Documentation and Best Practices

Learn how to use Cloudability and get the most out of our cloud cost management tool

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TrueCost Explorer

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The TrueCost Explorer is a tool designed for people who don't (yet) necessarily understand the intricacies of how cloud billing files are structured. We offer an intuitive way to explore your billing data visually and answer questions about how your usage translates into costs.


Example 1 - What's driving my Data Transfer costs?

Most customers have had an experience where data transfer costs spike, but understanding what is driving the spike is no small matter. With most tools, you would need to know which of the dozens of attributes your vendor uses to identify data transfer, as well as the various ways that data transfer can manifest in the billing file (in fact, there are over 20,000 distinct line items that relate to data transfer in AWS alone).

With the TrueCost Explorer, you need only load the page and click on "Data Transfer," a standardized value that Cloudability provides under the Usage Family dimension. To get started, let's simply click on that Data Transfer node to add a filter and restrict this view to only Data Transfer costs.


Hey now! We can see a few things here. Most obviously, this gives you a single view of your data transfer costs across vendors. Also,  irrespective of vendor, Data Transfer costs have a LeaseType of On-Demand, which makes sense because you can't exactly buy a RI on data transfer. We can also see the Services which are driving Data Transfer costs, which in this example are primarily AWS EC2 and Azure Networking.

Let's rearrange the columns and add the Operation dimension to see what additional insight we can surface about Data Transfer costs.


We can uncover a few more interesting insights. On the Azure side, our data transfer costs are driven by Data Transfer out. Also, we can see that the vast majority of Data Transfer costs are InterZone transfer costs. Since those costs relate to moving data between Availability Zones within AWS, let's call out the region. Also, let's adjust the plotting filters and see how many small data transfer charges are out there.


And just like that, we've learned that:

  • Data Transfer costs are primarily driven by AWS EC2 and Azure Networking, with a long-tail of ten other services contributing minor amounts
  • Over 80 percent of Data Transfer costs are related to moving data between AWS Availability Zones in US-East-1
  • Azure Data Transfer accrue primarily in the NorthCentralUS and WestEurope regions

But wait there's more! Say we want to drill into the resources that are responsible for a particular subset of costs. Again, all we need to do is click on a particular node and select the View Top Line Items option.


And voila! We can understand at an individual resource level what is driving our costs.


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