UPDATED 12:10 EST / MARCH 29 2023

CLOUD

Q&A: Managing cloud infrastructure costs for smarter decisions

While many enterprises understand that cloud is an essential part of a business model, they also understand that managing cloud costs is difficult.

Nearly 50% of cloud infrastructure spend is unaccounted for, according to Yotascale Inc., which leaves engineers without the data they need to take ownership of their cloud infrastructure costs and make smarter cloud-cost decisions.

Asim Razzaq (pictured, left), chief executive officer of Yotascale Inc., and Ravinder Arepally (pictured), engineering management at Okta Inc., spoke with theCUBE industry analyst John Furrier at last year’s AWS Summit San Francisco event about the difficulties of cloud costs and how Yotascale has been a great fit for Okta’s needs. (* Disclosure below.) [The following content has been condensed for clarity.]

So let’s get into the company first. What’s the update for Yotascale? 

Razzaq: We have a dynamic cloud cost management product that delivers unmatched cost observability. So this is down to a service level, an application level, a product level — because if you don’t get the dynamic attribution right, you’re effectively flying blind in these scenarios. We also provide a very high level of predictability, which means forecasting — for different business units, for different services, for different departments — where the money’s headed so action can be taken ahead of time. And then, finally, we help you make your cloud infrastructure more efficient, and at the heart of that is engineering empowerment.

Ravinder, let’s bring you in here as a customer. What’s your connection here relative to the value proposition? What was your ‘aha’ moment around Yotascale?

Arepally: We own a lot of infrastructure, which is used by multiple teams. Definitely, cloud is great, but it also comes with lots of challenges when it comes to managing costs. Visibility is one. We definitely wanted to have a lot of visibility into our AWS cost so that we know where we are spending and we can optimize it and manage them better. We definitely wanted to make sure we have better visibility so that we can bring the culture of accountability and ownership. And another one is forecasting. We wanted to have better forecasting so that we know where teams are related to their budget.

One of the things about cloud, too, is that engineers can actually have an impact on the budget and knock down the budget. This is always happening now.

Arepally: I think once we show the visibility at a granular level, definitely engineering teams also want to make sure, “Oh, this is what we didn’t know. We were spending so much. Let’s do something better so that we can optimize our AWS cost.” At the end, we are saving money for the company.

Is it like topline-only cost? Is there an engineering impact as well? What are some of the conversations like internally around getting this data?

Arepally: So there are a lot of product teams at Okta who are using cloud infrastructure. Once we have the reports at a granular level, we could actually go back to the teams and show, “OK, this product is using so much infrastructure, and it is causing so much of AWS cost. Can you look at it?” There could be options to actually make sure we can save money. So, definitely, it started some conversations with them.

What are some of the challenges that you see coming up? Because we’re still growing in the cloud. 

Razzaq: One of the ones I mentioned is sustainability, right? So that will become an increasingly important topic, especially as there are some of the regulations that come in. I think the other challenge is also on the talent front, because you can interview engineers for performance, reliability, system scale, but you also need to increasingly interview them for cost economics. Do they have experience scaling systems financially responsibly?

Here’s the complete video interview, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the AWS Summit San Francisco event:

(* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for the AWS Summit San Francisco event. Neither Amazon Web Services Inc., the sponsor for theCUBE’s event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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