On 16 December 2015, the Cost and Usage Report (CUR) was launched. Up until then, the standard way of getting detailed usage was by using the Detailed Billing Report (DBR). This is what Stax Spotlight ingested on a regular basis to be able to show you how you're spending your money in AWS.

Since making the Cost and Usage Report (CUR) available, AWS has encouraged customers to move to the CUR as it contains more detailed information on usage, tagging, etc. While the DBR is still available for now, it's a good idea to start using the CUR.

As of 17 June, the DBR no longer includes some of the information we need to give you the most accurate information possible, in particular for Reserved Instance (RI) usage. Even if you're not using RIs, it's still best to start using the CUR instead of the DBR. 

To switch on the CUR, you'll need to follow the instructions here. If you're already using Stax or Stax Spotlight, you've already made an S3 billing bucket available to us, so please ensure that you direct the CUR to the same bucket you've been using.

During the setup, you'll be asked a few questions. Our recommendations for each step are-

5. Include resource IDs (as they say)
6. Enable automatic data refreshes
11. No preference
12. Hourly
13. Enable overwriting (to save a little bit on S3 spend)
14. We don't need either

We prefer gzip compression where there's an option.

If you have any questions about this or need any help, please let us know!

FAQs

Do I need to switch off my DBR?
No, you don't need to stop using the DBR. It will potentially save you a small amount of money to switch it off (because it uses S3 storage), but it's likely to be an insignificant saving.

Do I need to update all my accounts to use the CUR?
You need to update all your billing accounts to use the CUR. We can use a mix of CUR and DBR, but ultimately, if we don't have the CUR for all your accounts, you're not going to be getting the most out of Stax Spotlight.

Am I missing out by not switching on the CUR?
Yes. The DBR no longer includes RI information, so right now, your RIs aren't going to be showing correctly in Stax Spotlight. Once enough people are using the CUR, we're going to start building exciting new features that you can only access if you're using the CUR. Don't get left behind!

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