What Is AWS Cost Management?
AWS Cost Management is a free set of tools and features provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS) to help users understand and control their AWS costs and usage. These tools provide detailed insights into your spend patterns, enabling you to optimize costs and align your cloud investments with your business requirements.
Cloud cost management is growing in importance, especially as organizations move more resources to the cloud. As a cloud customer, you pay for the resources you consume, such as compute instances, storage, and data transfer. These costs can quickly add up, especially in large-scale environments. AWS Cost Management tools let you view and analyze these costs, enabling you to make informed decisions about your cloud usage.
AWS Cost Management tools are designed to work seamlessly with existing AWS services, providing a unified view of your costs across all your AWS accounts. These tools offer the ability to track your costs, set budgets, and receive alerts when your spend exceeds your expectations.
In this article:
- Benefits of AWS Cost Management Tools
- Free AWS Cost Management Tools
- How to Use AWS Cost Management in the Amazon Console
- AWS Cost Optimization with Intel Granulate
Benefits of AWS Cost Management Tools
Here are a few of the important benefits of managing your costs with Amazon’s free tools:
- Cost visibility: View your AWS costs and usage in granular detail, including information about the resources you’re using, the amount you’re spending on each service, and the regions where your costs are occurring. This can help you understand cost drivers and identify areas where you can reduce spend.
- Monitoring and alerts: With the AWS Budgets tool, you can create custom cost and usage budgets that alert you when your costs or usage exceed your budgeted amount. These alerts can be sent via email or SMS, enabling you to respond quickly to potential cost overruns.
- Resource optimization: By analyzing your cost and usage data, you can identify inefficiencies and take steps to reduce your cloud spend. For example, you might find that you’re over-provisioning certain resources, leading to unnecessary costs, and can then right-size those resources.
Free AWS Cost Management Tools
AWS Billing and Cost Management Console
The AWS Billing and Cost Management Console is where you can monitor your monthly AWS bills, view your AWS usage, and manage your payment methods. With the console, you can easily track your AWS costs and usage over time, helping you understand your spending patterns and identify potential areas of savings.
The AWS Billing and Cost Management Console also provides detailed cost and usage reports that can help you analyze your AWS costs in depth. You can drill down into your AWS costs by service, account, or even specific usage types. This level of detail can be invaluable in identifying cost drivers and finding opportunities for cost savings.
AWS Cost Explorer
AWS Cost Explorer lets you visualize, understand, and manage your AWS costs and usage over time. It provides a set of default reports that give you a quick overview of your cost trends, but you can also create custom reports that focus on the aspects of cost and usage that matter most to you.
With AWS Cost Explorer, you can dive deep into your cost and usage data, drilling down to the hourly or daily level. You can also group and filter your data by various dimensions, such as service, region, and usage type. This can uncover patterns in your AWS usage.
AWS Cost Explorer also includes a forecasting feature that allows you to predict your future AWS costs based on your past usage. This can be a powerful tool for budgeting and planning, helping you anticipate your future AWS expenditure and make informed decisions about your AWS usage.
AWS Budgets is a tool that allows you to set custom cost and usage budgets that alert you when your AWS costs or usage exceed (or are forecasted to exceed) your budgeted amount. AWS Budgets can be a powerful tool for controlling your AWS costs, helping you avoid any unexpected charges.
With AWS Budgets, you can set budgets for your overall AWS costs or for costs associated with specific AWS services or accounts. You can also set budgets for your usage of specific AWS resources.
AWS Budgets also integrates with AWS Cost Explorer, allowing you to view your budgeted and actual costs side by side. This can help you understand how your actual AWS costs compare to your budgeted costs, and identify any areas where you may need to adjust your budgets.
AWS Cost Anomaly Detection
AWS Cost Anomaly Detection is a tool that uses machine learning to identify unusual spending patterns in your AWS account. It can detect both sudden increases in cost and gradual cost trends that deviate from expected patterns.
When a cost anomaly is detected, AWS sends an alert via email or SMS. This timely notification allows you to investigate and address the anomaly before it significantly impacts your budget. AWS Cost Anomaly Detection offers a user-friendly dashboard where you can view your cost anomalies and their details.
AWS Cost and Usage Report
The AWS Cost and Usage Report (CUR) is another free tool that provides comprehensive data about your AWS costs and usage. The report contains detailed information about your AWS services, usage, costs, and Reserved Instances.
CUR enables you to drill down into your data and understand your AWS usage at a granular level. It also helps you identify trends, pinpoint cost drivers, and detect anomalies. The AWS Cost and Usage Report can be integrated with Amazon Athena and Amazon QuickSight for advanced analysis and visualization.
AWS Cost Categories
AWS Cost Categories is a feature that allows you to categorize your AWS costs based on your organizational structure and cost allocation needs. This feature can be particularly useful for businesses with complex AWS environments, where costs need to be allocated across multiple departments, projects, or other business units.
With AWS Cost Categories, you can define your own cost categories and rules for categorizing costs, providing you with a customized view of your AWS expenses. This can help you allocate costs more accurately, and identify cost-saving opportunities.
Related content: Read our guide to optimizing AWS costs
How to Use AWS Cost Management in the Amazon Console
Here is how to use some of the main cost management features in AWS.
Access the Billing and Cost Management Console
To get started, you need to access the Billing and Cost Management console. The console is designed to provide a comprehensive view of your AWS costs and usage. It allows you to see your current and forecasted costs, view your usage by service and region, and track your AWS Budgets and Savings Plans.
To access the Billing and Cost Management console, sign in to the AWS Management Console, then navigate to Billing and Cost Management. Here, you can view a summary of your costs for the current month, your forecasted costs for the next month, and a breakdown of your costs by service and region. You can also access the AWS Cost Explorer, AWS Budgets, and other cost management tools from the dashboard.
Working with AWS Cost Explorer
The AWS Cost Explorer is a powerful tool that allows you to visualize, understand, and manage your AWS costs and usage over time. It provides detailed reports that show your AWS costs and usage patterns, helping you to identify trends, pinpoint cost drivers, and detect anomalies.
To get started with AWS Cost Explorer, navigate to Billing and Cost Management, then choose Cost Explorer. From here, you can create and view reports that show your costs and usage for a specific period, your costs by service or region, and your usage by instance type or usage type. You can also use the Cost Explorer API to programmatically query your cost and usage data.
Working with AWS Budgets
AWS Budgets allows you to set custom cost and usage budgets that align with your business objectives, and receive alerts when your costs or usage exceed or are forecasted to exceed these budgets.
To work with AWS Budgets, navigate to the Billing and Cost Management Dashboard, then choose Budgets. From here, you can create cost budgets, usage budgets, and reservation budgets. You can specify the amount for each budget, the period for each budget (monthly, quarterly, or annually), and the services, linked accounts, or tags to track.
Order and Invoices
AWS Cost Management also allows you to manage your orders and invoices. You can view your current and past invoices, download invoice PDFs, and access detailed billing reports.
To manage your orders and invoices, navigate to Billing and Cost Management, then choose Orders and Invoices. From here, you can view your invoice history, download invoices, and view your detailed billing reports. You can also set up AWS to automatically email your invoices to a specified email address.
AWS Cost Optimization with Intel Granulate
Intel Granulate empowers AWS users with real-time, continuous performance optimization and capacity management, leading to reduced cloud costs. Available in the AWS marketplace, Intel Granulate’s solution operates on the application-level to optimize workloads and capacity management automatically and continuously without the need for code alterations.
Intel Granulate supports AWS customers by optimizing the most popular compute services including EC2, EKS, ECS, EMR and Databricks. With Intel Granulate, AWS customers are seeing improvements in their job completion time, throughput, response time, and carbon footprint, while realizing up to 45% cost savings.