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Image: How to Manage Cloud Costs via a Single API

At RightScale, we are helping customers as they move toward automated outcomes where data and analytics are used to drive action. RightScale Cloud Analytics makes such automation possible by aggregating your costs across public and private clouds and virtualized environments. The Cloud Analytics API can help you progress toward a more automated approach to managing cloud costs. You can integrate with IT financial or accounting systems (Apptio, for example) and IT service management solutions (such as ServiceNow) or even use the Cloud Analytics API within RightScale templates and scripts.

Here are three examples of how you might use the Cloud Analytics API:

1. Optimize the Use of Purchased Reserved Instances

A primary benefit of RightScale Cloud Analytics is the ability to optimize your costs. If you are using AWS, one of the best ways to optimize instance costs is by using Reserved Instances (RIs). Once you have made the decision to buy RIs, you need to make sure that you are optimally using them. RightScale Cloud Analytics provides a single pane of glass that shows you all your RIs, their start and end dates, and the percentage utilized as well as wasted costs. In RightScale Self-Service, you can call the Cloud Analytics API within a Cloud Application Template to determine which RIs are currently underutilized, find ones that match your requirements, and then automatically provision to the appropriate instance type and availability zone to leverage those RIs.

This Cloud Application Template automatically deploys to available RIs.

Access the utilization of each RI through an API.

2. Retrieve Usage and Cost Information for Showback or Chargeback

RightScale Cloud Analytics tracks your cloud usage and cost information. Using the API, you can extract costs incurred by different business units on a daily basis and populate that data into spreadsheets or other financial systems to show each group how much they are consuming. This helps cloud users keep an eye on their costs and stops cloud cost sprawl. At the end of the month, you can use this data to charge costs back to each business unit.

Retrieve usage and cost data through an API.

3. Automatically Set Up Budget Alerts and Reports During Provisioning

Your enterprise may provision infrastructure through RightScale Self-Service, an ITSM portal, or a ticketing system. Your workflow may require an approval under certain circumstances. Whatever your workflow, before the virtual machines are provisioned you can call the Cloud Analytics API and set up a budget alert for the workload. When the approved budget is forecast to be exceeded, an alert email is triggered to the approver and the owner of the request. This enables you to take a proactive approach to managing your finances.

Use the API to automatically set up budget alerts when you provision to the cloud.