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OpenDNS/Cisco builds a culture of cloud cost management

By Andrew Nhem on August 24, 2016
Enterprises willing to build a culture of cloud cost management can optimize spending, improve visibility and increase savings and efficiency on cloud costs where available. Learn how OpenDNS/Cisco got more out of their AWS Reserved Instances spending with Cloudability.

Organizations large and small start to notice their cloud costs spike once apps and business starts humming. For those willing to build a culture of cloud cost management around this increasing spending, ample visibility and opportunities to save big dollars on cloud costs are available. Learn how OpenDNS sought to get more out of their AWS Reserved Instances spending by using Cloudability to build a stronger culture of cloud cost management.

Overcoming cloud cost growing pains

OpenDNS, part of the Cisco family, specializes in internet security with a focus on intelligence, web filtering, and DNS management. They enhance internet security for the way the world works today.

As a cloud-based company, OpenDNS continues to grow rapidly with focused expansion into the cloud. Managing those growing cloud cost, particularly with AWS, becomes more and more complicated as business and cloud operations grow.

Not only did OpenDNS need to resource time to manage the monthly cloud cost bills, which for users who have combed through a Detailed Billing Report (or DBR) know is a big task, but they needed time and person-power to draw insights from those bills to make adjustments to their operations. Maximizing things like AWS Reserved Instance planning and auditing various AWS resource usage was a full-time role.

Telling a better story for finance

Packaging up cloud costs beyond the monthly DBR is beneficial when wanting to convey changing cloud costs to financial teams, or to help those teams with cost allocation and chargebacks. Without a means of ingesting and visualizing monthly cloud cost data, it became increasingly difficult for OpenDNS to tell a comprehensive cloud spending story to their finance team about when and how much to invest in things like Reserved Instances (RIs).

Delivering cloud cost accountability and immediate savings to OpenDNS

Jennifer M. Basalone, Engineering Program Manager for OpenDNS, worked with the Cloudability team to immediately deliver increased cloud cost accountability and management, while helping to improve AWS RI coverage and savings.

To Basalone, the Cloudability Reserved Instance Planner and Portfolio was the biggest impact. She now has the ability to create custom views and daily emails for their engineering and finance teams. Each team can now have visibility and accountability for their spend. It created an opportunity for them to catch and understand spending increases quickly (which makes any finance team happy).

According to Basalone, “Cloudability’s solutions let us quickly see tagged resources and pivot the data so that teams could see focused spending. The ability to confidently purchase RIs to get the biggest financial benefit was huge.”

How they gained more confidence and a return on investment

Using the Reserved Instance Planner, Basalone and company were able to not just deliver visibility into cloud spending, but also boost confidence in purchasing AWS RIs to help OpenDNS achieve the most return on investment. OpenDNS used Cloudability to discover ways to improve their RI coverage rates increase by 30 percent.

“Cloudability is simple, easy, and tells such a clean cloud cost story for our business. It helps us focus on maximize our cloud spending while understanding our bill.” Jennifer Basalone, Engineering Program Manager at OpenDNS

Confident monitoring, modification, and investment into AWS RIs and other strategic means of saving are key parts of building a sustainable culture of cloud cost management. We’re pretty happy to help OpenDNS discover ways to report and save on their growing cloud costs, and to find ways to optimize their cloud spending. Our experts are ready to help anyone interested in finding similar RI savings and cost monitoring for their org.

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