Cloudability logo
Registration is Now Open for CloudyCon 2019
Spend Visibility

Vlog: What’s an “Injected Line Item”?

By Mike McCullough on July 31, 2015

As a small section of your Detailed Billing File, the Injected Line Item can be easy to overlook. But these lines can provide vital insight into your usage optimization efforts, by informing how much you’ve spent on Reserved Instances and, perhaps more importantly, how much you’ve wasted on them.

In this video, we’ll walk through how the Injected Line Item works and what insights we can derive from its contents.

Let’s get nerdy.

Check out a closeup of the whiteboard and a transcript of the video below:

Injected line item whiteboard

Hi everyone, I’m Mike here at Cloudy HQ. Last time, we spoke a bit about blended and unblended rates, but there was one thing we didn’t get to spend that much time on. That was the injected line item. This is really important if you’re gonna try to understand what you’ve spent on RIs—or perhaps more importantly, what you’ve wasted on your RIs.

So let’s look at the injected line item in a little more detail.

Remember, this is going to be surfaced in the item description of your Detailed Billing Report, with details with how many hours you’ve purchased, how many have been used, as well as your rate and the instance type. A few of the other dimensions that are going to come through and be surfaced are outlined here, but before we get to that, let’s talk about some of the columns that you’re going to need to be familiar with, if you want to know how your RIs are performing.

The “total invoiced cost” column—which, remember, is also blended cost—is going to surface the amount you have spent to own the reservation. This will cover all of the RIs in your month for the 30- or 31-day period.

The “unblended cost” column is going to surface the cost of your unused RI hours. This is great for calculating your waste, whether that’s in a report or a Cloudability widget on your dashboard.

The “usage quantity” column is going to contain the number of those unused hours, and your blended and unblended rate will be blank. But depending on how you’ve grouped your data, you may have values there.

So let’s take a quick look at some of these dimensions, and keep in mind the most critical ones.

To start, the injected line item cannot be tagged. This is absolutely important to remember. If you’re running a report that’s filtered to exclude your untagged instances, and you’re only looking at your total invoiced, cost, you will not capture what you’ve spent for those reserved hours. You need to know whether this value is important to your use case and analysis, and whether those RI hours need to be included.

The “product name” will reflect what you have reserved: “Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud.”

The “compute usage type” will come through as “heavy usage.”

The “usage type” in our example of an m4.xlarge will include your AZ, heavy usage, and the instance type.

Notably, the “availability zone” column, though, for your injected line item, will be produced with no region, no zone.

Lastly, the “account name” and “account ID” field will reflect where your RI was purchased. This allows you to run some very creative waste analyses on that account specifically.

A few of those examples are listed below the video on this page. Please click those, explore around in your data, and let us know if you have any questions, and we’re happy to explore further.


Reserved Instances – Heavy /Partial Usage Analytics

Reserved Instances – Monthly Upfront Usage Analytics

Reserved Instances – Purchase Cost vs Waste Cost


That’s all for this week! To catch my next video, be sure to subscribe for updates.

Being in the know feels great