AWS, a subsidiary of Amazon, was launched almost twenty years ago, at the very beginning of the cloud era. It started out as a set of three products: stirge buckets, compute instances, and a messaging queue. Eventually, AWS grew larger and became more sophisticated, and it consists of incredible 200+ services, including the likes of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon Connect, and AWS Lambda.
With the advent and ever-increasing popularity of cloud cost managemrnt strateges and FinOps, a cloud financial management discipline, AWS engineers focused their effort on rolling out features and tools that can help organizations save money on their cloud expenses. In this overview article, we’ll walk you through the most notable AWS updates that took place in the first half of 2022.
A couple of words about FinOps and the most widely used AWS FinOps tools
But, before we dive deeper into Amazon’s latest updates, let’s recall what exactly FinOps is and how AWS already got their clients covered.
FinOps is a compound role that comprises technical and financial competencies. It appeared in response to the request of organizations for the management of cloud resources and costs in cases where the dependence on those resources is very high. That being said, this role is a natural evolution of a “cloud cost manager,” being accountable for accelerating cloud cost optimization, achieving complete cloud cost transparency, and building a collaborative, cross-functional team of engineers, which should result in lower IT infrastructure-related costs for the company.
2012 is considered to be the year of the formation of the FinOps role, and very soon, having predicted market dynamics, Amazon Web Services released some of their tools that helped them manage cloud usage and costs. The vast majority of cloud IT specialists have heard of those tools: Trusted Advisоr, Cost Explorer, and Compute Optimizer, which provide different types of basic recommendations, like sizing, auto scaling, etc. These tools are also good at bill visibility, performance and governance checks, identification and termination of unused resources. Now, let’s move on to the newest features list and elaborate on them.
What AWS Cloud Financial Management team released in Q1 2022
Tracking, reporting, and allocating AWS usage became easier
On March 26, AWS launched Billing Conductor, which allows you to allocate accounts to different billing groups, apply price adjustments, savings, and charges as you see fit, giving you more flexibility with invoices from AWS.
By the way, a few words about invoices – now you can find detailed information for Amazon RDS Backups and General Purpose, Provisioned IOPS and Magnetic storage in them. The best way to do this is to use the AWS Cost Explorer and the AWS Cost & Usage report.
Finally, if your company is on its way to becoming environment-friendly, the new Customer Carbon Footprint tool was released on March 1st to track the carbon footprint of using AWS and calculate the carbon savings compared to using your own IT infrastructure.
AWS Cost Planning
On February 17th, the AWS Budgets tool was updated with a new budgeting method: in addition to “fixed” and “planned”, there is now “Auto Adjusting”. The new method allows you to budget based on your history of using AWS resources.
Billing, cost and payment management
On February 10, the AWS Billing Console received an updated user interface that allows you to quickly view your current and projected monthly fees, growth trends, and see a breakdown of costs by service type and account.
AWS Cost Anomaly Detection has added a couple of new features – since March 14, by using AWS Chatbot, you can set up notifications via Slack or Amazon Chime. In addition, from now on, you can customize the access policy using resources and tags.
Finally, if you have multiple AWS service providers, you can set up your payment preferences independently for each one.
Free cloud cost optimization for a lifetime
What AWS Cloud Financial Management team released in Q2 2022
Compute instance optimization
The critical tools AWS Compute Optimizer and AWS Trusted Advisor have received updates so they can better recommend which instances you should use, as well as what steps you should take to optimize your AWS infrastructure, improve security, and performance.
Improved interface for invoice management and cost control
As in the first quarter, AWS Billing and AWS Budgets got their further user interface enhancements, which, for example, allow you to view budget details without going to the individual budget pages or leaving the budget overview page.
In addition, starting June 20, the AWS Bills got a whole new interface page that offers a single view of all key billing details, a billing summary by service provider, and a breakdown of costs by service, account, tax, and savings.
An easier way to track and report expenses
AWS has made it easy to work with tags: with the cost allocation tags API launched on June 8, 2022, you can programmatically enable and disable cost allocation tags. Use the ListCostAllocationTags API to get a list of all tags, and the UpdateCostAllocationTagsStatus API to enable and disable cost allocation tags.
Cost management for clients from China
Starting June 9th, users in China can fully use Cost Anomaly Detection to set up and receive alerts for any cost anomalies and quickly investigate and resolve any of them.
As we already said, AWS tools do a good job at helping FinOps with their day-to-day tasks, and it goes without saying that those tools evolved drastically in the recent years. However, there are still many aspects that native tools either fail to cover or provide inadequate usability.
For instance, Hystax OptScale offers a set of features that are not delivered by AWS solutions, including such indispensable services as:
- Cost map
- Flexible anomaly detection and tagging policies
- Customizable recommendations, recommendation apply log
- Resource lifecycle policies
- Integration with FinOps practices
Go to our demo page to find out more about what our solution has to offer.
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