It may seem strange but even in cloud and virtual environments, your business can be overwhelmed by waste.
They’re not literal pieces of garbage, but computing resources that your business pays for but doesn’t actually use.
Cloud technologies have revolutionized the way companies manage their IT infrastructure and data. However, with this progress came a new challenge – how to effectively use cloud resources while minimizing the impact of cloud waste.
They say that using physical servers is inefficient and that it is much better to switch to a cloud environment. But this needs to be done correctly, because otherwise you will end up in exactly the same situation – minimal efficiency, a lot of computational waste.
In this article, I will focus on two key questions and provide guidance on how to achieve sustainable use of computing resources.
What Is Cloud Waste?
Cloud waste consists of unnecessary software, free resources and data structures that accumulate in the cloud environment. This can include old virtual servers, unused applications, backup copies and many other resources that are not used for the current running of the business and its operations.
Additionally, if you’ve chosen to run your IT infrastructure on a hybrid or private cloud, part of your architecture runs on physical devices. The environmental impact associated with this waste includes unnecessary energy consumption for the operation of these devices and the need to manufacture new hardware, which is later not used effectively.
So How to Effectively Use Computing Resources?
Effective use of computing resources is the key to reduce cloud waste and achieve maximum efficiency with minimal impact on the environment. Here are some steps companies can take – infrastructure optimization, data management, sustainable application development, supervision and accountability, and employee education.
Businesses have many options when it comes to IT architecture and infrastructure, but sometimes the status quo outweighs efficiency. If you want to tackle cloud waste, efficiency must prevail – but this means extra work.
First of all, it is necessary to incorporate internal audits of cloud resources into regular routine operation. Thanks to these analyses, you can very simply and in time detect, for example, running instances that no longer need to be maintained. Alternatively, you will also discover from a long-term perspective that you are keeping at hand more computing resources than you really need.
This approach will also help you determine whether the current architecture is effectively covering your needs. You may find that you need to switch to more automated handling of resources – for example, using Kubernetes clusters within the K8s platform. This allows you to ensure accurate scaling and dynamic allocation of resources according to current needs.
But you may also find that the current state of IT is unsustainable, and the analysis can help you uncover how to change the architecture so that your IT doesn’t become an unadaptable dinosaur.
There are different uses for different types of storage. They differ not only in internal technologies, but also in writing speed. You certainly have different types of data in your company. Some belong in the archive, others are used on a daily basis. And then there is the period when necessary data become archival pieces, slowly becoming unnecessary.
If your business learns to manage data according to these or similar categories, then you can store data exactly as needed. This will help you avoid spending unnecessary costs on a storage environment that is not priced to match the usage.
Sustainable App Development
I’ve mentioned Kubernetes once before in this article and I’ll do it again. Containers have brought a big change to many areas of IT, and application development is one of them.
Load balancing, scaling and automated work with computing resources removes a large amount of cloud waste without limiting the development or subsequent operation of the developed application.
Supervision and Accountability
Not exactly popular words, but even in the field of IT, the approach of clearly defined company processes and policies pays off. If your team accepts the seriousness of the need to control the cloud environment, then you’ve almost won.
The point is that the company perceives the ongoing control of the use of computing resources as a critical activity that contributes to the effectiveness of financial management. It may seem strange, but the cloud can become a very annoying cost item if it is not given enough attention.
Virtual private servers and services that charge for data transfers within the infrastructure are particularly susceptible to this outcome. It is appropriate to start with those.
Probably the most difficult activity of all that we have mentioned in this article. Especially technicians have their built-in attitude and it is very difficult to break it. However, even for them, the efficiency of IT operation is an advantage, because they do not have to solve annoying routine problems, but they can deal with, for example, development or new technologies and approaches, which are really not few these days.
CLosing Words Regarding Cloud Waste
Effective use of computing resources in the cloud environment is not only a matter of environmental responsibility, but also a strategic advantage. Companies that minimize their cloud waste are more competitive and efficient in their operations and further development. A sustainable approach to cloud technologies is the way to long-term success, it would be a shame not to utilize it.