Updated August 2022
Whether you are just migrating to Google Cloud Platform (GCP) or have well-established workloads running, monitoring spend is essential to maximizing your investment. Monitoring GCP spend can help you better understand how cloud usage impacts costs and when that usage needs to be optimized to meet a budget. The following are three tips for monitoring costs that will help you maximize your GCP investment:
1 – Check costs often
Pay-as-you-go billing models and per-second rates enable you to quickly impact overall spend by adjusting usage, but checking your bill once a month won’t provide you with enough time or flexibility to do so. Monitor your GCP spend on a more regular basis (e.g. daily) to identify when usage causes a jump in costs and course correct if needed. You may even consider setting alert thresholds such that you receive a notification when spend increases quickly, or beyond your desired budget.
For example, a developer may spin up a few Cloud SQL instances with a large amount of CPU and memory resources just to test something specific, and forget to shut them down afterward. If you wait for your bill at the end of the month, you’ll see the cost for the forgotten instances, but it’ll be too late to do anything about it. In contrast, monitoring of daily spend will clearly show the increase.
2 – Ensure Spend is Actionable
Monitoring total spend over time will provide you with an indication of when costs increase more quickly than they should, but won’t help you narrow down the cause. Make sure your monitored spend is presented meaningfully to ensure it’s both tangible and actionable. Look to pinpoint what is behind specific cost increases, and how you can help.
With the previous example involving forgotten Cloud SQL instances, you’d want to see the increase in spend for the Cloud SQL service, and even for the operations specific to the machine types used. This level of detail makes it easiest to identify the cause of added spend, which should allow you to take action accordingly.
3 – Monitor performance
Monitoring cost alone can help you identify abnormalities in spend, but won’t help you identify normal trends in spend that can be optimized. Monitoring performance and utilization alongside cost can help you identify over-provisioned resources, and where spend that is trending normally can be reduced. For example, you may look at Compute Engine instances by lowest CPU usage, and identify that instances can be shut down all together to save money.
In summary, you can maximize your GCP investment by monitoring spend more frequently than once a month, ensuring that monitored spend is meaningful and actionable, and looking at performance and utilization to identify additional costs that can be optimized.
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