Managing Sprawl, Centralizing Governance

By Rachel Round

Businesses struggling with cloud sprawl should look to Ziff Davis as an example of how to centralize cloud governance.

Challenge Overview

The publisher of widely read sites like PC Mag, AskMen, and IGN must contend with managing cloud environments across all its subsidiaries. According to Charmaine Honeycutt, Systems Administrator for Ziff Davis:

“Managing the cloud environments across all our subsidiaries and lines of business simply with the AWS Management Console was not sustainable. Over time, the sprawl grew out of control. We needed a product that would give us a centralized view of all that activity.”

How CloudHealth Helped

To support that effort, CloudHealth acts as a single pane of glass that provides visibility and insight, enabling Ziff Davis to effectively manage its cloud infrastructure through policy-setting and governance.

When asked about the benefits of CloudHealth, here is what the team had to say:

  • “We have weekly alerts set up for things like detached EBS volumes and disassociated Elastic IP addresses, which previously were not tracked at all. That helps us manage wasted resources proactively.”
  • “It allows you to manage multiple accounts, which has been hugely useful for us. There are limited views, as well as holistic ones, which is key when you have as many subsidiaries as we do.”
  • “Previously, we did manual analysis on more than 200 Reserved Instances. I’d dedicate at least one day per week… Now, CloudHealth alerts us if RIs can be modified for additional savings, and can even execute the modifications on our behalf. I only have to check in once or twice a month to run the reports and assess any changes — despite the fact that the business has grown exponentially.”
  • “We drive accountability — tracking monthly progress and also pinpointing anomalies.”
  • “We’ve set up automated workflows to delete unused EBS volumes. That alone saves us around 400 dollars a month.”
  • “[Integrations] give us extra performance metrics for a more well-rounded view, and offer additional insight that isn’t available without an agent.”

For more details, check out the case study.

Originally published at

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