All AWS EBS snapshots (which allow you to create persistent block storage volumes for your AWS EC2 instances), including the untagged/underused/unused volumes, cost money. AWS has been evolving the custom tagging support for most of the services like EC2, RDS, ELB, BeanStalk etc. And now it has introduced Cost Allocation for EBS snapshots.

This new feature allows you to use Cost Allocation Tags for your EBS snapshots so that you can assign costs to your customers, applications, teams, departments, or billing codes at the level of individual resources. With this new feature you can analyze your EBS snapshot costs as well as usage easily.

Botmetric, quickly acting on this new AWS announcement, incorporated this cost allocation and cost analysis for EBS snapshots. Of course you can use AWS’ console to activate EBS snapshot tagging and get EBS cost analysis (read this detailed post by AWS to know how). However, when you take this approach, you are required to download the cost and and usage report and analyze it using excel sheets. This get’s tedious. But with this feature now available on Botmetric, you need not juggle through complex excel sheets.

Importance of Tagging EBS Snapshots for Cost Allocation and Analysis

Tagging has been an age old practice with AWS enthusiasts. Not every AWS service permits customer-defined tags for every AWS service. Some that do can be tagged only using API command line access. Among several AWS services, EBS snapshot storage too is one of the metrics that AWS accounts are charged for. So, tagging the EBS snapshots is pivotal for proper cost allocation.

More than that, as an AWS user, you can now see exactly how much data changes have been made between each snapshot, thus giving visibility on how much you can save by copying the snapshots to Glacier instead.

This new feature of will be of greatest interest to enterprise customers seeking to track their cost associated with EBS snapshots, which generally add few thousands of dollars to their AWS bill.

Earlier, it was a huge challenge for enterprises to track snapshot cost as they could not tag EBS snapshots for cost allocation. But with the availability of this new feature from AWS complemented with Botmetric’s capability to provide cost analysis for EBS snapshots, they get to drill-drown deeper into cost allocation and get a consolidated cost analysis view too.

Even Jeff Barr recounts this fact in his blog post that this feature will be very useful for enterprises, even for AWS customers of all shapes and sizes. He also adds the fact that managed service providers, some of whom manage AWS footprints that encompass thousands of EBS volumes and many more EBS snapshots, will be able to map snapshot costs back to customer accounts and applications.

Analyzing and Generating Cost Reports of Tagged ES Snapshots in Botmetric

Botmetric, since long, has been offering cost allocation and cost analysis feature. Right from helping customers with proper tagging policies, tagging resources that have not been properly tagged to providing them an edge to allocate costs for those items for which AWS does not allow, analyzing costs of resources for which tagging was not possible earlier, and much more.

If you have to manage your AWS cloud budget like a pro, your AWS cost allocation & chargeback must be perfect. Thanks to Botmetric Cost & Governance’s Chargeback and Analyze, many AWS customers have been able to define, control, allocate, and understand their AWS cost allocation by different cost centers in their organization, while also having an ability to generate internal chargeback invoices. Now with AWS releasing the capability to tag EBS snapshot, you will have a better visibility into your AWs spend.

Cost Allocation For EBS Snapshots In Botmetric

Using Botmetric Cost & Governance’ Chargeback, you can allocate cloud resources with IDs, including the EBS snapshots. Please refer the image below:

Cost Analysis Of EBS Snapshots In Botmetric

Using Botmetric Cost & Governance’ Analyze, you can analyze the total cost incurred by the EBS snapshots for a particular day or the month using the filter ‘EC2-EBS-Snapshot.’

You can even analyze the cost for each resource for a particular time stamp, so that you can get complete visibility into your EBS snapshot.

Report Scheduling And Shareability In Botmetric

With Botmetric, you can even schedule alerts and share the cost reports with a set of recipients, so that other members too have visibility into cost allocation and cost analysis.

With Botmetric, you can even share the cost allocation and analysis reports directly with the intended recipients.

P.S: According to AWS, snapshots are created incrementally and that the first snapshot will look expensive. In regards to a particular EBS volume, deleting the snapshot with the highest cost may simply move some of the costs to a more recent snapshot. Because when you delete a snapshot that contains blocks that are being used by a later snapshot, the space referenced by the blocks will be attributed to the later snapshot.

To Conclude

Since long, Botmetric has the feature to automate taking EBS snapshots based on instance tags, and volume tags, at regular intervals and at any time of day/week/month. With this feature, you can easily perform AWS EC2-EBS cost allocation and analysis.

And to bring cloud cost accounting under control, you need to build a cost reporting strategy for your cloud deployments. Having said that, this can be a daunting task. If you are looking for an easier way to track your cloud spend, the best way forward is to plug-in your AWS to Botmetric Cost & Governance cloud cost management console. Read this post if you want to know how to schedule interval job to capture EBS snapshots based on Instance tags.

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This article was originally published on Botmetric Blog.

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