Every time you create a cloud instance, you create a tool you end up using for each job or project.

Think about it in home improvement terms.

When you’re going to screw a nut into a board, you need to know what size ratchet you need. If your ratchet is too big (or small), it won’t turn your screw and you’re now officially stuck in your DIY project. You need to get this right, just like with your cloud bill, so you continue to clip along without roadblocks.

With that said, here are three things to know when auto-scaling your management of your cloud services to put you more in control.

Reserve Instances

Cloud storage providers use things called instances instead of servers. You should reserve instances versus on-demand.

If your development team uses an instance called a reserved instance, as opposed to an on-demand instance, your usage (machine) will only be turned on when you need it. That way, you don’t end up paying for power draw and associated costs because your time on your server is running someone else’s instance.

Reserved instances can save up to 75% on your costs when compared to on-demand costs. Take a look at an example from Amazon.

Remove

Keeping backups, and having a well-executed and documented process for this, is critical to the health of your development team.

But with cloud services, you’re charged for them when they’re turned on and running. This cost can add up quickly. You’ll want to make sure that anything you have running is essential, while all else is archived or shut off. An alternative to avoid these costs is Amazon AWS Glacier option.

This functionality offers you an affordable cloud-based backup option (pennies a month) for storing high amounts of what you’re not using. Check it out here.

Monitor

You’ll need to watch your cloud service billing like a hawk, especially if you don’t have a tool to manage and optimize your cloud usage.

Microsoft’s Cloudyn helps you with some of this, but they’re not the only provider doing this. Services like ParkMyCloud exist to ensure your instances only run when needed. If something does go wrong, you’ll also want to be proactive in contacting the customer support for your cloud provider, seeking some sort of refund before the bleeding becomes worse. Check out Microsoft’s solution and ParkMyCloud’s offering.