Top 8 Cloud Cost Management Tools

Regardless of whether you use a single cloud service provider like AWS, GCP, or Azure, or you run in a multi-cloud or hybrid cloud environment, you’re almost certain to be spending money on resources that you’re not using. If you’re a developer or in engineering, you’re empowered to innovate and move quickly, and that means spinning up cloud resources. If you’re in finance or FinOps, you’re probably on the receiving end of those freely spun-up resources in the form of your cloud bill. Between the two sides of the coin, cloud cost management is the name of the game.

Companies often find that the biggest contributors to their cloud costs are unused or overprovisioned resources. Due to a plethora of reasons, resources that are spun up can end up idly sitting by waiting to be more fully utilized, or resources can become unallocated or ‘zombie’ resources. You can read more about the most common contributors to cloud spend and how to reduce cloud cost in an article I’ve recently published. In any case, getting the visibility into where money is being spent is naturally the first step of the journey, with smart cloud cost optimization being the second leg.

Whether you’re trying to get a hold of rampant cloud spending, purchase reserved capacity to optimize your spend based on historical usage data, or drive cultural change across your organization with regards to cloud cost management across your cloud services, there are tools out there that can make your life easier. This post will cover some of the most popular or common cloud cost management tools you’ll run into and showcase the pros and cons of each.

There are many cloud cost management methods that are most appropriate for you, depending on your scale and complexity. You’ll want to familiarize yourself with some of the cloud cost management methods out there to help you pick the best tool for your use case.

Harness cloud cost management tool

Tool #1: Harness Cloud Cost Management

Harness Cloud Cost Management is a tool designed for the modern-day software company in the cloud. Engineering, finance, and any other team has the capability to understand where costs are coming from and be proactive about visualizing, managing, and optimizing their cloud costs, both in a silo and collaboratively.

This tool is useful for finance, engineering, and FinOps/Cloud Center of Excellence teams.

Pros

  • Provides contextually relevant information at any level of the organization, with no tagging required
  • Gives visibility into cloud resource costs by utilized, idle, or unallocated, at hourly granularity
  • Surfaces savings recommendations across workloads and the data justification behind them, including rightsizing
  • Performs root cost analysis down to the resource level, with the potential to tie to cloud events and deployment changes when using Harness Continuous Delivery Platform
  • Has anomaly detection, budgeting, and forecasting features that help teams avoid or head off surprises in cloud spend

Cons

  • Can be pricey depending on how your cloud infrastructure is provisioned
  • New tool to the market that may miss some functionality customers may need – you can expect the product to be continuously improved with new features added regularly
  • May necessitate cultural change within an organization with regards to responsibility for cloud costs to get the full benefits of the product
  • New system may require training and some migration effort

To see a more in-depth breakdown between Harness and other providers, take a look at our DevOps Comparison Tools page. 


AWS Cost Explorer cloud cost management tool

Tool #2: AWS Cost Explorer

Each of the public cloud providers has their built-in console for you to see your costs at a high level. AWS Cost Explorer is the built-in tool that Amazon Web Services provides to help you explore your costs. It’s great for starting out and at a small scale, but teams often struggle to use this as the single source of truth as they get more sophisticated.

This tool is primarily useful for finance teams who need a high-level view of their costs and opportunities to save money across their whole cloud infrastructure.

Pros

  • Good at small scale, when you have a simple cost structure and few teams
  • Gives a high-level view of where costs are coming from
  • Provides recommendations for how you can save based on your usage
  • Allows you to set budgeting alerts
  • No additional cost for AWS customers

Cons

  • Requires good tag hygiene to get granular cost visibility
  • Can’t see idle or unallocated resource costs
  • Can’t see any costs outside of AWS, including hybrid cloud and container costs
  • Difficult to rely on exclusively as the organization scales, even for high-level finance
  • Not built for you to be proactive, only to see cost reports after the fact (with some ability to create warnings)

See a more in-depth AWS Cost Explorer vs. Harness comparison. 


GCP Billing cloud cost management tool

Tool #3: GCP Billing

Each of the public cloud providers has their built-in console for you to see your costs at a high level. GCP Billing is the built-in tool that Google Cloud Platform provides to help you understand your GCP cloud bill. It’s great for starting out and at a small scale, but teams often struggle to use this as the single source of truth as it doesn’t provide the necessary level of granularity.

This tool is primarily useful for finance teams who need a high-level view of their costs and opportunities to save money across their whole cloud infrastructure.

Pros

  • Good at small scale, when you have a simple cost structure and few teams
  • Gives a high-level view of where costs are coming from
  • Provides recommendations for how you can save based on your usage
  • Allows you to set budgeting alerts and throttle GCP consumption
  • No additional cost for GCP customers

Cons

  • Requires good tag hygiene to get granular cost visibility
  • Can’t see idle or unallocated resource costs
  • Can’t see any costs outside of GCP, including hybrid cloud and container costs
  • Difficult to rely on exclusively as the organization scales, even for high-level finance
  • Allows for some proactivity in managing costs, but in practice it’s hard to use the provided features due to the differing needs of finance and engineering teams

See how Harness Cloud Cost Management stacks up in our GCP Billing vs. Harness comparison page. 


Azure cloud cost management tool

Tool #4: Azure Cost Management + Billing

Each of the public cloud providers has their built-in console for you to see your costs at a high level. Azure Cost Management + Billing is the built-in tool that Microsoft Azure provides to help you understand your Azure cloud bill Teams can get a high-level view into their cloud spending on Azure, and with some nifty integrations, can do some more.

This tool is primarily useful for finance teams who need a high-level view of their costs and opportunities to save money across their whole cloud infrastructure.

Pros

  • Best at small scale, when you have a simple cost structure and few teams
  • Integration into PowerBI and AWS (through Cloudyn) allows for better reporting and dashboards
  • Provides recommendations for how you can save based on your usage
  • Allows you to set budgeting alerts
  • No additional cost for Azure customers

Cons

  • Requires good tag hygiene to get granular cost visibility
  • Can’t see idle or unallocated resource costs
  • Difficult to see any costs outside of Azure, including multi-cloud and cluster costs
  • Difficult to rely on exclusively as the organization scales, even for high-level finance and with PowerBI integration
  • Not built for you to be proactive, only to see cost reports after the fact (with the ability to set warnings)

Learn more about this tool in our Azure Cost Management + Billing vs. Harness comparison page. 


Apptio Cloudability cloud cost management tool

Tool #5: Apptio Cloudability

Cloudability is a cloud cost management tool that focuses on helping customers get visibility into their spend and then manage and optimize it. Additionally, they help companies visualize what their cost profile will look like during a cloud migration. 

This tool is most useful for FinOps and finance teams.

Pros

  • Supports multi-cloud cost visibility across AWS, GCP, and Azure
  • Provides cost savings recommendations across your workloads, including reserved instance purchasing and rightsizing
  • Comes with a tag explorer to identify missing tags across the infrastructure
  • Has anomaly detection, budgeting, and forecasting features that help teams avoid or head off surprises in cloud spend

Cons

  • Requires good tagging practices to get full visibility into cloud spending, including cluster costs such as Kubernetes
  • Costs are only visible at a daily granularity
  • Can’t drill down into costs for idle and unallocated resources
  • Can only see changes in cost, without being able to associate it to engineering changes

See how we stack up against Apptio Cloudability in our Cloudability vs. Harness page. 


Cloudhealth cloud cost management tool

Tool #6: Cloudhealth by VMWare

Cloudhealth is a cloud cost management tool that specializes in governance in cloud costs. Cloudhealth was the first major tool of its kind on the market and helps customers get visibility into their spend, optimize it, and create policies that meet compliance and financial management needs. 

This tool is most useful for finance teams.

Pros

  • Provides good governance features to create and manage financial controls
  • Can correlate cloud deployments with security risks
  • Supports multi-cloud and hybrid cloud cost visibility
  • Provides cost savings recommendations across your workloads, including reserved instance purchasing and rightsizing
  • Has budgeting and forecasting features that help teams avoid going over budget

Cons

  • Requires good tagging practices to get full visibility into cloud spending, including cluster costs such as Kubernetes, and hybrid cloud deployments
  • Costs are only visible at a daily granularity
  • Can’t drill down into costs for idle and unallocated resources
  • Can only see changes in cost, without being able to associate it to engineering changes

Compare Cloudhealth vs. Harness in our cloud cost management tool comparison page.


Spot cloud cost management tool

Tool #7: Spot by NetApp

Spot is a modern cloud cost management tool that focuses more specifically on helping companies automate their cloud cost optimizations based on data. This is compared to more traditional tools that surface opportunities, but leave the implementation up to the teams using the tool, making Spot also a cloud management platform.

This tool is primarily useful for engineering teams, with a secondary focus on finance.

Pros

  • Provides automation capabilities to optimize cloud infrastructure, including for container setups
  • Supports multi-cloud cost visibility across AWS, GCP, and Azure
  • Provides optimization recommendations that can be actioned on in few steps
  • Surfaces cost trends that seem anomalous based on usage patterns
  • Shows forecasted spend based on historical usage data

Cons

  • Requires good tag management to get granular visibility into cloud costs
  • Costs are only visible at a daily granularity
  • Comes with risk in allowing a vendor to automatically manage internal resources
  • Can only see changes in cost, without being able to associate it to engineering changes

See how Harness stacks up to the competition in our Spot vs. Harness page.


Kubecost cloud cost management tool

Tool #8: Kubecost

Kubecost provides visibility into an organization’s Kubernetes resources to reduce spend and prevent resource-based outages. The tool focuses specifically on identifying costs and optimization opportunities in Kubernetes, with no focus on non-cluster costs such as resources specifically in AWS, GCP, or Azure.

This tool is primarily useful for engineering teams.

Pros

  • Focused product on allocating and optimizing Kubernetes costs
  • Provides tooling that helps improve infrastructure and avoid outages
  • Visibility into costs is near real-time

Cons

  • Cannot use this single product to view or manage all cloud costs, especially outside Kubernetes
  • Customers are not showcased or easily found, indicating potential risk in adopting the technology
  • Can only see changes in cost, without being able to associate it to engineering changes

See how life – and your cloud costs – could be better with Harness in our Kubecost vs. Harness comparison page. 

Remove Cloud Waste with Harness

While there are a variety of tools available for teams to use, the right choice ultimately comes down to the company’s needs. As companies advance their cloud management strategies and organizational cultures around responsibility for cloud costs, tools that make it easy to involve teams at any level of the organization become increasingly crucial. 

Harness Cloud Cost Management is a tool that was built with this shifting and modern mindset at the fore, embodying the core values of reducing your cloud cost waste and empowering your teams with cloud cost visibility. Whether it’s a finance, engineering, FinOps, or Cloud Center of Excellence team that’s on the hook for keeping cloud costs in check, all of them need to be empowered to get the contextualized cost data that’s relevant for how they plan to tackle their cloud costs – and Harness makes this easy. 

You can also check out how Harness Cloud Cost Management provides “above and beyond” value when it’s tied into the rest of the software delivery platform. And, when you’re ready, sign up for a demo!

The Women of DevOps: Ana Margarita Medina

The Women of DevOps: Ana Medina, Senior Chaos Engineer at Gremlin

Cloud Cost Intelligence

Introducing Intelligent Cloud Cost Management

Harness Cloud Cost Management uses intelligence and automation to simplify cloud cost management and save you up to 75% on your cloud bill.

Discover Dollar Logo - Save On Cloud Bill

Discover Dollar Saves 70% On Their Cloud Bill

Discover Dollar made idle cost management easy with Harness. See how you can too.

Webinar Blog

Streamlining CI/CD and Optimizing AWS Cloud Spend

Through Harness, Brad was confident he’d be able to make Drone as ubiquitous as Jenkins. Learn how Drone went from zero to 100 million downloads.