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Cleaning your cloud

Cloud resources can be costly, but necessary and incredibly powerful in optimizing your business performance. In order to control and minimize this cost, it is necessary to manage the amount of cloud resources you use at any point in time. Why pay for resources that you no longer need?

In this article, we will explore ways to optimize your cloud usage and clean up unnecessary items.


Manage Backups


In cloud terminology, a snapshot refers to a backup of your system at a specific time. On different platforms, these would be called by different names, such as EBS volumes in AWS and persistent discs on GCP. On Azure, you would call it storage discs or blobs.

Old snapshots take up a large amount of space which you would end up paying for on any platform, thus cleaning up these is critical. Implementing a well-thought through backup strategy would manage the amount of space you use for backups, ensuring that you keep only what you absolutely need.

To assist in cleaning up your storage, there are various free and paid-for services available on the market.


Machine Images

Virtual servers on the cloud are called instances. In order to load these, you would use a specific machine image, containing all the information you need in order to launch this instance. Again, as with snapshots, you would call these by different names on different platforms: AMIs in AWS, Managed Images in Azure and Custom Images in GCP.

These images can take up a lot of paid-for space, so when you no longer need them, they should be deregistered. Here, you should also take care to remove the snapshot that goes with the image, since deregistering and image does not automatically delete the accompanying snapshot. These snapshots could also be quite large, continuing to add to your cloud storage bill unnecessarily.

Managing your old machine images can be cumbersome and requires some effort. Luckily, there are plenty of third-party vendors who provide this service, assisting you in streamlining this process and optimizing your cloud storage.



Containerization is widespread and continuously evolving. The benefits of using containers in cloud solutions are endless. However, many forget that it is important to optimize the use of containers in order to minimize the costs.

The easiest way to manage your containers is to host multiple application workloads that have been containerized, inside a larger container or instance. This is more cost effective that hosting each one of these in a separate container. In development and testing environments, this has proven extremely efficient. For production environments, it is often still most effective to have a single containerized application, since it usually only deploys to one machine.

The ability to exercise exact control over these resources is continuing to evolve. Now, it is possible to exactly specify the storage space and CPU usage that your code needs, allowing you to know exactly how much you will be paying for it.


In Closing

Streamlining and cleaning up your cloud storage is a useful way to minimize your cloud costs. This can be done in-house, or through the use of various third-party vendors that offer excellent services.


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