AWS Cloud Financial Management

Cost Management at re:Invent: Savings Plans, Cost Categories, and more!

Hey there, everyone! As you all know, it’s re:Invent time, which means that there are a whole lot of exciting launches and ideas. I’m hanging out for most of the week at the AWS Cost Management kiosk in the AWS Village with a group of cost management and optimization experts (including Alee Whitman) — and we would love for you to come join us!

And, since not everyone is able to make it to re:Invent, we figured that we would take some time to quickly summarize some of the hot topics that we have been hearing about from our customers. Let’s get started!

#1: Savings Plans: You can save money by purchasing Savings Plans. Savings Plans allow you to get low prices on AWS compute usage, in exchange for a commitment to a consistent amount of usage (measured in $/hour) for a 1- or 3-year term. Compute Savings Plans are the most broadly applicable, covering EC2 (including EKS and ECS usage) as well as Fargate usage. EC2 Instance Family Savings Plans allow you to secure significant savings for a specific instance family in a particular region.

Want to get started? Payer accounts, you can check out your custom recommendations here.

#2: Cost Categories (Public Beta): Have you been looking for easier ways to categorize and allocate your AWS costs and usage? Look no further than the Cost Categories public beta that dropped a few short days ago! Using the beta features, you can create custom account- and tag-based groupings of your cost and usage line items. From there, you can use these groupings to build custom reports in AWS Cost Explorer or set detailed budgets in AWS Budgets.

Are you missing any features? Let us know!

#3: Budget Reports: Some of you have mentioned that you’re looking to build a more cost-conscious culture within your organization. If so, then AWS Budgets might be right for you.

AWS Budgets allows you to create custom budgets that alert you when you exceed your thresholds. Using AWS Budgets, you can create cost, usage, Savings Plans, and Reservation budgets. Then, using Budget Reports, you can combine your budgets into a single email-based digest that can be sent out to your stakeholders on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. This can help you more easily set and track towards your organizational goals.

#4: Building Custom Financial Models Using the Cost & Usage Report: Many customers have reached out looking for ways to build custom show- or charge-back models based on the organizational needs. If this is an avenue that you would like to explore, I would highly recommend getting started via the following AWS Well-Architected Lab.

To summarize, the keys to success here are: enabling the Cost & Usage Report, establishing a tagging schema, enforcing your tagging strategy (perhaps via the new Tagging Policy feature set), and maybe even getting started with Cost Categories (refer to #2 above).

#5: Test but Verify: AWS re:Invent never disappoints when it comes to launching new services and new features, but we highly recommend that you keep an eye on the new services you spin up. Check out the AWS Cost Management webpages to learn more about how you can analyze, control, and optimize your costs and usage.


And there you have it! Everything that a cost-conscious individual needs to know about the re:Invent conference so far. I hope that everyone is enjoying re:Invent season as much as we are — I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!


AWS Cost Management Kiosk


Erin Carlson

Erin Carlson

Erin leads a team of designers who are laser-focused on enhancing the experience of accessing, analyzing, and optimizing AWS costs and usage. She also works with customers and field teams worldwide to provide product training and guidance around best practices for using the AWS Cost Management product portfolio. Erin was the Product Marketing Manager who first developed and oversaw the AWS Cost Management brand.

Alee Whitman

Alee Whitman

Alee is a Commercial Architect who helps AWS customers all over world to connect the dots across their Finance, IT, and business teams via custom cost management solutions.