Optimization and Cost Management in an effective Cloud Computing Migration Plan
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Cloud Migration services from your on-premise environment can sometimes be very simple and other times an extremely complicated project to implement. For either scenario, there are always considerations to bear in mind when doing so. This course has been designed to highlight these topics to help you ask the right questions to aid in a successful Cloud migration.

Within this course, we look at how timing plays an important part in your project's success and why phased deployments are important. Security is also examined where we focus on a number of key questions that you should have answers to from a business perspective before your Cloud migration. One of the biggest decisions is your chosen public cloud vendor, how do you make the decision between the available vendors, what should you look for when selecting you will host your architecture, this course dives into this question to help you finalize your choice.

Understanding the correct deployment model is essential, it affects how you architect your environment and each provides different benefits, so gaining the knowledge. I look at how you can break this question down to help you with your design considerations. We also cover service readiness from your on-premise environment and how to align these to the relevant Cloud services. Your design will certainly be different from your on-premise solution, I discuss the best approach when you start to think about your solution design, some of the dos and some of the don’ts.

Once you have your design, it’s important to understand how you are actually going to migrate your services ensuring optimum availability and minimal interruption to your customer base, for example looking at Blue/Green and Canary deployments. Cloud migration allows for some great advantages within your business continuity plans, as a result, I have included a lecture to discuss various models that work great within the Cloud.

Course Objectives

By completing this course you will:

  • Have greater visibility of some of the key points of a cloud migration
  • Be able to confidently assess the requirements for your migration

Intended Audience

This course has been designed for anyone who works or operates in business management, business strategy, technical management, and technical operations.


For this course, it's assumed that you have a working knowledge of cloud computing and cloud principles.

What You Will Learn about Cloud Migration

Introduction - This provides an introduction to the trainer and covers the intended audience. We will also look at what lectures are included in the course, and what you will gain as a student from attending the course.

Time Management – How time plays an important part in successful cloud migration. We discuss the key points to allow time for and how to use it to plan a phased migration.

Security – This lecture will give you the ability to ask the key security questions to the business before performing a migration to the Cloud.

Selecting a Vendor – Here you will learn how to define the best way to assess which vendor would be a good fit for your migration based on a number of considerations.

Selecting a Cloud Deployment Model – This discusses different Cloud deployment models where you will understand the differences between them before gaining insight to the questions you should be asking before making a decision as to which to select.

Are your services ready to move to the Cloud? – This lecture will help provide you with the ability to identify if your on-premise applications and services are ready to migrate to the Cloud. There are a number of issues that could arise which we dive into.

Alignment of Services – Here we learn how to categorize your current services and how to map them across to the Cloud service.

New Design – This lecture discusses the importance of not performing a ‘lift and shift’ from on-premise into the Cloud. We look at how this design should be addressed using high availability and other Cloud characteristics.

Migration and Deployment options – Here you will learn the differences between the different deployment methods that could be used and how to tackle the questions around migrating your data into the Cloud to start with.

Optimization and Cost Management – Here we look at some of the considerations around optimization of your costs and how you can achieve greater efficiency.

Business Continuity – The Cloud offers a number of different DR methods which are discussed here and you will be able to define the differences between these and when to you one method over the other.

Proof of Concept – In this lecture, you will learn the importance of implementing a proof of concept design before your production migration.

Summary - Lastly, we will take note of some of the important factors learned from the previous lectures.

If you have thoughts or suggestions for this course, please contact Cloud Academy at


Hello and welcome to this lecture regarding Cloud Optimization and Cost Management.

Optimization and cost management is one of the fundamental reasons why many organizations initially look at using the Cloud. The great savings that can be achieved whilst optimizing their current infrastructure seems like a win win to many. For many this is the case, however, if you do not fully understand how to manage and operate your Cloud infrastructure, then you could soon see your costs spiraling above and beyond what you'd initially thought. Now there are a few things to consider from this perspective. Let's start by taking a look at cost calculators.

When initially working out your budgetary requirements and getting an understanding of what the Cloud services are going to cost you, you can find a number of cost calculators online to help you achieve this. For example, here are the cost calculators for both AWS and Azure.

These calculators allow you to select your chosen services along with any estimated or predicted resource amounts that you require, enabling you to get a good estimate of what your cost would be. It's only an estimate, as your environment will be ever-changing and the amount of data transfer will also fluctuate too.

These calculators can help you compose some of the financial information when presenting to senior management regarding your return on investment.

Once you have an understanding of what your costs could potentially be using the calculators, it enables you to better plan and be realistic about your requirements for your Cloud spend budget. Have these budgets defined, as they will help you maintain your spend. You may want to split your budget down between resources or services to have a more fine-grained control of overall spending. Some areas are likely to fluctuate quite a lot depending on demand whereas others will likely remain the same and maintain a more constant spend. And so you might choose to split these between different budgets.

A good practice when it comes to monitoring your Cloud spend is to set up billing alerts on your chosen Cloud platform which the larger market leaders offer and allow you to do. By doing so, you could be notified by custom thresholds that you can configure when your monthly spend reaches a certain point. This early warning system allows you to spot and identify potential unknowns and unexpected costs that have arisen within your architecture. Whilst at the same time, provides enough time to reduce resources elsewhere that may not be needed to help manage your monthly expenditure. This all of course helps to manage your budget spend and so I suggest you set this up as a part of your initial account creation.

To try and reduce your bills even further, you should analyze your billing reports to ascertain where your largest spend is occurring to see if this ties up with projected costs. These reports come to use to optimize your existing infrastructure. Perhaps one of your biggest spends is within the compute resource. You could look at ways of reducing the spend here by looking at payment plans for this resource type. Perhaps in the case of AWS you could purchase reserved instances whereby you commit to a resource for a specified period of time and therefore reducing the overall cost when compared to the other single on demand resource.

Another way to optimize your resources is to right size your infrastructure. Initially, you will create instance sizes within your environment from an educated guess and using performance metrics. And we'll know that will be overcautious. So factor in time to review your fleet instances from a performance perspective as your predictions may be way off once they start handling workloads in a production environment. You could potentially downsize a lot of your infrastructure to small instances and couple that with reserved instances in AWS and you could find yourself drastically reducing your cost. There are other pricing plans from a compute point of view so be sure to understand all pricing plans for each of your services as going forward you'll be able to fine tune and optimize your infrastructure. As a part of your Cloud migration strategy, you should spend time trying to get the best pricing solution available for your resources, however it's easy to upsize or downsize your infrastructure so it's not a huge problem if you need to adjust them either way.

If you intend to store a lot of data in the Cloud, then having a sound understanding of the different storage services could help you optimize your requirements from a price, durability, and retention perspective. Typically, the vendors will offer a myriad of storage services, each with its own set of benefits. Ensure you are aware of the best storage medium and service for the solution you intend to use. Some storage is designed to be accessed at speed whereby a high speed and read write performance is required. Other storage such as backups can be archived after a service where access is rarely required. The difference between the two storage options for this is huge, so be aware of the correct storage service for your data needs.

There are a number of 3rd party vendors out there who partner with some of the large Cloud vendors. Some of these specialize in products that can help you identify low utilized and redundant resources and suggest where improvements for optimization could be achieved with your environment. The Cloud vendors themselves also offer services to help with this too such as AWS Trusted Advisor. Be sure to look at the available tool sets to help you manage your fleet to help with optimizing your infrastructure. It would be a good practice from the get-go to implement and make use of these services as in the long run they could save you an exceptional amount of money by monitoring and suggesting cost improvements for you on your behalf based off a number of different metrics.

This brings us to the end of this lecture. Following this, we will look at your business continuity and how this changes within the Cloud.

About the Author
Learning Paths

Stuart has been working within the IT industry for two decades covering a huge range of topic areas and technologies, from data center and network infrastructure design, to cloud architecture and implementation.

To date, Stuart has created 150+ courses relating to Cloud reaching over 180,000 students, mostly within the AWS category and with a heavy focus on security and compliance.

Stuart is a member of the AWS Community Builders Program for his contributions towards AWS.

He is AWS certified and accredited in addition to being a published author covering topics across the AWS landscape.

In January 2016 Stuart was awarded ‘Expert of the Year Award 2015’ from Experts Exchange for his knowledge share within cloud services to the community.

Stuart enjoys writing about cloud technologies and you will find many of his articles within our blog pages.