Airwalk Reply was selected as the lead delivery partner to design, build and run a greenfield, fully cloud-native digital platform to support the 750 users for a central government restoration project.
The client felt that they were overspending on their cloud resources, and that there were more modern, less expensive approaches that they could leverage. As part of a cost-saving initiative, the client wanted to reduce their cloud costs down from £50,000 per month to £35,000 or below.
The aim was to reduce unnecessary cloud expenditure and ensure the organisation’s budget was only spent on what was required. Additionally, it was felt that broader governance would prevent any overspending ongoing. This would free up vital taxpayer funds, which could be diverted towards other important projects.
Airwalk Reply deployed a team of highly-skilled consultants to:
- Gain an initial understanding of the cloud usage, subscriptions and the associated costs
- Set up automated anomaly detection within Azure to highlight if an error was triggering any subscription to overshoot its daily average cost. This meant that Airwalk Reply was quickly notified and could therefore remediate to minimise any additional spend incurred
- Set up governance – detailed reporting to track progress and a decision making forum with clear roles and responsibilities. Reporting covered the monthly usage and analysis of usage and reduction or increases
- Optimise cloud platform service logs to prevent high volume and unnecessary data from incurring costs on the monitoring platform
- Look for further optimisation opportunities, including:
- Automated removal of orphaned and temporary resources
- Removal of unused subscriptions
- Out-of-hours power down and power up were explored across apps
- Reserving capacity was explored with the client; negotiating capacity with the cloud service provider for a fixed period of time, usually coming at a discount
- Resizing of underutilised resources
- Auto scaling and scaling to zero were explored and implemented where possible
The risks and complexity were weighed up for each of these items and discussed with the decision-making forum before implementation. Airwalk Reply also recommended the decommission of some services which were not being used, applying pressure and rationale within the business to ensure that the decommission would be completed swiftly.
Additionally, Airwalk Reply assessed user requirements and rationalised Azure DevOps licenses and role allocations to reflect these requirements, which incited further cost savings.
In a 3-month period, Airwalk Reply was able to significantly reduce cloud costs from £50,000 down to £34,000 per month (a 32% saving), achieving the target set by the client. These costs have remained stable, and are tracking month-on-month at below the forecasted rate. Any anomalies are detected and quickly resolved. A governance forum has also been implemented, with key parties available as required to drive decisions or discuss anything regarding cost or optimisation.
Additionally, has now increased their knowledge on FinOps as a whole, as well as gaining a better understanding organisation-wide of the importance of managing cloud costs. The significant cost savings can now be used to fund other vital projects.
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