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Want to bridge the cloud cost transparency gap between Management and Engineering?

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Zoltán Guth

CTO

Balázs Molnár

CEO

The Story of Rabbit

Rabbit Team

7 min read

Rabbit is a cloud cost optimization and cloud cost management platform. Our vision is to bring cost transparency to companies and help them maximize their cloud spend by maximizing the business value they get from it.

It is a read-only SaaS tool that connects to GCP and analyzes cloud meta data and provides actionable recommendations for optimization and control of cloud costs. It tells stakeholders where to start their optimization process on performance vs cost scale.

Classing engineering like mechanical engineering is about finding the optimum balance between performance and cost. When is it still safe but also cheap to produce a product? This mentality has been missing from the IT engineering mindset because, up until now, running servers was considered a fixed cost.

Gergely joined as a product manager in February 2022. He has about 10 years of experience in Product Management, having worked in both big enterprises and small startups. He is working with Zoltan Guth who has also 10 years of experience in GCP-related projects for various sized companies across the world. The two joined their efforts to find the pain points of Aliz’s customers that could be built up as a product.

It came down to a data analytics project. They went through all the project documentation delivered by Aliz and tried to find what problem Aliz had the greatest knowledge of? Where did our deep expertise and proven successful track record lie in the numerous projects we’ve undertaken worldwide? They also checked the markets for the current cloud-related trends and pain points t. As Aliz is a GCP partner, and all of the projects were built on GCP, the company had accumulated a huge amount of experience. So it was a natural choice to start digging around GCP.

We found a lot of consultation projects that were about optimizing the cost and performance of huge data pipelines that process petabytes of data on a daily basis. Checking this documentation in detail showed a lot of reused best practices across all projects that could be automated.

We were also aware of the FinOps framework, which clicked immediately with these best practices.

Combining the two, Rabbit was born. We built it up based on the three pillars we believe are essential (since validated) in the FinOps journey of a company:

  1. Inform

  2. Optimize

  3. Control

Inform: Companies need to be aware of their cloud costs to act on them. We found that the issue is not a lack of knowledge or expertise to control or optimize the costs but rather a lack of information.

Optimize: Various aspects and options can be optimized; there are best practices as well. A constant effort is needed; it’s not just an occasional campaign. This is where Rabbit can help. It can monitor the cloud system cost wise and provide actionable optimization recommendations.

Control: Cost control is missing from a lot of teams’ toolboxes. If the necessary controls are in place and the right information is available, this will most likely be enough to keep cloud costs at bay.

The future of Rabbit is cloud agnostic. Since it was an obvious choice to start building on GCP, it goes without saying that the cloud has become a commodity and that a multi-cloud strategy is something every company will implement sooner or later. This is why Rabbit needs to expand to Azure and AWS and provide the same deep recommendations and transparency as we already do in GCP.

The Story of Rabbit

Rabbit is a smart cloud cost management and optimization platform developed by Aliz. Our vision is to provide cost transparency for companies, helping them gain maximum business value from every dollar spent on cloud services. But how did we end up focusing on this topic, and what does the future hold for Rabbit? In this post, we’ll cover the history of our FinOps service and also provide a glimpse of what’s next for Rabbit.

Rabbit’s genealogy

Let’s tackle the basics first! Rabbit is a read-only SaaS tool that connects to GCP and analyzes cloud metadata to provide actionable recommendations that help companies control and optimize cloud costs. Armed with the insights provided by Rabbit, stakeholders can make informed decisions about where to start the optimization process.

Finding the optimum on the performance vs cost scale has always been the primary challenge for traditional engineering disciplines, such as mechanical engineering. What’s the cheapest way to manufacture a product that is safe and performs as expected? Accurately answering that question can make or break the profitability of a company.

IT engineering, however, traditionally lacks this mentality. Historically, running servers was considered a fixed cost, letting engineers run with all the existing resources. With the transition to cloud, that has changed considerably. Use-based prices have introduced a certain variability in cloud costs that is difficult to manage and budget for, often causing friction between finance and engineering. Rabbit aims to resolve that tension by introducing transparency and accountability to cloud costs.

Rabbit: The team and the idea

Gergely Schmidt joined Aliz as a Product Manager in February 2022. With over 10 years of experience in Product Management roles, he’d worked with a range of large enterprises and small startups. On Rabbit, he’s collaborating closely with Zoltan Guth, who had also spent a decade working on GCP-related projects with organizations of all sizes around the world.

They joined forces to find the pain points of Aliz’s customers, and to build on those insights to deliver a new product. It’s just natural that the two took a data analysis approach. They analyzed the documentation of all the projects Aliz had delivered, trying to pinpoint a challenge they could build on. They then matched the insights against current market trends and common cloud-related pain points to see if there was a product market fit.

Specifically, they were looking to identify a problem that Aliz had extensive knowledge of and deep expertise with, paired with a proven successful track record with numerous companies globally. Since Aliz is a Google Cloud Platform partner and has a vast amount of experience working with the platform, all their projects were built on GCP. GCP was a natural starting point for their research.

After digging around in GCP, the pair found several consultation projects aimed at optimizing costs and performance for huge data pipelines that process petabytes of data on a daily basis. Analyzing the documentation for all these projects led them to a discovery of shared best practices reused across automation-oriented projects. The team was aware of the FinOps framework, which clicked with those best practices immediately. Adding two and two together, they came up with Rabbit.

Key pillars and the road ahead for Rabbit

The team built Rabbit on three main pillars that are essential in the FinOps journey of any company:

  1. Inform
  2. Optimize
  3. Control

Inform essentially means that first of all, companies need to be aware of their cloud costs in order to be able to take action. Our team found that in most cases, the issue isn’t really that there is no knowledge or expertise around controlling costs – rather, it’s the lack of information that prohibits optimization.

Optimization is a huge topic with various aspects, alternative solutions, and best practices. To reap the most benefits, instead of being implemented periodically using a campaign-based approach, optimization should be an ongoing effort. That’s where Rabbit can help by continuously monitoring the cloud system from a cost perspective, and providing actionable recommendations for optimization.

Controlling costs is something that’s missing from most teams’ toolboxes altogether. The Rabbit team found that having the necessary controls in place and ensuring that adequate information is available is generally sufficient to help keep cloud costs at bay.

Maximizing GCP cloud value for our users based on these three key pillars is what Rabbit is currently focused on. Starting on Google Cloud was an obvious choice for the Aliz team – but we can’t ignore the fact that cloud has become a commodity and a multi-cloud strategy is something that most companies will sooner or later implement. That’s why our longer-term goals include becoming cloud-agnostic by expanding Rabbit to Azure and AWS, to name just the largest cloud players. With time, we’ll be providing the same deep, actionable recommendations and cloud cost transparency that we’re already delivering to GCP users.

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Want to bridge the cloud cost transparency gap between Management and Engineering?

Get in touch with us, we're here to help.
Zoltán Guth

CTO

Balázs Molnár

CEO