2 Simple Ways to Stop Blowing Your Cloud Budget

Cloud computing has enabled organizations to deliver applications to market in record time. However, this agility can also result in larger than expected cloud bills when applications use more or larger instances than needed and when unused instances are left running. RightScale Cloud Analytics provides an easy way for you to visualize cloud usage and costs across your entire organization, including actual spend and projected spend.

To help you keep your cloud spend in check and stay within budget, Cloud Analytics offers Scheduled Reports, which deliver daily, weekly, and monthly updates on your cloud usage and cloud costs directly to your email inbox.

Budget Alerts go one step further by notifying your managers, finance teams, and other users when there are potential cost overruns. I will show you how to leverage Budget Alerts to set budgets — for a team, business unit, application, or any slice of your cloud usage — and to get notified when budgets are exceeded.

With Cloud Analytics, you can create two different types of Budget Alerts:

1. Alert based on Actual Spend
Set a monthly budget and get an alert if your budget is reached prior to the month end. This type of alert is most useful for steady workloads with little variability from month to month.

2. Alert based on Projected Spend
Set a monthly budget and get an alert if your projected monthly spend (based on current run rate) will exceed the budget. This alert lets you know that your budget will be exceeded before you incur additional costs.

Imagine these real-life scenarios:

  • Your CFO wants to be alerted if the company-wide budget for cloud is projected to be exceeded.
  • A product manager has a set budget and needs to keep this strictly under control. She wants to be alerted if her current run rate shows that she will exceed the budget so that she can make adjustments.
  • Your VP of product development can create an budget alert for each product based on actual spend. If alerted, he can go to his product team to understand why the budget has been exceeded.

Set Cloud Budget Alerts for Specific Instances and Applications

Use the Analyze feature to zoom in on the portion of cloud spend that you would like to be alerted on:

From here you can slice and dice your cloud spend until you see the data you want to get alerted on. Then click Create and select Budget alert.

Define Your Budget and Your Alert Options

You can choose whether to receive alerts on actual spend or projected spend. You can also choose to share alerts with other people in your organization. In this example, you will be notified if the monthly spend on this application is projected to exceed $1,800:

If you receive an alert, you can click the button in the email to go directly to the segment of the budget with the issue and analyze the cause:


To change or remove the alert, go to the Budget Alerts feature in the main menu.

Budget Alerts help you stay on top of your cloud spend and prevent cloud bill shock. By enabling you to quickly respond to current or potential cost overruns, they keep your cloud spend aligned with your budget. To more easily manage your cloud budget, get a free trial of RightScale Cloud Analytics.