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Q&A: Interview with Cloudyn, Talking Cloud Monitoring and Optimization

Cloudyn is one of those really interesting companies in the cloud space that some of you may not be familiar with, but should be.  Cloudyn offers a set of cloud tools that assists companies with optimizing their cloud deployment and gives them comprehensive insight and control over their cloud cost and usage.  They also receive recommendations on how to perfect their cloud investments and improve utilization all while maintaining operational performance.

To find out more, I spoke with Sharon Wagner, Founder & CEO, of Cloudyn.  Here is our conversation:

VMbog:  For VMblog readers who might not yet know a lot about Cloudyn, can you tell us a little more about the company and what you offer?

Sharon Wagner:  Founded in 2011, Cloudyn is a leading AWS monitoring and optimization SaaS solution that offers organizations clarity and control of cloud costs, actionable recommendations for cost savings and maximized utilization of resources in a dynamic cloud environment.

Actively managing hundreds of thousands of cloud resources today, Cloudyn delivers up to 67% cost reductions to organizations with significant cloud investments in various industries worldwide.

VMblog:  How specifically can Cloudyn help businesses with their AWS deployment?

Wagner:  IT managers and CIOs are faced with deploying applications on public clouds while ensuring high performance. Unfortunately many are surprised with unexpectedly high bills.

Cloudyn's non-intrusive technology provides cost visibility, control and optimization for cloud customers. In addition to offering insight into cloud usage and spending, it gives personalized recommendations for maximum savings with optimal operational efficiency.

VMblog:  So why the focus on AWS?

Wagner:  It is the classic quality over quantity theory. We wanted to dedicate all our development and resources to perfecting a solution for one provider rather than offer just a high-level view into cloud consumption across multiple vendors. AWS was chosen as they are undoubtedly one of the major global players in cloud computing. But stay tuned. We have a solid roadmap that includes extending our solution to other vendors in the near future.

VMblog:  What sets Cloudyn apart from other players in this space?

Wagner:  Most monitoring tools offer a high-level view into cloud spend and activities, but fall short when tasked with serious analytics for balancing spend with optimal performance.

Cloudyn's solution drills down to organization's core activities to provide personalized, ongoing analytics to identify unnecessary spend, unused resources, and over-provisioned services. Ongoing notifications with comprehensive prescriptive actions enable proactive planning for frequently changing AWS pricing plans and one's unique deployment configuration.

VMblog:  When does it make sense to switch from On-Demand pricing to Reserved pricing?

Wagner:  Pricing varies depending on instance type, availability zone, etc., however, for most instance types and availability zones, even if you are running an instance just two to three months, you already achieve ROI break-even versus On-Demand pricing. In those cases, if you are looking for both savings and flexibility, reservation pricing makes the most financial and operational sense. For example, if you are only using Light Utilization instances for spikes, it's still a better pricing option than On-Demand, even if the instance runs only three months out of a 3 year reservation, or 8% of the time!

However, calculating this on your own is extremely complex and time consuming. Cloudyn's RI Calculator does all the heavy lifting by doing this for one's entire deployment.

VMblog:  Can you talk about reservation types and address some of the common myths?

Wagner:  There are three different reservation sizes; Light, Medium, and Heavy. There is a common misconception that if you buy a light reservation and use it more than X% of the time, you will be charged On-Demand rates.  This is not true. You can run your instances at 100% utilization, whether they are on Light, Medium or Heavy reservations. The reservation type has no impact on your utilization or capacity.  

So how do you determine what type is optimal? Well, if you plan on running any given instance for the next 12 months at full or near-full capacity, a Heavy reservation would be most cost-effective. However, if you only plan on running the instance for a few months, or don't want to make a big upfront payment for a Heavy, you might decide to opt for a Light reservation.

VMblog:  You mention that Cloudyn manages hundreds of thousands of cloud resources. Is it accurate to say that a majority of cloud buyers are over-provisioning?

Wagner:  Yes. A substantial opportunity for cost-savings exists across reserved instances, underutilized instances and S3 storage consumption. We found that buyers continue to underutilize both reserved and On-Demand instances with nearly a quarter of reservations going unused.

VMblog:  And finally, what's next for Cloudyn?

Wagner:  We believe that the right way to measure your cloud is by combining operational measuring with business activities. Thus, Cloudyn will continue to enhance its existing platform to capture various cloud metrics with business performance metrics to build the next generation of cloud business performance management.


Once again, I'd like to thank Sharon Wagner, Founder & CEO, Cloudyn for taking time to speak with VMblog and answering a few questions to help educate us on their company, product and market.

Published Monday, June 03, 2013 7:29 AM by David Marshall
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