How PennyMac Saved 36% off their Cloud Bill

Oliver Berger | Fri, 29 Mar 2019

...slashing their cloud expenses in just 8 months

Challenge

Being a direct, online mortgage lender means PennyMac can focus on the needs of its customers rather than maintaining a network of branches and banking products. The company’s licensed loan officers are trained to help customers through the process every step of the way.

Since its founding in 2008, PennyMac has sought to restore Americans’ trust in homeownership by improving the quality and consistency of the mortgage lending experience. As a major loan servicer, the company also supports more than 1,000,000 PennyMac home loan customers.

PennyMac is close to being a born-in-the cloud online mortgage company. Founded close on the heels of AWS’s initial cloud offerings, they have grown to be an organisation of some 3K employees and ~350 developers building their online mortgage web applications.

GorillaStack has worked with many organisations like PennyMac where the early focus is on growth and product development because this is what drives their business. Resource management and cloud cost optimisation, particularly for non-production resources are typically addressed later. Earlier this year, the PennyMac team took on the challenge of reigning in non-production resource sprawl.

They identified aged and abandoned resources like detached volumes and aged snapshots that could be culled. They also identified workloads that were not in use out of office hours and sought a way to automate their shutdown.

Whilst they had the inhouse expertise to address this problem by writing their own code or stitching together native AWS tools, they were looking for an all-in-one, managed SaaS solution.

Solution

PennyMac and GorillaStack started working together in January of 2018. The main use cases are turning off EC2, RDS and ASG non- production resources out of hours, cleanup of detached volumes and a full snapshot lifecycle.

In addition, rather than automatically turn all resources on before the developers return to work in the morning they have integrated with the platform’s SNS Topic inbound trigger to allow the developer to self-serve; i.e. turn on all of their resources when they need them.

This conserves resources even further and is a nice “one button to push” solution rather than turning on individual resources in the AWS console.

As with many of our customers, PennyMac use CloudHealth as the analytics platform to get visibility on resource usage and waste. They then plan resource policies/rules that are programmed in the GorillaStack Rules Engine and automate the process, so they can spend their time on core business issues.

Results

Given PennyMac is in the Financial Services industry, their Finance team needs to know that cloud costs are optimised and governed.

The GorillaStack Rules Engine is generating material savings by optimising resource runtime and cleanup which makes for a very positive relationship between IT and Finance.

Data collected from an eight month period in 2018 starting with the platform going live in their environment showed a net savings of 36% for the cloud accounts attached to GorillaStack.

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