How to find the real cost of AWS without Savings Plans

The company where I work is actively using AWS for many services. Our monthly bill is many hundreds of thousands of dollars. We are using many different techniques to reduce our bill and one of them is “Savings Plans”. But there is one problem with it. When you create a “Cost and usage report” you will see prices without it.

Why is this a problem? Well, imagine you would like to see the real cost of EC2 instances because it has sense to start optimization from the most expensive instances. But Savings Plan applies automatically to the most expensive instances and effectively their cost is zero. As a result, you don’t see real cost and if you are not familiar with instances, you can easily miss that fact and you will start optimizing wrong instances. In my case, we cover a lot of instances by Savings Plan and the whole picture is quite distorted. Especially if your Savings Plan was bought by a different account that belongs to the same organization.

Anyway, back to how to see the real cost. You need to go to the “AWS Cost Management” page, then click on Reports on the left side, and then click on “Create new report”. Then select “Cost and usage” and click on the “Create Report” button. Then select “Unblended costs” in the “Advanced options” section and in the “Aggregate costs by” block. Then click on the “More filters” button and click on “Charge type”. Then select “Excludes” then select “Savings Plan Negation” and click “Apply”. Now you see the real costs of these instances.

I hope it helps someone.


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