How enterprises use Infracost

Understand cost changes before any resources are launched

As organizations scale, it becomes hard to have a single DevOps or Platform 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 that are managed by the central platform team, and used by the rest of the organization as and when infrastructure is needed.

The problem they face is that there is a lack of cost visibility and understanding of what the infrastructure will cost. This results in costs going out of control and budget being broken.

Comment in pull request posted by Infracost

Infracost benefits:

  • Engineering culture of cost awareness:Engineers start to see and learn the cost implications of the infrastructure changes they are making, cost awareness increases. They can make economical choices while keeping software delivery speeds up.
  • Cost visibility for team leads, managers & FinOps:As engineers make change requests to infrastructure, the Infracost Cloud central dashboard shows all Pull Requests that are going through CI/CD, and the cost impact of each. Each change shows the cost impact, who is making the change, and why (linked to Jira).
  • Reduced infrastructure re-work:Infracost sits in the workflow (CI/CD) and provides the information needed to make the right decisions at the right time. Budgets are not broken and less re-work is required to fix infrastructure to align with budgets in future engineering sprints.
  • 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.
  • Tracking cost reduction efforts:Infracost tracks changes that increase and decrease cloud costs. As companies undertake cost reduction efforts, they can track and measure all the cost optimization efforts coming from engineering.

Proactive cloud cost guardrails and policies

The central DevOps and platform teams have built up a lot of knowledge and best practices as they have created and scaled infrastructure. Self-service has enabled quick launch of infrastructure for all product and engineering teams; central guardrails and policies help them stay within these guidelines.

Discussion about cost impact of pull request

Infracost benefits:

  • Budget guardrails:All changes can happen as and when needed, however, when a budget breaking change comes up, the budget owners are alerted of the change. Guardrails can also be configured to pause the change till the budget owner has approved the budget.
  • Cost policies:As changes are made to infrastructure, they will be checked against a set of central policies. There are two types of policies: global best practices (e.g. AWS GP2 volumes should be changed to GP3), or custom company policies (e.g. only use US-east-2 region as our Reservations are bought here). Engineering can keep shipping fast, and stay within best practices when they brush up against them.
  • Clear communication:There is automated and clear communication between engineering and team leads, architects, and FinOps of why they are making a change to the infrastructure, and the cost implications of the changes.

Product management cost awareness of change requests

In many cases, the changes that are being made to infrastructure are due to additional requirements, features, or changes to existing features of your product. These originate from product managers and product owners, who are ultimately responsible for the profit and loss of the products they run.

Product should also be aware of the cost implications of additional features as they are best placed to make cost-benefit analysis, and request higher budgets.

Infracost cost shareable estimate report

Infracost benefits:

  • Issue tracking integration (Jira):As engineering make changes required as part of Jira issues, the cost implications are pushed directly into Jira. Product owners are aware of the cost implications of the issues, sprints and epics.
  • Budget controls:Budget guardrails help product stay in control of budgets. If a feature will have a major impact to revenue, but will also come with a high cost, an approval workflow can be triggered before the changes are merged.
  • Management Reporting:As engineering work on longer sprints and big change epics, the cost implications can be measured, charted and put into monthly reports.
  • Business Intelligence (BI) integration:Infracost integrates into your Business Intelligence tools such as PowerBI and Tableau, so enterprise customers can build personalized and custom dashboards and reports.
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