Amazon Web Services Launches Cost Tracking Tool

It can be hard to track a cloud. To help, Amazon Web Services has introduced a free tool for managing spending on its cloud.

In a post Tuesday on the AWS Blog, the company noted that Cost Explorer is integrated with the Billing Console launched last November. AWS previously had a Simple Monthly Calculator.

Parmita Mehta, technical program manager at AWS, wrote that there were several things the first release focused on. One is simplicity, so that sign-up can be accomplished with a single click, and the tool runs in the browser. Additionally, Cost Explorer "shows you your current month's spend and automatically pre-populates your last 4 months of AWS spend so you can visualize your AWS costs, and start analyzing trends and spending patterns," she said.

Monthly Spend by Service

Several pre-configured views are offered in the initial release, with more to be added at some point.

A Monthly Spend by Service shows how costs are being spent over the last three months, and presents opportunities for changing usage patterns or using service-specific pricing options, such as EC2 Reserved or Spot Instances, to save money. A Money Spend by Linked Account tracks spending according to Linked Accounts. And a Daily Spend shows ongoing costs.

In addition to pre-configured views, users can define custom filters based on time period, accounts, service and tags. Tag-based filers enable such views as the total cost of an application, cost center, or functional group without regard to the computing or storage resource.

AWS also has a separate Trusted Advisor service that makes recommendations on how to save money, increase security, improve the fault tolerance of an application and boost performance. The recommendations are based on what Mehta described in the blog as "the aggregated operational history of hundreds of thousands of AWS customers."

Third-Party Services

Cloud trackability is a new front...

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