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Cloud Analytics: How You Can Accurately Analyze Your Cloud Cost | @CloudExpo #API #Cloud #Analytics
You can't control what you can’t see

In 2011, Marc Andreessen wrote a thought provoking article in the Wall Street Journal that software is eating the world. Today, in 2017, we can say that cloud transformation is happening all around us and cloud is now indeed eating the world. While Cloud services consumption is becoming prolific within the enterprises, it is often challenging to decipher who is using the cloud, how much is it being used and for what purposes ? Further, is the usage of cloud across the enterprise optimal? While migration to cloud is saving money, not utilizing the cloud resources optimally is nullifying some of the monetary gains. In order to better govern the cloud resources, a top notch cloud analytics engine is the need of the hour.

How do you quantify whether you achieved better productivity and reduced cost with cloud deployments? How does your organization’s leadership team correlate and compare which cloud vendor is more cost effective for you? The solution lies in having the right set of analytics tools such as dashboard and reports, to analyze the available data.

By providing a multi-dimensional view of cloud business data, usage and cost, Jamcracker Platform helps you take quick and efficient decisions about your cloud spend. The Platform’s reporting capabilities backed by a comprehensive set of technological and functional features offer an unmatched effectiveness and ease of use to both business customers and IT administrators.

The platform delivers a full range of reporting capabilities – such as Interactive Dashboards, Standard Reports, Custom Reports, Offline Reports and more. These advanced reporting data and visualization tools provide better insights into cloud sales, usage trends and much more.

Standard Reports
Standard reports are a set of predefined reports that are readily available straight out of the platform. These are accessible with "few clicks" and available across the product layers. The administrative and customer portals of the platform provide a wide selection of standard reports, included among the reports are login activities, service activities, order management, cloud usage, billing, and helpdesk related reports. The platform allows users to generate reports in html or downloadable csv format. The platform provides better security for the reporting data with data level RBAC (Role Based Access Control) mechanism and the data can be accessed or restricted based on role.

Custom Reports
Custom reports suit the best when you need to go beyond the information provided in the standard reports and want deeper insight about certain activities. With custom reporting, you can decide what you want to make available in the reports. All you need to do is select the columns/fields from the provided data sets (DataMart) and run the report or save them for running any time again.

Currently, the platform supports user information, order information, daily consumption, term order specification, resale activity, reseller search activity and reseller profile and branding related datamarts. You can create bespoke reports according to your requirements using any of these datamarts.

Among the custom reports you can create using datamarts, the Daily Consumption Report deserves a special mention because of its immense usefulness.

Daily Consumption Custom Report
The Daily Consumption Report tracks organization’s cloud consumption details and provides granular level information about cloud usage and cost. Using the fields available in the daily consumption datamart, you can create various reports with the combination of product type, usage type, charge type, currency, quantity, unit price, unit quantity, consumption amount and so on. You can customize the report data to aggregate the cost and usage information based on a single day or for a specific period.

For example, with daily consumption report, it is easy to generate the report of a linked account’s usage of Amazon EC2 service on a particular day. Another example could be calculating how much each department has spent on a particular service offer by generating reports of resources based on tags. You can also use the daily consumption report to compare the cloud consumption cost between various vendors. These are just few instances. The benefits and capabilities that that this report data can provide is tremendous. It allows you to easily view and comprehend your cost and usage report data and use them for better business decision making.

Offline Reports
The platform’s sophisticated offline reporting capability supports generating large reports offline and notifies respective users to download the report without impacting the performance of the live system. The administrators can configure the type of reports that can be generated offline based on the requirements.

Such reports will not be displayed on the screen rather they will be listed on the Request Reports page. Once the report is available on the Requested Reports page, you will receive a notification, and then you download the reports in csv format.

Cost Optimization Dashboard
The store dashboard provides visibility to an organization’s cloud usage and cost. It helps you filter your data on demand, view cost and usage data based on various parameters using a variety of visualizations and dig deeper to get better visibility.

Executive Dashboard
The Executive Dashboard gives real-time visual insights about cloud costs trends and provides decision makers with the critical decision support they need.

It displays the total cloud cost, cost by provider, cost by product, cost by resources etc.

Cost Analytics
This dashboard allows you to slice and dice the cloud spend data and dig deeper by splitting the spending information based on different parameters such as instance type, flavor and size. It helps you estimate your projected cloud cost and optimize the size of your cloud deployments.

Tag Analytics
You can organize your resources based on tags and provide the ability to categorize them for billing purposes. Tag Analytics dashboard helps you analyze the cost of resources that represent different business categories (such as cost centres, departments, projects, groups) and provides visibility allowing asset management, security, and compliance tracking.

In Summary, with better cloud analytics tools, enteprise IT admins are better equipped to govern, manage and control the cloud resources. Given today’s granular cloud services pricing model and frequent pricing breaks offered by the cloud services providers, keeping close tab on the cloud cost through rich cloud analytics is of paramount importance for cloud cost management. We hope that you can take advantage of the cloud analytics engine in the Jamcracker Platform and be smooth sailing as you navigate through the cloud transformation that’s happening all around you.

About John Katrick
John Katrick is a software engineer living in Bangalore, India. He is a fan of technology and cloud computing. He is also interested in Hybrid Cloud and focuses on articles involving the latest news in cloud management, Microsoft Azure, and cloud governance including new technology and AWS cloud news.

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