Multi-Cloud Budgeting and Chargeback in Xi Beam

February 5, 2019 | min

Businesses have increasingly been adopting a multi-cloud approach for their IT infrastructure with applications and workloads running in both public and private cloud environments. The increased adoption of public clouds has primarily been driven by the ease of deployment of resources in public clouds. Do you have a credit card? Great, off you go consuming cloud services and racking up your organization’s bill!

The elastic nature of on-demand instances in public cloud environments is sometimes better suited for agile workloads. However, the compromise is a loss of visibility and control over the cloud services that your engineering teams are consuming. When you have several cloud accounts across multiple cloud environments, not having a single pane of glass to provide you a holistic view of your spending patterns could lead to your budget blowing up and putting the timely delivery of your project in jeopardy.

Reining in Multi-Cloud Costs

In order to ensure that the benefits of using public clouds are not overshadowed by a huge increase in spend, there are three key things that cloud admins need to ensure:

  • Gain visibility into the cloud spend across teams, business units and, most importantly, cloud boundaries
  • Track the cloud spend against allocated budgets with real-time alerts to notify admins when budget is exceeded
  • An effective tagging strategy that makes it easier to chargeback any unallocated spending to the appropriate cost centers

With that in mind, Xi Beam is happy to announce that today we are extending our budgeting and chargeback features to multi-cloud environments providing our customers with the visibility and control needed to keep their spending within allocated budgets across the major public cloud providers.

Business Units, Cost Centers and Cloud Budgets

With this new release, we now allow you to create “business units” that can span boundaries across multiple public cloud providers. The business units in Beam should mimic your organizational structure to help you monitor the cloud budgets accurately. They can correspond to any functional unit in your organization for which you may want to track the public cloud spending such as teams, projects or departments. For example, if your dev engineering team uses several AWS accounts and some Azure accounts, you could create the dev-engineering business unit and add all the AWS and Azure accounts that they use to the business unit definition.

You can then create multiple cost centers within each business unit and allocate a budget at the entire business unit or individual cost center level. The cost centers nested under a particular business unit can only be defined on the the cloud accounts included in that business unit. Beam will pick up all the tags being used in those cloud accounts and identify the spending in the cost center based on the tags. You can filter the tags and chose only the ones you may want to keep in a particular cost center. By accurately identifying the resource consumption for each cost center, based on the tags you specify, Beam will help you more accurately and easily identify the spending across your multi-cloud environment.

Importance of Tagging Cloud Resources

In order to ensure that Beam is tracking your cloud spend accurately, it is important to ensure your cloud resources are tagged and that you add the appropriate tag-key in the definition of the cost center. Beam will pick up all values for a tag-key. You may have several cloud resources that are untagged or untaggable. In this case it is important to chargeback those resources to the appropriate cost center to ensure that the spend amount associated with each cost center is accurate. The general maxim when it comes to tagging resources is “You may not be able to tag everything but tag everything you can.”

For additional reading on how to develop an optimal tagging strategy for your public cloud environments, we recommend checking out this eBook on “Smart Tag Management for Cloud Governance”

Multi-Cloud Governance with Beam

We encourage you to go ahead and try out Xi Beam – the multi-cloud governance tool to help you gain visibility, optimization and control over your multi-cloud spend. Get started with a free trial today.

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