Seek puts cloud costs in teams' hands

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Seek puts cloud costs in teams' hands

Adopts decentralised model for governance and consumption.

Seek is keeping its cloud costs in check and improving resiliency by giving its teams greater control and responsibility for the infrastructure they consume.

DevOps manager Andrew Hatch told iTnews that decentralising responsibility for cloud usage and governance – combined with some ground rules and carefully chosen tools – had led to gains in operational stability and accountability.

Hatch is speaking at the Cloud & DC Edge 2017 on the Gold Coast on 14-16 March, which is co-organised by iTnews.

“One of the things we’ve really been pushing for the last couple of years is that our teams actually own their own infrastructure,” Hatch said.

“With AWS, teams can create their own accounts, do their own development work and support their own production workloads.

“Part of that strategy then is they’re also accountable for the cost.”

One of the advantages of AWS – and other cloud services – is the choice they offer in configurations and service types.

“It gives you options but can bite you on cost if you’re not careful,” Hatch said.

“We might have certain things we want to get to market quickly or we have more time, but we’re enabled to look at our solution architecture and say maybe EC2 doesn’t make sense, what about Lambda or a PaaS solution?"

But dilligence is vital, he said.

“What we’ve found is diligence to us isn’t a centralised board of control where everyone must have everything approved before they can do anything, but more about why don’t we just empower you to make the right decision," Hatch said.

“Ultimately then you’re going to own and support it, and by virtue of having that accountability it drives you to make better decisions in the first place.”

Seek also uses a cloud cost management tool called Cloudability to share stats on operational costs and help teams optimise their deployments.

Hatch said the operating model had enabled teams to build new products and functionality faster. It had also made the same teams more accountable for how they architected their projects.

“People take more accountability for things, not just cost but support as well,” Hatch said.

“A lot of the delivery teams are much more aware of how to design things for operational stability than they were in the past when it was the remit of a couple of teams to worry about.”

He said the decentralised governance model appeared to be growing in prominence outside of Seek as more saw the benefits of such an approach.

“My team is DevOps but we also have delivery, architecture and engineering teams,” Hatch said.

“We want to all take responsibility for infrastructure. That’s the model we favour now and we’ve found it quite successful for us.”

Andrew Hatch will be a speaker at Cloud & DC Edge 2017, which is being held at Royal Pines, Gold Coast, on 14-16 March 2017. The event – which is co-organised by iTnews and Adapt – will feature insights from leading cloud and data centre users and experts. You can request the agenda and purchase tickets here

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