Top 10 Cloud Cost Management Tools in 2023

Introduction

The organizational planning that allows an enterprise to understand and manage the expenses and needs connected with its cloud technology is known as Cloud Cost Management. This entails figuring out how to get the most out of the cloud while staying within budget.

Cloud prices are becoming highly obscured and difficult to track as cloud infrastructure becomes more complicated. Most public cloud providers adopt a “pay for what you use” model, which adds to the difficulty. If usage is monitored and managed properly, this model can save a lot of money, but it’s also possible for prices to spiral out of control. This is especially true if decision-making is decentralized across an organization, with individuals having little or no accountability for the instances they create and the expenses they incur. As a result, it’s critical for businesses to use a cloud cost management approach to get the most out of their infrastructure while keeping prices low.

The process of applying financial accountability to cloud spend is referred to as “FinOps”, short for Cloud Financial Management. This collaborative approach gives users visibility into the cloud, allowing them to make smarter decisions and have a greater understanding of how every dollar spent in the cloud affects the organization.

FinOps encourages all people of a company to take responsibility of their cloud usage by following best practices and working together to obtain the most value for every dollar spent as a cultural norm. Better understanding, visibility, control, and predictability of cloud spend are the end results of the FinOps operating model, which leads to increased business value.

Unused or overprovisioned resources are frequently discovered to be the largest contributors to cloud expenditures. Resources that have been spun up may lie idle waiting to be more fully utilized for a variety of reasons, or they may become unallocated or ‘zombie’ resources. In any case, gaining visibility into where money is spent is the first stage of the process, followed by smart cloud cost optimization.

There are tools out there that can make the process easier, whether you’re trying to get a handle on rampant cloud spending, purchase reserved capacity to maximize your spend based on historical usage data, or drive cultural change across your organization with regards to cloud cost management across your cloud services.

What are the most important features in a Cloud Cost Management Software?

It is important to know what to look for when deciding which software to invest in, and whether it will provide the expected ROI for your cloud workloads. Here are a few crucial features that ensure maximized optimization.

Cost tracking
This is a feature that applies accountability towards the cost of cloud services to the business unit that is responsible for the cloud spend. Companies can utilize the cost tracking feature in various cloud cost-saving solutions to track which departments are using cloud costs the most. This information is vital when making budgeting decisions.

Integration
Ensuring that your cloud cost management software supports integration is highly crucial. This feature is what determines the efficiency and convenience factor when working on multiple projects with numerous teams. Integrating with your project management apps will allow you to receive real-time alerts, make quick deployments, and have a greater measure of control & visibility of your cloud environment.

Automated alerts
Users can set up automated alerts and budgets on cloud spend management services. When there are permission failures, rapid cost spikes, untagged infrastructure, or budget constraints are exceeded, these alerts notify the user. It is vital to have alert sets in place to ensure company continuity and keep expenses down.

Recommendations
Some platforms offer intelligent recommendations that are designed based on your specific use case and resource utilization habits. They usually include tips about unused instances, storage inefficiencies, and compute suggestions. These small changes prove to be incredibly helpful in the long run since they reduce small scale resource wastage.

List of Cloud Cost Optimization Software

Depending on your scale and complexity, there are a variety of cloud cost management approaches that are suitable for your organization. To ensure that you choose the right method for your use case, it is highly recommended to become familiar with some of the cloud cost management methods available. Once you compare the benefits and disadvantages, it becomes significantly easier to decide which software would work best for your specific cloud computing workloads. Here is a ranked list of the best cloud cost optimization software.

[1]   Economize

Economize provides by far, the most convenient billing console system. Users can obtain an overview of monthly expenditures, unit costs, budgeting strategies, instance visibility, and much more. A multitude of services are at the user’s disposal, and a smart combination of them results in significant cost savings.

Unlike other cloud cost optimization products, Economize detects inefficiencies, addresses the influencing factors, and finally sets up guardrails and preventative measures to ensure constant optimization. Economize is the most granular cloud cost optimization service yet in this ever-changing environment. It is designed to be uniquely tailored to your organization, so size and other common hurdles are taken out of the equation

Sunburst-chart

Advantages

  • A dashboard containing smart insights always provides valuable information that is crucial to decision making.
  • Grants users the ability to view in-depth expenditures, resource utilization, and unit costs.
  • Integrations with BigQuery, Datadog, and Slack result in greater efficiency when working on multiple projects with multiple teams.
  • Variety of features are provided in cost reports, which can be arranged in whatever granularity or visualization format desired by the user.
  • Automatic anomaly alerts provide real-time updates and enough information to find the influencing factors.
  • Has a unique auto-tagging feature that labels unidentified instances.
  • Provides intelligent recommendations to get rid of under-utilized resources, and optimization tips for your specific use cases.

Limitations

  • Fully functional with GCP and AWS so far, Azure support is in development.
  • Although simple to learn, familiarity with the product and its features is important to know to ensure full utilization.

[2]   GCP Billing

GCP Billing is a Google Cloud Platform built-in feature that can help you understand your GCP cloud bill. It’s wonderful for getting started and on a small scale, but teams typically struggle to use it as the single source of truth since it lacks the granularity required. This tool is designed for finance teams who need a high-level view of their costs and cost-cutting options across their whole cloud infrastructure.

GCP billing console

Advantages

  • When you’re working on a small scale and have a simple cost structure and a small crew, this is a good option.
    Provides a high-level overview of where costs are incurred.
  • Based on your usage, it makes recommendations for how you can save.
  • Allows you to establish budgeting alerts and limit your GCP usage.
    Customers who use Google Cloud Platform don’t have to pay anything extra.

Limitations

  • To gain granular cost insight, strong tag hygiene is required.
  • Costs of idle or unallocated resources are not visible.
  • Costs outside of GCP, such as hybrid cloud and container costs, are not visible.
  • Even for high-level finance, it’s difficult to rely on exclusively as the organization grows.
  • Allows for some proactive cost management, but due to the disparity in needs between finance and engineering teams, it’s difficult to implement the supplied features in practice.

[3]   AWS Cost Explorer

AWS Cost Explorer is a built-in tool from Amazon Web Services that allows you to investigate your costs. It’s ideal for getting started and on a small scale, but as teams grow more sophisticated, they typically struggle to use it as the sole source of verified information.

AWS CE, like GCP Billing, is an platform to start for a firm with a small cloud footprint. If a company using AWS wants a high-level overview of all cloud charges to understand their bill and manage future budgets, AWS CE is a great alternative.

AWS Cost Explorer

Advantages

  • A high-level look at how people are using the cloud.
  • Customers may manage expenditures with bespoke views and filters that are simple to use.
  • Analytic graphs and charts assist in visualizing and comprehending usage.
  • Savings suggestions tailored to your needs.
  • Analyze usage data with custom reports.

Limitations

  • The user interface is poor.
  • Users can only see cost reports after they have occurred, hence it is not a truly proactive tool.
  • There is no overview of the expenses of idle or unallocated resources.
  • To enable granular cost insight, strong tag hygiene is required.
  • The utility only works with AWS, making it unsuitable for hybrid and multi-cloud environments.

[4]   Azure Cost Management + Billing

Azure Cost Management, like GCP Billing and AWS CE, is a built-in feature offered to Microsoft Azure cloud subscribers. Customers can use the platform to better understand their cloud costs and get a high-level perspective of Azure spending.

Users may personalize their platform and have more control over cloud consumption using Azure Cost Management’s many integrations than with other built-in technologies.

Azure Cost Management Dashboard

Advantages

  • Better reporting and dashboards are possible because of the integration with PowerBI and AWS
  • Based on your usage, it makes recommendations for how you can save.
  • You can use it to set budgeting alerts.
  • Customers who use Azure don’t have to pay anything more.

Limitations

  • To gain granular cost insight, strong tag hygiene is required.
  • Costs of idle or unallocated resources are not visible.
  • Any expenditures outside of Azure, such as multi-cloud and cluster charges, are difficult to see.
  • Even for high-level finance and with PowerBI integration, it’s difficult to rely on entirely as the organization grows.

[5]   Spot

Spot is a modern cloud cloud cost cost management application that focuses on assisting businesses in automating data-driven improvements. Spot is also a cloud management platform, as opposed to more typical tools that present possibilities but leave execution to the organization.  This tool is primarily for engineering teams, with a focus on finance as a secondary consideration.

Spot Cost Management

Advantages

  • Provides cloud infrastructure optimization features, including container installations.
  • Cost visibility across AWS, GCP, and Azure is supported.
  • Provides optimization suggestions that can be implemented in a few simple steps.
  • Cost trends that appear out of the ordinary based on usage patterns are shown.
    Forecasted spending based on historical consumption data is displayed.

Limitations

  • To have detailed visibility into cloud charges, good tag management is required.
  • There are no guidelines for resource scheduling.
  • Costs can only be seen on a daily basis.
  • Allowing a vendor to manage internal resources automatically carries a risk.
  • Can only see cost adjustments without being able to link them to technical changes.

[6]   Kubecost

Kubecost gives visibility into a company’s Kubernetes resources, allowing it to cut costs and avoid resource-related outages. The tool focuses solely on finding Kubernetes costs and optimization options, with no consideration for non-cluster costs such as resources in AWS, GCP, or Azure. This tool is primarily for engineering teams.

KubeCost

Advantages

  • Allocating and optimizing Kubernetes costs is the focus of this product.
  • Contains tools that aid in the improvement of infrastructure and the avoidance of outages.
  • Cost visibility is near real-time.

Limitations

  • This single solution cannot be used to view or manage all cloud expenditures, particularly outside of Kubernetes.
  • Customers are not prominently displayed or easily identifiable, indicating a potential danger in implementing the system.
  • There are few possibilities for automating optimization.
  • Users are unable to alter the size of storage volumes.
  • There are no guidelines for resource scheduling.
  • Report customization is limited out of the box.

[7]   Densify

Customers may use Densify to manage VMware, cloud, and container infrastructure while maintaining performance. Through machine-learning recommendations and automation, this solution allows you to take control of cost and performance. With insightful guidance, risk assessment, and extensive reporting tools, Densify can help you save money. The tool looks at CPU/Memory utilization and confirms that programs are using the right instance types. This platform works well in single-cloud, hybrid-cloud, and multi-cloud scenarios.

Densify

Advantages

  • Provides cloud infrastructure optimization features, including container installations.
  • Cost visibility across AWS, GCP, and Azure is supported.
  • Provides optimization suggestions that can be implemented in a few simple steps.
  • Cost trends that appear out of the ordinary based on usage patterns are shown.
    Forecasted spending based on historical consumption data is displayed.

Limitations

  • To have detailed visibility into cloud charges, good tag management is required.
  • Users are unable to alter the size of storage volumes.
  • Costs can only be seen on a daily basis.
  • Allowing a vendor to manage internal resources automatically carries a risk.
  • Can only see cost adjustments without being able to link them to technical changes.

[8]   CloudCheckr

CloudCheckr is a company that focuses on cloud cost optimization and security. CloudCheckr has a lot of features to help you manage your reservation portfolio. The platform offers practical suggestions for adjusting existing bookings to maximize coverage and reduce waste. A utilization heatmap and visualization panel are also included in the toolbox, which may be used to determine usage patterns and organize planned shutdowns. CloudCheckr is a suitable solution for firms using the cloud in high-risk industries that want to keep the number of management tools short due to the link between cost efficiency and security.

CloudCheckr

Advantages

  • A reliable security solution that monitors and assesses cloud risks and threats on a regular basis.
  • In high-risk industries, it assists with regulatory compliance.
  • Strong backing for portfolio management of reservations.
  • Decommissioning old Amazon EBS snapshots with advanced functionality.

Limitations

  • Cost optimization functionality that is somewhat simple and lacking in depth.
  • Policy-based management is primarily concerned with reporting difficulties rather than with solutions.
  • Cost optimization is not available for GCP or on-premises cloud systems.
  • For Azure-specific functionality, there is insufficient documentation.
  • Implementation schedules are not included in the recommendation feature.
  • Occasionally, there are issues with performance.

[9]   CloudHealth

CloudHealth is a cloud cost management application that focuses on cloud cost governance. Cloudhealth was the industry’s first important tool of its sort, and it lets customers gain visibility into their spending, optimize it, and set policies that fit compliance and financial management requirements. Finance teams will benefit the most from this service.

CloudHealth

Advantages

  • Creates and manages financial controls with excellent governance features.
  • Cost visibility across several clouds and hybrid clouds is supported.
  • Cost-cutting recommendations are made across all of your workloads, including reserved instance purchasing and rightsizing.
  • Has budgeting and forecasting features that assist teams in staying inside budget.

Limitations

  • To get comprehensive visibility into cloud expenses, including cluster charges like Kubernetes and hybrid cloud deployments, appropriate tagging procedures are required.
  • It’s impossible to get a handle on the expenses of idle and unallocated resources.
  • There are few possibilities for automating optimization.
  • Report customization is limited out of the box.
  • While vRealize delivers on-premises resource optimization, the two systems have distinct identity management, data structures, and user interfaces.

[10]   Apptio Cloudability

Cloudability is a cloud cost management application aimed at assisting customers in gaining visibility into their spending, as well as managing and optimizing it. They also assist businesses in visualizing how their cost profile will change as a result of a cloud migration. FinOps and financial teams will benefit the most from this tool.

Cloudability

Advantages

  • Cost visibility across AWS, GCP, and Azure is supported.
  • It has a tag explorer that may be used to locate missing tags throughout the infrastructure.
  • Anomaly detection, budgeting, and forecasting features enable teams prevent or anticipate cloud spending shocks.
  • ITFM tools have a plethora of integration options.
  • Cost visibility across many clouds is supported.
  • Contains an integrated explorer that locates missing tags throughout the infrastructure.

Limitations

  • AWS has strong support, however Azure, GCP, and on-premises stacks have limited support.
  • Object storage optimization is lacking.
  • There are a few bugs here and there.
  • There is a significant learning curve.
  • For customizing the suggestion policies, there are only a few configuration choices.
  • Costs can only be seen on a daily basis.
  • Engineering changes are not linked to price adjustments.

Conclusion

When considering cloud cost cost management platforms, the most important question to address is “What are the difficulties that a cloud cost management solution could potentially solve?” Understanding cloud spend inefficiencies and identifying the ones that are damaging the buyer’s business is critical. It is vital to consider the reasons behind cost inefficiency.

While there are numerous tools available for teams to use, the best option ultimately depends on the goals of the firm. Tools that make it easier to include teams at any level of the company are becoming increasingly important as firms improve their cloud management strategies and business norms to focus on responsibility for cloud costs. An organization can control expenses and exercise good governance while simultaneously ensuring that it gets the cloud resources it needs to stay competitive by prioritizing cloud cost management.

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