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Google Cloud Platform Introduces Billing Export Feature

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Google Cloud Platform introduced a Billing Export feature in a blog post Monday to allow customers to manage costs more easily and effectively.

The feature exports usage and cost estimates from Google Cloud Console to a specified bucket as a CSV or JSON file. The files can then be accessed via the Cloud Storage API, CLI tool or Cloud Console file browser.

The exported billing data includes service name, date, project number, measurement and cost.  Access to the data is controlled by ACLs on the cloud storage bucket.

“Billing Export is a great new feature of Google Cloud Platform. It allows us to analyze the detailed usage of all our cloud projects in one place and optimize our costs. It also gives us a great tool to monitor our applications over time and understand trends in our usage” said Dave Tucker, Director of Platform Development for WebFilings.

Usage and cost data has been available through the Cloud Console, but the export files, which are generated daily, can be used by customers with their own tools to monitor, analyze, and optimize cloud usage costs. Billing Export is now available for preview.

Amazon began offering granular cloud billing in late 2012 in an effort to make it easier for customers to manage their cloud costs, and TechCrunch notes the similarity of the AWS Account Billing API, which also exports costs to customer’s tools as CSV files.

As cloud usage and cost grows, monitoring, analyzing and optimizing tools have become more important. Cloud providers lack incentive to build cost optimization tools, so those that exist are either build by the developers who need them, or provided by a third-party, such as Cloudability or Cloud Cruiser.

Cloud Cruiser announced a $6 million funding round in June of last year, and then used it to expand into cloud financial management for hosts with Windows Azure-based clouds.  In November RightScale launched a multi-cloud cost management solution.

About the Author

Chris Burt is a WHIR contributor and writer of both fiction and non-fiction. His writing projects can be followed on Twitter @afakechrisburt.

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