Cloudability logo
Registration is Now Open for CloudyCon 2019
Spend Visibility

Four KPIs that every cloud cost dashboard needs

By Leah Weitz on February 4, 2015
Four KPIs that every cloud cost dashboard needs

Staying on top of your organization’s cloud use is easy when your KPIs are right in front of you. That’s why we built our Custom Dashboard—you can choose the cloud cost and usage data relevant to you, then display it all on one screen as a series of graphical widgets to keep you up-to-date on what’s going on in your cloud:

cloud cost dashboard

You can choose from millions of different widgets for your Cloudability dashboard—and chances are, no two dashboards will feature the exact same set. However, there are a few KPIs that are critical for everybody to be watching.

Here are four KPIs that every cloud cost dashboard needs:

Running instances vs. invoiced cost

Keeping an eye on your daily running instances and associated spending is a great way to track trends, identify changes, and ensure that you won’t be faced with any surprises when the bill rolls around. 

Cloud cost dashboard widget 1

To build a “Running instances vs. invoiced cost” widget for your Cloudability dashboard, start by creating a new widget using the “New Widget” button. Then, build a “Column” layer with “Running Instances” as your Metric, “Date” as your Dimension, and select whatever time period seems most appropriate to you—we recommend “Last 60 days.” Then, add a “Line” layer using the “+” button with “Total Invoiced Costs” as the Metric, and “Date” as the Dimension. You can add a trendline as seen in the example above by checking the “Trendline(s)” box.

Reserved hours vs. on-demand hours

Reserved Instances can shave a huge amount off of your AWS bill, but they aren’t worth much if they’re not being used. Ensure that your reservations are achieving the savings you’d hoped for—and see whether your infrastructure could accommodate more reservations—with a widget that displays your Usage Hours broken down by Reserved vs. On-Demand. 

Cloud cost dashboard widget 2

To build a “Reserved hours vs. on-demand hours” widget for your Cloudability Dashboard, add a new widget with an “Area” layer that has “Usage Hours” as the Metric and “Date” as the Dimension. Add a “Line” layer with “On Demand Hours” as the Metric and “Date” as the Dimension, then one more “Line” layer with “Reserved Utilization Rate” as the Metric. Then, add the filters “Item Description does not contain Hours Used,” and “Product Name contains Compute.”

Running instance gen vs. Reserved Instance utilization

Tracking how many hours you’re running on previous generation instances versus new generation instances is a great way to visualize your infrastructure makeup and keep an eye on changes. Add your Reserved Utilization Rate on top of that and you can easily visualize how your RIs align with your infrastructure, and whether you need any additional reservations for either generation type.

Cloud cost dashboard widget 3

To build a “Running instance gens vs. Reserved Instance utilization” widget for an instance type (we’ll use m1 vs. m3 as an example), add a new widget with a “Line” layer that has “Running Instances” as the Metric, “Date” as the Dimension, and “Instance Type Contains m1” as the Filter. Add a second “Line” layer with the same Metric and Dimension, but with “Instance Type Contains m3” as the Filter. Finally, add a third “Line” layer with “Reserved Utilization Rate” as the Metric, “Date” as the Dimension, and with two Filters: “Usage Type contains m1” and “Usage Type contains m3.”

Cost and usage per X

A widget that features usage hours and cost, filtered to whatever metric is meaningful to your role—account, product, type, etc—will allow you to monitor spending and usage behavior specific to your interests. For example, someone in Engineering might filter by environment tag while someone in Finance might filter by department tag. 

Cloud cost dashboard widget 4

To build a “Cost and usage per X” widget for your Cloudability dashboard, add a new widget with a “Bar” layer that has “Total Invoiced Cost” as the Metric, and “X” as the Dimension (in the above example, we used “Usage Type”). You’ll want to set a Limit to this layer—we suggest “10.” Then, add a “Line” layer with “Usage Hours” as the Metric, “Usage Type” as the Dimension, and the same Limit you set for your other layer.

Ready to build these widgets for your own custom dashboard? Log in or sign up for a free 14-day trial of Cloudability Pro today.

Being in the know feels great