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Amazon CloudWatch
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Scenario: Monitor Your Estimated Charges Using CloudWatch

In this scenario, you create an Amazon CloudWatch alarm to monitor your estimated charges. When you enable the monitoring of estimated charges for your AWS account, the estimated charges are calculated and sent several times daily to CloudWatch as metric data.

Billing metric data is stored in the US East (N. Virginia) Region and reflects worldwide charges. This data includes the estimated charges for every service in AWS that you use, as well as the estimated overall total of your AWS charges.

You can choose to receive alerts by email when charges have exceeded a certain threshold. These alerts are triggered by CloudWatch and messages are sent using Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS).

Step 1: Enable Billing Alerts

Before you can create an alarm for your estimated charges, you must enable billing alerts, so that you can monitor your estimated AWS charges and create an alarm using billing metric data. After you enable billing alerts, you cannot disable data collection, but you can delete any billing alarms you created.

After you enable billing alerts for the first time, it takes about 15 minutes before you can view billing data and set billing alarms.

Requirements

  • You must be signed in using root account credentials; IAM users cannot enable billing alerts for your AWS account.

  • For consolidated billing accounts, billing data for each linked account can be found by logging in as the paying account. You can view billing data for total estimated charges and estimated charges by service for each linked account as well as for the consolidated account.

To enable monitoring of your estimated charges

  1. Open the Billing and Cost Management console at https://console.aws.amazon.com/billing/home?#.

  2. In the navigation pane, choose Preferences.

  3. Select Receive Billing Alerts.

  4. Choose Save preferences.

Step 2: Create a Billing Alarm

After you've enabled billing alerts, you can create a billing alarm. In this scenario, you create an alarm that sends an email message when your estimated charges for AWS exceed a specified threshold.

Note

This procedure uses the simple options. To use the advanced options, see Create a Billing Alarm in Create a Billing Alarm to Monitor Your Estimated AWS Charges.

To create a billing alarm

  1. Open the CloudWatch console at https://console.aws.amazon.com/cloudwatch/.

  2. If necessary, change the region to US East (N. Virginia). Billing metric data is stored in this region and reflects worldwide charges.

  3. In the navigation pane, choose Alarms, Billing.

  4. For Whenever my total AWS charges for the month exceed, specify the monetary amount (for example, 200) that must be exceeded to trigger the alarm and send an email notification.

    Tip

    Under Alarm Preview, there is an estimate of your charges that you can use to set an appropriate amount.

  5. For send a notification to, choose an existing notification list or create a new one.

    To create a list, choose New list and type a comma-separated list of email addresses to be notified when the alarm changes to the ALARM state. Each email address will be sent a subscription confirmation email. The recipient must confirm the subscription before notifications can be sent to the email address.

  6. Choose Create Alarm.

Step 3: Check the Alarm Status

Now, check the status of the billing alarm that you just created.

To check the alarm status

  1. Open the CloudWatch console at https://console.aws.amazon.com/cloudwatch/.

  2. If necessary, change the region to US East (N. Virginia). Billing metric data is stored in this region and reflects worldwide charges.

  3. In the navigation pane, choose Alarms, Billing.

  4. Select the check box next to the alarm. Note that until the subscription is confirmed, it is shown as "Pending confirmation". After the subscription is confirmed, refresh the console to show the updated status.

Step 4: Edit a Billing Alarm

Let's say that you want to increase the amount money you spend with AWS each month from $200 to $400. You can edit your existing billing alarm and increase the monetary amount that must be exceeded before the alarm is triggered.

To edit a billing alarm

  1. Open the CloudWatch console at https://console.aws.amazon.com/cloudwatch/.

  2. If necessary, change the region to US East (N. Virginia). Billing metric data is stored in this region and reflects worldwide charges.

  3. In the navigation pane, choose Alarms, Billing.

  4. Select the check box next to the alarm and then choose Modify.

  5. For Whenever my total AWS charges for the month exceed, specify the new amount that must be exceeded to trigger the alarm and send an email notification.

  6. Choose Save Changes.

Step 5: Delete a Billing Alarm

You can delete your billing alarm if you no longer need it.

To delete a billing alarm

  1. Open the CloudWatch console at https://console.aws.amazon.com/cloudwatch/.

  2. If necessary, change the region to US East (N. Virginia). Billing metric data is stored in this region and reflects worldwide charges.

  3. In the navigation pane, choose Alarms, Billing.

  4. Select the check box next to the alarm and then choose Delete.

  5. When prompted for confirmation, choose Yes, Delete.