Savvy Cost Management Relies on Automated Cost Controls

Posted by Ken Pascoe, Product Dev Technical Lead

Aug 27, 2020

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Cloud cost governance can be tricky, especially when you have many resources and budgets to manage. Automated cloud cost controls can simplify this process and automatically trigger actions to reduce the risk of going over budget.

By implementing automated cost controls, you can assure that cloud users and resources within your organization are operating efficiently and cost-effectively.

Budget actions are the key to successfully implementing an automated cloud cost control. These autonomous actions along with other alerting capabilities will help streamline your cloud billing processes.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at how you can use budget actions in OnSpend to automatically drive your cloud cost management and keep you apprised of your spending activity in real-time.

What are Budget Actions?

Budget actions are automated cost controls that allow you to define when and how you want to be notified of different kinds of budget events. These can include specific budget limits, or thresholds, that are met or exceeded. Limits can be defined by a dollar amount or a percentage of budget consumed.

Blue Ring Binder with Inscription Budget PlanningBy default, OnSpend includes a single email action when costs exceed 50, 75, 90, and 100 percent of a budgeted amount on new budget alerts. Of course, these thresholds can be modified to reflect the dollar amounts or percentages that require attention when met.

Budget actions also give you the ability to define which thresholds trigger which actions. For example, you may want to receive budget alerts when all thresholds are met, but the finance department only needs to be notified when a budget exceeds the 90 and 100 percent threshold. All this is possible through OnSpend budget actions.

The email action is only one of five different types of actions that can be triggered. You might have other team members, services or systems/applications that need to receive these alerts as well. That’s where other budget actions come into play.

Email Actions

As noted above, there are times when more than one user needs to receive email alerts when cloud costs exceed budget thresholds. Email actions allow you to expand recipients of budget alerts to keep more stakeholders updated when specified budget events occur. These can include other individuals or groups.

In OnSpend, when other users or groups are added in email actions, they’ll be notified that they have been added as an additional recipient of the budget alert. They can opt-in to this alert to start receiving email notifications. If the alerts are no longer relevant, or they are simply no longer needed, any recipient can choose to opt out of budget alerts at any time.

Cloud Pub/Sub Actions

Another useful mechanism for automating cloud cost management is the use of Pub/Sub which allows you to create alerts that will trigger automated processes or integrate into your other applications.

Publish/Subscribe (Pub/Sub) messaging is a form of asynchronous communication between services. In the Pub/Sub model, any message published to a topic (named resource) by a publisher is immediately received by all subscribers to the topic.

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Ken Pascoe, Product Dev Technical Lead

Ken is responsible for building and developing the company's OnSpend cloud billing and budget management solution. He has nearly 10 years of full-stack software development experience and enjoys learning and applying new technologies.

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