Comparing AWS Services for Cloud Cost Management and Optimization

Enterprises worldwide are making increasingly large investments in public cloud infrastructure to benefit from the promises of improved agility, faster time to market, and decreased risk. Cloud cost management and optimization can become a big challenge as organizations find that the decentralized nature and rapid scale of the public cloud lead to much larger bills than expected.

Beyond surprisingly high costs, organizations often find their teams spending more time trying to track and account for how their public cloud budget was used, rather than taking advantage of the benefits that drove them to the cloud in the first place.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers a number of tools designed to help its customers track and manage costs related to its services. To help make sense of all the tools available, this article will be the first in a series that will:

  • Break down some of the common cloud financial management challenges that organizations face as they evolve through their cloud journey
  • Highlight the AWS tools and cloud services designed to help alleviate these challenges
  • Explain why cloud consumers with more advanced cloud environments may outgrow the native tools provided by AWS and require a third-party cloud management platform

For a complete view of what we’ll cover in this series, you can download our whitepaper: Comparing AWS Tools for Cloud Cost Management and Optimization

AWS vs. third-party cloud cost management platforms

Before diving into the different topics we’ll cover in this series, it’s important to address a foundational question we often hear from cloud customers:

When considering AWS tools versus third-party cloud management platforms, do I have to choose one or the other?

The ideal approach for cloud financial management does not necessarily entail 100% reliance on one tool over another. In fact, many CloudHealth customers use the platform alongside AWS tools as part of their holistic cloud financial management practice.

The decision comes down to the number of tools and the amount of manual work your teams will be responsible for in order to manage complex, heterogeneous cloud environments. The intention of our whitepaper and for this article series is to help provide organizations the information they need to choose which tools, or combination of solutions, will best suit the unique needs of their business.

And if you’re looking for additional perspective, we recommend you check out the recording of a recent conversation we had with Forrester Research, where we discussed recent trends in cloud cost management, results from The Forrester Wave™: Cloud Cost Management and Optimization Q4 2020 report, and important considerations when choosing a cloud cost management solution.

A framework for cloud management maturity

To help structure our comparison of AWS tools for cloud cost management, we’ll outline the key capabilities organizations should consider at each phase of CloudHealth’s framework for cloud management maturity.

This framework was developed based on cloud management patterns and best practices among CloudHealth customers, which includes more than 10,000 organizations of varying sizes, industries, and stages in their cloud journey.

cloudhealth cloud management maturity model

Here is a brief overview of what each phase of maturity looks like for cloud cost management and optimization, also referred to as cloud financial management or FinOps:

  • Cloud cost visibility: Attain complete visibility into all your cloud environments and accurately allocate cloud costs by team, project, or application for chargeback and showback
  • Cloud cost optimization: Optimize costs and find opportunities to eliminate waste
  • Cloud cost governance: Automate cost control measures and ensure compliance with budget guidelines
  • Business integration: Build a culture of financial accountability and align cloud cost optimization practices to strategic business initiatives

For our next article, we’ll dive deeper into the cloud cost visibility phase of cloud management maturity, including the primary challenges organizations face when it comes to visibility into their cloud spend and the native tools AWS provides to help meet these challenges.

You can also download our complete whitepaper to have all the information we’ll cover in this series in a single place.

If you’re looking for even more detailed information into the differences between AWS tools and CloudHealth, please don’t hesitate to set up a conversation with one of our experts. Our team would be happy to answer any questions you may have and demonstrate how the platform can help you improve your cloud financial management practice.

About the Authors

Lauren van der Vaart

Lauren is a member of the Multi-Cloud Solutions Marketing team at VMware. She is dedicated to delivering valuable, relevant, and actionable content for customers on their cloud journey, with a focus on public cloud security, cloud financial management, and cloud governance and operations. Before joining VMware, Lauren held various roles across digital and field marketing for global technology organizations.

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