DEV Community

Cover image for Cloud Cost Awareness
Harinder Seera 🇭🇲 for AWS Community Builders

Posted on • Updated on • Originally published at

Cloud Cost Awareness

Last year was a challenging year for everyone including organizations. COVID-19 outbreak expedited the cloud migration for a lot of them.

Existing applications are being migrated to the cloud at a rapid pace. New ones are developed to leverage cloud capability. With all this, one theme that is becoming increasingly important is cost awareness.

With migration to the cloud, organizations need to think about cost implications while also making sure they maintain some level of flexibility to innovate (R&D). If left unchecked, it can become a bigger problem. The cost implications are not only for big organizations but also for a startup too, where the budget might be even tighter.

In this post, I will highlight three different ways you can identify anomalies and manage costs in AWS. Similar kinds of options exist for other cloud providers. The options are:

  • AWS Cost Explorer
  • AWS Budget
  • AWS Trusted Advisor

AWS Cost Explorer Option

The Cost Explorer provides you with granular insight into the AWS service usage and cost accrued. It gives you a detailed breakdown of all services in the table view & visually. You can get AWS costs and usage over a daily or monthly granularity. It gives you the capability to create reports.

With granular insights, you can identify services and usage types that are costing more. It also helps you visualize cost trends over time. You can look for any sudden spike in usage.

Alt Text

AWS Budget Option

The AWS Budget lets you set custom budgets that alert you when your cost or usage exceeds the budgeted amount. You can also configure delivery frequency (Daily, Weekly & Monthly) for the budget report to the desired email recipients.

In the following screenshot, I have set a $20 monthly budget for EC2 cost. If the EC2 cost crosses 80%, I receive an alert. This helps me manage my budget but also highlights an anomaly with EC2 usage.

Alt Text

This option is worth exercising in a non-prod environment and not just production. It will help engineering teams to identify & implement innovative solutions to address budget constraints. However great care needs to be taken to ensure the allocated budget is realistic and it does not stifle innovation.

AWS Trusted Advisor

Finally, the Trusted Advisor provides you with recommendations to help reduce costs, increase availability and performance, and improve security. It is an online tool that runs different checks to help identify potential cost optimization opportunities.

These options are a great starting point, if you are looking for cost trends, anomalies and budgeting. It provides you a point of reference for you to start taking an action before the cost becomes a bigger problem.


  • AWS also gives you capability to query Cost Explorer using an API.
  • You also have third parties options such as cloudforecast and cloudability, if you are not comfortable using the AWS tools.
  • If you are an Engineer, spent time understanding about cloud cost.

Thanks for reading!

If you enjoyed this article feel free to share on social media 🙂

Say Hello on: Linkedin | Twitter | Polywork

Blogging: Dev | Hashnode

Github: hseera

Top comments (2)

shanacunha profile image

Great post Harinder Seera! I'm also writing a series on how to implement FinOps Successfully and you can browse them here:
This particular one is about the Inform phase:

karthikrnair profile image
Karthik R

Hey Harinder Seera, Nice blog. I have also written in similar subject . You may also browse through it..