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Summary:

Amazon cloud services may be cheap, but even those small charges can add up. Following a raft of third-party companies that offer AWS monitoring services, Amazon has stepped up to offer its own proactive billing alerts for Cloudwatch customers that enable it.

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A raft of startups have built their businesses around tracking pay-as-you-go cloud costs for customers. Amazon, king of the cloud, has been paying attention.

The company just added alerting capabilities that will flag unexpectedly heavy usage of Amazon Web Services.  For customers that enable them, that could mean avoiding unpleasant surprises when the bill comes due.

The existing Amazon Cloudwatch service already tracked usage for customers, but users had to check their portals for this info. Now, if they so choose, they can get proactive alerts about total AWS usage across the board — and their usage tallied by AWS service.  Those with consolidated billing across multiple AWS accounts can also get alerts on charges across those linked accounts.

Here’s how the alert dashboard looks:

According to the AWS blog post announcing the news:

You can start by using the billing alerts to let you know when your AWS bill will be higher than expected. For example, you can set up an alert to make sure that your AWS usage remains within the Free Usage Tier or to find out when you are approaching a budget limit.

Amazon has made a practice of adding more services atop its infrastructure stack — which puts it into contention with its own partners. This alerting service is just the latest example of this. The third parties that also monitor AWS usage — companies like Newvem, Cloudability, and Cloudyn — some of which offer their own alerting services — are doubtless watching this space very carefully.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user stevendamro

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  1. Newvem applauds Amazon AWS Cloud for listening to its customers and its eco-system and offering more and better functionality enhancing cloud adoption.

    The new feature is a new set of metrics that can be monitored through CloudWatch, that bring user’s billing information. These new metrics provide an estimate of AWS charges up to the current time: total charges, per-service charges, per-account charges, per-account-and-service charges. All these metrics are to-date estimates of cost, no prediction metric is provided. It’s important to note that what CloudWatch now provides is raw data, with low granularity. The new metrics coming from this announcement actually enrich the gathered data used for Newvem’s analysis of how effective AWS user spending is with meeting expectations. Newvem’s Spending analytics validate that the charges reported indeed corresponds to the consumed resources, so having this information handy and part of CloudWatch is a great improvement. For more see our blog post:
    http://www.newvem.com/blog/main/2012/05/newven-applauds-aws-cloud-for-its-new-estimated-charge-monitoring.html

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