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CAST AI vs. Cloudability: Which one to pick for cloud cost optimization?

Controlling cloud costs is one of the biggest challenges facing teams across every organization that uses the public cloud. Thankfully, they can choose from a wide range of solutions that help in cost management and optimization. Many such tools offer automation features that build more stable and cost-effective cloud environments.

When picking a solution, companies should consider the potential impact of automation on both cost savings and workflows in the cloud - especially the more complex, cloud-native ones like Kubernetes.

Keep on reading to find out which cost optimization platform is a better choice for your business: CAST AI or Apptio Cloudability.

CAST AI - cloud native cost optimization 

Cloudability - cloud cost management

CAST AI is cloud-native platform for analyzing, monitoring and automating the costs of Kubernetes environments. Companies across e-commerce and adtech are using CAST AI to cut their cloud bills by 50% to even 90%.

Cloudability provides financial management tools for monitoring and analyzing cloud computing costs. Companies can use the software to track their public cloud spend and plan better-informed budgets for cloud services.

CAST AI vs. Cloudability - quick feature comparison

Detailed feature comparison of Cloudability and CAST AI

  1. Cost visibility
  2. Cost optimization and automation
  3. Spot instance recommendations and automation
  4. Full multi cloud optimization
  5. Pricing

1. Cost visibility

Cost allocation and reporting 

Cloud expenses are divided into project, cluster, namespace, and deployment levels in CAST AI. Teams can track expenses down to individual microservices before calculating the total cost of their cluster. CAST AI employs industry-standard metrics that may be used with any cloud provider.

The cost allocation in CAST AI is done per cluster and per node. Control plane, network, egress, storage, and other cost dimensions will be added soon. A feature for continuous cloud cost reporting is also on its way.

Cloudability comes with a default dashboard as well as the option to create custom dashboards for various products, departments, or positions within your organization. The solution’s True Cost Explorer offers a way for users to visually explore their cloud cost and usage data. Users may easily connect their use and spend to relevant data dimensions such as business units, apps, and teams without being aware of cloud billing nuances.

Cost view across multi cloud

Many businesses today use more than one cloud platform, so multi-cloud support is an important element of cost optimization initiatives.

It's difficult to budget for multi-cloud configurations, but CAST AI's multi-cloud capabilities make it a lot easier. The platform works with any cloud service provider and offers cross-cloud visibility thanks to universal metrics from Grafana and Kibana.

Cloudability stands up to this challenge as well. Users can display multi-cloud data together in a single pane of glass. All data is continuously refreshed with each new update from service providers.

2. Cost optimization and automation

CAST AI - fully automated cost optimization

Rightsizing with automated instance selection 

CAST AI picks the most cost-effective instance types and sizes to fulfill the needs of your application while lowering the cloud spend. When a cluster needs additional nodes, the automation engine chooses the instances that provide the best performance at the lowest price. Engineers don't have to do anything extra because everything happens automatically.

Using the same instance shape for every node in a cluster can quickly lead to overprovisioning, so CAST AI offers multi-shape cluster creation as well. It provides the best combination of various instance types for the application.

Horizontal pod autoscaling and node autoscaling

To help organizations avoid cloud waste, CAST AI automates pod scaling settings. Based on business KPIs, the Horizontal Pod Autoscaler estimates the right number of required pod instances. If there’s no work to be done, the functionality reduces the replica count of pods until it reaches 0 - and then eliminates all pods.

CAST AI also guarantees that the number of nodes in use is always appropriate for the application's requirements, dynamically scaling nodes up and down.

Cluster scheduling and termination

CAST AI automatically stops and restarts clusters created inside the platform, saving teams money on resources teams aren’t using.

Smart bin packing 

Since Kubernetes distributes programs equitably throughout a cluster - regardless of how cost-effective this design is - it poses a financial challenge to companies.

CAST AI modifies the default pod scheduling approach and uses automated bin packing to maximize savings according to user preferences. It’s simple - when there are fewer nodes, the cost savings are greater.

Cloudability - data insights combined with automation

Rightsizing recommendations

Cloudability helps teams to detect and monitor cloud resource consumption, so they can balance risk and cost and reduce waste. The tool collects usage data and feeds it into its proprietary algorithms to generate a list of optimum rightsizing suggestions. The algorithms take into account usage statistics from the previous 10 and 30 days.

Automation in Cloudability

Removing idle EBS volumes 

Cloudability users can set up and schedule daily cleanups of detached EBS volumes. All it takes is selecting accounts and tags to scan for unattached volumes, together with the amount of time the unattached volume should sit before the tool creates a snapshot and deletes it.

Automated shutdown and restart of resources 

Cloudability can automatically shut down and startup operations during periods of low usage. Users can schedule the scaling of ASGs or the stopping/starting of EC2 and RDS instances, checking how many resources this will affect.

Governance for cost management

To make the most of the cloud's elastic, on-demand capabilities while continually optimizing expenses, Cloudability uses automation to make sure that teams operate to the same standards.

3. Spot instance recommendations and automation

When compared to On-Demand instances, spot instances offer significant cost reductions - even up to 90%. However, providers can reclaim these resources at any moment. That's why teams looking to take advantage of spot instances need automation.

The replacement of interrupted spot instances in CAST AI is completely automated. Teams no longer have to worry about their application’s capacity running out. To ensure high availability, the platform continually searches for the best instance alternatives and spins up fresh instances in milliseconds.

Cloudability helps users to quantify the ROI of using spot instances and offers recommendations for creating a more consistent budget and forecasting baseline.

4. Full multi cloud optimization

As we enter the multi cloud era, the need to evaluate, manage, and optimize cloud expenses across providers is more critical than ever.

CAST AI addresses this requirement with a variety of multi cloud features:

  • Active-Active Multi Cloud - the platform replicates apps and data over several cloud services to ensure that if one fails, others keep the applications running for guaranteed business continuity.
  • Global Server Load Balancing - CAST AI distributes traffic across all cloud services in use and always selects up and healthy endpoints.
  • Multi cloud visibility - the platform delivers cost allocation insights across cloud services thanks to data from Grafana and Kibana.

In Cloudability, multi-cloud data is displayed together in a single pane of glass and constantly refreshed to reflect changes applied by cloud service providers.

5. Pricing

Users of CAST AI can start by examining their cloud services using the free Cluster Analyzer to determine if they can save money. The read-only agent assesses their infrastructure and provides concrete recommendations free of charge. Users can then either manually apply these findings or employ automatic cost optimization features and select between two options (with a free trial): Growth and Enterprise. CAST AI guarantees cost savings of at least 50%.

Cloudability pricing starts at $499.00 per feature per month - with the option of a free trial at the beginning. 

Overall winner: CAST AI

Both Cloudability and CAST AI are fantastic cloud cost management platforms that improve cost management and optimization.  

While Cloudability offers access to data dashboards and a limited degree of automation, CAST AI provides teams with a rich selection of automation features that guarantee cost savings and streamline work with Kubernetes. 

CAST AI’s automation features, unique multi cloud functionality, and cloud-native architecture position it as the top cloud cost optimization platform.

P.S. If you'd like to start with something more hands-on, run the free CAST AI Cost Analyzer to see how much you could save and how to get there.

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