The first tool, called Budgets, allows AWS users to define a monthly budget for their AWS cost. As the name implies, this means you can now set up a budget for all of your AWS spending, or set up a specific budget for just the EC2 service, for example. Then, when you get close to exceeding your monthly budget — or when your forecasted cost exceeds 100 percent — AWS will send you an alert.
In addition, AWS is launching a new tool for its Cost Explorer service today that tries to forecast monthly cost up to three months into the future. This service can look at data on an aggregate level, but more interestingly, it can look at specific services, tags, availability zones, purchase options and API operations. Given that there is probably some variability in how you use AWS in a given month, the service will also show confidence intervals for its prediction.
Estimating AWS cost is something of an arcane art, which is only complicated by Amazon’s granular pricing structure. The more complex the app you’re hosting on AWS, the harder it gets to figure out how much it’ll cost to run it on Amazon’s service (which also makes it hard to compare AWS cost to other cloud platforms). These new services will hopefully make it a bit easier to at least keep track of AWS cost without having to resort to third-party tools.