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Vantage Launches Advanced Analytics: See the Cost of Each Individual AWS Resource

Vantage Team
The Vantage Team

Today Vantage announces the launch of Advanced Analytics: a new suite of analytics that gives Vantage customers the cost of each individual AWS resource. Upon opting-in, Advanced Analytics gives customers the ability to see day-by-day cost data of each AWS resource broken down by category (e.g. Data Transfer) as well as subcategory (e.g. EU Egress Charges). Some examples include seeing a day-by-day breakdown of:

  • how much each S3 Bucket has accrued in cost by storage costs, transit costs and request costs
  • how much each Fargate service has accrued by compute and transit costs and
  • how much usage-based resources cost like SQS Queues, SNS Topics, Lambda Functions and more.

Previously, users only had AWS service level cost information in the Vantage console. They could easily see trends for services over time, but were unable to see which specific cost categories or resources were contributing to these costs. Vantage showed run-rates for active resources but there was no way to see the actual accrued cost for a resource and how that has changed over time - customers were just give an extrapolated rate that sometimes varied considerably from accrued costs.

Now, in addition to aggregate AWS service costs, customers are about to see their accrued costs for each individual AWS resource. For each AWS service, users can see how cost subcategories (compute, storage, transit) or resources have changed overtime and pinpoint specific moments when changes in infrastructure occurred. This makes it much faster for engineers to find the specific resource or set of resources which are contributing to new costs or monitor the specific impact of cost savings initiatives.

Advanced Analytics are opt-in and available for customers in Pro, Business and Custom Tiers and can be accessed from any Cost Report. Eligible Vantage users will be able to enable Advanced Analytics from their account settings page.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is being launched today?

Today Vantage is launching Advanced Analytics: the ability for Vantage customers to see accrued costs for each of their AWS resources. This gives Vantage customers the ability to see deeper cost analytics including:

  • Per-resource total accrued costs: See how much each AWS resource has accrued, in addition to their hourly and monthly rates. See a breakdown per AWS resource by category (i.e. Data Transfer) and Subcategory (i.e. EU Egress Charges)
  • Per-service subcategory costs: For each AWS service, you'll be able to see a breakdown by subcategory such as Compute, Storage and Transit costs.

2. Who has access to Advanced Analytics?

This feature will be available to Vantage customers who opt-in in the Pro, Business or Custom Tiers. Customers in the Free tier are not eligible to use this feature and must first upgrade. This is reflected on the pricing page here: vantage.sh/pricing

3. Which resources can I see costs for after enabling Advanced Analytics?

You can see costs broken down for any active resources in your account. Vantage maintains a list of supported active resources and is able to add support for additional resources relatively quickly. If you would like Vantage to add support for a specific AWS service please email support@vantage.sh and we can typically add support within a week.

While the accrued costs of ephemeral resources will be captured in Cost Reports at a service level, we are working on exposing costs for ephemeral resources which we expect to have available in October 2021.

4. What kind of cost data can I expect to see with Advanced Analytics?

For each AWS resource you will be able to see the following:

  • An accrued cost attribute for each AWS resource that shows you how much that resource has accrued for the current month.
  • A day-by-day graph for that resource's costs.
  • A list of editorialized cost categories for each AWS resource in total and graphed day-by-day (for example, you can click a Fargate Container Service and see costs broken down by Compute and Data Transfer)
  • A list of AWS subcategory costs for each AWS resource (for example, you can click a Fargate Container Service and see costs broken down by vCPU of CPU, GB Hours of Memory, and data transfer between specific AWS regions)

5. How do I opt-in to Advanced Analytics for my Vantage account?

The Vantage console will give you a simple, self-service method for enabling Advanced Analytics. Enabling Advanced Analytics typically takes under 1 minute and AWS will begin delivering data typically within 6-7 hours. Vantage will provide you with the ability to enable Advanced Analytics via the CloudFormation AWS Console, the AWS CLI as well as Terraform.

6. Technically speaking, what is happening when I enable Advanced Analytics via the provided CloudFormation template or Terraform file?

Advanced Analytics is contingent upon Vantage being able to ingest Cost and Usage Reports (CUR) from your AWS account. When opting in to Advanced Analytics, Vantage will do the following:

  • Create a new Cost and Usage Report (CUR) instantiation in your AWS account and publish it to a non-public S3 Bucket in your AWS account.
  • Assign a Lifecycle Policy (for 200 days) to files in the S3 Bucket holding Cost and Usage Reports so that you do not accrue significant costs in your S3 Bucket for maintaining Cost and Usage Reports for this feature.
  • Allow a Vantage IAM role to access this and only this S3 Bucket.
  • Create a NotificationConfiguration on this S3 Bucket so as new Cost and Usage Reports are published by AWS, the Vantage IAM role will be able to retrieve the latest Cost and Usage Report file to ingest and process the data to display in the Vantage console.

7. I am already generating Cost and Usage reports for my AWS account - how do I give associate them with my Vantage account to enable this feature?

Please contact support@vantage.sh for us to work with you on getting this enabled.

8. Is there any additional cost to me when opting into this Vantage?

This feature is included as part of existing Pro, Business and Custom tiers. There is no additional cost. Your AWS account may incur some additional storage costs for temporarily hosting Cost and Usage Reports in S3 Buckets but we expect this to be be de-minimis. Vantage has also been prudent with applying lifecycle policies to ensure you don't endlessly accrue costs for Cost and Usage Report file storage.

9. Can I see historical costs for specific AWS resources as a result of Advanced Analytics?

Yes. You can see historical costs day-by-day for specific AWS resources and, assuming Vantage has access to the prior's month's Cost and Usage Report, its cost trends plotted versus the previous month's accrued costs.

10. How much history can I see after enabling Cost and Usage Reports?

Cost and Usage Reports only record data from the month in which they are enabled going forward. For example if you enable Cost and Usage Reports on September 7th for Vantage to ingest, Vantage will have all cost data available as of September 1st forward. Vantage will maintain storing this cost data for September and beyond so going into October, November, etc you will still be able to access data from the month in which you enable this feature in Vantage.

If you would like to see prior month's data for Advanced Analytics shown in Vantage, please email support@vantage.sh and we can manually ingest historical files to show you month-over-month trends.

11. What are Cost and Usage Reports (CUR)?

Cost and Usage Reports (abbreviated and referred to as CUR) are files which AWS publishes to an S3 Bucket on a recurring basis, typically 2-3 times per day. These reports contain cost line items which detail what usage is incurred by what resources and within which AWS accounts. Vantage ingests and processes these reports to show detailed breakdowns of specific resources or cost categories and how they have changed over time.

Learn More: https://docs.aws.amazon.com/cur/latest/userguide/what-is-cur.html

12. How up-to-date is the resource cost data?

Vantage is ingesting the most up-to-date information available from AWS which is refreshed on a schedule that AWS does not publicly provide but happens 2-3 times per day. Vantage will display cost data with a 24 hour lag to ensure the cost data is complete.

13. If I deactivate my Vantage account are the AWS resources associated with CUR automatically deleted?

No, not at this time. You can disable the cost and usage report generation by visiting https://console.aws.amazon.com/billing/home?region=us-east-1#/reports and deleting the "VantageReport" report. You can also delete the S3 bucket named "vantage-cost-and-usage-reprots-<YOUR_AWS_ACCOUNT_ID>" if you wish to remove the stored files.

14. After enabling Advanced Analytics, how long does it take for my Vantage console to be updated with this data?

This is dependent on AWS producing your next Cost and Usage Report file. Typically this takes between 6 and 12 hours. Upon you enabling Advanced Analytics, the Vantage console will be aware of when it has yet to receive its first Cost and Usage Report and let you know when the first file arrives for you to view corresponding data.

15. Do I enable this feature at a management level or at a member account level?

The ideal state is that you enable this at your management account level. Vantage will be able to ingest this on a per member-account level but we advise doing it at a management account level. We advise against enabling this at both a management and member account level as there may be data consistency issues.

16. How is the uploaded Cost and Usage Report backed Advanced Analytics secured?

The S3 bucket where the reports are uploaded is only accessible by the Vantage cross account role which was initially created inside of your AWS account. Vantage will never distribute the report outside of our secure systems.

17. Which AWS services are supported?

All AWS services are supported and we maintain a list of supported services for showing active resources.

If you would like a new AWS resource supported for active resources please just email support@vantage.sh and we can typically add it in a couple days.

18. Will Advanced Analytics data be available via the Vantage API?

Not right now. We are planning to expose this in the future.

19. Does our existing IAM Role for Vantage need updated IAM permissions?

As part of the setup process for Advanced Analytics the existing IAM Role will be granted the proper permissions to download the reports. There is no further action required outside of this process.

20. What happens if I delete the S3 bucket in my AWS account after enabling this feature?

Vantage will detect if the S3 bucket is gone and disable this integration on your account.

21. Why is this feature opt-in and not on by default?

Advanced Analytics requires Vantage to ingest and process Cost and Usage Reports. This requires you, the customer, to begin producing these reports and associating them with Vantage. As we cannot do this automatically, we require you to opt-in where we give you the ability to run a single command to get this up and running.

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