Case Study

Cloud Cost Optimization with Azure Migration helps a National Transportation Company Save Humongous Costs

Customer: North America’s largest independent provider
of school bus transportation services.
Profile: The client offers school bus transportation services through 14,000 vehicles in over 27 states and 360 school districts.

Services: Cloud Cost Optimization

Size: 15,000+ employees
Region: Wall Township, New Jersey
Industry: Transportation

Business Need

With a growth of 20% each year, the client has been adding more vehicles to their fleet, building new facilities, and expanding to more locations. To cater to this growth, the company has been operating in the cloud; however, a recently major shift in leadership led to the team being highly concerned about their mounting cloud costs. They wanted to migrate their existing cloud workloads to a more cost-effective cloud solution.

The client chose Synoptek as their one-stop IT consulting partner; after careful assessment, Synoptek offered to move their data from Cloud Workspace to Azure cloud using a PaaS model. We provided the resources they needed for cloud migration, support as well as maintenance. All user groups were successfully migrated to the new environment and were provisioned with additional Azure services for other needs. Synoptek has, since then, been successfully monitoring and managing the infrastructure, hardware, and software of its Corporate Enterprise System.

However, despite migrating to the cloud, the client was receiving massive cloud bills at the end of each month. This was mainly because the client moved a lot more workloads, data, and systems than necessary to the cloud, which led to a loss of control over cloud costs.

The client faced several major production issues during the migration, that negatively impacted user experience. Because they faced performance issues, they added a host of premium storage services that drained their finances. The lack of a proper Change Management strategy in place and lack of clear hand-offs and phase completion acknowledgment made Budget Control a challenge. With time, they lost track of their spending and ended up with bills that grew exponentially with each passing month.

Due to scope changes and services unrelated to the Azure RDS environment, the client received additional bills including amounts wasted due to architectural changes made in an un-optimized environment.

The client engaged with Synoptek as their preferred Cloud Partner to carry out Cloud Cost Optimization. They wanted Synoptek to monitor and analyze their existing cloud environment and take steps to keep cloud spend under control – without affecting their service levels. They wanted Synoptek to deliver on the promise of better operational spending, optimize cloud costs, and ensure maximum ROI from cloud expenditure.

Synoptek identified the causes of cloud overspend and devised strategies that enabled the client to curb cloud overspend..

Solution and Approach

Synoptek conducted a thorough assessment to identify the causes for increasing cloud spend, suggest improvements, and implement the right solution to optimize costs.

As part of Phase I, Synoptek was on a stabilization mission and undertook several cost reduction actions to stabilize their cloud environment and drive costs down immediately.

  • Monitored and analyzed current workloads and gained insight into performance and usage patterns
  • Cleaned up their cloud environment and eliminated unnecessary resource
    • Reduced the number of remote desktop infrastructure server count
    • Cleaned up unnecessary Microsoft operational tools and migration infrastructure services
  • Right-sized resources wherever possible, so the client could meet capacity needs at a lower cost while ensuring the applications run smoothly

By the end of the first phase, we were able to help the client save a significant amount and brought their MRC down substantially

Once the cloud costs were stable, in Phase II, we identified a host of other activities that helped the client further optimize costs.

  • To lower their total Azure consumption cost and make it more predictable, we evaluated opportunities where the client could use reserved instances and could provision them wherever applicable.
  • Recommended using 1-year reserved instance pricing for Session Hosts, RD Brokers, RD Web/Gateways, and Production File Server
  • Identified oversized and idle resources and downgraded premium services
  • Shut down additional Azure services that were not part of the initial scope
  • Observed the performance of applications over time, terminated zombie assets, and scheduled on-off times for instances that were rarely used
  • Provided a list of recommendations to the client to further optimize cloud costs
    • Jointly develop a project schedule with clear dependencies, transition and dates for achieving required results
    • Implement a change management process that involves joint review of key changes being made to the environment, so they do not cause business disruption or performance degradation
    • Carry out periodic Quality Assurance Analysis to make sure best practices are in place for optimal supportability
    • Document any changes in scope with a Change Order to keep track of every additional requirement

Through our cloud optimization efforts, we helped the client further save up on costs. By the end of the second month, the client could reduce their cloud bill to a significant amount.

Business Benefits

Some of the major benefits of Synoptek’s Cloud Cost Optimization services include:

  • Accurate and timely identification of unnecessary, idle, and oversized resources
  • Constant monitoring of instances so issues are proactively detected
  • Right-sizing ensures client provisions and pays only for resources they need
  • Substantial reduction in monthly cloud costs and MRC in a span of two months

Synoptek’s services helped the client optimize their cloud costs and run their business in the Azure cloud – efficiently and cost-effectively. Since their cloud costs are now stable, they can focus on achieving their goal of providing seamless and safe transportation to schoolchildren across North America.

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