CloudCheckr
Article Amazon Web Services December 30, 2016

Top CloudCheckr Features of 2016

This was an action-packed year for CloudCheckr. We rolled out tons of new features, which you can check out anytime in the “What’s New?” section of our Support portal. As 2016 draws to a close, we wanted to wrap up the top 10 reports and features that were added to the app this year.

Automation

As the industry shifted, so did CloudCheckr. The idea of someone else changing anything in your environment was a scary thought for a long time, but by now many people have warmed up to it. However, they also realized that automation is necessary to scale quickly and safely at the pace that the cloud enables. When we originally rolled out CloudCheckr Automate, we offered automation for  just a few key clean up tasks; since then, we’ve rolled out RI rebalancing, automatic snapshots, and more.

RI Rebalancer

Another report we rolled out this year was our RI Rebalancer. CloudCheckr can reallocate your Reserved Instances by modifying them programmatically using the AWS API. When CloudCheckr determines that an RI should be modified, it will make a recommendation which you can simply click “Fix” to adjust.

Dashboards
This year CloudCheckr released more powerful dashboards to help you quickly visualize and summarize AWS costs. The goal was to improve visibility of where and how investments are being utilized across your AWS environment. So far they’ve been invaluable to our customers—and we’ve been continuously updating them to improve capabilities in each release. (New CloudCheckr dashboard features are especially customer-driven, so please keep sending us your feedback!)

Right Sizing Report
We developed a Right Sizing Report which analyzes instances based on CPU and memory usage to create a utilization score. This score is then used to show you if your instance is under- or over-utilized. The report helps to not only immediately identify cost-saving opportunities from incorrectly sized instances, but also helps in terms of performance to make sure that everything is running in optimal conditions.

User Groups
User Groups have many different use cases within the CloudCheckr app. Managed Service Providers and AWS Resellers have especially found use in this report for its ability to easily customize user permissions at scale.  This enables increased margins through charging for access to different CloudCheckr reports that ultimately provide value to their end users, as well. User Groups allow you to drill down into user permissions at the report level, and gives you full control over which accounts have access to CloudCheckr reports.

Cost Changes Report
The Cost Changes report allows you to compare cost between two different periods of time by description. The report is based on data collected from the AWS Detailed Billing report. This report is powerful and provides a lot of depth as you can compare, for example, last month and the current month to identify spikes in cost. From there, you can drill down and easily see which services are costing you the most.

Bill Rerating
CloudCheckr added and built upon a multitude of reports in our AWS Partner Tools this year, many of which help CloudCheckr customers more accurately bill their customers or end users. CloudCheckr customers have the ability to create invoices that don’t just show the blended and unblended rates Amazon provides, but also allow you to use List cost. List cost shows what a customer would have paid as a standalone account, factoring out things like RI utilization. The app offers the ability to easily define what List cost is within the UI—for instance, if you wanted to add a 3% charge for RI utilization; there are many different ways you can configure the bill. All of these changes are wrapped up nicely within bills, accurately breaking down all costs for your end user so that they understand exactly how they are being billed.

RI Mapping
When you purchase an EC2 Reserved Instance from AWS you receive an hourly discount to run your EC2 instances over On-Demand pricing. However, there is no way to dictate which of your EC2 instances receive the hourly discount benefit. With the RI Mapping report, you can assign the Reserved Instance usage discounts to specific EC2 instances with matching Availability Zone, type, platform, and tenancy. This is especially useful for MSPs because it helps associate proper costs with individual accounts.

Lambda Functions tied to CloudTrail Alerts
Continuing our effort to automate processes to save customers time and money, CloudTrail alerts can now call Lambda functions to perform actions when events are triggered by entering valid Lambda function ARN on any alert. CloudCheckr then sends the full event json plus some other useful properties as a payload to the Lambda function. Instead of basic email notifications, you can now automate the process of reacting to alerts this way.  

Advanced Budget Alerting & Burndown
Within our Cost reports, you have the ability to set up alerts to identify cost fluctuations to adhere to your budget. You can set up alerts in a dollar per day option, or in a percent average option. The dollar per day option enables alerts when the total per day dollar amount during a user-defined period is greater than the average during the previous period, while the percentage option works similarly but uses a percentage average.

As part of our Dashboards feature (see above), you can set budgets and add panes to show specifically what percentage of the budget is currently used, and what percent of the budget is predicted to be used, during a given period.

These are just a handful of the reports and features released in 2017 to improve users’ efficiency. As we’ve said many time before, a vast majority of our reports have been developed based on user feedback and suggestions. We welcome any suggestions via email (support@cloudcheckr.com). Maybe your ideas will make next year’s top 10 wrap up!

Reach out to discuss how your organization can experience CloudCheckr’s new features.

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