Andrew Midgley  - July 16, 2017

Discover What Is REALLY Driving Your CloudWatch Bill

CloudWatch costs can add up for larger enterprises and clouds. And given AWS’s recent CloudWatch announcement, we thought it’d be a great time to explain how a full cloud optimization analytics tool can shed some light on that billing.

When it comes to managing your AWS bill, CloudWatch spending isn’t generally high on the priority list. You may not even be aware of the fact you need to pay for this service, or that there are six different types of usage which make up the charges.

However the charges for CloudWatch can add up for larger enterprises and clouds, and given AWS’s recent announcement, we thought it’d be a great time to explain how a full cloud optimization analytics tool like Cloudability can shed a light on all the dark corners of AWS billing.

What Was In This Announcement?

AWS now consolidates all CloudWatch expenses under one category in your monthly bill. For historical reasons, some CloudWatch expenses actually appeared within the EC2 part of your bill whereas others appeared within CloudWatch itself.

Starting in July 2017, all of these various expense types are categorized together. You can use a cloud optimization platform like Cloudability to explore exactly what these costs are.

How to Take Action (Let’s Dive In!)

A great starting report would be this one, looking at the costs for the current month:

Here’s a brief explanation of each type of charge:

  • Custom Metrics: You can capture additional metric data for each resource to track all kinds of interesting facts. A common example is adding memory stats for EC2 instances into Cloudwatch. This is charged per metric-month.
  • Logs: Quite simply you can store log data in Cloudwatch for various purposes. This is charged per GB ingested.
  • API Request: You are charged per 1000 requests when pulling metric data back from Cloudwatch.
  • Notifications: You can have alarms set up within Cloudwatch to trigger when for example CPU utilisation goes above a certain level. This is charged on alarm-months.
  • Storage: You are charged for the amount of log storage you have on GB-months.
  • Other: this is typically a small cost associated with having Cloudwatch dashboards.

Taking This One Step Further

If you really want to go all Sherlock Holmes-level of cloud spend investigation with the data, try this report. No CloudWatch charge will ever evade your keen eyes!

Another great idea would be to add a dashboard widget like this so you can keep a close eye over time:

This chart above is comprised of a chart widget, with a filter of Product Name equals AmazonCloudWatch, and grouping spend by Usage Family.

Try It Yourself

This depth and power of visualizing cloud spend and usage is critical as a foundation toward optimizing your cloud. If you need a hand and are a current customer, reach out to your Account Services team to get started. Or, put your own cloud cost and usage data to work with a Free Trial.

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