AWS Cloud Financial Management

AWS Cloud Financial Management 2022 Q2 Recap

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Before you all dress up in red, white and blue, and fire up the grill for the Fourth of July barbecue, take a glance at the various improvements we’ve made in the AWS Cloud Financial Management space this past quarter.

Enhanced compute instance optimization:

Move from paying for what you use to what you need.  The variable expenses of cloud services save you from investing and being locked in the IT infrastructure for years.  Even if you amortize the IT infrastructure investment across the life span, it is generally more cost-effective to leverage resources of cloud service providers, because of the economies of scale. However, if you don’t match your capacity (e.g. CPU, Memory) with what you actually need, you will either run the risk of under provisioning your compute power and affecting your user experience, or over provisioning your environment and leaving money on the table.

AWS offers you with rightsizing optimizations through AWS Cost Explorer recommendations and AWS Compute Optimizer. 66 more compute instance types are now supported by AWS Compute Optimizer (launched on April 6, 2022). Newly supported instance types include the latest generation general purpose instance families from both Intel and AMD (M6i, M6a), compute optimized instance families (C6i, C6a), memory optimized instance family (R6i), and storage optimized instance families (Im4gn, Is4gen).  This allows Compute Optimizer to provide better recommendations for instance type mapping.

AWS Trusted Advisor evaluates your account against AWS best practices and recommends actions to optimize your AWS infrastructure, improve security and performance, reduce costs, and monitor service quotas.  Four new checks (launched on May 5, 2022) are now automatically ingested from AWS Compute Optimizer to AWS Trusted Advisor.  These new checks are Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) over- and under-provisioned volumes, and AWS Lambda over- and under-provisioned functions for memory size. You can view these checks in your AWS Trusted Advisor console and via the AWS Support API.  You can also set up alerts based on the results of Trusted Advisor checks.

Improved user experience for billing management and cost control:

The easy access to AWS resources may generate disparate bills and unexpected spend for your organization.  To balance the agility and cost control, you can use AWS Billing console to manage your spending and payment, and set up billing preferences.  You can leverage cost governance tool, e.g. AWS Budgets, to establish custom budget thresholds and keep a closer look at your spending and utilization of resources and commitment-based purchases, e.g. Savings Plans.

AWS Budgets added a split-view panel (launched on June 16, 2022) that allows you to view budget details without clicking into individual budget pages and leaving the budget overview page. You can click on the checkbox for each budget and get a visual display and alert information for each budget on the same screen.  You can select one or multiple budgets and visualize budget details this way. There are also navigation arrow controls on the screen for you to select the previous and next budget.  In the split-view panel, you can also quickly identify the status of your alert thresholds and whom to contact.

On your AWS Bills page , you’ll now find a banner letting you try out the newly designed Bills page experience (launched on June 20, 2022).  In this new UI, you will have a unified view of several key billing information, such as the bill summary by service provider, and charges breakdown by service, account, tax, and savings.  The re-designed Bills make it easier to drill down to the details of your AWS charges.  For example, you can click on the “Charges by service” tab and expand on the details of the service you want to learn more, and further click on the region where your service charges incur and learn more about the detailed usage description, quantity, and charged amount.

Easier way to track and report your costs:

A clean cost and usage data mapping structure connects your AWS spend with entities, e.g. projects, teams, within your organization. One of the key building blocks to set up such data foundation is AWS Cost Allocation Tags.  As soon as you activate your resource tags as Cost Allocation Tags in your billing and cost management console, these tags will appear in your cost management reporting tools, e.g. AWS Cost Explorer and AWS Cost and Usage reports.  You can use these tags to filter and group your AWS cost and usage information.  Now, with the latest Cost Allocation Tags API (launched on June 8, 2022), you can activate and deactivate Cost Allocation Tags programmatically.  Use the ListCostAllocationTags API to list all tags and use the UpdateCostAllocationTagsStatus API to activate and deactivate Cost Allocation Tags.

If you are one of those customers who are leveraging Savings Plan, one of our commitment-based purchases, and have customer-specific rating with AWS, it’s important that you understand how each type of discounts is applied and displayed in your AWS cost management reports. With the recent enhancement (launched on June 13, 2022), you will have an improved visibility into your discount information in Cost Explorer and Cost and Usage reports.

Cost governance at scale for customers in China Regions:

As part of our effort to bring the cost governance mechanisms to customers in all AWS regions, we have recently launched auto-adjusting budgets, and Cost Anomaly Detection, in Amazon Web Services China Regions.  An auto-adjusting budget dynamically sets your budget limit based on your historical spend over a specific time range without you having to set the limit yourself. With this launch (April 14, 2022), users in China Regions can now set a budget threshold based on fixed, planned, or auto-adjusting budget limits.

Cost Anomaly Detection is a free service, powered by advanced machine learning technology, that monitors your AWS spending patterns to detect anomalous spend and provide root cause analysis. Customers in China Regions can now (launched on June 9, 2022) create your own monitors and alert subscriptions and leave the monitoring and initial analysis work to AWS, so you can be alerted for any anomalous spend and quickly investigate and address any cost anomalies.

Conclusion

As always, please share your feedback directly in the AWS Console, or with your AWS contact person, whenever you run into issues or have any suggestions for our services.  Hope we’ll see you in one of our upcoming monthly peer connect events or ‘CFM talk’ webinar series.

Happy Fourth of July!