Vantage Launches Segments: Map Costs to Business Units

by Vantage Team

Segments GIF

Today Vantage announces the launch of Cost Allocation Segments: customers can now ensure all of their costs are being appropriately attributed to corresponding organizational units (team, department, etc.). Segments ensure that costs are only allocated once and unallocated costs are easily identifiable to account for cost allocation “slippage”. Additionally, Segments support hierarchical nesting which allows for deep organization accountability and reporting. There is no additional cost to using Segments and the feature is available to all Vantage users.

Before, customers had the ability to create Cost Reports and assign filters based on accounts and tags to allocate their costs to a team or department. While this helps teams get visibility on their respective portions of costs, it was difficult to see a clear picture for full cost accountability and governance. In the event that the dimensions representing that team, business unit or service changed, it had to be updated multiple times across multiple Cost Reports which had the potential for creating drift and was cumbersome to update. Lastly, there was no ability to map filters to business hierarchies - this meant that certain “bubbling up reporting” of costs was not possible on Vantage despite the fact that Cost Reports could be organized into folders.

Now, customers have the ability to define Cost Allocation Segments in the new Cost Reporting section of the Vantage console. Under “Cost Reporting”, there is now a “Segments” section that will show a list of all defined top-level Cost Allocation Segments. When creating organization hierarchies within a segment you can optionally apply a set of filters. After doing this a Cost Report will automatically be created within this folder containing the allocated costs for the set of assigned filters. You can nest segments within one another and the costs associated with nested filters will be bubbled up to any parent segments. Here are a couple use-cases for Segments:

  • Maintain Tag Governance: Create a Segment for a particular tag key you want to enforce across your organization. Whenever there are costs un the “Unallocated” portion of the report, you can go and identify resources to assign to the proper team or service.
  • Map costs to Business Units: Using nested hierarchies, you can have cost allocation by team and sub-team. This would allow you to see costs grouped by “infrastructure engineering” then drill down into all the various sub-teams like “infrastructure engineering team 1” and “infrastructure engineering team 2”. Team 1 and Team 2 costs would “bubble up” to comprise a total cost allocation line-item for infrastructure engineering.

Grouping by Segment in a Cost Report

Cost Allocation Segments are available to all users, including users in the free tier, at the time of this blog post being published. To create your first Segment, head to the “Segments” portion of Cost Reporting here. To read product documentation about Cost Allocation Segments and how they work read our documentation here.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is being launched today?

Today, Vantage is launching Cost Allocation Segments: the ability to name, save and organize filters into a hierarchical structure, allowing teams to map their cloud costs onto the organizational units responsible for them. Segments can also optionally be nested in a tree structure to allow for “bubbling up reporting” of costs by business unit, service or team.

2. Who is the customer?

This customer is any Vantage user who wishes to:

  • View costs in a hierarchical structure - usually an organizational structure.
  • Need to ensure costs are only being allocated to a single team or business unit.

Typically this feature is leveraged by larger enterprises and isn’t actively used by startups or SMBs.

3. How much does this cost?

There is no additional cost to creating or using Cost Allocation Segments.

4. What is a Cost Allocation Segment?

A segment is a namespace of costs. You can also think of it as being a pivot on your costs. It is comprised of the following attributes:

  • Segment Name (Required, unique string)
  • Segment Description (Not Required, string)
  • Filters (Optional, Set of filters which allocate costs to the segment)
  • Allocation Priority (Optional, Required if a Filters are specified, Costs are allocated in order of priority - 0 is the highest.)

5. How do I view Cost Allocation Segments?

Segments Hierarchy

A nested hierarchy of Segments in the "Segments" tab in "Cost Reporting"

Cost Allocation Segments can be found by navigating to “Cost Reporting” and then “Segments”. If there are no segments present, you’ll see some information informing you what Segments are. If you have Segments present in your account, you can see a full list of top-level Segments sorted alphabetically.

6. I have existing Cost Reports with filters set, can I easily transition these filters to Segments?

This is not possible at this time. You will have to create Cost Allocation Segments from scratch. If you would like to have assistance from our customer success team, please email success@vantage.sh.

7. If I have a Cost Report with Cost Allocation Segments set and I update the Segment definition will those changes permeate out to impacted Cost Reports?

Yes, after updating segments you can manually refresh all segments by clicking the “Refresh Segment” button or wait until for the daily update at midnight UTC.

8. If I am viewing a Cost Report in a Cost Allocation Segment, what is the experience?

When you click into a Cost Report, you’ll be able to “Group By” Segment. If you group by Segment and click into costs for that Segment you will be taken to the corresponding Cost Report for that Segment. The rest of the Cost Report experience is the same. You will be able to view Cost by Service, Category and Resource.

9. Is there any limit to the level of nesting that can occur within Cost Allocation Segments?

There is currently no limit to the level of nesting that can occur.

10. Are costs deduplicated across sibling Cost Allocation Segments?

Yes. They are realized in the order of the allocation priority with 0 being the highest priority. Once a cost is allocated to a segment it will not appear in a segment with a higher priority number.

11. Can I see a Cost Report with two or more top-level Segments?

No, currently reports are only generated within a top-level segment and not combined across top-level segments.

12. Are Cost Allocation Segments represented on the Overview page?

Yes, a cost allocation widget will be available for each top-level segment. The widget will show a table of second level Segments and a comparison of costs for this month vs last. You can click each of these segment to be taken to the corresponding Cost Report.