Documentation and Best Practices

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

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Using the Cost (List) metric for Budget and Forecasting

Cost (List), Cloudability’s newly introduced cost metric in Public Beta, will allow you to budget and forecast your cloud spend with a more consistent cost metric. In the past, using other cost metrics, for example, Cost (Total) or Cost (Adjusted), you’d see some fluctuations in monthly costs that are not necessarily due to the fluctuations in consumption. It’s rather due to your Cloud operators’ diligence, maximizing the coverage of resource usage by reservations, resulting in lower Cloud spend for the organization overall. While reservations can lower your overall spend, the beneficiaries can change monthly. When, what, and how much you consume are all variables in play. This can make the budget and forecasting challenging. Custom pricing and Spot Instances can pose similar impacts as reservations do.

Cost (List), which peels back the benefit of reservations, Spot Instances, and custom pricing, can be useful. For example, for an instance usage that has been covered by an all-upfront reservation, the Cost (Total) will show $0 while the Cost (List) will show the on-demand cost for that particular usage. On the other hand, for recurring monthly fees and occasional one-time fees, Cost (List) will show $0 as these are likely the charges to be excluded for budget and forecasting exercises. And, for Spot Instances, the Cost (Total) will show the actual deeply discounted cost while the Cost (List) will show the on-demand cost of that particular usage.    

Cost (List) allows you to budget and forecast your cloud spend using a more consistent cost metric in a more conservative manner. This makes the metric a better fit for the more common approaches to budget and forecasting.

The FAQ below will further explain how Cloudability generates Cost (List) values. The difference between Cost (List) and Cost (Total) or Cost (Adjusted) essentially shows the overall benefits of reservations and custom pricing.

Additionally, in cases where specific cost metrics are not exposed to the end consumers, you could also use Cost (List) to chargeback the consumers (or business units, account groups, etc.)

You can set up Daily Mail notifications with Cost (List), helping them operate with a more consistent cost metric.


Which Public Cloud Vendors does Cost (List) support?
During the Public Beta period, Cost (List) supports AWS and GCP.

Why does Cost (List) sometimes show a lower value than the other cost metrics do?
The primary use case of the Cost (List) metric is around Budget and Forecasting. Cloudability zeroes out the values of certain line items depending on transaction types and lease types to help reduce the noise in Budget and Forecasting work. The line items that Cloudability zeroes out include:

  • Recurring RI Upfront Fees
  • One-time RI Upfront Fees
  • Custom Pricing Credits

Which items does Cloudability report as is for Cost (List)?
Cloudability reports the extraordinary credits (ex. Billing error correction) as is for Cost (List). In the case of GCP, Cloudability zeroes out the credits for Committed Usage Discounts. The credits for Sustained Usage Discounts, however, get reported as is. Again, it’s all about the primary use case of the Cost (List) — Budget and Forecasting. The items being reported as-is for Cost (List) are the ones that consumers (or business units, account groups) need to account for Budget and Forecasting works.

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