Cloud Money

Amazon Announces Cloud Spending Tool Cost Explorer

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Amazon is adding a cloud cost tracking and analysis tool called Cost Explorer to the AWS Billing Console, the company announced in a blog post Tuesday. Cost Explorer will include tools for reporting, analyzing, and visualizing spending on AWS, to make tracking and budgeting cloud expenses easier for Amazon customers.

Currently AWS customers must use a feature like CloudWatch to track usage and the apply the associated costs, or use a third party service like uptimeCloud, Cloudability, or Cloud Cruiser.

Cost Explorer comes with pre-configured views and custom filters to break spending down by time or service type.  One AWS blog commenter complained that “the “EC2″ bucket is still way too coarse. This makes up 75% of my monthly bill,” and that Cost Explorer provides too little information or drills down to provide too much.

The blog post does mention plans for updates.

“Cost management continues to be one of the top pain points we hear from the AWS customers we speak to. Given billing is so core to the service AWS provides, I’ve been surprised AWS hasn’t been more aggressive here,” Izzy Azeri, co-founder of Stackdriver told GigaOm via email. “Based on the description to do granular filtering and event based cost analysis, I think this can be very compelling to customers.  My guess is this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of spend management and optimization tools for AWS.”

Blog post author Parmita Mehta, AWS Principal Product Manager says Cost Explorer was developed to be simple and easy to use, starting with pre-populating the last 4 months and showing the current month’s spend with a single click.

Amazon launched AWS Detailed Billing Reports in late 2012 to provide the more granular information customers had been requesting.

AWS virtual desktop solution Amazon Workspaces was released to general availability last month.

About the Author

Chris Burt is a WHIR contributor and writer of both fiction and non-fiction. He can be found on Twitter @afakechrisburt.

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