AWS Cloud Financial Management

AWS Cloud Financial Management 2022 Q3 recap

It was a busy quarter for AWS Cloud Financial Management team. The team traveled to Anaheim and Chicago Summits to meet with customers (read my earlier blog), and the tooling side of the team delivered several new product features. I find it helpful to summarize these functional updates for us to stay up to date.

Simplified cost control user experience in the console

AWS Cost Anomaly Detection helps track and detect your anomalous spend based on your historical spend pattern. It sends you notifications with initial root cause analysis to help you make the determination of whether you should take action or not.  The new (starting Aug.17) Cost Anomaly Detection interface provides a clear view of the identified anomalies with first and last dates detected and their potential root causes.  You can use AWS Identity and Access Management service to define permissions to your Cost Anomaly Detection cost monitors and alert subscriptions.  If there is permission issue, you will now see an on-screen error message in the “Activate IAM Access” setting in the root user account.

AWS Budgets enables you to create custom budget thresholds and sends you and your stakeholders regular budget reports or alert notifications when cost or usage exceeds (or is forecasted to exceed) the pre-defined limit, or RI and Savings Plans utilization or coverage rates drop below your target. To help you set up commonly used budgets faster, AWS Budgets (since Sep.27) provides three ready-to-deploy budget templates and tutorials for walkthrough in the right-hand info panel. 

Easier way to organize your accounts and resources for cost reporting and charge back purposes

AWS Billing Conductor provides a more streamlined way for showback and chargeback: grouping accounts, configuring billing parameters, and displaying custom rates, so that you can generate a pro forma bill and Cost and Usage report for your end users and analyze the delta between the rates you apply to your account groups and your actual rates charged by AWS.  You can group your accounts into a set of mutually exclusive set of accounts, called “billing groups”.  By grouping your accounts this way, you can limit the sharing of your reserved instances and savings plans benefits, as well as the volume discounts and free tier only with the accounts in the billing group.  Since July 27, you can import your Organizational Units (OU) from AWS Organizations to billing groups.  The new point-in-time OU import feature saves your time from setting up billing groups if you want the account parity between AWS Organizations’ OUs and AWS Billing Conductor’s billing groups.

AWS Cost Categories is one of the building blocks that you can use to structure your cost and usage information into meaningful categories. You can do so by using your AWS Cost and Usage dimensions, such as account, service, Cost Allocation Tag, charge type (e.g. RI and Savings Plans related fees), and other Cost Categories.  Since Sep.27, you can now apply cost category rules retroactively starting any month from the previous 12 months. This helps your organization adapt the latest categorization needs to previous cost and usage information, as you evolve. AWS Cost Categories now (since Aug.18) also support the categorization of Out-of-Cycle costs. For example, you can now create a rule to capture the enterprise support costs by creating a cost category rule with dimension as “Service” and Service code as “AWSSupportEnterprise”.

Improved recommendations for your Compute resources

AWS Compute Optimizer recommends AWS resources, Amazon EC2 instance types, Amazon EBS volumes, and AWS Lambda functions, for optimal cost and performance improvement by analyzing your historical utilization metrics.  AWS Compute Optimizer is now generally available (since Aug.3) in 5 new AWS regions – Osaka, Hongkong, Bahrain, Cape Town, and Milan.  As you centrally manage resource utilization for all accounts within an organization, you can (Aug.15) designate a member account as the delegated administrator in Compute Optimizer console.  The delegated administrator can identify rightsizing opportunities for all accounts within the organization.   AWS Compute Optimizer provides recommendations (starting Sep.29) for 37 new EC2 instance types, adding to the total 425 EC2 instances types supported by the service.  The additional instances types include bare metal instances (m6g.metal) and compute optimized instances (c7g.2xlarge, Hpc6a.48xlarge).  AWS Compute Optimizer also (starting Sep.29) analyzes physical memory utilization with memory metrics (e.g. Available Mbyes”) for Windows instances, which excludes the impact of pagefile (your reserved portion of memory for system stability). In the scenario when the new set of memory metrics are not available, the service will fall back to use the original metric “Memory %Committed Bytes in Use”.


Hope you get to incorporate these newly added features in your day-to-day cloud financial management process.  As always, feel free to let your contact person at AWS know how we can improve our product capabilities to better meet your needs.