Doug Toppin's Blog

My thoughts on technology and other stuff

Amazon AWS Billing and Usage Information Improvements

I’ve been using the Amazon AWS for some time and am continually impressed with their services and the opportunities presented by them. There are costs associated with those resources and it is important to be aware of how to track both the costs and the utilization that caused them. Because of the nature of the AWS it is easy to become paranoid about the threat of hackers. While one popular view of hackers is associated with the loss of personal another risk is of hackers taking control of one or more of your AWS assets (such as EC2 instances) for one nefarious purpose or another and running up your bill. As a result it is important to both know how to monitor your bill but also how to monitor your usage. You should look at this area regulalarly to be familiar with what your “normal” patterns are which will help you recognize anything unexpected that may appear. A recent addition to the menu items for your account includes an entry for ‘Billing & Cost Management’. If you do not see it you may not be authorized. Recently the Reports section in that area added an EC2 Instance Usage Report and EC2 Reserved Instance Usage Report choices.
This view will let you view at various intervals and granularity the utilization or cost for that utilization of the resources that you choose. Colors in the columns will also breakdown the type of instance that accounted for that percentage of use. Also be aware that alerts can be configured to notify you if cost or related activities occur that cross a configurable threshold of your choosing. If you have not browsed this area recently you should take a look at it.