Retrieving Billing Data for AWS Managed Systems

You can configure Embotics® vCommander® to retrieve AWS billing data. Retrieving AWS billing data makes the VM Billing Report, the VM Comparative Economics Report and the Reserved Instance Planner Report much more accurate, because these reports include metered usage costs such as Storage and Network I/O. Billing data is retrieved immediately after you configure the AWS report location, and during a nightly scheduled task, it's merged with the existing data in the VM billing records.

vCommander retrieves a maximum of 60 days' worth of billing data, and can retrieve data from before the AWS account was added as a managed system. vCommander also retrieves AWS billing data for VMs that have never been managed by vCommander. For example, if an AWS account was added as a managed system 90 days ago, and you configure vCommander to retrieve billing data today, vCommander retrieves the last 60 days' worth of billing data for all AWS VMs that have existed at any point over the last 60 days. As another example, if you add an AWS account as a managed system today, and you configure vCommander to retrieve billing data today, vCommander retrieves the last 60 days' worth of billing data for all AWS VMs that have existed at any point over the last 60 days, including VMs that were never managed by vCommander.

To learn more about how vCommander handles VMs it has not managed, see Billing data for VMs that have not been managed by vCommander below.

Important notes

AWS provides both hourly and daily billing reports. To use Reserved Instance Recommendations and the Reserved Instance Planner report, you must retrieve an hourly AWS billing report.

Ensure that the currency set in vCommander matches the currency of your AWS bill.

Consolidated AWS billing

vCommander supports AWS consolidated billing. A Payer Account is an account configured as the payer account in an AWS Consolidated Billing account family. A Linked Account is an account linked to a Payer Account in an AWS Consolidated Billing account family. vCommander's support for AWS consolidated billing is very flexible. You can retrieve billing data for:

a payer account and one or more linked accounts

a payer account on its own

a linked account on its own, as long as the linked account has access to the billing report on S3

See Paying Bills for Multiple Accounts Using Consolidated Billing in the AWS documentation for more information.

GovCloud billing

vCommander's supports the retrieval of GovCloud account billing data. AWS requires that a GovCloud account is associated with a standard AWS account for billing purposes. We call this standard account an Associated Account. To retrieve billing data for a GovCloud account, vCommander must also manage the Associated Account; both accounts must be added as managed systems.

See AWS GovCloud (US) Billing and Payment in the AWS documentation for more information.

Retrieving AWS billing data for a Payer Account

Access through:

Views menu > Operational or VMs and Templates

Available to:

Administrator Access Rights

1.Right-click an AWS managed system in the tree and choose Retrieve AWS Billing Data.

NotePencil-smallIf you use AWS consolidated billing: To retrieve billing data for a Linked Account, the Payer Account must also be configured for billing data retrieval. Likewise, to retrieve billing data for a GovCloud account, the Associated Account must also be configured for billing data retrieval. Therefore, it's most straightforward to start by selecting the Payer Account or Standard Account in the tree, because you can configure billing data retrieval for Linked and GovCloud accounts at the same time.

2.In the AWS Billing Data Settings dialog, under Billing Report Location, select S3 Bucket.

3.In S3 Bucket Name, enter the name of the S3 bucket that contains the billing report.

4.(Optional) If the report is not in the root of the bucket, in Report Prefix, enter the report path prefix. Use forward slashes (/) to indicate subdirectories.

5.In Report Name, enter the name of the report to retrieve.

6.If you also want to retrieve billing data for one or more accounts linked to this Payer Account, under Consolidated Billing Accounts, selected the linked accounts.

7.If you also want to retrieve billing data for a GovCloud account associated with this account, from Associated GovCloud Account, choose the appropriate GovCloud account.

NotePencil-smallBe sure to associate the GovCloud account with the proper account.
aws-billing-data

8.Click Test to ensure that the report location is valid. If you see the message "Billing data found", the information entered is valid. Note that vCommander cannot validate consolidated billing relationships. See also Troubleshooting below.

9.Click OK.

Billing data is retrieved immediately, and a nightly task to update billing data is scheduled.

Retrieving AWS billing data for a Linked Account

Access through:

Views menu > Operational or VMs and Templates

Available to:

Administrator Access Rights

1.Right-click an AWS managed system in the tree and choose Retrieve AWS Billing Data.

NotePencil-smallIf you use AWS consolidated billing: To retrieve billing data for a Linked Account, the Payer Account must also be configured for billing data retrieval. Therefore, it's most straightforward to start by selecting the Payer Account or Standard Account in the tree, because you can configure billing data retrieval for Linked and GovCloud accounts at the same time.

2.In the AWS Billing Data Settings dialog, select Linked to Another Account, then choose the appropriate Payer account.

aws-billing-data-link

3.If you also want to retrieve billing data for a GovCloud account associated with this account, from the Associated GovCloud Account list, choose the appropriate GovCloud account.

4.Click OK.

Billing data is retrieved immediately, and a nightly task to update billing data is scheduled.

Retrieving AWS billing data for a GovCloud Account

Access through:

Views menu > Operational or VMs and Templates

Available to:

Administrator Access Rights

1.Right-click an AWS managed system in the tree and choose Retrieve AWS Billing Data.

NotePencil-smallIf you use AWS consolidated billing: To retrieve billing data for a GovCloud account, the Associated Account must also be configured for billing data retrieval. Therefore, it's most straightforward to start by selecting the Payer Account or Standard Account in the tree, because you can configure billing data retrieval for Linked and GovCloud accounts at the same time.

2.To configure a GovCloud account, select Associated with Account, and select the appropriate GovCloud account from the drop-down list.

NotePencil-small        Be sure to select the Associated Account. The Associated Account is not necessarily the Payer Account.

aws-billing-data-gov

3.Click OK.

Billing data is retrieved immediately, and a nightly task to update billing data is scheduled.

Disabling the retrieval of AWS billing data

To disable billing data retrieval for an AWS account:

1.In the tree, select the AWS managed system for which you want to stop retrieving billing data.

2.Click Retrieve AWS Billing Data.

3.In the AWS Billing Data Settings dialog, select Disabled and click OK.

vCommander will no longer retrieve billing data for this managed system. If this account is a Payer Account, billing data retrieval is also disabled for any Linked Accounts. If this account has an associated GovCloud account, billing data retrieval is also disabled for the GovCloud account.

Troubleshooting

If you see the message "Billing data location is valid, but no data found," the selected account has access to the specified location, but the AWS billing report is not configured to use this location. Verify the billing report configuration in the AWS console.

If you see the message "Billing data location is invalid", verify the information in the AWS Console and correct the information as necessary.

If you see the message "Error occurred while validating Billing data location," check the vCommander log for details.

Even if you see an error message, you can click OK and address the problem later.

Billing data for VMs that have not been managed by vCommander

vCommander also retrieves AWS billing data for VMs that have never been managed by vCommander, including charges for:

VMs that exist only between vCommander synchronizations with AWS, such as VMs spawned and torn down by an Auto Scaling Group

VMs that existed only before the AWS account was added as a vCommander managed system

VMs that existed only when the vCommander service was down

existing VMs, including for periods before the AWS account was added as a vCommander managed system

When a VM not managed by vCommander is discovered in the AWS billing report, the following occurs:

a cost model is applied to the VM, based on its location in the Operational or VMs and Templates tree

ownership information is applied by the Default Ownership policy, or is inherited from the parent Auto Scaling Group or Stack

Note, however, that because AWS does not include the VM's Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) in the billing report, any Default Ownership policies and cost models targeting levels below the region level in the Operational tree will not be applied to VMs discovered in the AWS billing report.

Note the following limitations:

The Default Attributes policy does not affect VMs discovered in the AWS billing report.

Volumes cannot be mapped to VMs discovered in the AWS billing report, so storage costs are not included in the vCommander billing data for these VMs.