Decoding Your AWS Cost and Usage Report

We see some common labels within the Cost and Usage Report, but probably have no idea what they entails, e.g. what in the world is BoxUsage? Am I using DropBox or AWS? In this article, let us decode the top 5 most common tags that can jump-start your understanding of your AWS Bill.

  • BoxUsage. Anything in this category refers to an On Demand EC2 instance type. On Demand EC2 spend can be reduced by purchasing EC2 Reserved instances or AWS Savings Plans.
  • TimedStorage. S3 storage cost starts with this label and there are some variations depending on the storage class. Cost can be reduced by allocating objects to the less frequently accessed classes such as Infrequent Access/Glacier, depending on your application’s needs for availability or access to specific objects in S3.
  • InstanceUsage. On Demand RDS DB compute time. Similarly to EC2, On Demand RDS usage can be optimized by purchasing Reserved RDS instances.
  • HeavyUsage. EC2 and RDS Reserved instances. Usage in this category represents Reserved purchases in your account. It’s important to keep track of these purchases and make sure they’re being used properly. It’s not uncommon to see cases where customers don’t take advantage of Reserved discounts available in their AWS accounts.
  • DataTransfer-Out. This is data transferred out to the internet. For example from EC2 instances, Load Balancers or CloudFront distributions. In some applications such as high traffic or media sites, this can represent the top spending service in the AWS account.

You can also check out this article that provides a slightly more comprehensive guide, but of cause, the best source of truth is from the horse’s mouth. Cheers!

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