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Amazon Web Services – Introduction to AWS Cost Explorer & Cost Management

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AWS Cost Explorer will help you to visualize, understand, and manage your AWS costs and usage over time. Use Cost explorer to find your higher spending first and start from there. There has been a lot of product updates that will help with costs. AWS released cost categories where you can group your cost together and deal with some of the misspelled tags. There’s hourly data available in cost Explorer which can show resource IDs tag policies and can import tags across multiple attributes accounts.

By using the cost explorer you will be able to review charges and usage associated with individual accounts or AWS Organisations spend. You can create custom reports that will analyze the cost and usage data, but it is for a high level. You can get, your total cost and usage across all accounts, or monthly or hourly, or at the resource level. Most importantly, you can forecast usage up to twelve months based on the previous usage and get recommendations for what reserved instances to purchase.

AWS Cost Explorer Features:

  • You are able to set a custom time period, within this time period you can determine whether you would like to view your data at a monthly or daily level of granularity.
  • Dig deeper into your data by taking advantage of filtering and grouping functionality, using a variety of available tags.
  • Forecast Estimated spending for next 12 months (costs and usage)
  • Save your progress as a new report that you can refer back to in the future.
  •  Build custom applications that suit your budget.

Limitation of AWS Cost Explorer

  • AWS Cost Explorer requires data to be available in the Cost and Usage Report, which may not always be up-to-date. This means that customers may not have access to the latest cost data, making it difficult to make informed decisions about their AWS usage.
  • AWS Cost Explorer may not provide all the customization options that customers need, making it difficult to get a detailed view of their AWS costs.
  • AWS Cost Explorer only provides cost data for the past 13 months, which may not be sufficient for customers who need to analyze their AWS costs over a longer period of time.
  • AWS Cost Explorer may be difficult to use for customers who are not familiar with AWS or cost analysis tools.

AWS – Savings Plan:

Savings plans are a discount in exchange for long-term commitment and enterprise programs as well which is a way to discount your usage with commitment. Savings Plans and enterprise programs are the commercial pieces whereas other things are a bit more technical and so AWS encourages you to start here first if you haven’t done any kind of cost optimization & monitoring yet.

Now, let’s explore the Cost Explorer.

1. You can start using Cost Explorer by opening the Billing and Cost Management console and choosing Launch Cost Explorer. Hereby Sign in to the AWS Management Console and open the Billing and Cost Management console. In the navigation pane, choose Cost Explorer. 

On the Cost Explorer page, choose Enable Cost Explorer. Cost Explorer opens to the Monthly Amazon EC2 running hours costs and usage saved report.

It displays Cost and usage Information in bar format about the Cost for used Service and the number of hours the service was used.

Here some of the tools helpful for estimating, tracking, and Monitoring against costs plans in the AWS cloud

 Estimating costs within the cloud: 

  1. TCO(Total Cost of Ownership) Calculator
  2. Pricing Calculator

Tracking costs within the cloud: 

  1. Billing Dashboard
  2. Cost Allocation Tags
  3. Cost and Usage Reports
  4. Cost Explorer

Monitoring against costs plans: 

  1. Billing Alarms
  2. Budgets

In conclusion, AWS Cost Explorer is a valuable tool for customers looking to understand and analyze their AWS costs. However, it does have certain limitations that customers should be aware of, such as limited data availability, limited customization options, and complexity. Customers should consider these limitations when deciding whether AWS Cost Explorer is the right tool for their needs.

Last Updated : 22 Feb, 2023
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