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How Zoom manages costs in the face of skyrocketing infrastructure spin-up

Zoom case study

Company: Zoom, San Jose, CA

Industry: Communications

Just a few weeks after pandemic-related office closures took place worldwide, usage of Zoom, the cloud platform for video and communications, skyrocketed 30-fold while the company’s cloud infrastructure grew exponentially. When an enterprise scales up infrastructure at breakneck speed, tracking cloud spend and making informed decisions on cloud utilization are extremely difficult. But since Zoom implemented Yotascale as the cost allocation solution for cloud services in late 2019, what could have been a budget overrun nightmare became an easy, streamlined task for the company’s engineering team.

Based on savings realized by identifying underutilized resources as well as runaway cost spikes, Zoom has seen a significant return on investment from Yotascale, even as the company adjusts its infrastructure in response to changing demand post-pandemic. Recently in 2022, Zoom avoided $600K in unanticipated cloud cost in one month, thanks to Yotascale’s anomaly detection capability:

“It’s great knowing we can count on Yotascale to spot these kinds of anomalies as they happen, so we can stop cost leakage from growing into a huge loss,” said Nick Konstantinou, senior cloud cost analyst at Zoom. “Not only that, but we can take the learnings and improve our cloud governance policies organization-wide. Moving forward, every engineer at Zoom will have access to Yotascale to help us contain costs and be even more efficient in the cloud.”

The Challenges

  • Identify underutilized resources and associated cloud costs.
  • Balance performance and customer experience with cost management.
  • Set cost guardrails for engineering, while enabling improved performance and customer satisfaction.
  • Manage year-over-year business growth.
  • Access cloud performance and business metrics to optimize costs.

The Solution

  • Zoom, which was previously using AWS tools to manage cloud resources, chose Yotascale for its ability to map costs to usage at a granular level.
  • As the pandemic took hold and Zoom had to spin up infrastructure exponentially to keep up with demand, Yotascale provided the necessary intelligence to prevent overspending on cloud.
  • Yotascale delivered reports on cloud resources that could be deprovisioned with minimal risk to Zoom’s performance, helping engineers make decisions on balancing costs with service levels.

The Results

  • Yotascale delivered substantial ROI, including a $600K savings in one month alone in 2022 through anomaly detection.
  • With cost guardrails in place, engineers can take action to improve products and services while keeping costs in check.
  • Yotascale identified meeting zones, or blocks of servers, that had zero activity, simplifying the task of determining which resources to deprovision.

“Yotascale has been a trusted partner to help keep our massively increasing cloud costs in check. I’ve been very impressed with the huge ROI they delivered, and I’m glad that we had Yotascale already in place prior to the pandemic.”

Yasin Mohammed
Engineering Manager, Cloud Operations