EDA, operational broker, organization, event mesh, ITSM, IT budgeting

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is previewing support for a FOCUS v1.0 specification developed by the FinOps Foundation within its billing and cost management tools as part of an effort to make it simpler for IT teams to track cloud computing costs.

In addition, AWS has also made generally available a data exports capability that makes it easier to aggregate cost data within the AWS S3 storage service. A preview of that data export tool that supports the FOCUS specification is now also available.

That data can also be queried using a natural language capability available in preview that is enabled by Amazon Q Developer, a generative artificial intelligence (AI) assistant that AWS developed. Via an AWS Cost Explorer, IT teams can have access for up to 38 months.

Finally, AWS now provides additional rightsizing recommendations for instances of PostgreSQL, and MySQL database engines that are invoked via the Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS).

James Greenfield, vice president of the AWS Commerce Platform, said AWS is working closely with the FinOps Foundation to make it easier for IT teams to normalize the data needed to track and analyze costs across multiple cloud computing services. The FOCUS specification provides a common taxonomy, terminology and metrics for billing datasets produced by infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) providers. Contributors to the project worked with the FinOps Foundation to build a library of more than 40 use cases, each capable of being addressed using a SQL query that leverages FOCUS columns to surface insights.

FOCUS will also be extended to other cloud software-as-a-service (SaaS) billing datasets, including networking, observability and security tools. Future updates are expected to add further support for SaaS providers and on-premises datasets and the FinOps Foundation plans to increase the scope of the specification to include bills for private cloud, networking, observability, security services and SaaS applications as work on versions 1.1 and 1.2 of FOCUS continues.

AWS provides access to a Cost and Usage Report (CUR) 2.0 service that many IT teams already rely on to manage costs. The goal now is to make it simpler for IT service management (ITSM) to include that data within the workflows they use to manage multiple IT environments, noted Greenfield.

In general, organizations are embracing best FinOps practices at a more rapid pace to both reduce costs and optimize usage of existing budget resources as they continue to build and deploy more applications in the cloud, he added.

In addition, that data is relevant for sustainability initiatives that organizations have launched to reduce their carbon footprint, said Greenfield.

It’s not clear to what degree FinOps will simply become an extension of the ITSM and DevOps workflows versus a task that is managed by a dedicated team. The one thing that is certain is FinOps one way or another is being embedded into the culture of IT organizations, added Greenfield.

Less clear is to what degree AI might one day automate the management of FinOps, but as more applications are deployed in the cloud the amount of pressure to optimize costs is only going to increase.

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