Some people call them “cloud hacks,” which is perhaps more accurate than “cloud tricks,” but the enterprises I work with don’t like the term “hack.”
Whatever you prefer to call them, here are three shortcuts you can create to achieve specific end states.
Cloud trick No. 1: Customize your console
Both Amazon Web Services and Microsoft have consoles that provide a master control view of resources on their clouds. With them, you can see what’s available and what you have already provisioned.
Most public cloud IaaS consoles let you configure your console via drag and drop, so the more-accessed services are at the top. But this customized view makes you much more productive.
Cloud trick No. 2: Learn and use the CLIs
Most of us use the GUIs that public IaaS cloud providers offer. However, most IaaS cloud providers offer CLIs (command-line interfaces) as well.
When using a CLI, you can launch scripts more easily to do such operations as provisioning a group of resources, or shutting those resources down. Indeed, most people who start with the CLI rarely go back to the GUI. Myself included.
Although you do need to memorize commands to use a CLI, you’ll find that you’re much more productive once you’ve got the commands down. No longer do you need to navigate pages of a GUI to find what you need. (However, the potential for error also increases when using a CLI, since you’re operating without training wheels.)
Cloud trick No. 3: Automate billing information
Most IaaS cloud providers let you set up budgets for your cloud costs, to keep you out of trouble by setting maximums that trigger alerts as your usage gets close to reaching them. However, it’s really better to also keep an eye on the bill daily. To do that, set up a daily email that shows the costs for that day, down to the resources and the activities on those resources.
This does more than help you keep an eye on costs. It also lets you proactively manage the usage of those resources. I cant tell you how many times I’ve spotted issues by seeing their cost, rather than in the monitoring console.