Discover the AWS Cost Management Tools

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Explain the features of AWS Budgets.
  • Explain the features of AWS Cost Explorer.
  • Explain the features of AWS Cost and Usage Reports.
  • Describe the benefits of the AWS Total Cost of Ownership Calculator.
  • Describe the benefits of the AWS Simple Monthly Calculator.

Imagine your organization recently migrated to the AWS Cloud, and you are looking for ways to improve cost awareness. With AWS Cost Management tools, you can access detailed information related to your AWS costs and usage, analyze your cost drivers and usage trends, and take action on your insights.

Explore the AWS Cost Management Tools

AWS Cost Management Services icon depicting an adding machine against a green background

To start exploring AWS Cost Management tools, you can access the Billing & Cost Management Dashboard in the AWS Console. From there, you can access AWS Budgets, AWS Cost Explorer, and the AWS Cost & Usage Report.

the Billing & Cost Management Dashboard with spend summaries and links to AWS Cost Management tools

AWS Budgets

AWS Budgets icon depicting an envelope with a protruding document showing a jagged arrow point upwards toward an exclamation point against a green background

In AWS Application Deployment and Monitoring, you learn that you can use Amazon CloudWatch to set up an alert that notifies you when your AWS spend exceeds a specified threshold. AWS Budgets allows you to do the same thing but with more granularity and visibility.

The AWS Budgets Dashboard is your hub for creating, tracking, and inspecting your budgets. It enables you to create several types of budgets.

  • Cost budgets to monitor costs against a specified dollar amount.
  • Usage budgets to monitor usage of one or more specified usage types.
  • Reservation budgets to track Reserved Instance utilization and coverage.
  • Savings Plans budgets to track Savings Plans utilization and coverage.

Like the CloudWatch alarm method, you can set budgets to send alerts when you exceed (or are forecasted to exceed) your budgeted cost or usage amount.

AWS Budgets dashboard displaying seven custom budgets with current, budgeted, and forecasted values and percentages

AWS Cost Explorer

AWS Cost Explorer icon depicting a line graph and magnifying glass against a green background

AWS Cost Explorer enables you to view and analyze your AWS costs and usage. It provides several default reports to get started, including:

  • Monthly or daily costs by service
  • Monthly EC2 running hours costs and usage
  • Reserved Instance utilization and coverage
  • Savings Plans reports

You can choose from different types of graphs to display data visually, apply filters for granular detail, and save your custom reports.

With AWS Cost Explorer, you can:

  • View data for up to the last 13 months.
  • Forecast how much you're likely to spend for the next 3 months.
  • Get recommendations for Amazon EC2 rightsizing and reservation purchases.
  • Identify areas that need follow up.
  • See trends that you can use to understand your costs.

Monthly Costs by AWS Service report showing a color-coded bar graph with cost per Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud instance type for 6 months

AWS Cost and Usage Report

AWS Cost and Usage Report icon depicting a report pointing to one of four points against a green background

The AWS Cost and Usage Report provides the most detailed information about your AWS costs and usage. You can generate reports at a daily or hourly level of granularity.

When creating a report, you specify an Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) bucket where the report will be stored in CSV format. AWS updates the report at least once per day. It can be downloaded at any time from your bucket.

You can configure your Cost and Usage Reports to integrate with Amazon Athena (a serverless interactive query service), Amazon Redshift, or Amazon QuickSite (a business intelligence service).

AWS Cost and Usage Report spreadsheet showing specific operations, usage, and cost

AWS Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Calculator

The AWS Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Calculator allows you to compare the cost of running applications in an on-premises or traditional hosting environment to running the applications with AWS.

The TCO Calculator provides a detailed set of reports you can use for executive presentations. The assumptions used to produce the estimate can be modified to ensure it is accurate for your business needs.

TCO Calculator report showing a detailed cost comparison between On-Premises and AWS servers with possible savings of 69% per year by moving the infrastructure to AWS and 3-year total savings of $654,904

AWS Simple Monthly Calculator

Use the AWS Simple Monthly Calculator to estimate your monthly bill. The calculator provides a per-service cost breakdown, as well as an aggregate monthly estimate. You can also use the calculator to see a sample estimation and breakdown of costs for common solutions, like a website or media application.

Simple Monthly Calculator estimate showing the cost of multiple AWS services and the total monthly payment minus the Free Tier discount

In the next unit, you examine AWS Organizations and consolidated billing.