When you spin up a cloud computing server, the easiest thing to do is to leave it running. In fact, it’s easy to forget it’s running at all.
Don’t do this!
Non-production servers — those used for development, staging, testing, etc. — are generally only needed during the regular workday. That means that for upward of 65% of hours of the week, they’re running when no one is using them.
You should absolutely turn those servers off at those times. Here are five reasons why.
1. TO SAVE MONEY
The core cloud computing services offered by every major provider are charged by the hour (or minute). It’s like a utility: if you leave the lights on, you’ll be charged for the electricity, whether you’re in the room or not.
Simply by turning servers off on nights and weekends (leaving them running only 40 hours of a 168 hour week), you can save about 75% of their cost. Depending on the size of your infrastructure, that can mean thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars per year. This alone is a huge motivator for many companies to put off-time policies in place.
2. TO IMPROVE SECURITY
It’s pretty simple: if your servers are turned off, they are much harder to hack. It also simplifies the surrounding active security measures that are necessary when your servers are running. They don’t need to be monitored by the network operations center; they don’t need to be virus scanned; there is less traffic for the packet sniffers to have to process; and you don’t have to worry about unauthorized login attempts after hours.
3. TO REDUCE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
In aggregate, cloud computing customers have enormous potential in their hands to reduce energy demand and carbon emissions. If you turn off your instances when they’re not being used, you free that space for other, active instances. Together, this helps create the cloud ideal: efficient data centers. And the more efficient each data center is, the fewer data centers are needed.
While AWS and other cloud service providers are making efforts to use more renewable energy sources and reduce carbon emissions, today they are still a huge drain of non-renewable resources — which makes efficient use of current infrastructure all the more important.
4. BECAUSE WERNER SAID SO
At the recent NYC AWS Summit, Amazon CTO Werner Vogels really did tell his users to turn off their instances when they go home for the night. Werner cites cost savings and eliminating waste. “Waste is anything that doesn’t benefit your customers.”
What better endorsement do you need?
5. FOR PEACE OF MIND
When you turn your servers off when you don’t need them, you’ll be able to rest with a smile on your face, knowing that you’re doing your part to protect the environment, stay secure, and save money.
Finally, let’s address how you can turn your resources off when you don’t need them at night and on weekends. You could do this manually, by logging into your cloud service provider every afternoon to turn them off, but inevitably, you will forget — not to mention how much work this is.
In fact, the easiest way is with an automatic schedule. Just set and forget! Try ParkMyCloud’s automatic on/off schedules now with a free 30-day trial. Get started now.