Patrick Philips - April 24, 2018

True Cost Explorer – Visualize and Correlate Cloud Cost

Cloud provider billing data is complex, involving thousands of services and millions of lines every month. Often, these costs are interrelated and reported in unintuitive ways. For example, while AWS talks about EBS as a service, it is often reported in billing data as falling under EC2. Ultimately, trying to analyze and summarize information is extremely tedious, requiring complex spreadsheet manipulations and an advanced degree in billing file terminology.

Cloudability is excited to introduce True Cost Explorer – a pivot table on steroids, if you will, that allows our customers to visually and easily answer any cloud cost-related question. Whether it’s a Financial, Business or an Operational user, everyone can get relevant information with ease and drill into the relevant details and trends with a single click. Using these powerful visualizations and flows, you can eliminate waste and take corrective action.

True Cost Explorer can help your organization answer questions like:

  • What is the distribution of my spending across cloud providers?
  • Which regions is my team using, and how are our costs distributed?
  • Which services are making up the bulk of costs?
  • How well am I using Spot and Reserved instances to minimize my On-Demand EC2 usage?
  • Which instance types and families are we using over the last 90 days?
  • What is going on with data transfer? What services, regions, teams and accounts are driving those costs?
  • How much of our RDS spending is driven by mysql vs postgres?
  • How much is each business unit spending? What is their cost distribution by environment (production vs. development vs staging) and by service?

Let’s consider an example where a cloud operations team wants a simple overview of their EC2 spending over the last quarter, including Spot & RI usage, operating systems and how much spending is associated with something other than instance hour usage. Without our tool, such an analysis would require hours of manual effort and would still require deep knowledge of how different AWS services bill their usage. With True Cost Explorer, one can answer this question with just a few clicks.

After loading the TrueCost Explorer, we’ll select the appropriate time frame from the dropdown – last quarter. Also, since we’re focused on understanding EC2 costs, we’ll click on “AWS EC2” and add a filter to limit our view to just this service.

With just two clicks, we’ve already answered several of our questions, learning that:

  • We spent $236k overall on EC2 spending (which we can identify with the Service Name dimension)
  • We spend $64k on Spot and $69k on Reserved Instances (which we can identify using the Lease Type dimension)
  • We spent about $37k on EC2 apart from instance usage, of which Data Transfer, Load Balancer and VPC are the largest (which we can identify using the Usage Family dimension)

We also wanted to understand which operating systems our organization was using. Again, this is as simple as clicking to add the Operating System dimension.

Note: True Cost Explorer supports your infrastructure tags, dynamic tags as well as account groups via dimensions, providing powerful capabilities to visualize the data by the dimension of interest.

You can even drill into a particular subset of costs to show the top line items. With one more click, we can see the resource-level spending data of interest.

True Cost explorer integrates Cloudability’s powerful Views capability to restrict the data to a particular department or team. This enables companies to build further constraints around the data so users can focus on what’s important and teams are empowered to make decisions. In our prior example, we can easily update to focus on a single BU – the “Application: Drill” team – using a previously-created view.

Often, enterprises use multiple cloud vendors. In these cases, analyzing cloud costs becomes exponentially complex given the different types of instances and services offered, along with different billing constructs. Cloudability is a multi-cloud solution that integrates all costs from vendors in a single pane of glass and delivers an integrated, seamless way for organizations to analyze their costs and make meaningful decisions.

True Cost Explorer provides the ability to view the costs on an amortized basis as well. Use True Cost explorer to discover the True Costs related to your cloud infrastructure so you can answer questions quickly and make informed decisions. Once you understand how the billing data is presented, you’ll be ready to graduate to the next level of your cloud journey and use Cloudability’s extensive analytics-based reporting to create custom reports and drill even deeper into your spending patterns.

Start Uncovering Your Org’s True Costs

If you’d like to see what a True Cost™ cloud management platform could reveal for your business, and see your own data in our True Cost Explorer, start your free trial today.

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