Account Families

CloudCheckr gives its users the ability to create AWS Account Families, which allows you to tie multiple AWS accounts together, that are part of a larger consolidated bill. Account Families provide several key benefits, including the ability to generate List Cost as if the family itself was a consolidated bill, cross-account RI sharing, tier pricing, and volume RI pricing within the Account Family. Creating Account Families for linked accounts allows for accurate invoice and cost generation for more complex situations.

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While you can create as many Account Families as you’d like (there is no limit), an Account Family must have at least one AWS account to be created.  When you load the screen (which can be accessed within the Cost > AWS Partner Tools > Invoice menu), CloudCheckr will display a helpful table at the top of the report showing you how many AWS accounts are within your consolidated bill, how many Account Families you have created, as well as how many AWS accounts are not part of any Account Family.

By default, CloudCheckr will create an Account Family for each AWS account found within your consolidated bill.  These can be deleted or edited as needed to establish the proper Account Family configuration needed for your account.

CREATING ACCOUNT FAMILIES

To create a new Account Family simply click the green ‘New Account Family’ button at the top of the page. This will pop-open a screen where you can enter information for the Account Family as well as choose the accounts that will be tied to this Family.

When creating the new Account Family you can populate the form with the following information:

  • Name – the name for the Account Family.  This will display anywhere in CloudCheckr that references Account Families (such as the Invoice Generator).
  • Email – a contact email for the Account Family.  If using the Scheduled Invoice functionality within the Invoice Generator, CloudCheckr will automatically email the invoice to this address.
  • Invoice Id – a user-defined Invoice Id.  The Account Family screen allows you to mass-update these so they can be modified, in bulk, each month.  The Invoice Id will show on any generated invoice.
  • Address – the address for the customer being created within the Account Family.  This will also display on any generated invoice for this Account Family.
  • Additional Info – a free-form text box where you can add any other customer-facing notes or information you would like to have display on the generated invoices.
  • AWS Accounts – this is where you can choose which AWS accounts to tie to the Account Family.  NOTE: This will only display accounts that are currently not part of any other Account Family.  By default, CloudCheckr will prevent you from being able to add a single AWS account to multiple Account Families.  If you need this capability, please contact support@cloudcheckr.com.
  • Create a Multi-Account View for this Account Family – this setting will have CloudCheckr automatically create a Multi-Account View consisting only of the accounts that are part of this Account Family.  If you delete the Account Family, the Multi-Account View will also be deleted.

Once you are happy with the data you have entered, click the Save button to create the new Account Family.  Any of these fields/options can be modified at any time.


PAYEE SUPPORT CHARGES

When you click on the name of an Account Family, it will expand revealing additional options for modifying the Account Family. In addition to the options established upon creation (Name, Address, Email, Tied Accounts, etc.) you can modify additional settings crucial to the Account Family. The first of these is Payee Support Charges.

For a typical AWS partner, you are charged for AWS Support in the Payer account for the entire bill.  This makes it difficult to charge each customer the appropriate support costs associated with their usage.  Enabling the Payee Support Charges feature will automate this process, having CloudCheckr calculate the proper support costs for each family, based on their collaborative usage.

CloudCheckr will look at the total AWS usage costs across the Account Family and use that number to determine the appropriate payee support costs.  CloudCheckr will only write this cost to one AWS account within the account family, it will not break apart the total cost and apply it evenly across all accounts within the Family.

Payee Support Charges provides three separate options:

  • Support AWS Support – this will have CloudCheckr suppress any Support charge written by Amazon to any of the payee accounts.  This setting ensures that customers are not mistakenly double-billed for support costs.
  • Recalculate Support – this setting controls whether CloudCheckr will calculate and write the payee support costs to the Account Family.
  • Ignore $100 minimum – the AWS Business Support plan enforces a $100 minimum charge.  If this checkbox is selected, and the payee total cost is less than $10k for the month, the payee support charge will be a strict 10% of monthly AWS costs. They will not be charged the $100 minimum.  If the checkbox is NOT selected, and the payee total cost is less than $10k for the month, the payee support charge will be charged the $100.

Some important items to note about how CloudCheckr handles Payee Support Charges:

  • When CloudCheckr calculates the support charge, it uses the AWS Business support tier.  You can find details for that plan here: https://aws.amazon.com/premiumsupport/pricing/.
  • AWS Marketplace Charges and Support Charges are excluded from the Payee Support Charge calculation.
  • You can only see the support charges generated by CloudCheckr when viewing List Cost in the various cost reports/invoices.
  • You will only see the support charge appear once the monthly invoice is finalized by Amazon.

If, for any reason, you need to generate payee support charges that do not adhere to the AWS Business pricing tiers, you can always use CloudCheckr’s Custom Billing Charges to replicate this same functionality.  Custom Billing Charges allows you to create a completely custom monthly charge, using whichever tiered structure you’d like.


COPY DBR

The Copy DBR functionality allows you to have CloudCheckr deliver a Detailed Billing Report (DBR) for an Account Family into a user-defined S3 bucket.  This allows you to provide customers with their ‘raw’ billing data, filtered down to only the costs associated with their Account Family.  Each time Amazon updates the billing data for the master payer account, or the billing data is reprocessed, a new DBR Copy will be delivered to the S3 bucket.  The DBR Copy will retain the same file structure as the DBR written by Amazon.

For CloudCheckr to have the ability to write the DBR Copy to an S3 bucket, proper permissions must be granted.   You can either have CloudCheckr use the IAM Credentials already added to an account configured within CloudCheckr, or you can create a new cross-account role within AWS.

Upload with a CloudCheckr Account

This option is where you can use credentials already added to a CloudCheckr account.  Select the account whose credentials you’d like to use within the Copy DBR to this AWS Account dropdown.  Enter a valid S3 bucket name that already exists within this account.  This is the S3 bucket where CloudCheckr will deliver the DBR copy.

Use a Role for Cross-Account Access

This option allows you to create a new cross-account role in any AWS account you’d like, and use that role for CloudCheckr to deliver the DBR copy.  You will still need to enter a valid S3 bucket name, that exists within the same account of the cross-account role, but the account does not need to be added to CloudCheckr.

Whether using credentials from an already-existing account, or creating a new cross-account role, CloudCheckr needs specific permissions added to the linked IAM policy for this function to work.   You can use the following as the policy:

{
    "Version": "2012-10-17",
    "Statement": [
        {
            "Sid": "Stmt1443712554000",
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Action": [
                "s3:DeleteObject",
                "s3:GetBucketLocation",
                "s3:ListObject",
                "s3:PutObject"
            ],
            "Resource": [
                "arn:aws:s3:::your-target-S3-bucket-name-here*"
            ]
        }
    ]
}

You also can choose to have CloudCheckr build the copy using either the Amazon cost type (Unblended/Blended) or the Custom (List) cost type.

Lastly, you can choose how CloudCheckr handles the tag columns written by Amazon to the master payer DBR.

  • Copy only tag columns with data – only write the columns to the DBR copy that have costs for the Account Family.
  • Copy ALL tag columns from payer DBR (even if no data) – pass through ALL columns from the payer DBR, even if there is no associated costs for the Account Family.
  • Copy selected tag columns from payer DBR (even if no data) – pass through a user-defined list.  If there are costs within a column that is not selected, those will not be passed through in the DBR copy.

ADVANCED OPTIONS

NOTE: These features may be deprecated at some point in the future, as they are being replaced by Custom Billing Charges within CloudCheckr’s AWS Partner Tools.

The Advanced Options within the Account Family screen allows you to add or suppress charges that will carry through to the Invoice Generator.  It also allows you to dictate which, or how much of, the credits written to your account by Amazon are passed down to the customer in their invoice.

Any items added or suppressed through these Advanced Options will only display on the invoices created within the CloudCheckr Invoice Generator.  These will not carry through to the other cost reports, emails, alerts, etc.  If you would like to add or suppress costs that will display in these other areas for data consistency you will need to use the Custom Billing Charges report.

Add New Custom Charge

Adding custom charges allows you add either a fixed charge or credit, or a percent increase or decrease.  Fixed charges will show up as a line item in detailed invoices, whereas percent changes will modify the total costs but will not explicitly show on the invoice.

When configuring both fixed charges and percent modifications, you have the option to have these apply on a specific date or be monthly recurring charges.  Monthly recurring will apply to all invoices you pull, regardless of the date range selected.  If you apply the charges to a custom date the date range for the invoice must include this data for the charges to apply.

You have the ability to edit, delete, as well as deactivate custom charges.  Deactivation allows you to suppress the custom charge while you generate your invoice without having to delete the custom charge.

Suppress Charges

Suppress Charges allows you to remove any cost from the invoice that you do not want to pass on to the customer.  A common charge that you may want to suppress would be RI upfront payments.

To suppress a charge, first choose a date range that you want to retrieve costs for as well as the desired Cost Type.

NOTE: The Cost Type will only determine which costs is displayed in the list of charges.

Once you click Filter, CloudCheckr will return the full list of costs for that time frame, by description.  Simply suppress the charges you’d like to keep out of the invoice and save.

Apply AWS Credits

By default, all invoices generated within CloudCheckr are based strictly on Cost.  They will not include any credits written to the customer account by Amazon.  This feature allows you to pass those credits on to the customer, if you so choose.

Use the Month dropdown to choose the month you would like CloudCheckr to retrieve credits for.  CloudCheckr will display the accounts that have credits, as well as which service, and amount, the credits have been applied against.

Click the Apply button next to the credits you would like to include in the invoice.  CloudCheckr will ask you if you would like to pass on the entire credit, or a partial credit.  Make your selection and save.  When you generate an invoice that encompasses that credit, it will be properly included in the invoice.