Amazon announced the launch of support for budgets and forecasts in Amazon Web Services a year after launching the Cost Explorer, which is integrated with the AWS Billing Console.
The Cost Explorer gives users reporting, analytics, and visualization tools. The new budgets and forecasts support lets users define and track budgets for AWS costs and forecast AWS costs for up to three months out.
It also now provides the ability to get email notifications when actual costs exceed or are forecast to exceed budget costs.
"Budgeting and forecasting takes place on a fine-grained basis, with filtering or customization based on Availability Zone, Linked Account, API operation, Purchase Option (e.g. Reserved), Service, and Tag," says Amazon's Jeff Barr in a blog post. "The operations provided by these new tools replace the tedious and time-consuming manual calculations that many of our customers (both large and small) have been performing as part of their cost management and budgeting process."
Amazon ran a private beta of the new features with over a dozen customers, and says that after doing so, it believes the tools will help customers do a better job of managing costs.
With the budgets support, users can set monthly budgets around AWS costs and customize them by multiple dimensions (including tags). The AWS Management Console will list each budget, and you can filter them by name.
"You can set alarms that will trigger based on actual or forecast costs, with email notification to a designated individual or group," explains Barr. "These alarms make use of Amazon CloudWatch but are somewhat more abstract in order to better meet the needs of your business and accounting folks. You can create multiple alarms for each budget. Perhaps you want one alarm to trigger when actual costs exceed 80% of budget costs and another when forecast costs exceed budgeted costs. You can also view variances (budgeted vs. actual) in the console."
For forecasts, AWS will use the same algorithm that many of its teams use to predict demand for their own offerings. It will give you cost estimates that include 80% and 95% confidence interval ranges. You can filter forecasts by various dimensions.
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