On the wall above my desk are five rules, and they are the framework for how I get things done

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I revisit these rules every year, and they are subject to themselves. Always iterating, words paired to only those most important, without fear of criticism and at whatever pace necessary. They are also in a deliberate order. First and foremost, they must delight you, the customer.

I started developing these rules over a decade ago with a lot of trial and error and more importantly, a lot of help from the teams I’ve been a part of and led. Over the years I’ve not found anything more succinct to guide highly productive teams than these five rules, and it should come as no surprise that when CloudZero was founded, we built our culture with these rules as its foundation. Even as I’ve worked at very different organizations, with different philosophies, cultures, and processes, these rules (in all their iterations) have been my guide. …


It’s safe to say that cost per tenant (also known as cost per customer) on AWS has been a challenging metric to obtain.

Until now, your best bet has usually been to either make a best guess or build some sort of homegrown system.

As of November 4, 2020, when you Google “ cost per tenant,” you get a few things at the top of the page. The first is a couple of blogs by AWS, where they describe an extraordinarily complex system, which you can build yourself. We’ll file that under “homegrown.”

The second is a Reddit thread.

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Yeah, not a whole lot of help either. …


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Do you find yourself joining Zoom calls a little more than usual these days? Wondering if there is a way you could teach Chrome to trust Zoom and stop asking you if you wanted to open the link?

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Where did the ‘Always trust…” checkbox go?

Unfortunately, ever since Chrome 76 the option to trust certain application links was removed and you are now no longer presented with a checkbox to trust Zoom. For many, this means hunting and clicking twice for every meeting you join, which is annoying. Thankfully there are steps you can take in macOS, Windows, or Linux to fix this issue.

How to fix (Mac)

From the macOS terminal paste and run the following command (one line) and then restart…


How AWS Savings Plans Shake up the Cloud Cost Optimization Industry and the Future of Cost Engineering

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Last month, Amazon announced the end of the reserved instance, commonly known as the “RI”, with the announcement of their new replacement, “AWS Savings Plans”. Amazon has been dropping hints for a while that they were heading in this direction, in particular their September announcement stating that all instance type limits would now be based on vCPUs, a move which laid the groundwork behind the scenes for savings plans and most likely a whole lot more that we have yet to see.

Reserved instances were long considered the place to start if you were searching for a way to lower your AWS bill. But, as with many aspects of cloud billing, the rules governing their use were complicated. Between the ever-growing number of compute instances and service type permutations, the level of complexity led to an entire cloud cost optimization market built around optimizing reserved instances — an industry that now effectively doesn’t exist anymore. …


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DevOps is a very data-driven practice. After the right cultural changes take place within an organization to adopt DevOps, teams often rely heavily on monitoring, measurement, and continuous improvement to keep their projects on track. The best teams use KPIs to benchmark their performance and report up to management. However, there’s one metric your DevOps team might not be tracking: The cloud cost of their engineering decisions.

In the cloud, all engineering choices have a cost, and the only thing standing between the right and wrong decision is access to relevant, real-time data. Today, engineers make their cloud infrastructure decisions with good intentions, but mostly in the dark. …


If you’re a cloud architect or engineering lead, chances are you’ve had a defensive conversation with finance about the AWS bill. Maybe it looked a little something like this:

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Unfortunately, this scenario is all too familiar, yet understandable from Finance Frank’s point of view. He’s just trying to do his job, but has zero context into which engineering activities are costing the organization so much (or why these costs are variable on a month-to-month basis). That makes the conversation between App Owner Amy and Frank adversarial, when it doesn’t have to be. Frank should be thinking about profit margins and capital allocation, rather than learning about reserved instance (RI) distribution, or the nuances of AWS Fargate pricing. The responsibility of cloud cost optimization should not fall on finance alone. …


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We read with interest a recent article from CloudBees published in The New Stack: How Culture Will Make or Break Cloud Native DevOps and have seen some highly differing views on where the adoption of DevOps is.

The Cloudbees article starts by saying that “Software delivery cycles are becoming faster thanks to DevOps-backed continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) as production pipelines are increasingly ported to scale with microservices on cloud-native environments. But the organizations that are able to achieve this rapid development and scaling must first embrace a DevOps backed culture — which most organizations have yet to adopt.”

They reference a Forrester research report and add their perspective that “only roughly half of all organizations had implemented DevOps in 2017, roughly 10 years after DevOps as a concept and practice emerged.” …


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It’s that time of year again. No, not the holidays, it’s time for the yearly pilgrimage to Las Vegas for Amazon’s AWS re:Invent 2018.

Last year over 40,000 people were in attendance; this year the number is expected to beat 50,000. It’s a safe bet to expect it to be bigger and more exhausting than ever. If you are going for the first time (or second time) and need a guide, the folks at A Cloud Guru have recently posted The Ultimate Guide to AWS re:Invent 2018 and it’s worth a read. …


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The year is 2020 and you are responsible for ensuring the efficient and reliable operations of millions of dollars of cloud computing infrastructure. Things have changed a lot in the past few years, even more so from the days when you first moved from on-premise and into AWS.

Today your business operations and cloud infrastructure are tightly mapped to customer demand and usage. You don’t pay for idle compute time and your engineering teams are always looking for ways to improve a product’s operating cost by optimizing your compute, architecture and data pipelines. …


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When CloudZero was founded, we committed ourselves to building our platform as a 100% Serverless solution and one that fully embraced the AWS Well-Architected Framework. At times it wasn’t easy, as there were temptations to use EC2 (the Well-Architected Framework hasn’t exactly kept up with Serverless), but both investments were well worth it. …

About

Erik Peterson

Founder and CTO of @CloudZeroInc. Startup Addict. Delight the Customer, Commit and Iterate, Less is More, Nothing is Sacred, Wait for No One.

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