Amazon reveals 'improved' customer billing data

By Sooraj Shah
17 Dec 2012 View Comments
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Amazon Web Services (AWS) has moved to eradicate the need for third party tools and catch up with other cloud hosting providers by providing its customers with better detailed billing data.

The detailed billing data will allow customers to track their use of AWS's public cloud with new reports that include hourly line items.

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In a blog post, AWS evangelist Jeff Barr explained how the hourly line items can help AWS customers.

"If you use a combination of On Demand and Reserved Instances, you will now be able to ensure that you have enough Reserved Instances to meet your capacity requirements for any given hour," he said.

Barr went on to explain that Amazon's latest release will also allow users easier access to track and manage costs associated with Reserved Instances with AWS Consolidated Billing (those with more than one account which are linked). This is through the use of extra columns that show an "unblended rate and cost", as well as better prioritisation for the linked account that purchased the Reserved Instance initially.

Barr claimed that AWS had had a number of requests from customers for better access to more detailed billing data, hence the upgrade.

The move follows the emergence of third-party tools from start-ups such as Newvem and Cloudability that track cloud costs on AWS – Newvem even has its own iPhone app that allows users to see what they're using, how much they're spending, what is currently not working or about to go down. The start-ups also offer other analytics services that AWS could pick up on in the future.

Current AWS customers can turn on detailed billing on the AWS Billing Preferences page.

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