How companies are using Infracost

Understand cost changes before any resources are launched

As organizations scale, it becomes hard to have a single DevOps team managing all the infrastructure requirements of all product teams. Instead, they opt for using Infrastructure as Code (IaC) to create a set of easy to use modules which are managed by the central operations/platform team and used by the rest of the organization as and when infrastructure is needed.

The problem they face is that the lack of cost visibility and understanding of what infrastructure is about to be launched and its cost implications cause high cloud bills and ballooning budgets.

Comment in pull request posted by Infracost

Infracost benefits:

  • Cost visibility for team leads, managers & FinOps:You can see pull requests that increase/decrease costs the most, by how much, and by whom.This helps you better understand when & where cost changes were introduced, as well as upcoming changes.
  • Increased cost awareness:Engineers are shown the estimated cost of infrastructure upfront, before any resources are launched or changed. They can make economical choices while keeping software delivery speeds up.
  • Reduced infrastructure re-work:Infracost sits in the workflow (CI/CD) and provides the information needed to make the right decisions. Budgets are not broken and less re-work is required to fix infrastructure to align with budgets post launch.
  • Aligned budgets and costs:If the changes to infrastructure or the launch of a new product break budgets, communication can happen in advance, not after the bill arrives.

Proactive cloud cost policies

The central DevOps and platform teams have built up a lot of knowledge and best practices as they have created and scaled infrastructure. Although self service has enabled quick launch of infrastructure for all product and engineering teams, setting up guardrails and policies from a central place, will help them to stay within these guidelines.

Discussion about cost impact of pull request

Infracost benefits:

  • Team lead awareness:All changes can happen as and when needed, however when a budget breaking change comes up, the change is paused till a team lead or a senior member of the team has reviewed and approved it.
  • Knowledge transfer:Best practices which might be nuanced but important can be written into policies and scaled to all teams. For example, a policy can say: the cost of Input/Output operations should not be higher than the cost of the virtual machine.
  • Clear communication:There is automated and clear communication between engineering, product and managers, who can then relay it to finance when budgets are going to be breached for good reason.

Consultants helping clients adopt and scale on cloud

Consultants are usually tasked with helping clients navigate the multitude of cloud services available, and to design, implement and maintain cloud strategies on behalf of their clients. A significant part of this work is the cost-benefit analysis.

Infracost cost shareable estimate report

Infracost benefits:

  • Scenario modeling and what-if analysis:A client can be given multiple options and what-if scenarios with a detailed cost estimate breakdown. The clients can make cost aware decisions, and keep within their budgets.
  • Faster delivery:As Infrastructure as Code is written, the cost estimation and forecasting of the project is automated and delivered with no overhead. As changes are proposed, cost estimates are kept up to date and live.
  • Enable cost understanding:Clients understand what levers they can pull to reduce costs, and the impact of those decisions. For example, how much would a Highly Available setup cost.
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