Getting Started with the Cost and Usage Report

The AWS next-generation billing tool, the Cost and Usage Report (CUR) will replace the Detailed Billing Report (DBR) as CloudCheckr's primary billing method by the end of 2019. This transition is in part due to the decision by AWS to retire the DBR in favor of the more robust billing functionality offered in the CUR.

During this transition period:
  • If you are an existing customer, you can still use the DBR, but we highly recommend that you convert to the CUR as soon as possible
  • If you are new customer, CloudCheck support and sales professionals will help you set up the CUR during onboarding
By the end of 2019, the CUR will be the default primary billing method in the CloudCheckr application.

For more information on AWS's decision to retire the DBR, see the Understanding Your Usage with Billing Reports topic.


What Improvements Does the CUR Offer?

The CUR will give you the same functionality you are accustomed to in the DBR, but will offer more insight into Reserved Instances (RIs) and usage types.

Reserved Instances

Before the CUR was part of the AWS landscape, payers could not access any RI information in the payee accounts unless the payee provided them with credentials in the cross-account role policy. With the CUR, payers do not need credentials, which allows them to drill into a payee's RIs and identify:

  • specific instances and the RIs used by those instances
  • which payee account purchased an RI that got applied to another account

While the CUR does not unlock every inventory detail, it will help you improve list cost calculations and create a more accurate algorithm for RI unsharing.

Due to current limitations, the CUR does not provide enough information on modified RIs—such as convertible RIs, RIs purchased from the AWS Marketplace, and scheduled RIs— to allow CloudCheckr to unshare them without an inventory policy. See the Complete IAM Policy for information on how to add those credentials.

Usage Types

The CUR contains most of the same line items as the DBR with a few additions and in the case of usage type, a little more detail. For instance, the CUR reports EC2 compute separately from EC2 Other. And, the CUR reports all data transfer separately—rather than wrapping it into other service categories.


How Do I Enable the CUR?

To enable the CUR, you must configure the report in AWS and in CloudCheckr.

If you need help setting up your CUR, reach out to your CloudCheckr onboarding specialist or email the Support team.


What Are the Differences Between the CUR and the DBR?

To better understand the differences between the CUR and the DBR, click the Comparison Table to learn more.

Item

CUR

DBR

Location in Appplication

Account Settings > Cost and Usage Report

Cost > AWS Partner Tools > DBR

RI Cost Calculations (Unshared)

Costs stay in the account that purchased the RI; the account that uses the RI is not charged

Grand totals for the CUR and the DBR will be the same, but the profit stays in the payer account.

Costs are moved from the account that purchased the RI to the account that uses the RI

Grand totals for the CUR and the DBR will be the same, but the profit moves to the payee account(s).

RI Cost Calculations (Shared)

Small variances between CUR and DBR unless:

  • MSP buys RIs for arbitrage purposes
  • Enterprise buys all or most of RIs centrally

Small variances between CUR and DBR unless:

  • MSP buys RIs for arbitrage purposes
  • Enterprise buys all or most of RIs centrally

Who Can Generate Report?

Payer only

Payer or payee

Cost Tag

Required

Recommended

Type of RI

Unmodified only

All types of RIs

Cross-Account Role

Required

Required?

File Size

Larger than DBR (by how much and why?)

Smaller than CUR (by how much and why?)

Processing Time

Longer processing time (by how much?)

Shorter processing time (by how much?)

Billing Data Fields

See the AWS CUR Migration topic for more information.

See the AWS CUR Migration topic for more information.

Impact to Reports

Advanced Grouping report will show unshared RIs as On Demand. No visibility into the unshared RIs.
CloudCheckr plans to replicate how the DBR assigns shared RI costs, which will allow customers to pick the method that works best for their business case.


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