Cost and Usage Reports


Course Introduction
Cost Management
6m 51s
Improve Planning and Cost Control with AWS Budgets
AWS Cost Management: Tagging
Understanding & Optimizing Storage Costs with AWS Storage Services
Amazon S3 and Glacier
PREVIEW16m 56s
AWS Backup
Using Instance Scheduler to Optimize Resource Cost

The course is part of this learning path

Cost and Usage Reports
2h 33m

This section of the AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional learning path introduces you to cost management concepts and services relevant to the SAP-C02 exam. By the end of this section, you will know how to select and apply AWS services to optimize cost in scenarios relevant to the AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional exam. 

Want more? Try a Lab Playground or do a Lab Challenge

Learning Objectives

  • Learn how to improve planning and cost control with AWS Budgets
  • Understand how to optimize storage costs
  • Discover AWS services that allow you to monitor for underutilized resources
  • Learn how the AWS Instance Scheduler may be used to optimize resource costs

The AWS Cost and Usage Reports or in short the CUR. The CUR is basically the most important thing to capture your AWS billing data. And the CUR is a pretty complex CSV file that stores all details about your cost and usage data of all AWS resources.

Enabling the CUR is super important because it's the most granular and detailed mechanism to collect data for AWS costs and usage. It offers historical by-the-hour data that can offer clarity on trends and lead to a more accurate data-driven insight. And there's no looking back. Until the CUR is enabled, you're losing valuable data about your usage that is older than 12 months.

The CUR can get really big and in large corporations, it can easily get beyond five gigabyte and more with millions over millions of lines. So let's see how to enable them.

When we are here in the AWS Management Console, we click here on the top menu on the billing dashboard and you can see here on the left menu for the Cost and Usage Report. By default it's disabled so you need to enable it, enable it first and create a report. We give it a name. Let's call it test. I would advise you to include the resource IDs because then, every resource get a unique resource ID.

You can enable the automatic refresh. Click Next and then you need to choose an S3 bucket where you put the file. This can either be existing an S3 or a new one. Then we set a path, a prefix pass task costs. You can select the time granularity here. Of course, the more granular the data are, the more data you're going to produce.

We can create new report versions or we can override the existing ones and we can choose what kind of data integration we need.

And a little side note here maybe. You can export the files for Redshift or QuickSight usage. This will change the output format of the file to be readable for either Athena or Redshift and QuickSight. See, Athena is Parquet and Redshift or QuickSight is the CSV file that comes in a, in a zip file.

With Athena, Athena is a serverless service that allows you to analyze the data stored directly in Amazon S3 using standard SQL. And for that you need, as I just mentioned, the Parquet file While with Redshift and QuickSight, you can manage to see a SWI file as you would do it also like for example, for Excel.

Redshift is a so-called data warehouse service which you would use for querying big data sets with like multiple gigabytes or even up to petabytes. It can help you take wide insights of your own environment and for customers on a very large scale. And QuickSight is a business intelligence service that can combine data from literally any source into a dashboard. It helps you to visualize for any type of audience and it is much more visually driven than Athena or Redshift.

After you set up all these options here, you can click on Next and that's basically it. You have now configured your Cost and Usage Report. But be aware that it may take up to 24 hours for the first report to be delivered. Also, expect some costs from S3 for storing the CUR data in your S3 bucket. But these costs are like very, very low. Maybe like, I don't know, a few dollars per months or per year. Depends on how big your file gets of course.

About the Author
Learning Paths

Danny has over 20 years of IT experience as a software developer, cloud engineer, and technical trainer. After attending a conference on cloud computing in 2009, he knew he wanted to build his career around what was still a very new, emerging technology at the time — and share this transformational knowledge with others. He has spoken to IT professional audiences at local, regional, and national user groups and conferences. He has delivered in-person classroom and virtual training, interactive webinars, and authored video training courses covering many different technologies, including Amazon Web Services. He currently has six active AWS certifications, including certifications at the Professional and Specialty level.