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Article Resource June 27, 2017

Ten Steps to Reducing Public Cloud Bills: Consolidated Billing and Tagging with AWS

Cloud migration is continuing to gain momentum—not just across industries, but within organizations. The easier and less expensive it is for teams to spin up individual instances, the faster they are deploying new applications on AWS. Yet as more workloads migrate to the cloud, even the most proactive organization can find themselves quickly overwhelmed by how to manage those quickly-multiplying cloud expenses. Faced with finite budgets for growing teams and initiatives, cloud spend must go farther.

Last week, we shared one step for reducing public cloud costs, as outlined in Gartner’s recent “Ten Moves to Lower Your AWS IaaS Costs.” While crafting the right toolkit of cloud management solutions will set you up to decrease cloud spend, you must understand how to effectively leverage native cloud tools in conjunction with third party cloud management platforms to take the next step. In this post, we cover another area for gaining efficiency in AWS cost management: consolidated billing and tagging.

AWS Consolidated Billing

Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides organizations with the option of consolidated billing, to unify data from separate accounts under one centralized payer account. Consolidated billing enables simplified operations for large organizations, bringing all payee accounts under one centralized account and supporting organization-wide governance. As Gartner explains, this consolidation is also key to negotiating successfully for volume discounts. Enterprises and larger organizations, in particular, see overall and support charges decrease at scale.

However, with consolidation comes the responsibility of allocation; organizations with multiple accounts—teams, departments, projects, individuals, etc.—are faced with the challenge of enforcing budgets and accountability. Understanding what is running, with real-time insights, visibility, and control, is critical for multi-account governance.

Tagging

The CloudCheckr platform offers tagging to help manage multi-account instances, images, and EC2 resources. This feature helps organizations to track activity across their AWS environment by team, department, account, or other useful categories that may help budget and allocate expenses. However, organizations may find trouble managing tags across a dynamic, growing infrastructure.

An efficient tagging strategy should help identify ownership, environment type, and the associated application of cloud resources—and help optimize cloud expenses. As Gartner explains, organizations should determine early on which tags are critical, and which are preferred (but optional), to ensure success.

With a cloud management platform like CloudCheckr, organizations can more easily establish, automate, and enforce tagging policies to oversee permissions and budgets. Tag-or-terminate policies for EC2 instances also help organizations manage resources at scale.  

To learn more about consolidated billing, and how to develop a tagging strategy to optimize cloud costs, join us for a webinar about best practices for multi-account management on Monday, June 10th. Register here.

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