SDSA's Adoption of Cloudability for Superior Cost Management

Deployment of solutions in the public cloud has grown at an enormous scale. Agility and innovation have pushed these solutions to the cloud with a faster time to market. With the ease of quickly spinning up new resources, costs for these resources can grow just as fast. Without visibility and awareness of where the spending is happening, teams, including business and finance, can experience a 'sticker shock' at the end of the month as the bills arrive. Teams will need to manage their own cloud spending, but without tools to assist, it can be an extremely cumbersome task.


SDSA has recently purchased a SaaS solution that is one of the industry leaders in the Cloud Financial Management space. This tool is called Cloudability by Apptio. It provides a holistic view of cost and usage for our cloud environment and assists IT, finance, and business teams in optimizing costs to drive business value from the cloud.
We purchased this tool to help the organization gain visibility into cloud spending, reduce waste, and optimize the environment.

Here are some of the highlights and features of Cloudability:

  • Detailed views of cloud spend, trends, build forecasts and budgets, and anomaly detection for unusual and unexpected spending.
  • Continuous optimization of your cloud costs with rightsizing recommendations to reduce operating expenses.
  • Building reports and dashboards for your specific environment that are customizable, shareable, and provide the ability to schedule delivery of reports to your inbox.

Inform: Teams can view costs for all of SEA or drill down to specific divisions if needed.


Optimize:Cloudability will help identify resources that incur costs but are not in use. Business teams can review and terminate these resources, which will reflect on realized cost savings. Additionally, if there are over-provisioned EC2 instances, Cloudability can identify them based on historical data and recommend rightsizing to optimize costs.


Operate - Continuously monitor, optimize, and improve cloud spend while making teams accountable for their spending. Teams can create forecasts based on actual budgets, enabling them to stay within their allocated budgets throughout the year. If there are sudden spikes that affect monthly numbers, teams can be alerted immediately to address and take action on these items.


Cloudability Savings Automation

Another component of Cloudability that we leverage as part of the SDSA service is the Cloudability Savings Automation. This tool assists all member accounts in taking advantage of commitment-based spending. These commitments are in the form of Compute Savings Plans and Convertible Reserved Instances.

Compute Savings Plan
This is a pricing model designed to help save over on-demand pricing:

  • Commitment based on 1 or 3 years
  • Applies to compute (EC2, Lambda, Fargate) regardless of region, instance family, or OS

Convertible Reserved Instances

  • • Provides flexibility to modify commitments across different EC2 instances to obtain savings over on-demand pricing

The Cloudability Savings Automation tool continuously scans our environment and purchases necessary Savings Plans (SP) and Convertible Reserved Instances (CRIs) to obtain maximum savings while providing a high level of coverage. This solution purchases the Savings Plans and RIs on the Master Payer Account so that every member account can benefit from these savings.


2023 SEA Savings Summary


Over the course of 2023, SDSA has established a FinOps culture to provide the organization with cost savings and optimization. As you can see, in 2023, SDSA has saved SEA over $2.8 million, which is approximately $236,000 per month, utilizing these various savings methods. As teams become more cost-conscious, they will be able to reduce their costs even further while optimizing the resources they consume to achieve even greater savings.

Sudip Shah
Sudip Shah