Letter A in the cloudsWhether you are juggling multiple cloud providers or multiple services within one cloud provider, managing your use of cloud resources can quickly become complicated.

To streamline your processes, just remember the 3 A’s of cloud resource utilization management:

1. Aggregate

First, aggregate all of your resources into a single location – namely, a cloud management platform. A single pane-of-glass that provides straightforward usage data visualization will allow you to identify patterns in your cloud resource utilization.

Only once you have established a centralized view of all your compute, storage and network resources, across cloud providers, will you be able to understand where you are over- or under-utilizing resources.

2. Adjust

Once you have an aggregated view of your resources, it’s time to monitor your usage and adjust as needed.

Plan for the baseline needs of your organization or project. Avoid over-provisioning. Only add additional resources as necessary, and not by default. Manage and identify when your previously purchased instances are not in use, then leverage these resources rather than purchasing additional resources – or simply terminate them if they are not needed.

Tracking under-utilization is important as well, to determine whether you are optimizing your use of available resources. For example, if you are using AWS On-Demand instances at a steady rate, it may be more cost-effective to use Reserved Instances, or to switch to Google Compute Engine to take advantage of sustained use discounts.

By using a cloud management platform, you can centralize all of your cloud services in a single console, allowing you to easily manage, identify and take actions to address over- or under-utilized resources.

3. Automate

Once you have the management platform and processes in place to aggregate and adjust resource utilization, the last step is to automate your threshold processes. This way, you will expend minimum time and effort while still maintaining your optimum usage levels based on established baselines. By leveraging a cloud management platform, you can establish and automate procedures so that notifications will be sent to both operations and users when usage approaches your defined limits. You can even establish policies with automatic enforcement of budgets based on groups or projects that can alert, or even stop or terminate instances when budgets have been exceeded.

You may also be interested in our latest eBook, Take Control of Your Cloud Spend.

Read more: Cloud Operations Management: Is the Cloud Really Making Operations Easier?