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Show HN: CloudForecast.io – Daily email report to help you monitor your AWS cost (cloudforecast.io)
125 points by kacy 65 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 27 comments



Do you need a lightweight and affordable AWS cost monitoring tool? CloudForecast is a daily email report that breaks down your AWS spend, allowing you to understand where your money is going. View spend by Products, Tags, and Sub Accounts and quickly know which areas need your attention.

CloudForecast is a passion project designed to deliver the value of enterprise level AWS monitoring to startups and midsize companies. Between the three of us, we’ve managed annual AWS budgets of $10M+ and know how to help you save on cloud costs.

As longtime HN fans, we want to make this easy for HNers to try us out! Fill out a 3 question survey to double the length of your free trial. Email us at hello@cloudforecast.io for more information or if you have any questions!


Hello, I run a small DevOps consulting company. Can we create one single CloudForecast.io account with independent customers of ours each having multiple AWS accounts? Essentially a single login to view all customers grouped by AWS account?


Thanks for the question. That's a use case we haven't considered yet, great feedback! As of today, we are using the Organization concept in AWS so "One CloufForecast.io account" == "One Master billing account in AWS". Your use case seems to be slightly different since it's multiple accounts across multiple clients. I would love to discuss options with you and see if we can help. We recently started discussing options with consultant/agency to figure out how to best work together. Please reach out to us at hello@cloudforecast.io.


I haven't had the time to try this. But my issue with built-in AWS forecast is it'll be totally inaccurate once Reserved Instance come into play. Does CloudForecast solve this issue?


We treat Reserved Instance spending differently in order to provide an accurate forecast. The spend will be treated differently based on your purchase type (All Upfront, Partial Upfront, and No Upfront). Please reach out at francois@cloudforecast.io if you more questions.


We have been using this at Adzerk since an early beta and it's been just what we needed. We used to pay 2% to another cloud pricing company and we were able to cancel that since we started using CloudForecast.io, saving us thousands of dollars a month. If you find yourself not using all the fancy features of the bigger tools, save yourself some money and use this great tool instead.


I second the need for "simpler" solutions like this. At Perfect Audience (where I worked with the CloudForecast team!) we spent a lot on AWS and used vendors to help monitor the spend. Because these vendors were venture backed, they needed to charge a lot of money. To justify charging that much money they needed to build a lot of features...when all we really wanted was a good email each day to alert us if something was awry.


Some tips to improve the website (Last time I did this https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16621584):

Make the header's height larger. It's very, unusually small, compared to the vast majority of the internet. At least add some top/bottom padding.

Please work on the contrast of the "Start Free Trial" buttons, they are hard to read.

Use or configure your header/menu font better. On chrome, windows 10 it's ugly: https://i.imgur.com/FpsHTkX.png

Add some effect to the screenshot, so people it's a screenshot of the app and not some random image.

Add some color to the references slider's arrows. No contrast there.

The pricing buttons being different is weird: https://i.imgur.com/qJI9cPw.png

Fix the legends being blurry in this screenshot: https://cloudforecast.io/images/CloudForecast-email---as-of-...

Change the "Contact Us" links to an actual page, showing the email, and a mailto handler there. I really dislike how it is right now (link with mailto handler), as I may not be interested to email right away. Maybe I'm looking for where you guys are HQ'd?

--- on app.cloudforecast.io

2005 called, they want their button borders back: https://i.imgur.com/eSitJwC.png

A text with "I accept the Terms" is not consent.

There is no Data Usage/GDPR info linked on the signup screen. How is my data used?

Maybe use some different typeface for these progress labels? They look bland, boring, and I only saw them at the third look. https://i.imgur.com/qcoAuHs.png


Thanks! This is very useful feedback and definitely a lot of good points. I'll be sure to return those borders back to 2005! It definitely wasn't the intended design. I'll need to do some more testing on Windows. :)


I think the more important thing might be the consent part. Check out clickwrap or clickthrough consent. The technical bits of this can become extremely tricky and extremely important.


This is definitely a problem worth solving, and this looks like a nice solution.

I like the use of weather as an at-a-glance shorthand. This is something I'd be looking at every day, and the faster I can glean the information the better. Can you share a little more about what might make things "stormy" vs. "clear"?

Also, just out of curiosity, what's your tech stack look like?


The "Sunny"/"Cloudy"/"Stormy" is based on the personalized threshold (E.g 10% increase compared to yesterday). The alerts can be set for your overall AWS spend but also at the Product (EC2, RDS), Region and Tags level.

For our tech stack, we are mostly using AWS Lambda with the Serverless.com framework. We were able to get off the ground quickly while keeping the cost down


We have been using this at Doximity for a while now it is excellent. The daily reports and clear indicators of increase/decrease are helpful to identify spikes at a glance.


You are also listed and quoted on their homepage. You must really, really like it I guess


We use this at the company I work for, Slingshot, and it has definitely been helpful for keeping an eye on things like huge dev environments that get spun up and not shut back down (I should note: I'm as often the guilty party as anyone else) as well as regular spending. We started using it because the pricing was a lot more small/medium business friendly than some of the other options out there. The team at CloudForecast has been really receptive to requests for new features and they seem to be committed to continuing to improve the product. For instance, the new cost savings report has a lot of potential, so looking forward to seeing where that goes. Saying that reminds me that I still need to respond to their request for feedback on that...


Nice service. At the moment, I have set a couple of billing alarms which trigger at certain thresholds, so that I know if we are going to be over budget by the end of the month. But a daily report would be handy.

Our usage is fairly low (~$1K/mo), so even the lowest pricing tier is not within our subscription budget now, but I can see it being so as we grow.

One question (I haven't gone through the specs in detail) but does the daily email provide other hints on saving costs as well (i.e. alerts when a reserved instance expires etc.)?


Hi! So it sounds like your company qualifies for our "startup lite" plan which is listed below our standard pricing on the website. Part of our mission is to empower companies like yours with the same tools that the big guys have. Do you mind sending me an email at kacy@cloudforecast.io? I'm happy to share how that plan works. Thanks!


Looks great, would love and use something like this for GCP


Google Cloud actually has some good new graphs (they are under billing => reports). Additionally they offer a monthly billing overview e-mail which you should already be receiving.


Absolutely, we are already looking into. We are also looking into providing reports that can support multiple cloud providers.


I'm not sure why I would want to use this instead of Amazon's built in tools?


The short answer is alignment of incentives.

The longer answer is that, although Amazon does provide many tools, as I'm sure anyone who has attempted to use them for cost analysis and/or forecasting has found, they are, at best, difficult (i.e. require a remarkable amount of human labor to extract the desired information, if that's even possible). At worst, one discovers that it's impossible to find out what one truly wants from the tool, even after exerting the effort, although it might be a close approximation. Amazon has little incentive to spend money improving a tool that would help their customers send them less revenue.


> The longer answer is that, although Amazon does provide many tools, as I'm sure anyone who has attempted to use them for cost analysis and/or forecasting has found, they are, at best, difficult (i.e. require a remarkable amount of human labor to extract the desired information, if that's even possible). At worst, one discovers that it's impossible to find out what one truly wants from the tool, even after exerting the effort, although it might be a close approximation. Amazon has little incentive to spend money improving a tool that would help their customers send them less revenue.

I completely agree.

I tried out that complicated as hell calculator, and found that for a lot of fields I was just inputting numbers, with no idea what I was doing.

I think the Cloud Formation price predictor thing is pretty useful for a Cloud Formation script. But I'm new to Cloud Formation and probably won't use it b/c it may be too complex for my needs and I don't know what I'm doing.


That's a great question! So for many people, Cost Explorer does a pretty darn good job at getting you the data you need. However, it takes some extra configuration to get the level of alerting you need. We're not recreating Cost Explorer. We'll automatically notify you of any weird irregularities in your daily spend on AWS on a daily basis.

AWS Trusted Advisor is a pretty awesome tool! However, it's only available to companies paying for Business or Enterprise level support (3-10% of your monthly bill).

This isn't a tool for everyone, but we hope that it provides enough value for some folks.


Any plans to extend this to other cloud providers like Azure and GCS?


We definitely plan to explore other cloud providers down the road, but we're trying to gauge viability in the market for AWS right now. For GCP, I encourage you to check out what they already offer for billing analytics. They do a great job at offering some of the stuff we do for all customers already.


Awesome job, Kacy!




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