2021 Year-to-Date AWS Cloud Financial Management Updates Recap
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This summer is off to a relatively good start: the almost normal “4th of July” celebration, backyard friends’ gatherings, and the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Olympics. Even though the spectators are banned because of the COVID restriction, athletes can at least perform and compete in the biggest world sport event and fans can tune in and cheer “virtually”. It is great to see this year’s Olympics celebrates the recovery from the pandemic as well as encourages the rising of the young generation. Naomi Osaka’s lightening of the cauldron in the opening ceremony was certainly one of the highlights, but in our household, we still scratched our heads about the 3-on-3 basketball tournaments. Nevertheless, nothing can be compared with the excitement of sport games and the witness of the sportsmanship and all the potential humanity can achieve.
Phew….please do not mind the long side track. Let’s get down to business. For those of you who don’t want to miss any news from AWS Cloud Financial Management (CFM) space in 2021, this blog post will provide a quick recap of this year’s updates. Maybe, you can use this as your cheat sheet for your next AWS CFM trivia night?
New Category Name
First off, some of you have already noticed that our solution category name has been updated from “cost management” to “Cloud Financial Management”. We made the update to ensure us continuously build and improve capabilities to meet the whole spectrum of your CFM needs, such as, migration planning, cost allocation, access control, easier and customizable billing experience, not limiting to cost management.
Contextual Learning Experience
From the point when you look up for CFM solution resources on the main AWS website and product portal, land on our CFM web front, read about the latest launches from our news channel, research on technical instructions on our Documentation portal, and learn about partner solutions with the CFM competency, you now can consume content organized in a consistent way.
To help you learn about AWS services relevant to a specific CFM solution area, we recently published three solution pages. Whether you are looking for resources to make data-informed decisions for your IT planning and evaluation, establish the right level of governance and central billing mechanisms to avoid cost surprises, or improve the organization and transparency of your cost insights, you’ll learn about service(s) that meet your needs.
Cloud Financial Management Training for Builders
Explorer resources that can help optimize your costs and learn how you can implement cost-efficient solutions on AWS from this technical 3-day course, available online for you. You can find a variety of free instructional resources in this AWS Cost Management Ramp-up guide. You can also access our free digital version of AWS Cloud Practitioner Essentials training, if you want to gain an overall understanding of AWS.
Thanks to your honest feedback to our CFM solutions, we’ve been incorporating suggestions and making improvement to several CFM service offerings. We highlighted a few service and feature enhancement below under each CFM solution area.
1. Strategic Planning & Evaluation
Several features have been enabled this year with Pricing Calculator to improve your experience:
- Easy access from the aws.amazon.com: instead of logging into Pricing Calculator and selecting individual service every time you need a service cost estimate, you can now quickly access the specific service pricing calculator while you browse our website (see the screenshot below).
- Utilization insights for EC2: For your EC2 instance, you can now define the expected utilization rate of your usage.
2. Manage Billing and Control Costs
AWS CloudFormation Support for Budget Actions and Cost Anomaly Detection allow you to enforce your cost controls at scale. You can now automate the creation of Budget Actions, and Cost Anomaly Detection (monitors and alert subscriptions), when you provision new accounts and workloads on AWS.
You can now use Tax Registration Number (TRN) as an additional filter for mapping your purchase orders to your invoices with AWS Purchase Order Management. With the new TRN mapping feature, customers located in EMEA can now empower their legal entities to independently manage their own purchase orders, and hence streamline their procure-to-pay process.
If you want to pay your AWS usage in advance, and your future invoices automatically, you can register for Advance Pay from Payments page in your billing and cost management console and add funds to Advance Pay using your U.S bank account or electronic funds transfer.
3. Track and Allocate Costs
With the enablement of hourly and daily discount granularity in Cost Explorer and Cost & Usage Reports (CUR), you can visualize various types of your AWS discounts as you accrue them on the hourly/daily basis, so you can better track and interpret your costs and discounts.
You can now use inherited and default values with AWS Cost Categories. Inherited value is a new rule type that allows a Cost Category to dynamically inherit its values from the values of a selected dimension, e.g. AWS accounts, tag, services, charge types, and other Cost Categories. With default values, you can assign a contextually meaningful name to uncategorized costs, so the relevant costs with no specific category value can still be filtered together if needed, rather than being left with “No Cost Category”.
AWS Application Cost Profiler, the newly launched service that can compute and correlate your tenant usage of application against your resource usage and actual billing information, so you can get the detailed tenant level resource usage and cost information.
4. Optimize and Save Costs
Cost Explorer EC2 Rightsizing Recommendations now includes networking and local storage utilization metrics, providing you with clarity as you review and incorporate the Rightsizing recommendations.
The new SageMaker Savings Plans allows you to save up to 64% on Amazon SageMaker ML instances in exchange for an hourly commitment over a 1- or 3- year term. The plans automatically apply to eligible SageMaker machine learning (ML) instance usage including SageMaker Studio Notebooks, SageMaker On-Demand Notebooks, SageMaker Processing, SageMaker Data Wrangler, SageMaker Training, SageMaker Real-Time Inference, and SageMaker Batch Transform regardless of instance family, size, or region.
AWS Compute Optimizer launched several updates to enhance its EC2 instance type recommendations. Through these updates, Compute Optimizer improved recommendation quality, now supports 153 more EC2 instance types, offers deep insights into the recommendations by identifying over- or under- provisioned resource dimensions, and provides customers a way to identify OS configuration changes needed to apply recommendations.
We hope you get to try out these new services and features in your daily cloud financial management practices. If you have any questions or suggestions for us, feel free to reach out to your contacts at AWS. If you prefer learning from peers, we host monthly peer-connect event series (virtual for now) that invites customers like you to exchange experiences with each other. We also publish success cases in our customer stories hub. You can read these stories at your leisure and learn about how your peers tackled similar CFM challenges.