Public cloud cost efficiency improves, according to Newvem

There's plenty of activity in the cloud monitoring market, including the introduction of Netflix Ice, and some of it is paying off

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Netflix became the latest to wade into the public cloud monitoring space, with the recent release of an open source tool it built for monitoring Amazon Web Service usage. There appears to be plenty of interest in such tools. But do they pay off?

Newvem has just released its annual report on the efficiency of Amazon Web Services usage. The big picture: it’s getting better.

Source: Tony Crider, via Flickr

Newvem analyzed 61,545 instances, 181,889 Elastic Block Storage volumes and 8,652 Elastic Load Balancing usage, representing a yearly spend of $158 million.

It found that 13 percent of AWS instances could benefit from resizing, compared to 25 percent last year.

Security implementations have also improved. Newvem found that 37 percent of AWS instances could benefit from increased security policy implementation, compared to 50 percent last year.

AWS customers may have less chance of losing data because they are also doing a better job of implementing data recovery best practices. Newvem said that 30 percent of users could benefit from improved data recovery practices, compared to 40 percent last year.

One number that didn’t improve was users of on-demand instances that could have saved money by going with reserved instances. That figure, a high 78 percent, stayed the same as last year.

Newvem is studying the experience of its own users but it’s probably fair, given the sample size, that many AWS users, especially those that care enough about spend to use monitoring services, are learning how to more efficiently use the cloud service.

Such monitoring services seem to be growing in popularity. Cloudability said this week that it is now managing $500 million worth of public cloud spending for customers, compared to half that amount six months ago.

And then there’s the introduction of Ice, the open source AWS monitoring code that Netflix released recently. The monitoring tool vendors are likely a bit worried about this development, but they’re probably right when they say that they’re after a different audience.

“Ice potentially offers the devops crowd an open source monitoring solution that they can configure and tweak to their hearts’ content,” said Sharon Wagner, Cloudyn’s founder and CEO. Cloudyn, and many of the other monitoring tools, are designed to help business managers easily visualize cloud spend and make changes accordingly. Those users want something easy to use and graphical.

Cloudability had a similar comment. “There will always be a subset of organizations who want to run their own tools in-house because they have large technical teams to manage open source projects like this,” said Aaron Kaffen, director of marketing for Cloudability.

The cloud monitoring market is definitely one in flux, as the cloud providers themselves get into the market and open source tools emerge. All this activity clearly shows a user need to get a better grip on spending and monitoring.

Read more of Nancy Gohring's "To the Cloud" blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @ngohring and on Google+. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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