AWS Slack notification on cost changes in your account

Published on September 17, 2018
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Picture this story with three fictional characters at ABC company:

  • Tom – Data Scientist
  • Jill – DevOps
  • Mike – CFO

Tom and Jill work in different departments and Tom who is a Data Scientist needs to provision GPU resources for his AI research. Mike is the CFO/Controller and pays the AWS bills and has budgetary responsibilities.

Jill who is in the DevOps role, has accountability to Mike (CFO). Tom (Data Scientist) is in the research department and Jill had to reluctantly grant Tom privileges to spin up EC2 resources in a region.

Tom spins up his GPU (a P3) instance for few hours on an ad-hoc basis and didn’t want to use Sagemaker. Jill enforces tagging for cost allocation, has budget alerts and follows the AWS cost governance practices to the letter.

Tom’s wife just gave birth while his calculations were running. He left in a haste, was away for a week and now has a new healthy baby girl – Tabatha.

Meanwhile at ABC company, an unmanaged cost surprise has occurred. Jill has received a budget threshold crossed alert on the 27th of the month. This threshold set with AWS budgets has never crossed until now.

In this fictional story, let’s look at how the AWS cost explorer, cost allocation tags governance approach this issue of cost variance and how to get past this problem of “I left a high-cost AWS resource overnight”.

Instead of a GPU, it could be a C5.large, a Redshift cluster or a significant spike in Network out traffic on an EC2 instance – the resource spun up doesn’t really matter. Spun up resources that are used incur cost hourly or for fractions of the time based on usage. Some cloud resources are more expensive than others and cost accrue till the month end when the AWS bill appears.

AWS Budgets is a cost accrual tracking tool that alerts you when your set monthly spend threshold has crossed. Tom having carefully followed the tagging and governance policies, helps Jill identify the department or application contributing to this cost variance after it has occurred.

AWS Budgets is a cost accrual tracking tool that alerts you when your set monthly spend threshold has already crossed. Tags help you pinpoint the cost source. AWS Cost Explorer helps you study the cost after the cost is incurred.

With all the fingers pointed towards Tom, he isn’t thrilled about his AI research nor does he wants to use the tags that got him caught! He’d rather spend time with Tabatha and isn’t sure if he should explore opportunities outside of ABC company. Jill now allocates more time to find cloud resources without proper tags to catch the next Tom.

Stories like this are real and we are happy to announce Slack notification with cost change in an AWS account for free. You set a time of day to scan your AWS environment. At the chosen time, CloudSqueeze discovers changes (instances stopped, started, deleted) in a cost contributing resource. Jill would have a pulse on the AWS resources running at midnight and if an unidentified new resource that contributes to cost shows up, she would see this in her Slack channel:AWS Slack channel showing EC2 cost increase

Other AWS changes that can have a cost impact include – new EC2, EBS, Snapshots, RDS, Network Out traffic changes, DS resources added, deleted, modified along with its daily cost impact. Here is an example of what a cost variance from network spike would appear:AWS Slack showing network traffic riseAWS and Slack for EC2 cost rise

AWS Slack notification for cost changes is an absolutely free feature. You can receive these alerts by email as well, based on thresholds of cost variation you set. Now Jill gets an alert like this in Slack:AWS slack EC2 cost decrease

Meanwhile, at ABC, Pat from HR helped reconcile Tom back to ABC. Jill spends less time searching for AWS resources not yet tagged to keep Mike happy. Tom developed his model and no longer needs a P3, as his model is now on Sagemaker.

Tom, Jill, and Mike continue to work at ABC Company where they lived happily ever after!

You too can avoid “I left a high-cost AWS resource overnight” with AWS Slack notification or by email on cost changes in your AWS account absolutely free.

You can avoid the issue of I left a high-cost AWS resource overnight with near real time AWS Slack notifications on cost changes or by email.

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