Amazon gives customers more detailed billing of their cloud services

Updated: Amazon(s amzn) is still not carving out EC2 compute instances in smaller-than-an-hour increments as we speculated it might, and as Cloud Sigma and ProfitBricks already do. But now it is offering customers a much more granular account of their Amazon Web Services billing.

A letter went out today to AWS customers about this new capability. Text below:

Dear AWS customer,

We are excited to announce Detailed Billing Reports, a new hourly grain view of your AWS usage and charges. This detailed report enables you to better understand your AWS Bill by providing hourly usage and cost data by product and Availability Zone. In addition, consolidated billing customers can now view unblended rates and cost. This report is particularly useful for analyzing your usage of Amazon EC2 On-demand and Reserved Instances.

To get started, visit the Billing Preferences page to sign up for Detailed Billing Reports. You will also need to sign-up for Programmatic Access, as reports are only published to your Amazon S3 bucket. AWS generates new reports based on your estimated bill multiple times per day and a final report for month end.

To learn more about Detailed Billing Reports, please visit About AWS Account Billing.

The Amazon Web Services Team

Amazon posted a blog about this new capability as well. This, along with Amazon’s Trusted Advisor service, offers customers the kind of visibility that a raft of smaller Amazon ecosystem partners such as Cloudability, Cloudyn and Newvem are trying to provide. Stay tuned for updates.

Update: Newvem CEO Zev Laderman says Amazon’s new transparency compliments his company’s services.  “Since we are analyzing usage — risks, costs, and assets — better insight into costs and billing from AWS offers a combined approach for end-users to improve their usage,” he said via email.