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AWS buffs up cost management tools, has more up its sleeve

AWS rolled out the cost management tools hinted at several months ago in its job listings, with support for budgeting and forecasts up to three months out, according to an Amazon blog post.

The new capabilities are an update to the AWS Cost Explorer tool, which previously provided only historical analysis for the last four months.

“The operations provided by these new tools replace the tedious and time-consuming manual calculations that many of our customers (both large and small) have been performing as part of their cost management and budgeting process,” said Amazon’s Jeff Barr in the company’s official blog. “After running a private beta with over a dozen large-scale AWS customers, we are confident that these tools will help you to do an even better job of understanding and managing your costs.”

While this appears to satisfy the requirements for the product set forth in the job descriptions, AWS has much more up its sleeve when it comes to customer service, the same job listings reveal:

Cost management is also among the tasks an AWS development team known as “Kumo” is charged with, according to the job postings. Trusted Advisor is listed on the AWS website as an example of an application the Kumo team has already developed. The AWS Kumo development team is working on three different greenfield projects, including customer-facing applications. Some of the challenges facing the team are in big data, social apps, machine learning and data mining, according to the AWS job postings. The job description also states that Amazon is filing patents in this area.

While data mining and machine learning could become customer-facing applications, the Kumo team is also focused on improving AWS customer support, based on a Kumo senior manager job description. One data analytics project that’s been proposed for AWS billing is integration with the company’s Kinesis data streaming service, to provide up-to-the-minute cost information.

This keeps with the theme of attracting more mission-critical enterprise applications to the public cloud, as do Amazon’s recent efforts to increase its transparency around cloud security.

Meanwhile, AWS also announced on its blog this week that it will open a new region in India in 2016. It’s unclear where exactly the new data centers will be located, but AWS already has Route 53 and CloudFront points of presence in Chennai and Mumbai.