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Tip #43: AWS cost management: basic tools to get started

Use these tools and best practices to create your AWS cost management plan

AWS offers various services to help you get details about your AWS spending and help you build an effective AWS cost management plan.

AWS Billing

Provides a fairly simple and static report and a good place to start with. The bills are updated on a regular basis and you can see your monthly spend in every region segregated by services and utilization type along with the discounts.

AWS Cost Explorer

To get more visibility and ability to filter and group by different attributes like Region, Service, Resource, etc, you can use AWS Cost Explorer. You can view the data on an hourly, daily or monthly basis for multiple date ranges like 7 days, MTD, YTD, 6 months or custom start/end dates. The data is presented to you in the form of a chart and data table, giving you the ability to perform trend analysis.

To get the top services contributing to the cost you can start with grouping by Service for a tenure of 6 months, and use the Stack chart.

Now you can filter by the Service and then group by Usage Type to get detailed insights about the costs.

We strongly suggest adding cost tags to all your AWS resources. Few useful tag names are Environment, Team, Microservice, Business Unit, Customer, and so on. This will allow you to visualize cloud spending by various dimensions.

AWS Cost and Usage Reports

For a more comprehensive cost analysis, you can enable CUR reports which are available under the Billing console. The cost data is published on a S3 bucket which can then be analyzed by writing queries in Athena service. You can also build QuickSight dashboards to make the costs visible for all the stakeholders.

AWS cost management plan

Identifying the cost savings opportunities is just the first step towards cloud cost optimization. Oftentimes, it becomes difficult to plan and execute the insights generated from above tools due to lack of expertise, cross team ownerships, manual processes to test and perform changes, etc. Even after these hurdles are solved, getting fully cost optimized becomes a difficult task as your product and team continues to evolve and new opportunities to save cost arise frequently. 

Using a cost realization tool like CloudFix simplifies this process for you by continuously identifying cost saving opportunities, delivering insights, and also fixing them with no disruption to your service so that you can focus on building your product.


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