Executive summary

Pivotree designs, builds, and manages frictionless commerce experiences for customers around the world. Pivotree’s clients rely on them for strategic planning, implementation, support, and managed services as they journey toward a frictionless commerce future.

As a Managed Service Provider using AWS to deliver their solutions, Pivotree not only has to understand cloud costs themselves but must also help their customers understand them. In addition, Pivotree is constantly looking for ways to maximize the savings on reserved commitments for EC2 and RDS workloads.

To scale their cost optimization efforts and ultimately pass these savings onto their customers, Pivotree needed to replace their existing cost management tool with one that was easier to use and had more reseller-focused functionality. They also needed to develop a more efficient and effective way to optimize their reserved commitments across their EC2 and RDS workloads.


Finding a comprehensive FinOps solution with Spot by NetApp

Pivotree’s primary goals were to have more confidence in their cloud usage data and to optimize their costs. Specifically, they were looking for a solution that included reseller-focused FinOps capabilities, such as the ability to apply custom charges, automate cost recalculations, and leverage committed use discounts. They were also looking for cost reporting that could easily facilitate chargeback and showback as well as automatically populate their invoicing system with monthly billing data.

Pivotree ultimately chose CloudCheckr, Spot by NetApp’s robust cloud management platform, as a replacement for their existing cost management tool, and Spot Eco for continuous monitoring, management, and optimization of their reserved commitment portfolio.

“One of the greatest benefits of the Spot by NetApp solutions for FinOps is that we can easily optimize our commitments for each customer, as well as apply custom pricing. Our Finance team can then easily integrate this data with our ERP system and generate accurate and timely bills.”

Chris MacLean, VP, Cloud Services, Pivotree


Enhanced billing and cost reporting yields savings and new efficiencies

Cloud vendor billing reports are incredibly complex, detailed, and long — often spanning tens of millions of lines. MSPs need to take this billing data and convert it into individual invoices for their customers, an extremely complicated, time-consuming, and error-prone process — one that is impossible to accurately handle manually. Traditional tools like spreadsheets, and even some cloud native tools, are inadequate for implementing sophisticated billing at scale. As a result, charges may be missed off a customer’s invoice, margin enhancement opportunities may be lost, or the wrong customer cost center could even be billed for cloud and services they did not use.

CloudCheckr easily and automatically imports the AWS Cost and Usage Report (CUR), translates the raw usage costs into the correct custom costs and then accurately assigns them to the correct customer or cost center. With CloudCheckr, Pivotree team can easily analyze and automatically adjust cloud costs for customers, utilizing the vast array of customization options without their team needing to be AWS billing experts.


More savings, reduced time spent on RI management and optimization

Due to their flexibility and cost savings potential, Pivotree leverages AWS Reserved Instances (RIs) wherever possible. Before deploying Spot Eco, Pivotree used one-year, low-risk RIs almost exclusively, which yielded lower savings.

Spot Eco ensures that Pivotree and its customers get the best deals on reserved commitments by implementing tailored purchasing strategies. By leveraging both machine learning algorithms and expert human oversight to analyze resource demand, Spot Eco balances commitments and provides adaptative coverage, saving Pivotree’s FinOps team valuable time and overhead needed to continuously optimize reserved commitments. Additionally, Eco offers multi-cloud reserved commitment management, covering the broadest types of commitments, and is notably compatible with EC2 and RDS RIs on AWS and Azure Reservations, which Pivotree also uses.

“With Spot, we get security, cost, and performance data in one platform.”

Chris MacLean, VP, Cloud Services, Pivotree


Spot delivers a complete solution for FinOps

Over the past year, the partnership between Pivotree and Spot has deepened. What started with a need for a new cost management tool to replace an underperforming one has led Pivotree to adopt more of Spot’s FinOps solutions such as CloudCheckr and Spot Eco, and recently Spot Ocean.

Traditionally, Pivotree provided expert services around ecommerce workloads that were deployed on static compute resources. But with more and more cloud native and cloud friendly technologies, such as containers, Kubernetes and serverless computing being deployed, new tools to manage these environments more efficiently were needed. Pivotree therefore recently deployed Spot Ocean to help them manage the compute infrastructure for these dynamic, mission-critical ecommerce workloads.

When asked what really stands out about Spot, MacLean said, “With Spot by NetApp, you get a complete solution, not just great technology.” MacLean continued, “Spot by NetApp has a great portfolio of products, but the number one benefit is its customer success model. This is complex data, and no tool can handle that alone without having people ready to hear your issues and be creative on how to solve them. We love the tool, but the difference maker for us is working with the Spot team.”

Pivotree designs, builds, and manages frictionless commerce experiences for customers around the world. Pivotree’s clients rely on them for strategic planning, implementation, support, and managed services as they journey toward a frictionless commerce future.