FinOps

Some time ago a discussion about CIO vs CMO as it comes to ad tech started, and as I see it, it still continues. As a technical professional in ad tech space, I followed it with interest.

As I was building ad tech in the cloud (which usually involves large scale — think many millions QPS), business naturally became quite cost-conscious. It was then when, I, meditating on the above CIO-CMO dichotomy, thought that perhaps the next thing is the CIO (or the CTO) vs — or together with — the CFO.

What if whether to commit cloud resources (and what kind of resources to commit) to a given business problem is dictated not purely by technology but by financial analysis? E.g., a report is worth it if we can accomplish it using spot instances mostly; if it goes beyond certain cost, it is not worth it. Etc.

These are all very abstract and vague thoughts, but why not?

Recently I learned of an effort that seems to more or less agree with that thought — the FinOps foundation, so I am checking it out currently.

Sounds interesting and promising so far.

And nice badge too.

FinOps-Foundation-Community-Member-Badge

Rethinking data gravity

At some point I remember having a short chat with Werner Voegels about taking spot instances to extreme in a genuine market in which compute power can be traded. His response was “what about data gravity?” to which my counter was — but by making data transfer into S3 free (and, later, making true the adage about not underestimating the bandwidth of a truck full of tape) you, while understanding the gravity idea, also provide incentives to not make it an issue. As in — why don’t I make things redundant? Why don’t I just push data to multiple S3 regions and have my compute follow the sun in terms of cost? Sure, it doesn’t work on huge scale, but it just may work perfectly fine on some medium scale, and this is what we’ve used for implementing our DMP at OpenDSP.

Later on, I sort of dabbled in something in the arbitrage of cost space. I still think compute cost arbitrage will be a thing; 6fusion did some interesting work there; ClusterK got acquired by Amazon for their ability to save cost even when running heavy data-gravity workload such as EMR, and ultimately isn’t compute arbitrage just an arbitrage of electricity? But I digress. Or do I? Oh yes.

In a way, this is not really anything new — it is just another way to surface the same idea that