The Cost of the Cloud

cost of cloud

The Cost of the Cloud


During the pandemic cloud-based workflows have offered a life-raft for media and broadcast organisations operating remotely. Initially used by some as a necessity to simply maintain services during lockdown, organisations have since seen the benefits of a cloud-based infrastructure. A flexible spin-up/spin-down environment delivers significant benefits for companies responding to changing circumstances and the idea of reduced capex investment is certainly attractive.


However, uncertainty around cloud provider costs can make some stakeholders cautious. Many businesses are unclear on what the fluctuating operating costs of the cloud might look like for their particular business model. This can make organisations wary of integrating the cloud into well-established workflows. We have all heard the horror stories associated with high egress fees and therefore hesitancy is understandable – however, it is also limiting. The flexibility offered by the cloud can transform processes, as well as maximise efficiency and resources, leaving space for post-production departments to focus on creativity. With the cloud delivering significant benefits, are there ways of managing its costs effectively?

Getting the Basics Right


Media workflows are often complex and intricate, with no two post-production departments functioning in the exact same way. It can be all too easy for processes to become cluttered and cumbersome with huge file sizes to contend with. This is particularly noticeable in large media organisations and broadcasters, where resources can get caught up in workflows which have developed slowly over a long period of time.


By planning systems integration carefully and implementing a clear management and monitoring infrastructure, organisations can use the cloud with confidence. Not only is this beneficial in terms of productivity and ease of use, but it also prevents an unnecessary upward drive of costs caused by data-heavy workflows.

A Data Driven Approach


  1. Storage Metrics – Understanding your storage metrics and using the correct storage platform is key in managing costs effectively. There are many offerings within AWS alone; S3 is an object storage service that offers scalability and great data availability and EFS is a serverless, set-and-forget elastic file system. Having a clear understanding of the type and scale of data your business holds is important. Is it a consistent amount? Does your cloud storage need to be able to cope with fluctuations? Making sure that you are using the correct cloud system can significantly reduce costs and prevent spikes in fees.
  2. Egress Costs – Egress fees are one of the largest hidden costs when transitioning to the cloud. The costs associated with moving data can quickly escalate if the user is not implementing the correct approach for their needs. It’s important to gauge how frequently a business will be removing content from the cloud and find a platform to suit. For example, the storage platform which is suitable for lots of archived content that doesn’t need to be accessed frequently, will not be suitable for content which needs to be moved in and out of the cloud regularly. Once a cloud platform is chosen, the ongoing monitoring of data is still important, egress usage can change over time and it’s vital to respond accordingly.
  3. Scheduling – Tools such as workday scheduling and inactivity monitoring, allow users to manage costs and only consume what they need. The ability to create and remove workstations with a click will help keep infrastructure under control. Those managing virtual workstation usage need to be able to track user behaviour, in order to identify downtime quickly and respond accordingly. But it’s also important to start predicting periods of heavy usage or idle infrastructure so that organisations can plan ahead. No-one wants the taxi meter running while they aren’t moving forward!

It is critical that businesses are supported with the right expertise, through the transition to next-gen technology, to truly understand their usage and select the most beneficial path. The success of cloud-based infrastructure will be heavily influenced by real-time consumption monitoring to maximise the capabilities of workflows. Monitoring will allow businesses to streamline and respond to demands, and a sophisticated system will ensure users can scale both up and down as required.


Flexibility is one of the main appeals of the cloud. Monitoring and management allow businesses to utilise a truly scalable tool, whilst remaining confident that the correct measures are in place to deliver operational efficiencies. Find out more about our Remote Edit Dashboard here. The easy to use, deployment and management platform that’s not just for techies.