A large percentage of organizations today tend to spend way too much on compute resources and storage. For instance, investing in high capacity on-premise data centers, to meet the ever-growing demand when the cloud has a more inexpensive alternative. Statistically speaking, on average, small businesses spend approximately 6.9% of their revenue on IT. So, there is no denying that technology is expensive, and for some, IT might feel like a financial black hole. To keep your IT expenditures from skyrocketing, you must absolutely find ways to reduce your overall TCO.

As your competitors are investing heaps and bounds on infrastructure and new technologies to raise productivity, it is natural that you are following suit. But what if we say that there are ways to not only reduce your IT spending significantly but also help your teams unlock optimal infrastructure and application performance?

While it is easier said than done, there are a few tried and tested strategies that can come in handy in reducing your TCO and infrastructure costs. 

1. Standardize your IT Infrastructure

Technology standardization, simply put, is positioning your applications and IT infrastructure to a set of standards that best fit your strategy, security policies, and goals. Standardized technology negates complexity and has scores of benefits such as cost savings through economies of scale, easy-to-integrate systems, enhanced efficiency, and better overall IT support. Standardizing technology across the board leads to simplified IT management. 

The first step in standardizing technology is to adopt a streamlined, template-based approach that leads to operation-wide consistency. Doing so, in turn, reduces the cost and the complexity of IT processes in the long run. We know this might be difficult to implement for many companies. However, if you manage to reduce the number of variations, you ultimately reduce the TCO of your systems. For instance, a company that provides a standard set of devices to employees across the board finds it easier and less expensive to provide support when compared to an organization whose employees use a mix of Apple and Windows-based devices.

2. Have a check on your existing investment

When considering integrating new technology or processes into your IT infrastructure, it is always a good idea to keep tabs on your existing investments. The goal here is to focus on adopting solutions that have maximum agility. Analyze all of your existing equipment and determine which will minimize your future costs and which will hinder your company’s growth. This analysis, albeit time-consuming, is a necessary step to reduce your spending in the future. Our suggestion is to hold on only to the investments that positively impact your organization’s growth.

3. Adapt to Cloud Storage and Optimize it

When it comes to storage, cloud storage is a blessing in disguise. Switching your storage to the cloud to keep up with the ever-evolving storage needs is a great way to reduce on-premise hardware usage. Optimization helps you gain control over and maintain the ever-increasing incoming volume of data from across different resources. It is prudent to create multiple data lines and store the incoming data within their respective data line for hassle-free access when needed.

Additionally, it is also absolutely essential that you distribute workloads evenly between spinning disks and flash to further balance data storage and control. 

4. Automate it

The more you leave your cloud incapabilities unattended, the higher your expenses will be. Make use of automated features (such as a cost-optimization tool) not just to set up immediate responses for all the disarray in your configurations but also to mitigate them as soon as they occur. Furthermore, these features keep your expenses at a minimum and reduce overall TCO costs without tedious manual intervention.

5. Reducing your TCO with your Observability and Monitoring Platform

An observability and monitoring platform like Splunk can help streamline all your data streams. However, your TCO can shoot through the roof if you don’t optimize your spending. The good news is that it is possible to keep a check on your expenses and make sure that you don’t cross your allocated budget with these few tips and tricks.

Leverage Usage-based Licensing

Most observability and monitoring platforms charge you based on the peak daily data volume ingested into the platform, stored in either a database or a flat file, depending on your choice. Although there are no explicit charges for the accumulation of log data, customers are usually expected to bear the cost of hardware for storing log data, including (but not limited to) any high-availability and backup solutions.

You can cleverly reduce the TCO involved here by carefully planning the data inflow and managing data volume. For instance, you may choose to turn on Splunk for a few hours and then turn off data ingestion to save big on your licensing spends. However, be warned that this could expose your servers and systems to potential business risks.

Data Retention

A data retention policy is something every organization must possess as it can provide a set of guidelines for securely archiving data while establishing for how long the data must be saved. While the process seems pretty straightforward on the surface, there is more to it than meets the eye. This is especially true when you need to retain your data for longer durations. Increasing data retention periods involves cumbersome and complex workflows that gradually pave the way for an increased TCO over time. 

What started as data ponds in the 90s, after having transitioned into data lakes, has now evolved into data oceans. We are currently dealing with Exabytes and Zettabytes of data for which the outdated scale-out colocation model might not be the best way to go about this.  

Modern observability and monitoring solutions often provide smart storage solutions. An example of such a solution is Splunk’s SmartStore. SmartStores are architectured for massive scale with high data availability coupled with remote storage tiers. Furthermore, it is well-known for performance at scale with cached active data sets. With independent scale compute and storage and reduced indexer footprint, you can leverage SmartStores for a phenomenal reduction in your organization’s TCO.

Take Complete Control

With Splunk or any other observability and monitoring platform, the control you have is quite limited regarding data flow pipelines. To exercise complete control over your data, you will have to invest in an expensive alternative tool to control the volume of data and when it gets sent to Splunk.  

However, this perennial issue has a straightforward solution with apica.io’s LogFlow. With LogFlow, you can gain complete visibility into what is affecting your data volume with an AI-powered log flow controller that lets you customize your data pipelines and solve volume challenges. LogFlow can also scrutinize and identify high-volume log patterns and make your data pipelines fully observable. It processes only the essential log data, thereby helping you significantly reduce the volume of unnecessary data ingested to your Splunk environment, ultimately decreasing your licensing and infrastructure costs.

LogFlow helps you streamline and store all of your incoming data seamlessly without manual intervention and enables you to exercise total data pipeline observability at far lesser costs. LogFlow also eliminates the need for “smart” storage with InstaStore that provides infinite retention of all data (old/new, hot/cold) with indexing at Zero Storage Tax. 

If you’re interested in knowing more about how apica.io can help reduce your TCO, book a free trial with us today!