Bills and Cost Drivers
Bills and Cost Drivers
1h 13m

This course covers the core learning objective to meet the requirements of the 'Implementing effective Cost Management solutions in AWS - Level 1' skill

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand aspects of AWS Cloud economics, including OpEX, CapEX and TCO
  • Understand the various AWS account structures in relation to AWS billing and pricing practices
  • Understand which operations will reduce costs by moving to the AWS cloud
  • Analyze and contrast the various pricing models for AWS, such as On-Demand EC2 Instances, Reserved Instances, and Spot Instance pricing

Welcome to the first live demo. As you can see here we are in the AWS Management Console. The most fundamental part is to get a good overview of the environment. Therefore you have to get a broad view of all the services, usage, and expenses from the past, and the present.

To set a base for our analysis, we first need to get some numbers. For this we will be using the billing dashboard which is also our main platform for gathering information on expenses. We will deal a lot with the billing and cost management dashboard alongside but the very first thing I like to investigate when I start with an unfamiliar account or environment is to check the last bills.

So to get there, you can either type bill here in the search field to get straight to the billing service or you can just go here over the menu to the billing dashboard. Here, you get a good first overview what is going on in your account. What are the most expensive services? How much have you spent so far? And what is the forecast? The forecast to the current month. But we will talk about this later.

So first thing here is the bill section here on the left side. I wanna get to overview from the last month, how much we spent last month and what were the biggest cost drivers. So as we are currently in January 2021, I go one month back to December 2020, here from the dropdown menu. And as you can see, I have a total amount, how much we spent last month.

I have like different information about taxes and payment summaries. And I can also get a CSV file from my whole bill or just printed as a PDF. So as you can see here we are in a master payer account, that means we're using AWS Organizations which enables us to link other accounts to this account.

So all the costs that are caused by the under linked accounts are covered by this account that are collected here. You can see there are many accounts but let's focus on this overview here. So what I wanna get here is the first overview. What are the most expensive services, or like what are the biggest cost drivers.

You can see we're spending like small amounts, like compared to the total we're spending small amounts on like different services. For example, here $34 for the API Gateway or 91 for CloudFront. As this is like just like a very very small percentage of our total amount, it would make no sense or like almost no sense to dive into deeper analysis here for CloudFront. It just would make no sense because like the amounts are here so small and this makes also like our whole analysis much easier because we know the only thing we have to focus is Elastic Compute Cloud because this is the biggest cost driver in this case. And when we go here, we can see, okay, we're using like quite a lot of regions here.

So my first question would be, why do we need so many regions? And as you probably know, the regions in Asia are way more expensive than for example, the regions in Northern Virginia. So my first question would be, why do we have all these different regions? And as you can see this is like just my thinking process, how I would approach such an analysis or such an optimization process but we will talk about this later in detail. Let's go through the next section.

About the Author
Learning Paths

Stuart has been working within the IT industry for two decades covering a huge range of topic areas and technologies, from data center and network infrastructure design, to cloud architecture and implementation.

To date, Stuart has created 150+ courses relating to Cloud reaching over 180,000 students, mostly within the AWS category and with a heavy focus on security and compliance.

Stuart is a member of the AWS Community Builders Program for his contributions towards AWS.

He is AWS certified and accredited in addition to being a published author covering topics across the AWS landscape.

In January 2016 Stuart was awarded ‘Expert of the Year Award 2015’ from Experts Exchange for his knowledge share within cloud services to the community.

Stuart enjoys writing about cloud technologies and you will find many of his articles within our blog pages.