AWS Billing n Pricing

AWS Organizations

What are AWS Organizations?

This service offers policy based management for multiple AWS account. With Organizations, we can create groups of accounts and then apply policies to those groups. Organizations enables us to centrally manage policies across multiple accounts, without requiring custom scripts and manual processes. Using AWS Organizations, we can create Service Control Policies (SCPs) that centrally control AWS service use across multiple AWS accounts. We can also use Organizations to help automate the billing for multiple accounts by enabling us to set up a singe payment method for all the accounts in our organizations through consolidated billing. AWS Organizations service is available to all AWS customers at no additional charge.

Main Features/Benefits:

  • Centrally manage access policies across multiple AWS accounts
  • Control access to AWS services
  • Automate AWS account creation and management
  • Consolidate billing across multiple AWS accounts

What is consolidated Billing?

AWS Organizations service enables us to set up a single payment method for all the AWS accounts in our organization through consolidated billing. With consolidated billing, we can see a combined view of charges incurred by all our accounts, as well as take advantage of pricing benefits from aggregated usage, such as volume discounts for Amazon EC2 and Amazon S3.

Main Features/Benefits:

  • Central locations to manage billing across all our AWS accounts.
  • Gain volume discounts for usage across all our AWS accounts.

AWS Pricing Models

1. AWS works on a pay-as-you-go model, meaning we only pay for what we use when we are using it. There are no upfront cost and charges immediately end when we stop using a particular service or feature.

2. No long term contracts or complex licensing are required. Exceptions can be something like reserved EC2 instances (not required).

3. Volume discounts are available. So the more we use a service, the cheaper it can get (per unit used).

4. There are no termination fees.

5. AWS offers a free Tier options for those new to AWS. Free Tier offers limited AWS resources to us free of charge for 12 months (new accounts only).

How Does AWS pricing Work?

Simple Storage Service (S3)

  1. How much data we store:
    • Applies to data at rest in S3
    • Charged per GB stored
    • Price per GB varies based on region and storage class
  2. Request pricing - moving data in/out of S3:
    • PUT, POST, LIST, GET request (API request)
    • Lifecycle transition request
    • Data retrieved, data archive, data restore

Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2)

We are charged per second (based on an hourly rate) for the amount of time the instance is in a running state (applies to On-demand and Spot). Reserved instances are in one or three year terms regardless of use. Hourly rates depend on options we select , such as:

  1. The Purchasing Option we choose:
    • On-demand, reserved or spot
  2. Instance Type - the instance's processing capacity (think CPU):
    • e.g. general purpose compute optimized, GPU optimized etc
  3. AMI Type - think operating system:
    • Linux (price varies based on type/software packages)
    • Windows (price varies based on version/software packages)
  4. Region the instance is provisioned in

Note: We are also charged for transferring data in/out of an instance.

EC2 Pricing Models

On-Demand (OD) Pricing Model

  • When we launch EC2 instances, by default pricing model attached to that instance is On-demand.

Reserved Instances (RI) Pricing Model

  • Designed for applications that have a steady state, predictable usage, or require reserved capacity.
  • Reduced pricing is based on Term x Class offering x payment option.
  • RIs can be shared between multiple accounts within an org.
  • Unused RIs can be sold in Reserved Instance Marketplace.

Spot Instances (SI) Pricing Model

  • AWS has unused compute capacity from their idle servers. SI provide a discount of 90% compared to OD.
  • SI can be terminated by AWS at anytime. We do not get charged for the partial hour of usage.
  • If SI is terminated by us, we have to pay for the full duration that instance ran.
  • AWS Batch is an easy and convenient way to use Spot Pricing.

Dedicated Pricing Model

  • Designed to meet regulatory requirements; when we strict server bound licensing that do not support multi-tenancy or cloud deployments.

Multi Tenant Vs Single Tenant

In Multi Tenancy, multiple customers are running workloads on the same hardware. Virtual isolation is what separate customers.

In Single Tenancy, a single customer has dedicated hardware. Physical isolation is what separates customers.

AWS Free Services

AWS free services include IAM, VPC, Auto Scaling, Cloud Formation, Elastic Beanstalk, Opsworks, Amplify, AppSync, CodeStar, Organizations & Consolidated Billing, AWS cost explorer etc.

Free services can provision AWS services which cost money.

AWS Support Plans

Basic: Email support only for billing and account. No cost

Developer: Tech support via email 24 hrs SLA. No third party support. General Guidance (24 hrs SLA). System Impaired (12 hrs SLA). USD 20 per month

Business: Tech support via email 24 hrs SLA, also chat, phone 24/7. General Guidance (24 hrs SLA). System Impaired (12 hrs SLA). Production System Impaired (4 hrs SLA). Production System Down (1 hr SLA). USD 100 per month.

Enterprise: Tech support via email 24 hrs SLA, also chat, phone 24/7. General Guidance (24 hrs SLA). System Impaired (12 hrs SLA). Production System Impaired (4 hrs SLA). Production System Down (1 hr SLA). Business critical system down (15 min SLA). Personal Concierge. Technical Account Manager. USD 15,000 per month.

Creating a support case

On AWS Services menu, search support and click Support. Next page, click Create Case. We can see three categories. Account and Billing support, Service Limit Increase, and Technical Support. Also note that under Basic Plan, Technical Support is not available to select. We can select web, chat or phone options depending on our support plan.

AWS Marketplace

AWS Marketplace is a curated digital catalogue with thousands of software listings from independent software vendors. Easily find, buy, test and deploy software that already runs on AWS. The product can be free to use or can have an associated charge. We are charged via our AWS account and AWS pays the vendor.

The sales channel for ISVs and consulting partners allows you to sell your solutions to other AWS customers. Products can be offered as

  • Amazon Machine Images (AMIs)
  • AWS Cloud formation templates
  • SaaS offerings
  • Web ACLs
  • AWS WAF rules

AWS Marketplace Subscription

On AWS Services menu, search market and click Marketplace Subscriptions. Next page, click Manage Subscriptions. Next page, click Discover Products. Next page, we can browse the category we are interested in.

We can also directly buy an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) in EC2 --> AWS Marketplace.

AWS Trusted Advisor

TA advises us on security, saving money, performance, service limits, and fault tolerance. We can also think of it as an automated checklist of best practices on AWS.

7 Trusted Advisor checks are free and mentioned below. Business and Enterprise support plans get All Trusted Advisor check.

  1. Security groups (port checks)
  2. IAM use
  3. Is multi-factor authentication (MFA) enabled on the root IAM user account?
  4. EBS public snapshots
  5. RDS public snapshots
  6. Service limits
  7. S3 Bucket permissions

Trusted Advisor Categories

  • Cost Optimization
  • Performance
  • Security
  • Fault Tolerance
  • Service Limits

On AWS Services menu, search Trusted and click Trusted Advisor. Next page, we can check for red and yellow marked advisory categories for issues and recommendations.

Consolidated Billing

We can consolidate one bill for all our AWS accounts. AWS treats all accounts in an organization in one account. We can designate one master account that pays the charges of all other member accounts. Consolidated billing is offered at no additional cost. Use Cost Explorer to visualize usage for consolidated billing.

Consolidated Billing Volume Discounts

AWS gives volume discounts for many services. For example,

Data Transfer

Tier 1: 10 TB, Cost = $0.17 per GB

Tier 2: 40 TB, Cost = $0.13 per GB

1 TB=1024 GB

If two users transfer a total of 12 GB data:

  • Unconsolidated : $2088.96
  • Consolidated : $2007.04

AWS Cost Explorer

AWS Cost Explorer lets us visualize, understand and manage our AWS costs and usage over time. If we have multiple AWS accounts for an organization, all accounts cost will be consolidated in the master account. We can use forecasting to get an idea of future costs.

On Services menu, search costs and click AWS Cost Explorer. Please note if we logged in as an IAM user, we will get a denial to access billing. We need to login using root user and then grant access to IAM user for billing console.

AWS Budgets

First two budgets are free of charge. Each budget is $0.02 per day ~0.60 USD / month. 20,000 budgets limit. We can plan our service usage, service costs and instance reservations.

AWS Budgets give us the ability to setup alerts if we exceed or are approaching our defined budget.

We can create Cost, Usage or Reservation Budgets. Can be tracked at the monthly, quarterly, or yearly levels with customizable start and end dates. Alerts support EC2, RDS, Redshift, and Elastic Cache reservations. Can be easily managed from the AWS Budgets dashboard or via the Budgets API. Get notified by providing an email or chatbot and threshold how close to the current or forecasted budget.

On AWS Services menu, search budgets and click AWS Budgets. Next page, click Create Budget. Next page, we can select Cost Budget or Usage Budget or Reservation Budget or Savings Plans budget. We select Cost budget and click Set your budget. Next page, input Name, select period as monthly. Select Recurring Budget. Select current month as start month. Select Budget amount as Fixed and input Budgeted amount. Click Configure alerts. Select Alert 1 as Actual Costs. Set Alert threshold at 80% of budgeted amount. Input Email address of contacts. Click Confirm Budget. Next page, click Create. That's it.

TCO Calculator

Total Cost of Ownership allows us to estimate how much we would save when moving to AWS from on-premise.

It provides a detailed set of reports that can be used in executive presentations.

The tool is built on underlying calculation models that generate fair assessments of value that can be achieved based on the data provided.

TCO helps by reducing the need to invest in large capital expenditures. It is only for approximation purposes only.

Launch the TCO Calculator:

  • Describe your environment
  • View 3 year summary of cost comparisons
  • Download a full detailed report

Google TCO and go the page. Click Launch the TCO Calculator. Fill in the information and TCO calculator will give us the comparison.

AWS Simple Calculator?

It is used to estimate the anticipated AWS bill based on scenarios. Simple calculator estimates our monthly bill and can provide a per service breakdown of cost.

AWS simple calculator is being replaced by AWS pricing calculator which estimates cost for AWS services based on use case.

The pricing calculator may be used to estimate cost using various workloads including on-demand and reserved instances. Pricing calculator also helps us identify the cost-effective use case for our instance. Service costs may also be compared on a per-region basis.

AWS Landing Zone

It helps enterprise quickly set-up a secure, AWS muli-account. Provides with a baseline environment to get started with a multi-account architecture.

AWS Account Vending Machine (AVM)

It automatically provisions and configure new accounts via Service Catalog Template. Uses Single Sign-On (SSO) for managing and accessing accounts. The environment is customizable to allow customers to implement their own account baselines through Landing Zone configurations and update pipeline.

Resource Groups and Tagging

Tags are words or phrases that act as metadata for organizing your AWS resources.

Resource Groups are a collection of resources that share one or more tags. They help us organize and consolidate information based on our project and resources that we use.

Resource Groups can display details about a group of resource based on:

  • Metrics
  • Alarms
  • Configuration Settings

In EC2 console, launch couple of instances. But this time, on we will add Tags on Tags page. Once the instances are launched, click on Resource Groups next to Services menu. Click on Create a Group. Next page (Create query-based group), select Group type as Tag based. In Grouping criteria, keep all supported resource types. In Tags, select the tag name that we created during launching instances and click Add. In Group Details, enter Group Name and Click Create group. Next page, we can see our resources under Resource Group. We can edit Resource Group by using left menu on Resource Group page. We can also edit Tags using left menu on Resource Group page.

AWS Quick Start

Prebuilt templates by AWS and AWS partners to help deploy popular stacks on AWS. Reduce hundreds of manual procedures into just a few steps.

A Quick Start is composed of 3 parts

1. A reference architecture for the deployment

2. AWS CloudFormation templates that automate and configure the deployment.

3. A deployment guide explaining the architecture and implementation in detail.

AWS Cost and Usage Report

Generate a detailed speadsheet, enabling us to better analyze and understand our AWS costs.

  • Places the reports into S3
  • Use Athena to turn the report into a queryable database
  • Use QuickSight to visualize your billing data as graphs

In upper right menu, my billing dashboard-->Get a usage report-->Create report

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