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AWS Offers Some Clarity on Cloud Costs

Calculating cloud computing costs is a knotty task for cloud customers and partners alike. Major vendors like Microsoft and Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) routinely slash and adjust the costs of their various cloud services, while constantly adding new ones.

To give its customers more transparency into how much their cloud use is costing them, AWS recently launched its AWS Price List API, which is available for all public AWS datacenter regions except for Beijing.

In a blog post, AWS evangelist Jeff Barr described the API as a way to meet the budgeting and forecasting needs of its users.

"Many AWS customers and partners have been asking for a programmatic way to access prices for AWS services. This information can be used in several ways. Some potential customers are evaluating the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of moving their on-premises workloads to the cloud and want to 'do the math.' Current customers and partners would like to make sure that their budgeting, forecasting, and analytics tools are able to analyze AWS prices without having to resort to scraping our web site. Our Managed Services Partners create and supervise tens or thousands of linked AWS accounts...and need to make sure the bills presented to their customers reflect the cost of each resource," Barr wrote.

The API gives users access to Offer files (in JSON or CSV format) that lists pricing information for individual AWS services. The files do not list information for free AWS tiers or Amazon EC2 spot instances, however.

Users can also opt to receive notifications for pricing changes via the Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS).

Instructions for accessing and using the API are available here.

About the Author

Gladys Rama is the senior site producer for Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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