Bluelock’s exclusive cloud management and forecast tool, Bluelock Portfolio™, is an often quoted favorite of Bluelock users. With this tool users are able to track their current spending and cloud resource use, predict their remaining monthly expenses and better understand patterns about what resources their application consumes.
Bluelock Portfolio also allows users to understand resource usage from the top down. Being able to see total monthly spend and then drill down into the particular resource for one VM allows for total transparency.
But, like any new tool, Portfolio is only helpful when it becomes part of your routine. To better leverage the benefits of Bluelock Portfolio, here are three things you should do right now in order to get the most from your cloud.
#1: Look for Inefficiencies
“When applications are first built there is the tendency to provision more than what they need,” explains Bluelock Solutions Architect Jake Robinson. “We want to avoid a bad user experience, but it actually results in a bad economic experience because you’re wasting resources and paying for what you don’t need.”
Robinson went on to explain this tendency exists regardless of if the application resides in the cloud or in your internal datacenter.
One of the biggest benefits of Portfolio is the ability to easily spot inefficiencies, and then act upon those to better allocate resources.
Pull up your Portfolio account and look at your graphs for allocation versus consumption of resources. Because Portfolio is self-service, you can click to change those allocations so you’re not wasting any of your monthly spend.
#2: Check your Cost Progress Meter
By logging in to check your cost progress meter you avoid surprises on your monthly invoice.
Knowing in advance what your bill will be is helpful, but more importantly, Portfolio lets you see your projected spend for the end of the month. If you’re using a pay-as-you-go VDC, this allows you to change what your bill will be at the end of the month by adjusting usage. If you’re using a VDC that has a monthly committed spend, this feature can be even more interesting.
You know that you have a certain committed spend for your particular virtual datacenter. For the purposes of this example, let’s assume that amount is $500. If you log in and see you’re currently predicted to spend only $325 by the end of the month, it’s in your best interest to use more resources or move another workload to the cloud in order to get the most from your committed spend. If you didn’t have access to the cost-progress meter, or if you don’t log in to check your usage, you will leave money on the table and be spending more than you’re using.
According to Robinson, the cost progress meter is like a crystal ball. It allows you to see where your costs will be at the end of the month based on your application’s current run rate. The ideal picture to see when you’re logged in is a cost-progress meter that predicts you’re spending more than your monthly committed spend, because then you know you’re getting every penny’s worth of value from your virtual datacenter.
Did you know you could manage and audit the backups of your VMs through Portfolio? You can even request a restore, all through clicking just a few buttons.
Robinson explains, “The backup feature in Portfolio lets you see successful VM backups and lets you select which VMs need to be backed up.”
“This gives you the self-service capability to backup machines as well as the ability to choose a point in time to restore from,” Robinson continues.
Portfolio also breaks down the daily backup costs that you’re paying for so you can track those expenses, too.
There are several other benefits to using Portfolio including the ability to export cost data and allocate resources and efficiencies across both of Bluelock’s geographically-separated datacenters. Establishing the habit of logging into Portfolio is the first step to being able to fully leverage it’s tools to make your VDCs more efficient and effective. Set a goal of logging in once a week to check these three things and adjust inefficiencies you see. By making a habit of logging in you won’t have any surprises at the end of the month.
Bluelock Portfolio is available exclusively for Bluelock customers. Request a demo if you’re interested in learning more about Portfolio.