Everything you need to know about AWS Billing Conductor’s new pricing model
Today, we are excited to update everyone on the new pricing model for AWS Billing Conductor (ABC). The new pricing applies an account-based, volume tiering for all accounts assigned to ABC billing groups. The new pricing is effective starting June 1, 2023. To ensure existing ABC customers have sufficient time to experiment with this new pricing model, ABC will be free of charge to existing ABC users for 2 months (April and May, 2023). For new ABC customers, there will be a free trial of 2 months. The free tier begins when you assign an account to any billing group.
To run IT as a business, you need a chargeback solution that can help you configure the appropriate billing structure and logic that aligns with your business needs. ABC was launched a little over a year ago (March 17, 2022), providing you a tool to customize your AWS billing data and manage proforma billing for chargeback purposes. When ABC was launched, the service was charged based on the usage volume (proforma billing records), similar to a pay-as-you-go pricing model. However, we’ve heard feedback that the count of billing records is not easy to track, as the granularity of some resources (although free to use) may generate more billing records and hence incur more ABC costs.
Introducing the new account-based pricing model
The new ABC pricing model released today addresses the exact concern mentioned above. In the new tiered pricing model, the first 500 accounts you assign to any ABC billing groups are billed monthly at $8.25 per account, the next 1,500 accounts at $6.75, and all accounts beyond 2,000 at $5.25.
- Easy-to-understand pricing dimension: An AWS account can be interpreted as a container for all your AWS resource usage. Using an AWS account as the pricing unit allows you to easily understand and track your ABC cost. Specifically, once you associate an account to an ABC billing group, ABC generates proforma usage records for this account and starts charging you. The inverse is also true, if you remove an account from a billing group, AWS stops charging you for that account and stops generating proforma usage records.
- Quick estimate of monthly costs with price certainty: As you forecast your total investment in the chargeback solution, you can easily use this flat, per account per month pricing model (irrespective of the day of the month). Your ABC cost stays the same, regardless of your actual AWS spend within each account. Uniform costs per account provides you with price certainty, and you can now calculate your costs with a napkin (or simple spreadsheet).
- Normalized daily pricing: When calculating your ABC costs, it backdates your usage to the beginning of the month. Previously, when ABC was charged based on proforma usage records, it resulted in a spike in ABC charges on the day the account gets assigned to a billing group. The spike was even more pronounced, as the onboarding day gets further in the month. In the new pricing model, although usage is still backdated to the beginning of the month, you won’t see a spike in charges at the onboarding day, because AWS charges by the number of accounts assigned to your billing groups.
- Volume Discounts: As you increase your usage with ABC, adding more accounts to billing groups, you will be rewarded with volume discounts, hence better unit economics. The first 500 accounts you assign to any ABC billing groups are billed monthly at $8.25 per account, the next 1,500 accounts at $6.75, and all accounts beyond 2,000 at $5.25.
Getting started with ABC today with the new free tier offering
Beginning April 1, 2023, ABC is establishing a 62-day (2-month) free trial, which will replace the previous free tier policy configured as free of charge for the first one-million proforma billing records. The intent of the updated free tier offering, 62 days (2 months), is to allow enough time to try the service and validate if the service can be incorporated into your existing chargeback workflow and make any changes to your existing process if needed.
Within the 62-day (2-month) free trial, there is no usage limit. This means you can add as many accounts as you need to any billing groups, and start analyzing the output, e.g. the proforma reports, both for the current month and the previous month (once you roll into a new month). This gives you adequate time to evaluate if ABC meets your showback or chargeback expectations. To avoid incurring unwanted ABC cost, please remember to remove accounts from billing groups if you determine ABC isn’t the right solution for your chargeback needs.
As mentioned at the beginning of this blog, for existing ABC customers, the new free tier policy takes effect on April 1, 2023. So you have two months of time to transition to this new pricing model. For new ABC customers, including those who’ve tried the service in the past but don’t have an active billing group as of April 1, 2023, the free tier trial begins when you add accounts to an ABC billing group.
We hope this deep dive into the new pricing dimension for ABC answers your questions. You can learn more about AWS Billing Conductor’s features and pricing by visiting the product webpage, and get started with the user guide and API reference. If you have questions, please contact your AWS contact person or the AWS Customer Service team. For instructions on how to open an AWS Support case, see “Getting Help with AWS Billing and Cost Management” in the AWS Billing and Cost Management User Guide.