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How To Optimize Your K8s Cloud Spend with Rafay’s New Kubernetes Cost Optimization & Management Service

Managing Kubernetes costs efficiently is essential while scaling up in the cloud and Kubernetes world. In a previous blog, we discussed a major gap where more than 68% of organizations either do not monitor Kubernetes costs or simply rely on monthly estimates.

In order for platform and FinOps teams to build a robust Kubernetes cost optimization process within an organization, there are 2 key things for which need to be solved: gaining visibility into actual costs and building accountability for cloud spend within the organization. Both these tasks are easier said than done.

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But according to a CNCF survey, only 19.5% of organizations reported being able to forecast spending within 5% accuracy! By understanding and analyzing Kubernetes costs at the right levels of granularity, your organization can significantly reduce costs without impacting performance.

Download this whitepaper to:

  • Explore three common models for allocating costs across shared resources
  • Discover best practices for cost “showback” and “chargeback”
  • Compare tools for Kubernetes cost management

Visibility for Kubernetes Cloud Costs

Cloud providers bill at the resource level (e.g., nodes) and hence are unable to provide visibility into the cost structure for scenarios where clusters are shared between teams. This would require the collection and aggregation of very granular resource utilization metrics, and is beyond the scope of what cloud vendors provide with their cost reports. The most important piece of information that you need, namely ‘what is the cost of running this application or namespace or an add-on?’ therefore remains unanswered.

It is possible to stitch together a DIY solution using OSS tooling but the cost to set them up and operate is a significant drain of time and resources that could be spent better elsewhere focusing on more important challenges. Rafay’s Kubernetes Cost Management Service is a turnkey solution that imposes zero burden on enterprises, with no additional infrastructure to install, operate, or manage over time. All it takes is a simple checkbox to enable the K8s Cost Management service in a cluster blueprint, as seen here:

The solution offers interactive dashboards to visualize Kubernetes cost and usage metrics with a long data retention period. Once enabled and deployed to a cluster, you will start seeing pod level granular metrics/costs within a matter of minutes:

Enterprises can either use the out-of-the-box profiles which calculate costs based on cloud vendors’ publicly available rate cards or you can create custom profiles to ensure that cost metrics are accurate by taking your organization’s custom pricing and Kuberenetes cluster type into consideration.

The Cost Overview dashboard shows a comprehensive view of actual costs. It is possible to view these costs for your entire fleet or just a cluster, a single namespace or a project. The flexible time scale and cloud vendor dimensions lets you deep dive into the costs to the most granular level. The efficiency score, which is the ratio of your spend on allocated resources and leased resources, helps you evaluate and right size your kubernetes clusters with a single percentage number.

Check Out Our Cost Management Service Overview Video to See More Behind-the-Scenes

Accountability for Kubernetes Cloud Costs

Optimizing Kubernetes cloud costs for your organization is not just the responsibility of the platform or FinOps teams but falls on every team and individual working on the Kubernetes infrastructure. A robust process has to be set up so enterprises always right-size clusters and maintain traceability of resources created. You can standardize clusters across the organization, share best practices and seamlessly provision clusters that are ready for deployment using Rafay’s Kubernetes Operations Platform.

Standardization via Rafay’s Cluster Templates helps keep the K8s costs in check for newly created clusters. But it is important to continually track these clusters to ensure that clusters are being utilized appropriately. Rafay’s Kubernetes Cost Management Service ensures that cost metrics are available to all stakeholders with access to metrics controlled by role-based access control (RBAC). To ensure accountability, it is best practice to implement a chargeback mechanism. We discussed various strategies to achieve chargeback at length in our previous blog. With Rafay’s K8s Cost Management Service, implementing these strategies is now straightforward.

Chargeback or showback groups (shown below) aid with combining various resources into a logical group and track their costs. This capability provides flexibility to define groups based on projects, clusters, namespaces or workload labels. You can select a desired time interval generate a cost report for the chargeback group anytime you want.

The reports themselves are granular to the point of providing a single pod’s utilized, idle and unallocated Kubernetes costs across your entire fleet of clusters. Enterprises can account for unallocated costs by allocating those costs across applications equally or based on their percentage of usage, as shown here:

So, why is Rafay uniquely positioned to provide Kubernetes cost monitoring and management? Rafay’s integrated approach makes it much easier for teams to manage monitor their Kubernetes cost from the same place they provision and secure their clusters. The following summarizes the benefits of this approach:

  • Avoid the problem of yet another K8s vendor and console
  • Centralized configuration, deployment, and visibility across your fleet
  • A fully managed service has nothing to install, operate, or update
  • Pre-integrated with RBAC giving visibility into cost metrics based on role

Kubernetes cost monitoring and management with chargeback/showback groups is the cornerstone of any successful organization and even more so in the fast-paced world of cloud and Kubernetes. Ensuring clear visibility of actual costs to the right stakeholders at the right time and developing a culture of cost accountability is the key to establishing strong cloud financial governance. This can now be achieved without the hassle of DIY tooling using new Rafay’s Kubernetes Cost Management Service.

To learn more about Rafay’s Cost Optimization and Management service, check out our getting started guide and watch our overview video.


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