FinOps is a relatively new concept in a cloud computing industry that is actively developing and implementing nowadays to help companies adopt an IT environment in a smart, efficient and transparent way. FinOps is related with a cloud cost optimization approach, but let’s find the difference. Cloud cost management solutions are built for a few IT guys who run the analysis, get a 50-page report on what they need to optimize or improve and then, theoretically, they need to implement these reports and reduce a cloud bill.
But in reality, the IT people can cover only 20–30% of the report themselves and to proceed with the rest they have to collaborate with resource owners explaining to them what needs to be done and why they should do that. And those resource owners are engineers running their jobs, tests, R&D workloads.
FinOps, at the same time, involves the whole FinOps team in the cost-saving process and this team consists of executive engineering leaders, a financial team and engineers who are the main cost generators as they run automation, launch VMs and forget to clean up.
FinOps is an evolution of cloud cost management with an established culture and process, with R&D, SRE, DevOps teams and individual members being involved in planning and execution. But how to build it? How to evolve from cloud cost management and how long will it take to be there?
If you don’t have any cloud or Kubernetes cost management tool, consider using either free or paid solutions. Tag your resources and allocate budgets or pools to distribute expenses between applications/departments or teams. You can assign multiple tags on resources – one tag can be used to identify an application, another – a team. I suggest having separate budgets for every R&D team and application running in production. In that case, you can track expenses, make analyses and get forecasts. With a proper cost management tool, you can do that in a few days but it’s okay if it takes 4–6 weeks for all teams to update their automation scripts and CI/CD jobs to use tags.