Advanced Grouping Report

CloudCheckr’s Advanced Grouping report allows you to group costs by multiple levels of Tag Keys. For instance, you can group costs by Tag Keys of CustomerName, then further group costs within that by Tag Keys of ProductName. You can create reports of up to five levels of groupings with Tag Keys.

The statistics for this report are collected from the AWS Detailed Billing Line Items with Resource Tags report.  To enable this report within AWS follow the directions here.


AWS COST REPORTS

Using CloudWatch Data:

CloudWatch provides the capability to monitor your AWS Bill by querying the CloudWatch API. Using this CloudWatch data has some limitations. It does not provide any information on tags, credits, or break out the information other than by service. As well, updates from Amazon to CloudWatch are occasionally delayed for a day or two, resulting in lumpiness in the AWS Bill.  CloudWatch only provides the Net Bill of your AWS account with no further details.

Using Detailed Billing Reports:

Detailed Billing Reports write into a file on S3, with the complete details of your AWS charges, credits, and net bill.

The latest billing information from AWS is often not pushed to the Detailed Billing Reports for several days, particularly as the beginning or end of the month. You will not see your AWS Billing information in the CloudCheckr Billing reports until it is updated in your Detailed Billing reports from AWS.  AWS also makes retroactive updates to past days in the Detailed Billing reports.

NOTE: The totals for this report are based on your AWS usage Costs.  They do not account for Credits.


USING THE ADVANCED GROUPING REPORT

No cost data will display when you first load your report.  You MUST select at least one Key in in the Group by Tag Keys dropdown and click the filter button for data within the report to populate.    You can select multiple Keys by using the Green ‘Plus’ (+) symbol.  This allows you to group the costs by the selected Keys.   The report will create a column for each Tag Key, and list all Tag Values belonging to that Key beneath, including their costs.

Use the Start and End date to display a custom data range.  Just note that you can only view data for those months where Detailed Billing Reports were enabled within AWS.

The Aggregate dropdown allows you to display the costs by Day or by Hour on the graph. NOTE: The totals below the graph will be for the entire time period selected.

The “Cost type” option allows you to display Unblended, Blended, or List costs. This is especially important if you are using Consolidated Billing. Amazon gives you the ability to see costs as blended or unblended.

  • Unblended cost is the closest reflection of what an individual account uses in AWS.
  • Blended costs performs a series of calculations to blend rates and costs across an entire Consolidate Billing Account. For a more complete analysis of Blended costs click here.

Note: the AWS Invoices delivered from Amazon are typically done using Blended Rate. Also note, the total bill for Blended and Unblended costs should match. However, the individual account bills may differ between Blended and Unblended costs.

CloudCheckr offers a List Cost option which presents the Amazon cost for an individual account based on the scenario that the AWS account was standalone. This allows AWS partners to generate invoices and bills based on what the customer would have been charged going directly to Amazon.

Use the Group By dropdown to choose how to organize and display your costs.  You can choose multiple items to Group by clicking on the green plus symbol.

You can group by the following items:

  • Resource Key – The Tag Key used when tagging your AWS resources.
  • Account – The AWS Account(s) where the costs are occurring.  If you are using Consolidated Billing within AWS, all linked accounts will display.
  • Region – The AWS Region(s) where the costs are occurring.  Such as: US East (Northern Virginia),  West (Oregon), EU (Ireland), etc.
  • AWS Service – The AWS Service.  Such as:  EC2, S3, RDS, etc.  NOTE: In Detailed Billing Data, Transfer fees are included in the service where the data transfer occurred.  Whereas CloudWatch treats Data Transfer as its own separate Service.
  • Operation – The specific usage within AWS.  Such as “RunInstances”  (the operation of an Amazon EC2 instance).
  • Usage Type – Specifies operational details, such as “CW-Requests” for CloudWatch requests.
  • Description – The type of usage for this line item. This description matches the description in the Account Activity page, including the average price of any usage that is based on a volume pricing tier.

If you utilize Resource Tags with your AWS deployment, the report can also be filtered by tag.  You can select multiple tags for filtering, but note that the report will only display costs for resources that are assigned each tag selected. If you select a tag that is only being used within EC2 and another tag that is only being used within RDS, your report will show no data.  You can also choose to exclude the costs from your tags by selecting the “Exclude These Tags” checkbox when filtering your data.   This will keep any costs associated with the tags being excluded from appearing in the report.

You can further filter the report by:

Account – The AWS Account(s) where the costs are occurring.  If you are using Consolidated Billing within AWS, all linked accounts will display.

Region – The AWS Region(s) where the costs are occurring.  Such as: US East (Northern Virginia),  West (Oregon), EU (Ireland), etc.

AWS Service – The AWS Service.  Such as:  EC2, S3, RDS, etc.

Operation – The specific usage within AWS.  Such as “RunInstances”  (the operation of an Amazon EC2 instance).

Usage Type – Specifies operational details, such as “CW-Requests” for CloudWatch requests.

When using these additional filter options the report will display costs for each item selected.  If you chose to filter by regions EU (Ireland) and US East (North Virginia) and select only EC2 and S3 for services, the report will show you only the total costs for EC2 and S3 within those two regions.

The report is designed to show you the costs of your Tag Values, grouped by your Tag Keys.

For example, we have Tag Keys: Environment, Customer, and Product, which we select from the filter options.

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The report will create a graph showing the costs for each of those values, overlaid on one another for whatever date range was selected.

Beneath that, you will see the total costs for your tag values, grouped by your selected keys, over your selected time period.

In the screenshot above you can see columns for Environment, Customer, and Product (the Tag Keys we selected).

There is a column for each Tag Key, and a list of all Tag Values belonging to that Key beneath, including their costs.


SAVING FILTERS

CloudCheckr provides you the ability to save any of your filter configurations within the Advanced Grouping report.

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To save your filter options, simply click the Save Filter button.  You’ll be asked to name your new filter.  Once that’s done, your filter will be available to be selected “Saved Filters” dropdown at the top of the report.

When loading a Saved Filter simply select it from the dropdown.  The report will load all of the saved filter options, but will not load the data.  This gives you the opportunity to tweak those filter parameters or date range before loading the data.  Once you’re ready for CloudCheckr to show you your costs, click the Filter button.

Key benefits to using Saved Filters:

  1. Your frequently-used filter options will be saved, preventing you from having to remember and click through each option each time you want to retrieve those costs.
  2. For large or complicated queries, Saved Filters pre-process the data, so loading the data in the report is very fast. This is particularly important as you reach 10+ million lines in your Detailed Billing Report and need to perform multiple levels of groupings on them.
  3. All saved filters can be delivered via email on a daily or weekly basis.

NOTE: After saving a filter, it can take up to six hours for the data to be saved and pre-processed.  Until this happens, loading the data from a saved filter will be ad-hoc.

Saved filters can be deleted at any time by loading the saved filter, then clicking the Delete Filter button.  NOTE:  this action is not reversible.

 


EMAILING SAVED FILTERS

The Advanced Grouping report also provides the ability to have any of your saved filters emailed to you on a daily basis.

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First, load the saved filter that you would like to receive an email for.  When the filter options load, you will see an Email button to the right of the Saved filter dropdown.

Click this button.  That will display a pop-up asking you to configure a daily and/or monthly email.  Enter the email address(es) in the appropriate sections for the emails you would like to receive.

If you selected the daily email, each day you will receive an email from CloudCheckr showing daily and month-to-date costs.  The monthly email will provide an end-of-month summary of the costs.

NOTE: the monthly email will be sent after the 5th of the following month to ensure that AWS has closed the previous month’s bill.

You can disable this email at any time by loading the saved filter and clicking the “Manage Emails” button.  CloudCheckr will display a pop-up showing the addresses assigned to the Daily and Monthly emails.  Simply remove the email addresses of the recipients you no longer want to receive the email, or disable the email entirely.

The disabled email can be activated again at any time.

 

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