Spot is helping NetApp IT to deliver more – for less

By Matt Norton and Scott Stanford

Spot by NetApp is a cloud infrastructure optimization and application management platform that helps IT organizations reduce their cloud computing costs and improve the performance of cloud-based applications. It includes Spot Eco, Spot Elastigroup, and Spot Ocean, all vital to NetApp IT delivering continued value to the enterprise without straining our budget. 

We recently did a full webinar if you want to learn more. 

One of the main benefits of Spot is its ability to help us save money on cloud computing costs by analyzing usage patterns and identifying idle and underutilized resources. Spot Eco helps with managing Reserved Instance plans– discounted blocks of cloud computing in exchange for 1- or 3-year commitments – and automates the process of buying, selling, and managing Plans so customers don’t have to.

.By offloading this work to the ECO team, we save more vs. self-managed and reduce the workload on Engineers.  

Our next use of the platform comes through Spot Elastigroup, a cloud automation service that provisions, manages, and scales Spot compute instances to support any elastic application or load balanced workload, without compromising availability.  Spot Elastigroup helps manage and automate the utilization of  Spot Instances by intelligently monitoring the Spot market, predicting interruptions, and automatically replacing interrupted instances to maintain high availability and performance. It leverages advanced algorithms and machine learning to optimize the allocation of Spot Instances while minimizing costs. 

Elastigroups are ideal for stateless applications, but can also work well for stateful applications that either are not required to be online 24/7 (sub-production, etc) or are horizontally scaled and lack single points of failure.  Elastigroups can be configured to persist IP addresses and EBS disks across EC2 terminations.  

Then, there’s Spot Ocean, an application-scaling service that manages the worker nodes that are running as Spot instances. AWS manages the control plane for the cluster and Spot Ocean manages everything else. By default, Ocean is configured to look at all instance types that are available in the region being used to determine which would be the most cost effective. It also right-sizes the instance types and sizes used by the worker nodes to meet what is being consumed in the cluster. For example, if the cluster has pods using 51 CPU cores, Ocean shrinks and adjusts the types of the worker nodes to be as close as possible to those 51 cores. 

It’s been a tremendous automated solution for cost controls. We’re seeing from 57% to 78% percent over OnDemand options. 

Spot by NetApp has been a very useful platform for reigning in cloud costs that can spiral out of control quickly. The ability to turn over part of our FinOps strategy to an automated solution is unique and makes Spot an important part of our wider IT ecosystem.