Final Budget Report: 09/06/2017

As the semester comes to a close, so does my budgeting for this course.

Of the $100 USD credits for Amazon Web Services, I have $79.35.

Looking over the past months, my expenditure has been:
Monthly Report Graph

This can be represented as proportions of the credits, as follows:
Visual Monthly Report


In terms of projects, the QwikLabs assignment was for the most of March, Dinostore was during April, and AD-DS has been from the start of May. This is stated in the table below.
Project Billing

The discrepancy between my expenditure and my credits occurs because my expenditure is based upon my billing list which updates more frequently than the credit amount in my account.

The reason for the large cost involved with the Dinostore project is due to my lack of experience with AWS’ RDS, which I accidentally left running for multiple hours and hence the increased charge. This was not the only reason however, as I did often purposefully run RDS during the course of the project.


This assignment of budgeting has been beneficial for myself in gaining knowledge and habits for keeping account of my money on the Amazon Web Services platform. These skills will be able to be transferred and utilized within other aspects of my study, future career, and personal life for goals that involve financial oversight.


Budget Update: 09/06/2017

This budget update is the final update for AD-DS. As my instance has been changed to a t2.micro, there has been very little expense involved with this project.

The table below shows the billing costs for this project.

In order to determine how this budget update compares to the prior ones, I have organized certain service actions into the spreadsheet below.
ADDS Billing
This shows that there aren’t any outlying costs within my budget, which is expected as I haven’t done anything different from the previous weeks.


In conclusion, I originally expected the budget for the Active Directory project to be higher than what has resulted. This is good from a financial perspective, but does also imply that I still need to gain the knowledge and experience required to accurately predict the financial scope of this type of project.




Budget Update: 04/06/2017

As it is the start of a new month, there will be two different items discussed in this blog. The first is my AD-DS budget for last month, and the second is my non-credit billing from the month.

Active Directory Budget.

A few days ago, I received an email indicating that one of my AD-DS alarms had been triggered:

AD DS Alarm State

This alarm is for my 10% forecast alarm, which indicates that my anticipated cost for this project was larger than the current expenditure trend. Despite this, I still looked into my budgets and billing information to determine where the expenses have occurred.

The AD DS budget is as follows:

AD DS Budget

I have provided multiple filters for this budget, so the billing information is important in understanding which service has influenced the budget forecast.

The two services that are being used are the EC2 service and the KMS service.
The EC2 Billing information is as follows:
EC2 Billing

The KMS service is as follows:
KMS Billing

As the KMS service is only being used in the North Virginia region, this is not part of the AD DS budget expenses. (This is elaborated upon in previous budget reports.)

The EC2 billing information can be processed into a spreadsheet, which more succinctly displays the costs involved for this project, and can be displayed graphically.
AWS Budget SpreadsheetAWS Budget Graph

The large spike involving the EBS-SSD provisioned storage is likely due recent activity on the AD DS cloud template, in which I was periodically creating and destroying the stack.

As of current, I am satisfied with the project’s budget progress due to its low expense despite having originally required the higher-priced t2.large instance in the stack’s creation.


Monthly non-credit billing
Due to it being a new month, my AWS account has sent a billing invoice for the month prior.
Billing Statement_LI

In following the available hyperlink, my billing information is brought up. It shows that these charges are from my budgets and tax.
Billing Statement Reason

Although I am unhappy with being charged, rather than the fee being removed from my available credits, I consider it worthwhile to keep in consistent knowledge of the expenses involved from each project.

Budget Update: 28/05/2017

This past week has also been spent on adjusting a CloudFormer template. As such, my current expectation for my billing list is that it will be quite low. The only expenses that should have occurred, are the AD-DS CloudFormation template (description link here) that I ran again, and the charge from the successful build of the CloudFormer template’s stack.

When looking at my billing list for my account, only two services have been used; EC2, and KMS. Upon further inspection, I have determined that the KMS charge is from an encryption key set in US-East region, which is not related to the AD-DS build.

The EC2 billing report is as follows:


I input this data, as well as last weeks data, in order to grasp a greater understanding of what charges have been incurred.

AD DS Budget Sheet

It appears that this past week has been less expensive than the one prior. This reduced charge is found within the EBS service specifics, which still contains the carry-over charges from the DinoStore volumes that I recently deleted. Hence, my first EBS budget isn’t exclusive to the AD-DS project charges and needs to be adjusted.

The adjusted AD-DS Budget Sheet is below, where the fee discrepancy has been resolved using the information from the ‘Budget Update: 14/05/2017‘, which contains my last reference to the DinoStore EBS volumes.

Budget Sheet Adjusted

I am unsure of the $0.19 difference in the General Purpose SSD (gp2) provisioned storage expense for the two dates, but may be able to verify whether this expense difference could be considered outlying with my next budget report.


Budget Update: 17/05/2017

For the past week I have been working with AWS CloudFormation to create and automate an Active Directory using scenario 3 from the following AWS manual.

This scenario involves the creation of stacks that utilize Amazon services from their enterprise level, which results in this being a potentially very expensive endeavor.

After running the stacks for a few hours, my billings showed the following EC2 charges:
EC2 Billing

My conclusion from this, was that I needed to create a budget alarm to ensure that I remain aware of the involved expenditure for this project.

AD DS Alarm

The current limit for the budget is only $10 because my intention is not to try and stay within this budget, but to keep it small enough that I remain conscious of the expenditure. The purpose for this is to provide myself with minimal cost involvement in comprehending the cost value associated with the stack.

Budget Update: 14/05/2017

At close on midnight last night, I received an AWS notification email, telling me that my EC2 budget had passed one of its limits. Since my last budget post, my activity with AWS has been within the CloudFormation services, which is free-tier.
Budget Alarm


To understand why I was being charged, I checked upon billing info. The results showed that I was still being billed for EBS services.
14_05_17 Bill Report


My conclusion was that I had not completely deleted my EBS volumes during my last attempt. In checking the EC2 service, I was proven right.
EBS Volumes


This time, I made sure to delete my EBS volumes, and stop the unnecessary credit charge.
Deleting EBS Volumes


My next budget update should only show purposeful charge, which I have initiated.



Budget Update: 08/05/2017

For the past week, ever since the DinoStore project ended, my AWS account hasn’t been used.

As it is a new month, my billing log has also rolled over.
Billing Total
The charge of $0.14 credits are from two services; EC2 and KMS.

The EC2 charge, as seen in the screenshot below, was from the EBS service within EC2. The instances that I had been creating for my DinoStore had automated volumes within the EBS service system.
EC2 only 1

When I had shut down the rest of my DinoStore services, I had forgotten about EBS, which is why I have been charged even though I am no longer working upon the DinoStore project.


The KMS charge is a charge for which I am unsure of its origin.
KMS only 1
A large factor in my confusion is that the KMS specifies a region-based charge, but when I trace it back into the IAM service, IAM is not region specific, so I’m left unsure as to how I am supposed to determine, and reduce this charge.

As of current, my guess is that may be due to something occurring each time I log into AWS, but I am still very much unsure.

I can’t seem to find any relating AWS documentation, so my current plan is to check with my classmates to determine whether they have the same charge on their Billing Info page.





Billing Report: Billing Invoice

On May the 3rd, I received this email from AWS:
InkedAWS bill_LI

This slightly concerned me as this was a direct charge to my card rather than my credit.

My first response was to go to the AWS Billing page and determine the reason for this charge. The Billing dashboard showed an amount $0.64 expenditure had occurred, and I, being unsure as to what this charge specified, checked my credits to determine whether the amount had been removed from there.

Credits Remaining

My credit page showed a fee charge similar to what I had calculated in my spreadsheet, of $16.17 USD credits.

This boosted my confidence in understanding my credit usage and fees, but didn’t resolve the reason why my card was being charged.

The next response was to click on the graph which showed my expenditure, and see if that helped. This lead me to the Cost Explorer option in the Billing Console, and showed me this information:
Billing Diagram


From this, I can see that Budget and Tax appear to make up the bulk of the costs.

By refining the Time range, I was able to preview my costs more clearly:
Cost Explorer

This one clearly shows that the Budget Service cost me $0.56 and Tax was $0.08, which comes to $0.64 total., which equals the amount that I was directly charged.

My conclusion from this is that not every service is charged to my credit, and that although the budgets are fantastic for warning me of my credit expenditure, I should keep in mind that they also come with a cost.

Budget Update: 30/04/2017

The billing report in AWS only displays expenditure during the current month. For this month, the three main causes of expense have been the services; RDS, EC2, and KMS.

More detailed billing logs for each service are shown below.

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When input into my AWS spreadsheet, I get the following results:

SpreadSheet Budget

 Spreadsheet documenting AWS billing services

Spreadsheet Percentage growth budget

 Spreadsheet calculating percentage growth between each budget update

The percentage growth between this budget update and the last one has dropped, which is indicative of me reaching the end of the DinoStore project and hence, using those services less frequently.

RDS Budgeting

As the end of the month has drawn closer, I’ve been receiving emails from AWS in regards to my RDS budget’s expiration.

AWS Expiration Message

When I designed the RDS budget, I designed it with the DinoStore project in mind. As the DinoStore project was due on the 29th of April, I set the budget to also finish at the end of the month.

So, with the RDS budget coming to an end, I decided that it would be a good time to check my monthly expenditure in comparison to the budgeted amount. My first look at the budget list showed the RDS forecast to be lower than what I expected, when also considering the RDS billing amount:

RDS All Regions

I considered that the underestimated RDS budget was likely due to an incorrect parameter that I had given it, so I adjusted it to focus on the availability zones; ap-southeast-2, and us-east-1, which correspond to Sydney and North Virginia.
Edit DinoStore RDS Budget

Once these adjustments had been made, the RDS budget showed a current expenditure of $9.28 USD, which matches the billing amount.
RDS Budget Details

Although, my adjustment were made at the end of the budget’s lifespan, the realization and application of correcting my budget will enable me to create a more accurate budget plan for my next project.
From an accounting perspective, rather than a technical one, the RDS budget allowance was an accurate prediction of expenditure for the DinoStore project. This knowledge may be able to be extrapolated into my next project in order to provide a reliable budget in relation to the project and its progress.