Cloud Cost Management Software: Top 5 Solutions for 2023

Tracking the cost and usage of cloud-based services can be challenging, even if you’re using cloud cost management software. This is especially true for teams running microservices, containers, and Kubernetes. So let’s look at the top 5 cloud cost management software solutions in the market.

Cloud native tech is gaining ground, but it often makes it difficult to figure out exactly where your money is going and why. 

Cloud providers often present you with bills that bury key information. That’s why every company using the cloud needs an effective platform to identify which products and features drive their spending.

Equipped with this cost intelligence, you can make informed engineering and business decisions – from pricing a product to designing cost-optimized software.

By using best industry practices encoded into cloud cost management tools, you can: 

  • forecast, plan, and budget your cloud spend, 
  • empower your engineers to see the cost impact of their work,
  • discover areas of your software that could be rearchitected for increased profitability,
  • identify your least profitable technologies, customers, and projects within the cloud,
  • decide whether to adjust your pricing structure, 
  • decommission features to cut operational costs, 
  • calculate the effectiveness of cloud cost optimization mechanisms.

Top 5 Cloud Cost Management Software Solutions

Cloud cost management software helps companies control their cloud expenses by monitoring a company’s resource usage and computing demands. These tools are typically paired with infrastructure as a service (IaaS) software offering to minimize the costs of the pay-as-you-go model.

Cloud cost management tools also help companies reduce waste by alerting users of lowered demand or automatically scaling usage to optimal rates. Furthermore, some solutions provide reporting features to outline waste and redundancies.

Cloud Cost Management Software – 2023 Comparison

Check out how the 5 top tools on the market compare in terms of feature coverage.

Feature CAST AI 🥇 Kubecost Spot by NetApp Harness Zesty
Supported platforms
Google Cloud
Microsoft Azure
Cost allocation and visibility
Detailed cost allocation
Automated cost forecasting
Cost reporting
Cost view across multi cloud
Real-time alerts
Advanced cost monitoring
Cost optimization and automation
Free recommendations
Automated rightsizing
Automated pod scaling parameters
Node autoscaling
Cluster scheduling and termination
Automatic bin packing
Spot instance automation

CAST AI – Fully Automated Kubernetes Cost Optimization and Management

CAST AI is a comprehensive Kubernetes cost management, monitoring, and automation platform. Teams running clusters on EKS, Kops, AKS, and GKE use it to save between 50% to 90% on their bills. Its automation features include spot instances, autoscaling, instance type selection, and rightsizing. Besides, the platform offers Kubernetes security insights and keeps expanding its cost monitoring module. 

Pros of CAST AI

  • CAST AI is a cloud-native platform for automatically analyzing, monitoring, and optimizing cloud environments. 
  • It offers a free reporting module that splits cloud costs into project, cluster, namespace, and deployment levels. A team can track expenses down to individual microservices and then produce a complete estimate of cluster costs. 
  • Cost allocation works on a per cluster and per node basis. The solution also makes it easier for teams to view and allocate costs in multi-cloud setups. 
  • Powered by AI, the platform chooses optimal resources for your application’s requirements while reducing costs through autoscaling and rightsizing features. 
  • When a cluster needs extra nodes, the automation engine selects the best-performing instances at the lowest cost. Automating multi-shape cluster formation and rightsizing features helps avoid overprovisioning.
  • CAST’s multiple autoscaling options allow users to achieve cost reductions. It generates an optimal number of required pod instances and scales the replica count of your pods up or down. It removes all pods if there is no work to be done. 
  • CAST AI can also empty nodes to help you avoid paying for resources you don’t use. The solution employs automated bin packing to maximize savings. 

Cons of CAST AI

  • CAST AI’s monitoring and reporting feature currently focuses on compute costs. However, the team is planning to add more coverage in the near future.
  • Works only with Kubernetes (EKS, Kops, AKS, GKE).

Conclusion: CAST AI is perfect for teams looking to reduce their cloud costs without adding any engineer workload. Another good use case for CAST AI is among teams that want to automate the most time-consuming cost optimization tasks such as instance selection, rightsizing, or autoscaling.

CAST AI clients save an average of 63% on their Kubernetes bills

Find out how much you could save with a free savings report.

Kubecost – Kubernetes Cost Monitoring For Improved Cost Visibility and Insights

Kubecost is a robust cost reporting solution that helps Kubernetes users get insights into cost allocation, monitoring, and alerts for their clusters. It started as an open-source tool that gave developers more visibility into their costs.

Pros of Kubecost

  • Kubecost offers flexible and customizable cost breakdown features, including the ability to divide costs by namespace, deployment, service, and more indicators across the three major cloud service providers. 
  • Kubecost’s comprehensive resource allocation allows users to generate more accurate showbacks and chargebacks to help users manage ongoing costs. 
  • Kubecost shows costs across multiple clusters and multi-cloud environments in a single view or through a single API endpoint. 
  • The solution enables linking near real-time in-cluster costs (CPU, memory, storage, network) with out-of-cluster expenses from the cloud services – for instance, tagged RDS instances, BigQuery warehouses, or S3 buckets. Users receive context-aware cluster-level reports to find an optimal balance between cost and performance matching their service requirements.
  • Kubecost is deployed inside your infrastructure, so there is no need to egress any data to a remote service. You retain and control access to your cloud spend data at all times.

Cons of Kubecost

  • Kubecost’s in-depth insights and cost reporting capabilities make it a great tool for teams looking for ways to manage their multi-cloud infrastructure. As it doesn’t include cloud optimization features, you’ll need to implement relevant changes manually. This entails extra charges that don’t automatically guarantee savings. 

Conclusion: Kubecost’s rich cloud cost reporting and monitoring features will work well for teams looking for in-depth insights and improvement recommendations. However teams will still need to apply the changes manually.

Spot by NetApp – Optimization Based on Spot Instances

Spot by NetApp is a cloud cost management solution that helps teams optimize cloud infrastructure costs. While its optimization methods include very different approaches, the solution gives preference to spot instance automation. Using machine learning and analytics, it automatically gets spot capacity for workloads, cutting costs and ensuring high availability.

Pros of Spot by NetApp

  • Spot by NetApp is a cloud cost management tool that optimizes cloud costs thanks to spot instance automation. Spot by NetApp divides the infrastructure costs of clusters and offers insights into each infrastructure layer. 
  • The tool allows you to break down expenses into namespaces and individual workloads within every namespace, and you can further filter them by layer. For each workload, users get both compute and storage costs. You can use Spot by NetApp data to analyze your application costs, perform chargebacks without extensive resource tagging, estimate future cloud spend, and adjust resources on the fly with recommendations from Spot by NetApp’s cloud cost management platform. 
  • The tool monitors workload utilization in real-time, offering recommendations for manually adjusting the resource requirements for both per container and workload. This opens the door to easier high-level visualization and quicker implementation without disrupting applications.
  • Spot by NetApp checks for unschedulable pods and scales infrastructure up to ensure that all your pods have a place to run. 
  • Moreover, Spot by NetApp prioritizes downscaling the least utilized nodes and removes them if it’s possible to move all pods running on them. 

Cons of Spot by NetApp

  • The tool reduces costs by focusing on running workloads on spot instances. This, however, may mean that you miss out on other cost-saving opportunities. Spot by NetApp, for example, offers limited rightsizing options for managing the size of VMs.

Conclusion: Spot by NetApp is a good choice for teams that want to use spot instances more efficiently. However, they may soon discover that other optimization methods deliver better results in some situations. That’s why they’re likely better off with a platform that can automatically analyze workload requirements and match them with optimal cloud resources.

Harness – Automated Cloud Cost Management for Transparency and Governance

Harness is a continuous integration and delivery platform for DevOps teams. It includes a cost management module that supports cost savings in Kubernetes and offers business intelligence tools for analyzing cloud costs.

Pros of Harness

  • Harness is a cloud cost management solution with a continuous delivery and integration module, which features Business Intelligence tools to improve transparency, optimization, and governance over all your cloud expenses. 
  • The product brings in-depth Kubernetes visibility by displaying the utilized, idle, and unallocated resources per workload and cluster. It shows cost information by projects, teams, business units, departments, and more. 
  • Furthermore, Harness lets you create periodic reports on the most important cost and usage metrics. Governing cloud costs becomes easier with Harness thanks to the custom budgeting, forecasts, and accounts for cost showbacks and chargebacks. 
  • Harness helps you manage costs by setting and measuring variance from budgets. It continuously monitors your usage and alerts you when your consumption diverges from the expected levels, allowing you to stay on top of cost and usage across your multiple-cloud resources. 
  • The platform offers custom, data-driven dashboards that help track resources across every public cloud provider your team uses. 
  • It also uses spot instances. Harness users can run workloads on orchestrated spot instances without worrying about interruptions; the platform handles this part smoothly.
  • Finally, Harness offers automated cloud cost management and optimization features. For example, AutoStopping turns off non-production resources whenever they’re not in use. 
  • Harness shares cost information about apps, services, and environments without the need for human tagging, reducing the effort teams would invest in this task. 

Cons of Harness

  • As valuable as Harness’s cost insights are, you still need to implement them manually since the platform doesn’t support fully automated cost optimization. It also lacks important cloud optimization and automation features such as autoscaling and spot instance use.
  • The platform offers two different sets of recommendations: performance-optimized and cost-optimized. The first can increase your expenses, while the latter may lead to system performance issues – so it may be a tough choice. 

Conclusion: Harness provides in-depth recommendations about cloud use and expenses across multiple clouds, but the platform has limited automation capabilities. The platform asks you to choose between cost and performance, so its recommendations come at a price.

Zesty – Limited Cost Optimization and Automation Features for EC2 Reserved Instances

Originally built as a storage optimization tool, Zesty has grown to a reserved cloud capacity buy-back solution with an added element of rightsizing. 

Using AI and automation, the product promises fast results and reduced reserved capacity management burden for teams using Amazon EC2 Reserved Instances. 

Pros of Zesty

  • Zesty scans your cloud infrastructure needs in real time and adjusts your RI commitments accordingly.
  • The tool collects data on your Amazon EC2 usage patterns to train its prediction model. It simultaneously analyzes the prices of RIs on the marketplace to pick the most suitable deals for your workload’s needs.
  • Zesty’s freemium version lets you check potential savings on your EC2 consumption within minutes and without installing additional software. 
  • The tool provides metrics related to your usage of RIs, including on-demand compute cost, effective EC2 cost, daily compute cost, and more. It also lets you view how your expenses change over time and future projections.

Cons of Zesty

  • The platform only supports Amazon EC2 Reserved Instances, so if you use other clouds, you will need additional tools. 
  • The tool lacks a more comprehensive approach to managing your cloud cost visibility, and control. 

Conclusion: While Zesty helps to reduce bills for AWS users, it lacks a more comprehensive approach to managing and reducing your cloud expenses. As a result, it mainly deals with the symptoms instead of solving the root cause once and for all.

Recap: Top 5 Cloud Cost Management Software Solutions 

In 2023, the top cloud cost management and optimization tools are:

  1. CAST AI – a complete cloud optimization solution delivering insightful cost reporting, automated optimization features, and real-time cost monitoring. 
  2. Spot by NetApp – a solution generating significant savings thanks to automating spot instances and reservations. 
  3. Harness – a CI/CD solution that includes cloud management and BI tools for cost transparency and governance with limited automation.
  4. Kubecost – a comprehensive cost management solution for Kubernetes environments giving teams improved visibility into their spending, allocation options, and alerts.
  5. Zesty – a limited approach to cloud cost optimization and capacity management for teams using Amazon EC2 Reserved Instances.

Summary: Pick the Right Cloud Cost Management Software for Your Business

Choosing the right cloud cost management software for your business can be challenging, but once you make that choice, you’re on the right track, potentially saving even millions of dollars

Check out how others have saved big on their cloud bills and eliminated hours of engineer time that would otherwise be lost on managing cloud expenses manually.

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2022-10-13 6:37 AM


Facilities Management System Philippines
2022-11-16 11:46 PM

Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed reading your post about cloud cost management software. I will surely bookmark this post.

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