What is AWS Cost Usage Report (CUR)?
AWS Cost and Usage Report (CUR) is a single solution that enables users to access information on their cloud costs and resource usage. With AWS CUR, users can publish their billing reports to an Amazon S3 bucket. The CUR report breaks down cost by product or product resource and by the hour, day, or month. The report in the bucket is updated once daily in a CSV format or Parquet format, according to your settings.
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Users can enable AWS CUR on the CUR page in the Billing Console. Best practice is to turn on versioning for the S3 bucket to avoid data loss. Users can view the report on Microsoft Excel, Apache OpenOffice, or any other spreadsheet software.
The CUR CSV file includes the following columns.
- Identity: This is a unique identifier that recognizes every line item in a single given version of the AWS CUR. An ID isn't consistent between different CURs, and therefore, users cannot use it to identify the same line item across different reports.
- Billing details: These are static fields that appear in all CURs. Users use the billing line items in the report to find additional details about the specific bill that is highlighted in the report. Examples of additional details include the beginning and end of the billing period and the charge type.
- LineItem details: This is also a static field. Here users can find all the cost and usage information for their usage.
- Reservation: This column provides specifics about reserved resources.
- Pricing: This column contains the prices for a line item. It is based on the AWS Price List Service API. The Price List Service API doesn't include Spot Instances, Free Tier pricing, products in AWS Marketplace, monthly recurring fees (RIFee), and upfront annual subscription fees (Fee).
- Product: This column provides metadata about the product that incurred the expense. This column is dynamic, and its visibility is dependent on the usage of the product during the billing period.
Benefits of setting up Cost Usage Reports
Users can experience the following benefits from using AWS Cost and Usage Reports:
- Delivery of report files to Amazon S3 bucket.
- Ability to update the report up to a maximum of three times daily.
- Ability to create, retrieve, and delete reports using AWS Cost and Usage Reports API reference.
A CUR can be set up by a standalone account if you use the consolidated billing. It is important to be aware that the designated Amazon S3 bucket that receives billing reports must be owned by the payer account in the organization. Users will not be able to receive billing reports in a bucket owned by a member account. Organizations using consolidated billing can also have the course broken down by member account.
AWS CUR generates a detailed spreadsheet that can help organizations to analyze better and understand their costs. This data is compatible with Athena, which allows users to turn the report into a queryable database, or they can use QuickSight to visualize the billing data as graphs.
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