This is a guest post authored by Kris Bliesner and Mike Brown from Vega Cloud.
Vega Cloud is a premier member of the FinOps Foundation, a program by Linux Foundation supporting FinOps practitioners on cloud financial management best practices. Vega Cloud provides a place where finance, engineers, and innovators come together to accelerate the business value of the cloud with concrete curated data, context-relevant recommendations, and automation to achieve cost savings. Vega Cloud’s platform is based on the FinOps Foundation’s best practices and removes the confusion behind the business value of cloud services and accelerates strategic decisions while maintaining cost optimization. Vega’s curated reports provide actionable insights to accelerate time-to-value from years into days. On average, Vega’s customers immediately identify 15–25% of underutilized cloud spend with a clear direction on how to reallocate the funds to maximize business impact.
Vega Cloud has been growing rapidly and saw an opportunity to accelerate cloud intelligence at hyperscale. Engineering leadership chose Amazon QuickSight, which allowed Vega to add insightful analytics into its platform with customized interactive visuals and dashboards, while scaling at a lower cost without the need to manage infrastructure.
In this post, we discuss how Vega uses QuickSight to bring cloud intelligence solutions to our customers.
Bringing solutions to market at a fast pace
The Vega Cloud Platform was designed from the start by cloud pioneers to enable businesses to get the most value out of their cloud spend. This is done by a multi-step process that starts with data analytics and ends with automation to remediate inefficiencies. The Vega Cloud Platform consumes customer billing and usage information from cloud providers and third parties, and uses that data to show customers what they are spending and which services they are consuming, with business context to help the customer with chargebacks and cost inquiries. The Vega Cloud Platform then analyzes the data collected and produces context relevant recommendations across five major categories: financial, waste elimination, utilization, process, and architecture. Finally, the Vega Cloud Platform enables customers to choose which recommendations to implement through automated processes and immediately receive cost benefits without massive amounts of work by end developers or app teams.
Vega is constantly updating and improving the platform by adding more recommendation types, deeper analytics, and easier automation to save time. When looking for an embedded analytics solution to bring these insights to customers, Vega looked for a tool that would allow us to keep up with our rapid growth and iterate quickly. With QuickSight, Vega has been able to scale from the proof of concept stage to enterprise-level analytics and visualizations as the company grows. QuickSight enables our product team to ship product quickly and rapidly test customer feedback and assumptions. Vega has tremendously reduced the time from idea to implementation for the analytics solutions by using QuickSight.
Using embedded QuickSight saved Vega 6–12 months of development time, allowing us to go to market sooner. Vega Cloud’s team of certified FinOps practitioners—a unique combination of finance professionals, architects, FinOps practitioners, educators, engineers, financial analysts, and data analysts with deep expertise in multi-cloud environments—can focus on driving business growth and meeting customer needs. QuickSight gives the Vega team one place to build reports and dashboards, allowing the Vega Cloud Platform to deliver data analytics to customers quickly and consistently. The Vega Cloud Platform uses QuickSight APIs to seamlessly onboard new users. In addition to the cost savings Vega Cloud has achieved by saving development time, QuickSight doesn’t require licensing or maintenance costs. The AWS pay-as-you-go pricing model allowed Vega Cloud to hit the ground running and scale with real-time demand.
Creating a powerful array of solutions for customers
By embedding QuickSight, Vega Cloud has been able to bring a wealth of information to cloud consumers, helping them gain value and efficiencies. For example, an enterprise customer in the energy industry engaged Vega for cloud cost optimization and saw monthly savings exceeding 25% with cumulative savings of over $1.36 million over 11 months. They moved from 24% Reserved Instance/Savings Plans (RI/SP) coverage to 53% coverage. Their optimization efforts led them to increase their cloud commit by 10 times over 5 years.
The Vega Cloud Platform has two SKUs that use embedded QuickSight: Vega Inform and Vega Optimize. Vega Inform is about cost allocation, chargebacks and showbacks, anomaly detection, spend analysis, and deep usage analytics. Vega Optimize is an easy-to-use set of dashboards to help customers better understand the optimization opportunities they have across their entire enterprise. In the Vega Inform SKU, the Vega Cloud Platform provides true multi-cloud cost reporting with cash and fiscal views and the ability to switch between them seamlessly. The Vega Cloud Platform is a curated data platform to ensure customers avoid garbage in/garbage out scenarios. Vega curates customer usage and billing data to verify billing rates, usage, and credit allocation, and then enables retroactive cleanups to historical spend.
Vega Optimize is a core piece of the Vega Cloud Platform and allows end-users to see cost-optimization recommendations with business context added using the embedded QuickSight dashboards. The Vega Cloud Platform enables end-users to self-manage and approve optimization recommendations for implementation—ensuring that businesses are taking the actions they need to better manage their cloud investments.
Vega customers can identify and act upon near-term optimization opportunities prioritized by business impact and level of effort, as well as identify, purchase, and track committed use resources. QuickSight enables end-users to easily filter down data to exactly what the user wants to see. Doing so enables questions to be answered more quickly, which ensures the right optimization takes place in a timely manner. The depth and breadth of data the Vega Cloud Platform consumes and surfaces to end-users via QuickSight provides customers with a platform approach to enabling FinOps within their organizations.
Powerful and dynamic QuickSight features
The Vega Cloud Platform ingests billions of lines of data on behalf of customers, which must be converted into actionable insight and personalized to a decision-maker’s role inside the organization. Processing terabytes of data can lead to delayed and infrequent reports, slowing down an organization’s ability to respond and compete in their respective markets. It is paramount that customers have consistent, dependable access to timely reports with the correct business context. QuickSight is powered by SPICE (Super-fast, Parallel, In-memory Calculation Engine), a robust in-memory engine that now supports up to 1 billion rows of data. Thanks to the Vega Cloud Platform’s implementation of QuickSight, Vega has offloaded the responsibility including engineering from customers to ingest and curate billions of rows of data every day. The Vega Cloud Platform uses role-based permissions, with row-level security from QuickSight, to centralize and tailor data to prioritize actionable insights with the ability to quickly investigate details to provide evidence-based decisions to customers.
QuickSight allows Vega to highlight data that is considered high-cost or high-value to its customers so that they can take quick action. This is accomplished by purpose-built dashboards based on over a decade of experience to ensure customers see the items that will be most impactful in their optimization efforts. The advanced visualizations, sorting, and filtering capabilities of QuickSight allow the Vega Cloud Platform to scale usage by multiple groups within a business, including finance, DevOps, IT and many others. Along with QuickSight, the Vega Cloud Platform uses many other AWS services, including but not limited to Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), Amazon Redshift, Amazon Athena, AWS Glue, and more.
Scaling into the future with QuickSight
Vega is focused on continuing to provide customers with cloud intelligence at hyperscale using QuickSight. The Vega Cloud Platform roadmap includes a proof of concept for Amazon QuickSight Q, which would give customers the ability to ask questions in natural language and receive accurate answers with relevant visualizations that help users gain insights from the data. This also includes paginated reports, which makes it easier for customers to create, schedule, and share reports.
QuickSight has enabled Vega Cloud to grow rapidly, while saving time and money and delivering FinOps solutions to businesses in any and every vertical industry consuming cloud at scale.
To learn more about how you can embed customized data visuals and interactive dashboards into any application, visit Amazon QuickSight Embedded.
About the Authors
Kris Bliesner, CEO, Vega Cloud is a seasoned technology leader with over 25 years of experience in IT management, cloud computing, and consumer-based technology. As the co-founder and CEO of Vega Cloud, Kris continues to be at the forefront of revolutionizing cloud infrastructure optimization.
Mike Brown, CTO, Vega Cloud is a highly-skilled technology leader and co-founder of Vega Cloud, where he currently serves as the Chief Technology Officer (CTO). With a proven track record in driving technological innovation, Mike has been instrumental in shaping the application architecture and solutions for the company.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/big-data/vega-cloud-brings-finops-solutions-to-their-customers-faster-by-embedding-amazon-quicksight/