University of California, San Diego
One of the top research universities in the US needed to identify cloud cost-saving opportunities in order to grow its accounts.
The University of California San Diego is recognised as one of the top research universities in the US and has partnered with Strategic Blue since 2017. The partnership has progressed significantly over the last 6 months, with both playing a key role in the CloudBank, a cloud access entity that helps the computer science community access and use public clouds for research and education by delivering a set of managed services designed to simplify access to public clouds.
For Educational Institutions, cloud procurement can be a headache. The way that the cloud providers sell does not make it easy for institutions to buy. Once they have resolved cloud procurement barriers, the problem extends to keeping on top of expansive, and often growing, cloud resources.
In the case of the University of California San Diego (UC San Diego), tracking growing cloud costs across researchers, cloud vendors, and projects was becoming increasingly unmanageable. With Strategic Blue, UC San Diego has over 100 AWS accounts, and the AWS spend over the last 12 months has increased by 166%. Keeping on top of this level of usage is no easy feat for anyone, let alone an educational institution with its focus elsewhere.
The real question for Universities, like UC San Diego, is how do you track these growing numbers of accounts and spend and when do you have the bandwidth to focus on reducing costs? Understanding cloud FinOps is not, and should not be a priority for institutions; this is where a financially focused reseller such as Strategic Blue fits in.
The outcome is that UC San Diego has a dedicated partner that will keep on top of the growing cloud spend and accounts, but also a partner that understands the financials of cloud and how best to save money. For example, Strategic Blue saves UC San Diego on average $10k per month through Reserved Instances and Savings Plans.
These are savings opportunities that would not have been identified had Strategic Blue not used their portfolio management across the UC San Diego spend.
It is through Strategic Blue’s portfolio management and cost-saving expertise that has allowed UC San Diego to re-invest these savings and grow accounts that would have otherwise not have grown. Provided UC San Diego clarity over the spend levels and the reassurance that this growth is being monitored fully by Strategic Blue.
Strategic Blue’s superpower is cloud portfolio management, and this superpower can be split into two key parts: Firstly, Strategic Blue’s tooling and ‘paying attention as a service’, allows for the individual parts of a portfolio to be analysed. Accounts, projects and spend can all be tracked and reported on in a way that suits the customer. Strategic Blue’s custom billing engine produces a Cost and Usage Report that can be manipulated and ingested into tools to allow the customer, in this case, UC San Diego, to keep on top of all the components of their cloud costs.
The second part is that Strategic Blue looks at the portfolio as a whole, the combined usage and accounts, and makes saving recommendations to UC San Diego, and actually remove the risk by implementing those recommendations. Individually, researcher accounts have very little cloud usage and saving opportunities. However, there are opportunities when you combine hundreds of accounts together. Strategic Blue buys Reserved Instances or Savings Plans to help UC San Diego save money on the total usage. This is what Strategic Blue calls portfolio management.
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