AWS users are always looking for better and easier ways to manage their spending, and to do that, they need more and more data about their costs and AWS usage.
To meet that need, AWS has been working hard to provide better cost and usage data to their customers. So, when they launched Programmatic Billing Access, AWS users were given access to detailed hourly billing data for all of their AWS services.
Programmatic Billing Access puts CSV files with detailed billing information in an S3 Bucket of your choosing for you to download or programmatically access (hence the clever name).
The files provided by Programmatic Billing Access include:
- Detailed billing report files that give an hourly breakdown of your hourly AWS usage and costs
- Cost allocation files with the information needed to split costs by tag
How does Programmatic Billing Access help you manage AWS costs?
- Programmatic Billing Access provides much more detailed data about where you are spending money than that provided by AWS’s Account Activity page, which provides higher level totals.
- You get true cost by tag, which means you can breakdown spending across projects, departments or environments.
- It rolls up costs across consolidated billing accounts and breaks out linked (child) accounts.
What are some of the limitations of Programmatic Billing Access?
- Programmatic Billing Access doesn’t give you any daily or weekly resolution into how your costs changed. The files are month-to-date.
- For consolidated billing accounts, it does not roll-up resource-level usage data of how each resource was actually used (e.g., specific EC2 instance metrics like CPU, Disk I/O or Bandwidth). This info is available but requires access to each child account directly via its own access key and secret key.
- It doesn’t tell you whether a specific instance was running using on-demand pricing or reserved instance pricing.
How does Cloudability use Programmatic Billing Access to help you manage AWS costs?
About every hour Cloudability downloads and parses your CSV files from AWS to create daily snapshots of your data in our analytics cube. A few of the things we do to make your life easier:
- Easily build cost by tag reports without spending hours in Excel.
- Use any of dozens of dimensions and metrics (like total invoiced cost, region, tag, or usage type) to build a custom report across any date range.
- Get a daily email that tells you what you spent yesterday, where you’re projected to end the month, and how each of your services is trending.
Setting up Programmatic Billing Access takes about 5-8 minutes in your AWS console.
Once you’ve done that you can add your new Programmatic Billing Access IAM credential to Cloudability and we’ll start collecting your data.