing your DevOps costs

DevOps, as the name suggests, is a trending software culture that unifies the software development as well as the software support and operations. DevOps aims at increasing the organization’s abilities to develop and deliver software applications at a high velocity and reduce costs.

With the increasing demand for IT solutions all across the globe, organizations are shifting to DevOps for aligning their IT and business solutions. There are several advantages of shifting to DevOps. Some of the major benefits are continuous software delivery, ease of managing, better and faster resolution to the problems, productivity, and improved communication and collaboration among the teams. DevOps can not only help the enterprises in continuous software development but can also help them in reducing the organizational costs involved in software development, deployment, and maintenance.

Thanks to the increasing number of cloud providers, organization, irrespective of its size, can focus on DevOps practices to reduce their upfront developmental setup and software maintenance costs. However, public clouds are not totally fault proof and not always cost-effective.

Here are some of the essential measures that need to be taken care of while working on DevOps to reduce costs.

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Right automation

DevOps and the cloud together can help organizations and enterprises in automating things, which will reduce the resources necessary for many activities. However, in doing so, even a minute misconfiguration or error can mean huge losses in terms of capital and reputation.

DevOps allows software teams to come up with their own automated program tasks, which once developed and configured can be re-triggered when needed. This automation can be used in monitoring application performances and other metrics, generating reports, and troubleshooting. These actions usually require a team of resources to complete, but with DevOps, these automations are made easy and can save a lot of capital for organizations.

Enterprises need to come up with an effective tailor-made automation strategy to make the most of DevOps and the cloud. Enterprises need to create, assess, and prioritize business requirements while considering other metrics such as impact and dependency assessment for effective automation.

Optimal resource utilization

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One of the most common reasons why organizations often go over budget is simply the failure to utilize the resources effectively. A DevOps environment involves many resources for effective implementation. This includes processing power, memory, bandwidth, and network requirements. The use of all these resources must be effectively used to reduce the unnecessary costs associated with resource utilization. Among the various DevOps scenarios, only the production environments and the staging environments that replicate the production need to run 24/7. By properly training the employees and placing the right policies in place, these unnecessary costs associated with the resources can be brought down.

Control cloud sprawl

DevOps and cloud computing are interlocked aspects of IT transformation. While the cloud provides resources, DevOps is meant to efficiently utilize these resources for better business development and usage. Cloud sprawl is the uncontrolled rapid use of cloud instances, which can lead to heavy unexpected costs. This usually happens when the organization fails to control and monitor the usage of the cloud and its instances. Cloud sprawl is often associated with shadow IT and remains one of the most common areas that organizations fail to avoid.

Many employees often neglect to turn off VMs and other supporting cloud instances when not in use. This often leads to increased costs and seems unavoidable on a larger scale. Companies need to take the effort to control the number of VMs or other cloud instances being used.

Failure in doing so could result in excessive costs as well as complexity in managing the resources. Organizations need to come up with plans and strategies to control the cloud sprawl to avoid incurring unwanted costs.

Avoid security flaws

Companies usually come up with their own security rules and policies, which applies to the employees as well as users. Usually, these security policies are enforced at two levels — at an organizational level and at a departmental level. Both these policies must be followed with utmost care and caution as even a minute negligence can prove fatal for an industry both in terms of costs and in terms of reputation. Exposing any security gap or vulnerability —especially in terms of the development environment — can expose the entire enterprise to cybercriminals.

Use of containers

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In a DevOps environment, application development costs are brought down to a great extent. DevOps employees are not just confined to development or support and operations. Instead, these are the people having knowledge in all these aspects.

Use of containers in DevOps environments for application development can further bring down the costs for enterprises using the cloud. Containers provide a range of benefits to the organizations related to the public cloud deployment. Unlike the traditional VMs, containers use a very significantly smaller amount of resources while providing faster execution. Containers don’t require an OS or hypervisor and are therefore lightweight and easy to use. Containers can be used and operated at much lower costs and are highly scalable with lower operational expenses.

Control DevOps costs by controlling cloud costs

To reduce DevOps costs, enterprises must focus on effective utilization of their cloud resources. If the costs associated with the cloud are in check, then the costs associated with DevOps will also be in check. The cloud serves as major fuel to run DevOps in an organization. Organizations must also need to be realistic when it comes to providing the budgeting for implementing or managing DevOps. Use of automation to restrict the use of resources and cloud instances when not in use can prove to be an effective solution to cut down costs.

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