Keeping on top of the outlay of your cloud estate is more important than ever. These platforms will help you get a pulse on your cloud use and associated costs, which can add up rapidly.
It feels like just yesterday that we were promised that cloud servers cost just pennies. You could rent a rack with the spare change behind the sofa cushions and have money left for an ice cream sandwich.
Those days are long gone. When the monthly cloud bill arrives, CFOs are hitting the roof. Developer teams are learning that the pennies add up, sometimes faster than expected, and it’s time for some discipline.
Cloud cost managers are the solution. They track all the bills, allocating them to the various teams responsible for their accumulation. That way the group that added too many fancy features that need too much storage and server time will have to account for their profligacy. The good programmers who don’t use too much RAM and disk space can be rewarded.
Smaller teams with simple configurations can probably get by with the stock services of the cloud companies. Cost containment is a big issue for many CIOs now and the cloud companies know it. They’ve started adding better accounting tools and alarms that are triggered before the bills reach the stratosphere. See Azure Cost Management, Google Cloud Cost Management, and AWS Cloud Financial Management tools for the big three clouds.
Once your cloud commitment gets bigger, independent cost management tools start to become attractive. They’re designed to work with multiple clouds and build reports that unify the data for easy consumption. Some even track the machines that run on premises so you can compare the cost of renting versus building out your own server room.
In many cases, cloud cost managers are part of a larger suite designed to not just watch the bottom line but also enforce other rules such as security. Some are not marketed directly as cloud control tools but have grown to help solve this problem. Some tools for surveying enterprise architectures or managing software governance now track costs at the same time. They can offer the same opportunities for savings that purpose-built cloud cost tools do — and they help with their other management chores as well.
What follows is an alphabetical list of the best cloud cost tracking tools. The area is rapidly expanding as enterprise managers recognize they need to get a grip on their cloud bills. All of them can help govern the burgeoning empire of server instances that may stretch around the world.
• Apptio Cloudability
• Flexera One
• Nutanix Xi
• VMware Aria CloudHealth
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