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Budgeting for Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Learn about budgeting for Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Amazon Web Services Cost Model

AWS has a dynamic and complex cost model, based upon actual use (i.e. storage space, compute cycles, bandwidth, etc.). AWS is frequently used for multiple projects, often spread across multiple departments, and billed directly to the department which requested the AWS instance.

Cost Estimates

Each AWS account holder should be aware of the variable costs caused by varying usage. The costs can be pre-calculated based upon estimates of the services used, when coordinated with a technical expert who is aware of the functional requirements of the services being built. AWS provides an online AWS calculator for planning purposes, but users should get a final budgetary estimate from IT Services and AWS.

UC San Diego IT Services (in partnership with our AWS Account Executives) will work with each AWS account holder or department to provide a robust estimate of costs and available cost savings. AWS services are recharged monthly in arrears to each account holder’s index fund.

You and your fund manager are responsible for managing the expenditure and the recharge. If an index recharge fails, your department is responsible for funding that shortfall and providing a new index fund. If you have any questions, contact your department fund manager.

Ongoing Funding Tools

AWS administrators are required to analyze account spend and usage on an ongoing basis.

AWS Cost Explorer is a budget and forecasting tool that integrates with the AWS Billing Console. AWS Cost Explorer gives you reporting, analytics, and visualization tools to help you to track and manage your AWS costs. Read AWS Cost Explorer Documentation.

Amazon CloudWatch monitors resources and can create alarms. CloudWatch alarms require a budget and count towards your CloudWatch limits.

Support Costs

All AWS accounts have Basic support included. Optional plans (Business and Enterprise) provide a higher level of support and guidance at a cost. You are responsible for choosing your appropriate support level. These support services should be considered for high-availability, mission-critical, and enterprise UC San Diego services hosted through AWS. Learn more about AWS Support Pricing.

Additional Information

  • AWS instances are “owned” by the requester and their department.
  • IT Services will not make changes to your account without your knowledge and permission.
  • Requester is responsible for costs and reporting within their department.
  • All costs are standard AWS rates. Some discounts may be applied.
  • HIPAA-compliant AWS instances may have additional costs associated.  
  • ITAR/FedRAMP-compliant AWS instances may have additional costs associated. Learn more about GovCloud.