Get Your Cloud Cost Allocation Reports On Time: 3 Scenarios

April 12 2015 | by Zev Schonberg Cloud Cost Management, cost allocation

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Although many cloud cost monitoring tools offer helpful alerts when it comes to reaching or exceeding limits, they don’t generally include information above and beyond a simple notification. Therefore, we decided to up the ante with scheduled reports, which are easily configurable scheduled alerts triggered by thresholds that deliver full cloud cost reports. Typical alerts may notify you of your company’s spend or EC2 usage in one or two sentences. However, our scheduled reports provide you with a large, overall picture, breaking down monthly expenses based on your environment. We enable those in charge of cost allocation (e.g. CIOs or P&L managers) to schedule reports according to tagged or linked accounts and send them to specific individuals or team leaders within your organization.

1st Scenario: If R&D Exceeds Costs

It is important to alert team leaders of tagged or linked account usage that exceeds their budget. Let’s say a team can spend up to $10,000 on EC2 usage per month. If that amount is exceeded, the team leader will receive a sophisticated scheduled report with an alert that the set amount was exceeded, as well as details as to why their costs increased. The team leader will also be notified of running instances and other AWS services that may have been in use unintentionally (e.g. detached EBS volumes that weren’t taken down or data transfer costs associated with running instances). This information allows R&D team leaders to better monitor and plan their usage.

As you can see below, Cloudyn’s cost report is filtered by environment (e.g. stack=“production”) as well as other features, such as region and resource type.
Cloud Cost Allocation

2nd Scenario: Expired AWS Reservations

Scheduled reports keep AWS Reserved Instance expiration dates in mind. These expiration dates can go unnoticed, allowing you to easily miss out on discounts and cause your EC2 costs to soar. However, Cloudyn gives you the ability to send out alerts when reservations are about to expire. These alerts come with detailed recommendations regarding the best instance type based on your individual usage. These reports can be used as triggers fifteen days or a month before an expiration date.

3rd Scenario: Untagged Resources

In order to maintain your cloud cost allocation, resource tagging is crucial. You may have set the strictest resource tagging policies for optimal cost allocation, but if your DevOps team doesn’t follow protocol, resources will end up untagged and impossible to track. You can set up a report to be sent as soon as a resource is created without a tag. Once again, a team leader or a P&L manager in your company can configure this alert to be sent to a specific employee or the team that is responsible for that tag.

Final Notes on Cloud Cost Allocation Reports

Beyond the convenient and informative nature of these alerts, they also allow team members to hold varying levels of accountability for the resources they use. These are sent via email and do not require you to log into Cloudyn. This makes it easier to communicate and hold relevant parties accountable for their share. Most importantly, these reports allow you to conveniently run a tight and efficient ship, saving costs and optimizing cloud usage.

In addition to supporting IT and finance with cost allocation and analysis reports, Cloudyn’s scheduled reports can also track unused resources, underutilized resources, and more. In the next articles, we will elaborate more on the specific cloud reports that CIOs and CFOs need to receive on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Stay Tuned!

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