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October 24, 2016

Cloud wars: AWS fires back at competitors with pricing update

Pricing update is designed to help give finance managers greater control.

By James Nunns

Amazon Web Services is upgrading its Budgets tool in order to help customers keep cloud pricing under control.

On Thursday 20th October AWS faced criticism from its public cloud rival Google regarding its pricing model, but AWS is now looking to make its pricing less complex.

Jeff Barr, chief evangelist for AWS, wrote on the company’s blog that the feature, AWS Budgets, is designed to be used by Finance Managers, Project Managers, and VP-level DevOps people in order to maintain a unified view of costs and usage for specific categories.

Essentially this is a tool for the people in control of the purse strings that may have been getting a bit of a headache when it comes to managing the billing of their AWS services.

Barr wrote: “You can use AWS Budgets to maintain a unified view of your costs and usage for specific categories that you define, and you can sign up for automated notifications that provide you with detailed status information (over or under budget) so that you can identify potential issues and take action to prevent undesired actual or forecasted overruns.”

Additions to the service will see it now being capable of creating up to 20,000 budgets per payer account.

Barr identifies the problem looking to be solved: “With AWS in use across multiple projects and departments, tracking and forecasting becomes more involved.”

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AWS is hoping to make it easier to control the cost of cloud usage.

AWS is hoping to make it easier to control the cost of cloud usage.

Basically, AWS is being used in many different places in a business, this creates sprawl and it is necessary to control that or face surprisingly high cloud bills and an inability to accurately budget.

The majority of enterprise IT spending remains on-premises but as services have increasingly moved to the cloud it has been a challenge for many to maintain billing control.

AWS has had a pricing tool for a while but has still faced criticism from other vendors who have upgraded or introduced their own pricing tools this year.

In July Microsoft introduced an open source Usage and Billing Portal to help customers visually track all of an organisations cloud expenses over multiple accounts. Google meanwhile introduced its TCO Pricing Calculator which allows users to compare Google Cloud Platform against AWS for total cost of ownership.

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