Cloudability tool gives Amazon customers more detailed, custom looks at their cloud costs

Cloudability says its new analytics tool will give Amazon(s amzn) Web Services customers customizable and more granulized views of their cloud costs by tapping into AWS hourly detailed billing reports.

Its AWS Cost Analytics will help users make sense of a deluge of usage data that most now have to put into unwieldy spreadsheets to manage, the company said.. “With this tool, you will no longer have to pump giant files — tens of megabytes in size — and pares them down so you don’t have to pump them into Excel,” said Cloudability CEO Mat Ellis.

Cloudability CEO Mat Ellis.

Cloudability CEO Mat Ellis.

Ellis says this tool differs from what Cloudability competitors now offer because it provides not just “pre-canned” reports but will let the user build “17 million different combinations of reports as needed” all based on this burgeoning flow of cost information provided by Amazon.

To be sure Cloudability faces a half dozen or more competitors — NewvemCloudynCloud Vertical, and CloudChekr — in this AWS cost assessment and management space — all offering their own take on what goes on in your Amazon cloud. What Cloudability says its doing differently is providing more user-defined customization and the ability to handle this new influx of hourly data.

Ron Fuller, web manager for Mentor Graphics, a large electronic design automation vendor, is sold. Other tools, provide simpler reports and alerts but by the time the alert occurs, you are probably already over budget, he said.

“If I have a $15,000 a month to spend and hit that limit half-way through the month, I can’t just shut down. Cloudability gives us daily reports with our incremental usage spend and detailed cost analysis across multiple accounts and projects,” Fuller told me. That can flag problems before they get out of hand.

Like many AWS users, Fuller loves what he’s able to do with all those AWS services, but the complexity of tracking their usage can be overwhelming. Cloudability’s tool helps him figure out where to use discounted reserved instances vs. other, pricier instance types for example. “If I’m overspending in areas of I/O peformance, I can see that right away and maybe rethink my test model.”

cloudability custom report

Cloudability and its rivals have to contend with each other but increasingly with the Amazon mothership itself which keeps adding more management and assessemnt tools of its own. But, as Forrester Research analyst Dave Bartoletti said few months ago: “Amazon’s tools will get better and better but Amazon has no desire to get you to use less of its services. It’s like in storage — You’d think EMC would be the best vendor of storage management but historically they haven’t been.”

Keep in mind: All these  third-party vendors rely on Amazon-supplied data to work their magic, and given the rather bracing competition so far, I would expect the others to add similar reporting capabilities pretty quick.