Getting Started with Cloud Cost Optimization

Cloud Cost Optimization is a cost management and optimization solution that enables enterprises to cut cloud costs and ensure the ongoing efficient use of cloud resources across all of their business units, cloud accounts, clouds, and applications.

The following topics will help you get started with Flexera’s Cloud Cost Optimization:

Cloud Cost Optimization Help Topics
Cloud Cost Optimization Training Videos
Common Cloud Cost Optimization Controls

Cloud Cost Optimization Help Topics

Cloud Cost Optimization documentation is organized into the following sections:

Cloud Cost Optimization Help Topics

Topic

Content

Getting Started with Cloud Cost Optimization

Provides an overview of the content in this Cloud Cost Optimization guide.

Currency Support

Describes how currency is handled in Cloud Cost Optimization billing information.

Accessing the Cloud Dashboard

Covers custom and shared dashboards.

Bill Data Connections

Explains how to configure Cloud Cost Optimization to read your billing data.

Analyzing Cloud Costs in Billing Centers

Discusses the use of billing centers with a focus on cost dimensions and billing center hierarchies.

Bill Data Adjustments

Describes how to make flexible billing adjustments, based on customizable rules, by a variety of dimensions.

Bill Processing Status

Describes the Bill Processing Status dashboard to view the status of your bill connects.

Sample Cloud Cost Reports

Describes the sample reports that you can create in Cloud Cost Optimization.

Reserved Instances

Describes the Reserved Instances page in Cloud Cost Optimization. This page shows information about your RIs for the selected organization for a 7-day rolling window (starting 9 days back).

Automated Optimization

Describes automated optimization capabilities that identify savings opportunities and help you set up automated actions to realize potential savings and prevent future waste.

Viewing Potential Savings

Provides a view of your organization's Total Potential Savings from recommendations, and the ability to dig into the recommendations and share them with your stakeholders.

Cloud Cost Optimization API Capabilities

Provides links to the Cloud Cost Optimization APIs.

Cloud Cost Optimization Training Videos

To learn more about using Cloud Cost Optimization, watch the training videos in the Flexera Learning Center.

You can also access the Flexera Learning Center through the Flexera Customer Community, which you should have received a login to.

The Learning Center training videos for Cloud Cost Optimization can be found in Getting Started with Cloud. The training videos are grouped by the following topics:

Cloud Cost Management
Cloud Inventory
Cloud Governance - Policies

Common Cloud Cost Optimization Controls

The following sections describe the common controls used in the Cloud Cost Optimization user interface.

Date Selector
Cost Type Selector
Dimension Selector

Date Selector

Many of the Cloud Cost Optimization pages contain a date selector, which changes the time range to which the data on the current page applies. Click the date selector to open the picker. Some pages allow the granularity of data to be selected between Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly, and Biannually. Other pages only support Monthly granularity but allow you to pick the time range from which to show data. A convenient list of common date selections (Shortcuts such as Past 3 months or Past Year) is provided on the right and can be set with a single click.

Each date selection query has its limits:

Daily = 31 day maximum
Monthly = 24 months maximum
Quarterly = 8 quarters maximum
Biannually = 2 year maximum

Once the data selector has been set, its configuration is saved as you navigate across other pages.

Cost Type Selector

Many pages offer the choice to view different cost types based on your use case. These options currently focus on amortizing one-time costs and on showing the AWS Reserved Instance blended costs. On any page with the cost type option, your selection will be reflected in the cost data on that page. On any page that doesn't have the option, the costs shown are blended, non-amortized.

Cost types in Cloud Cost Optimization are divided into the following categories:

Cost Amortization
Cost Blending (AWS only)

Cost Amortization

Amortizing costs is defined as taking one-time costs and spreading the cost out over the lifetime of the purchase. If such a cost were shown non-amortized, then the full cost of that item is attributed to the time of the purchase. If a cost were amortized, then the cost would be divided into all of the hours of the duration of the cost and shown in each hour.

The simplest example of such a cost would be an up-front purchase of a Reserved Instance. Let's assume we purchase a 1-year Reserved Instance from AWS on January 5, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. and it cost us $15,000. Here is how that purchase will be shown under both scenarios:

non-amortized - the full $15,000 shows in cost data on Jan 5, 2018.
amortized - the full cost is divided by the number of hours in the lifespan of the item (there are 8,760 hours in a year), and the result is attributed to each hour in the lifespan. In this case, we would see a $1.71 charge on every single hour between Jan 5, 2018 3:00 p.m. and Jan 5, 2019 2:00 p.m.

Cost Blending (AWS only)

Cost blending is a cost reporting approach that is used by AWS to spread the discounts from Reserved Instances over all applicable instances. In Cloud Cost Optimization, you can choose whether to see costs that are blended or unblended.

Unblended costs are savings from reserved instances that are applied first to matching instances in the account where it was purchased.
Blended costs are savings from reserved instances that are shared equally by all matching instances in all accounts.

To learn more about cost blending in AWS, see their documentation on Blended Rates and Costs.

Dimension Selector

Dimension refers to labels or metadata associated with items in your bill. Some dimension examples include category, service or resource type.

On pages with a dimension selector, it is used to break down the costs on the given page. In some pages there is only one option to choose from while other pages allow multiple dimensions to be selected. The selected dimension is used to break down the costs in some graphs on the page.

Cloud Cost Optimization offers the following types of cost dimensions:

Cloud Cost Optimization-generated Cost Dimension: Category
Cloud Provider Bill-based Cost Dimensions
Custom Cost Dimensions