9 Free Cloud Cost Management Tools

There are many cost management tools on the market today. Typically, organizations start their cost optimization journey with first-party tools provided by their cloud provider. The advantage of these tools is that most of them are provided for free, they are pre-integrated with the cloud provider’s systems, and they can immediately generate suggestions that result in cost savings.

However, the downside of first party tools is that they are typically limited to one cloud provider, and cannot help you understand and optimize costs across multicloud environments. They are also limited in their ability to deeply analyze the cloud environment and perform changes automatically to save costs.

Below we’ll review the first party tools offered by the leading cloud providers: Amazon, Azure, and Google Cloud.

In this article:

The Importance of Cloud Cost Management

Rapid scalability and no upfront costs are huge advantages of cloud computing. They make it easy for IT staff and DevOps teams to get started with services, but at the same time, create the risk of unplanned costs that exceed expected budgets. Implementing a cloud cost management strategy helps organizations plan for future costs and consumption of cloud services.

For companies with a multi-cloud portfolio, which is now the norm, it is also important to implement effective multi-cloud cost management, comparing and monitoring the costs of multiple public cloud providers. Better visibility into costs and usage enables businesses to enforce enterprise-wide accountability, improve the performance and efficiency of cloud technologies, and make educated decisions about which workloads to run in which cloud.

Cloud cost management can also help organizations maximize resource utilization. Most cloud providers offer basic cost management tools that can achieve this. There are more specialized third-party solutions that provide additional visibility and insight into your cloud costs, which can be critical to controlling costs and implementing good governance.

AWS Cost Management Tools

1. AWS Cost Explorer


Image Source: AWS

Cost Explorer allows you to view your costs and usage so you can analyze them. It provides cost and usage reports that allow you to view your costs over the last 12 months or project costs for the next 12 months. Cost Explorer offers preconfigured and customized views for displaying cost information at a glance, and can recommend which resources should be transitioned to Reserved Instances to save costs.

2. AWS Cost Anomaly Detection


Image Source: AWS

AWS Cost Anomaly Detection enhances your control over your costs and helps you avoid surprises. Cost Anomaly Detection uses advanced machine learning algorithms that recognize spending patterns and identify anomalous costs. A personalized monitor alerts you to anomalous spending, allowing you to respond quickly to shifts in spending.

3. AWS Budgets


Image Source: AWS

AWS Budgets helps you contain your costs and track usage according to the budgets you have set. You receive alerts when your forecasted or actual usage exceeds your budget or falls below your expected budget threshold. AWS Budget Actions allow you to configure response actions that kick in automatically to minimize excess usage and costs.

4. AWS Trusted Advisor


Image Source: AWS

AWS Trusted Advisor helps guide you through AWS best practices. The service is fully managed, offering recommendations that help you optimize your performance, security and costs according to your needs.

Azure Cost Management Tools

5. Azure Cost Management


Image Source: Azure

Azure Cost Management helps you plan and control your spending through cost analysis and budget implementation. Cost management also provides recommendations and allows you to export cost management data.

You can analyze your costs by aggregating your expenses and organizing them according to various categories. This allows you to identify spending trends, break down the cost of using each service, and view your overall costs for a given time frame. You can also specify budget thresholds and implement automated tools to help ensure that you stick to your budgetary limits.

You can take advantage of Cost Management recommendations to see where you can increase efficiency or if there is a less expensive solution. This helps you optimize your costs and avoid paying for underutilized resources. You can respond to a recommendation by automatically adjusting Azure resources.

6. Azure Advisor


Image Source: Azure

Azure Advisor is a free service offering personalized recommendations to help you optimize your use of Azure products. Advisor analyzes your resource usage and configuration and offers solutions for improving the cost effectiveness, security, reliability and performance of your Azure deployments.

Azure Advisor allows you to:

  • Receive actionable recommendations for implementing best practices
  • Identify cost inefficiencies so you can better optimize your Azure resource usage and costs
  • Enhance the security and performance of your resources

7. Azure Cost Anomaly Detection


Image Source: Azure

You can use the Anomaly Detector API to monitor your time series data and detect anomalies, leveraging machine learning algorithms. The algorithms can identify and automatically apply the models best suited to your time series data. You can easily integrate the RESTful Anomaly Detector API into your applications.

Google Cloud Cost Optimization Tools

8. Cloud Billing Reports


Image Source: Google Cloud

Cloud Billing Reports is a page that offers an at-a-glance view of your Google Cloud usage costs, allowing you to identify and analyze usage trends. You can track all the usage costs linked to your Cloud Billing account on a chart displayed on the Reports page. You can focus on particular spending trends by configuring the chart filters to specify the time range, project, service, location or SKU.

Cloud Billing Reports are useful for assessing:

  • Overall monthly cost trends
  • Which projects are the most expensive to run
  • Which Google Cloud services are costing the most
  • Future cost estimates based on historical trends
  • Expenditure per region
  • The cost of each resource

9. CUD Analysis Reports


Image Source: Google Cloud

CUD Analysis Reports allow you to visualize the savings realized by purchasing Committed Use Discounts (CUDs).

You can use CUD analysis reports to assess:

  • Overall savings resulting from CUDs
  • The level of utilization of existing commitments
  • CUD coverage—assessing whether you are taking advantage of usage commitments for all eligible use cases
  • Additional savings opportunities—identifying whether you can save more by increasing usage commitments
  • Potential for enhancing commitment utilization and discount sharing

Cloud Cost Management with Spot by NetApp

While public cloud providers offer native tools for monitoring your cloud spend, and even provide recommendations for potential cost reduction, they stop short of actually implementing any of those optimizations for you.

This is where Spot by NetApp’s portfolio can help. Spot not only provides comprehensive visibility into what is being spent on your cloud compute and by whom, but also:

  • Generates an average saving of 68% by showing you exactly where you can use either EC2 spot instances or reserved capacity (RIs and Savings Plans) to save costs. It lets you reliably automate workload optimization recommendations in just a few clicks.
  • Guarantee continuity for spot instances, ensuring even production and mission-critical applications can safely run on spot instances, using predictive algorithms and advanced automation to guarantee workload continuity.
  • Manage RIs and Saving Plans portfolios, providing maximum utilization and ROI with minimal risk of financial lock-in and cloud waste.
  • Maximize savings for DevOps teams running Kubernetes with proven machine learning and automation to continuously determine and deploy the most balanced and cost-effective compute resources for your container clusters.

Learn more about cloud cost management from Spot by NetApp!