Apptio launches tool to prevent 'cloud rip-off'

New - free - service tracks usage and cost of AWS and Azure

Businesses could soon be able to measure just how much – or how little – value their public cloud services are providing thanks to the arrival of a new, free, tool.

Dubbed Apptio Cloud Express, the tool looks at aggregated data gleaned from apps and servers running on  Amazon Web Services (AWS), Windows Azure and Rackspace and recommends ways to optimise usage and reduce costs.

It was developed in response to concerns from IT professionals that they were increasingly being asked to develop new strategies to adopt cloud computing, but they often lack the necessary data and analysis required to make informed decisions, according to parent company Apptio.

Apptio said that in order to maximise value to the business, IT must collaboratively make data-driven decisions about which products and services should be kept in-house or moved to the cloud, and which cloud model is right for each initiative.

The tool allows users to view their cloud costs in a “bill of IT,” identify and aggregate spending outside of IT’s approval, and perform “what-if” analyses to quantify potential savings of shifting to private or hybrid cloud strategies.

In the case of AWS, Apptio also provides recommendations on potential cost savings of moving from On-Demand to Reserved Instances. To get started, users simply register their accounts from these third-party cloud service providers in Apptio Cloud Express, which then automatically imports billing and usage data.

In a recent report, Gartner analyst Milind Govekar said that cloud financial ratios are not widely understood by IT leaders.

"Many adoption decisions based on rudimentary, incomplete data, or without any financial data at all,” said Govekar.

“As a result, many companies are only now realising they have over-provisioned virtual machines for private cloud or over-purchased licenses for public cloud initiatives, resulting in lower ROI for cloud projects.”

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