Cloudthread Y Combinator
March 22, 2023

AWS Cost Explorer vs Cost and Usage Report

The blog post discusses the similarities and differences between the two tools and how they can help businesses manage their AWS costs.

As businesses grow and expand their operations in the cloud, managing costs becomes an increasingly important part of their strategy. AWS offers several tools to help customers analyze their usage and spending on AWS services, including the AWS Cost Explorer and Cost and Usage Report.

AWS Cost Explorer

AWS Cost Explorer is a web-based tool that provides a graphical view of your AWS spending over time. It offers insights into your usage and costs by displaying data in easy-to-read charts and tables. The tool allows you to view your costs by service, account, region, tag, and more. You can also view forecasts of your costs for the upcoming months, which can help you plan and budget for your AWS usage.

AWS Cost Explorer offers several features to help you manage your costs. For example, you can set up custom cost allocation tags to categorize your resources and services, and you can also create budget alerts to notify you when your costs exceed a certain threshold. The tool also offers recommendations for cost optimization, such as identifying idle resources and resizing them to save money.

The advantage of cost explorer is that it exists natively and doesn’t require additional data pipelines or AWS features - even for cloud finance veterans it’s a convenient way to get a quick, birds’ eye view.

Cost and Usage Report

The Cost and Usage Report is a detailed report that provides a comprehensive view of your AWS usage and costs. The report includes information about your usage of AWS services, such as the number of hours of usage, data transfer, and requests. It also provides cost information, including your total costs and the costs for each service, account, and region.

The report can be downloaded as a CSV or Parquet file, and it includes a range of filters and dimensions to help you customize the report to meet your needs. You can also schedule the report to be generated and delivered to an S3 bucket on a regular basis, making it easy to automate cost management processes.

One advantage of the Cost and Usage Report is that it provides more granular data than the AWS Cost Explorer. This can be useful for businesses with complex AWS environments or those that need to perform a detailed analysis of their usage and costs.

The challenge with the Cost and Usage Report is that to analyze it effectively requires setting up a data pipeline to ingest, knowledge of the intricacies of the file in order to process for analytics, and then a BI solution in order to visualize and analyze. This is where a solution like Cloudthread can help, providing rich analytics into an organization's Cost and Usage Report with a 5-minute integration. If you’re interested in the granular analysis of your cloud costs but don’t want to set up and maintain a custom solution, reach out!

Which tool should you use?

Both AWS Cost Explorer and the Cost and Usage Report provide valuable insights into your AWS usage and costs. The choice of which tool to use ultimately depends on your specific needs and requirements.

If you need a high-level view of your AWS costs and usage, and you want to identify opportunities for cost optimization, AWS Cost Explorer is a good choice. It offers a user-friendly interface and can help you quickly identify trends and anomalies in your AWS usage.

If you need more detailed information about your AWS usage and costs, or if you need to perform custom analysis, the Cost and Usage Report is a better option. It provides granular data that can be filtered and customized to meet your needs.

In conclusion, AWS Cost Explorer and the Cost and Usage Report are valuable tools for managing AWS costs. These tools allow businesses to gain better visibility into their usage and spending and make data-driven decisions to optimize their AWS costs.

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Copyright © 2024 CloudThread Inc. All rights reserved