How Citrix leveraged GorillaStack Rules Engine to save 63% on their public cloud bill
GoToMeeting has long been a business unit of Citrix, the company best known for remote network connectivity. GoToMeeting is a web-hosted service for online meeting, desktop sharing, and video conferencing. The platform enables the user to meet with other computer users, customers, clients or colleagues via the Internet in real time. In July 2016, Citrix and LogMeIn announced plans to merge the GoTo family of products.
The GoToMeeting development and operations team faced the classic challenge of “resource sprawl”. They had development teams located in diverse geographic locations without a programmatic way to manage and optimize cloud resources. Thus, abandoned and aged resources were piling up and resources were running even when not in use out of business hours.
Along the way they started using CloudHealth to gain visibility into resource utilization and opportunities for conservation. The Ops team did not want to adopt a homegrown custom coded approach and thus sought a tool to effectively manage the development (non-production) resources and return savings back to the business.
The GorillaStack Rules Engine is used to clean-up the abandoned and aged resources saving the cost of ongoing storage. One of the innovative capabilities of the platform is that we inventory and keep track of resources that are not time stamped in AWS.
For example, AWS does not timestamp the date and time that a volume becomes detached don’t have a date of detachment in AWS but the Rules Engine inventory database is time stamped the moment the detached volume is detected thus a rule to delete them can be setup based on their age.
Additionally, the platform is used to schedule non-production resources to be turned off out of business hours and production resources to be scaled down based on traffic loading. The Rules Engine has a simple point and click time of day, day of week scheduling interface making it easy to configure rules appropriate to the local time zone of each team.
A unique feature of the Rules Engine is Slack notification and user intervention. If users are staying back late and need their resources, they can snooze the rule or cancel it all together. These advanced capabilities and the constant innovation of our development team out strip the ability of inhouse resources to generate the same outcome with custom code and native tools.
The direct result of shutting down development resources out of business hours across multiple, geographically disparate teams was a savings of 63% which has the further desired outcome of giving confidence to the Finance team that the state of “resource sprawl” was being managed effectively. Now applications teams can take ownership for properly managing cloud resources, lessening the burden on the Ops teams and driving maximum efficiencies.