Gavin Cahill - May 15, 2019

Immediate Notifications for Spend Anomalies using PagerDuty

With our PagerDuty integration, you’ll find out about cloud spend anomalies before they start racking up expensive cloud bills.

If something goes wrong with your operations infrastructure, you need to know right away so you can take immediate action. It’s a universal truth of operations — and the whole reason companies like PagerDuty exist. When there’s an issue, PagerDuty is there to make sure you get the right people working on it right away.

The instant-response mentality is also essential for FinOps and optimizing the unit economics of cloud spend. When you react quickly, you can prevent a spike in costs from turning into a surge of spending that could devour a team’s budget in no time.

We’re proud to announce that PagerDuty and Cloudability have teamed up to help make sure that doesn’t happen.

Cloudability’s Anomaly Detection

Your first line of overspend defense is Cloudability’s Anomaly Detection. When we designed this feature, we wanted to make something that was easy to set up and could uncover as many potential issues as possible. Instead of requiring you to opt in specific services and create individual spend limits, Anomaly Detection utilizes machine learning to analyze your spend patterns and call out any anomalies. By integrating a machine learning approach, Anomaly Detection is able to catch the unexpected, like someone trying out a new service and forgetting to turn it off or a bug that starts automatically spinning up unnecessary resources.

To understand why this such a big deal, let’s look at the alternatives. Say a developer tries out a new AWS service and leaves it running. Every second it’s on, AWS adds to the bill. Without Anomaly Detection, this will continue until someone looks at their cloud usage, notices the spike, tracks down the service and turns it off.

Best case scenario, the engineer checks their Cloudability dashboard or email every day, but it still has the potential to rack up unnecessary charges for 24 hours. Worst case scenario, nobody notices until Finance reviews the bill a month or so later — and the whole time, those resources will be creating a bill. Anomaly Detection spots that spike and instantly sends an email notification, enabling the engineer to track down the rogue resources and turn them off.

Check out our knowledge base to find out more, but the key takeaway is this: If there’s a spending anomaly, then our system is going to detect it and let you know so you can take action.

Instant Notifications with PagerDuty

PagerDuty’s integration enhances the email-based notifications of Anomaly Detection. Once PagerDuty is integrated (either with a PagerDuty Service or with Global Event Routing), Cloudability will send an event to PagerDuty. Once there, it can either trigger an incident or be grouped as alerts into an existing incident, depending on your PagerDuty setup.

In essence, you’ll now be able to receive alerts about spending anomalies using the same method as your other incident alerts. Instead of having to wait until you get your cloud bill at the end of the month, your engineers can know about spending spikes and do something about it right away.

As a result, your engineers are able to build a stronger FinOps practice and optimize their spend to get the most out of their cloud.


Find out more about setting up your PagerDuty integration in our knowledge base or PagerDuty’s integration guide.

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