Best cloud cost management service of 2024

Cloud computing has made deploying web services easier. Suppose you wanted to create a website in the early days of the internet, you had no choice but to sign a long-term contract with a co-location provider or buy and maintain your own servers. This represented a major barrier, as not many people had the resources to rent or own dedicated servers.

Best cloud cost management service: quick menu

A graphic image of a cloud set in a digital background.

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1. Best overall
2. Best for visibility
3. Best for AWS
4. Best for ease of use
5. Best for budgeting
6. FAQs

Cloud computing services, e.g., Amazon Web Services, emerged in the 2000s to make things easier and have constantly improved. It’s now easy for anyone to rent cloud computing space and spin up an app or website. The beauty of such services is that you only pay for the computing resources you use; you don’t need to sign any long-term contract or maintain your own servers.

Cloud computing offers a great advantage to individuals and businesses developing their apps. However, you can end up spending a lot of unnecessary money if you don’t configure your cloud computing setup well. For example, you may select and forget about a feature that keeps racking up bills. To avoid such problems, people opt for a cloud cost management service.

There are dozens of cloud cost management services out there, and it can be difficult to make a good choice. We tested different services to identify the best ones. We narrowed our list based on important factors including features, pricing, performance, customer support, etc.

Also check out the best cloud orchestration software.

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The best cloud cost management services of 2024 in full:

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Best overall

Website screenshot for VMware Aria Cost

(Image credit: VMware)

1. VMware Aria Cost

Best for VMware users

Reasons to buy

+
Competitive pricing
+
Provides cost management recommendations
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Detailed analytic 

Reasons to avoid

-
Integrations need improvement 

VMware is one of the most popular cloud computing providers for businesses worldwide. In 2018, it purchased CloudHealth Technologies, a cloud cost management service. CloudHealth formed the basis of Aria Cost, which the company released in 2022.

This platform was designed with VMware cloud users in mind. You can use it effectively if you rent cloud computing services from VMware to run your operations. For instance, you can generate a detailed report of all your costs. The report will break down every feature and what it’s contributing to your overall cloud bill. You can visualize this data to make it easier to digest.

You can create custom policies for your VMware cloud resources. For instance, you can set a price limit for a specific feature; once it reaches that price, the feature automatically switches off. You can also create automated alerts if you hit a specific price level.

This platform gives you recommendations to trim down your VMware cloud costs. It also works with other cloud providers, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, and Alibaba Cloud.

Best for visibility

Website screenshot for Harness.io

(Image credit: Harness.io)

2. Harness.io

Best for multi-cloud visibility

Reasons to buy

+
Multi-cloud integration
+
Intuitive interface
+
Advanced features 

Reasons to avoid

-
Steep learning curve 

Harness is an advanced cloud management platform known for its extensive integrations with multiple cloud services. It offers a cloud cost management platform that makes it easy to monitor your pricing and ensure you don’t spend unnecessary money.

Harness works with the most popular cloud services, including Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Azure, etc. You just have to connect your account, and you can start managing costs.

Harness supports auto stopping, meaning you can halt idle resources automatically to prevent them from racking up bills. This platform can automatically allocate cloud clusters depending on demand, meaning you won't spend money on unnecessary ones.

Harness is famous for its intuitive interface (customers often complement the platform for this). It gives you a detailed view of your clouds in a visual format that you can easily understand. You can monitor your costs down to a granular level and see what teams, projects, business units, etc., are each contributing to the overall cloud bill.

This platform doesn’t have standard pricing; you’ll have to request a custom quote from the sales team. 

Best for AWS

Website screenshot for Amazon CloudWatch

(Image credit: Amazon)

3. Amazon CloudWatch

Best for Amazon web services users

Reasons to buy

+
Free tier available
+
Excellent customer support
+
Broad features 

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited use for non-AWS cloud platforms 
-
User interface needs improvement 

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the world’s biggest cloud computing provider globally. It offers a native cloud monitoring tool called CloudWatch that you can use to extensively monitor your AWS resources.

A good thing about CloudWatch is that it has a free plan. You don’t need to pay upfront to use it. CloudWatch gives you extensive visibility into your cloud usage. You can monitor every AWS resource and how it's contributing to your total cloud bill. The platform collects and summarized data in a visual format that you can easily understand. It retains data for a standard 15 months.

You can turn on Auto Scaling to add or remove cloud computing instances based on current demand. This means that you’ll have access to just the cloud resources you need at a specific time instead of renting unnecessary ones and racking up bills in anticipation of future events.

The main drawback of CloudWatch is that it doesn’t work well with external cloud computing platforms apart from AWS.

Best for ease of use

Website screenshot for CloudZero

(Image credit: CloudZero)

4. CloudZero

Best for ease of use

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to use and set up 
+
Supports automated alerts 
+
Free trial

CloudZero is a well-known platform designed primarily for cloud cost management. It works with the most popular cloud computing platforms, including Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Databricks, Azure, etc.

CloudZero is known for being easy to use and set up. It also offers an intuitive interface that makes it enjoyable to use. You can monitor all your cloud cost data in a visually appealing format. You can analyze costs down to individual features, projects, teams, etc. You can use charts to compare data across different periods.

CloudZero can help you detect features that are racking up significant bills so that you can review them; it can automatically detect these anomalies and give you alerts. You can create a budget for different teams and projects and ensure their cloud usage stays within that budget; you’ll receive alerts if a team hits specific percentages of their budget. 

Pricing for this tool depends on your cloud provider and custom technical infrastructure. CloudZero offers a 30-day free trial so that you can test its features before making your final decision. 

Best for budgeting

Website screenshot for CloudBolt

(Image credit: CloudBolt)

5. CloudBolt

Best for cost optimization and budgeting

Reasons to buy

+
Good for hybrid cloud use
+
Customizable
+
Easy to set up 

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited features 

CloudBolt is another good cloud cost management service. It’s not as popular as the other rivals on this list, but it’s nonetheless a suitable one.

CloudBolt gives you extensive visibility into your cloud billing and usage. You can track the cost of each feature and see how it's contributing to your overall bill. This platform is designed for multi-cloud usage, e.g., if you use both AWS, Google Cloud, and Azure at the same time. You can track the resources across different cloud platforms easily.

CloudBolt lets you create a custom dashboard to get the insights you need at a specific time. For example, you can create a dashboard to see how much your Azure usage costs you daily and compare it to what AWS costs. You can share these reports with your peers at the click of a button.

You can set quotas and budgets for your cloud resources so that you never surpass them. This platform also lets you auto-power virtual machines or auto-stop them when needed to avoid unnecessary costs.

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Cloud cost management service FAQs

How to choose a cloud cost management service 

Cost

Cost is the first thing to consider when selecting any software platform. Ensure you choose something that you can afford in the long term. The cost usually depends on what cloud provider you use and the specific features you have chosen. You should get a reasonable estimate of how much you expect to pay in the long run. Read the fine print to see if there are any hidden costs.

Customer support

Things can go wrong at any time, and you’ll likely need external help to sort out the problem. Ensure the platform you choose has a good reputation for customer support; you can check customer reviews to confirm this. You should be able to contact a human support representative any time you need one. You should also have access to complimentary support resources such as FAQs, user guides, video tutorials, etc.

Ease Of use

You need a platform that is easy to use and navigate. A cloud cost management service with a confusing interface can frustrate you and end up increasing your costs instead of containing them.

Essential features of a cloud cost management service 

1. Multi-cloud cost visibility

Many enterprises use multiple cloud providers for different features. Hence, a cloud cost management platform should have integrations with different providers and give you visibility into your costs from one dashboard. You should be able to monitor what’s affecting your costs on different cloud providers from the same platform.

2. Auto stopping

Ideal cloud resources are one of the major reasons for wasted cloud costs. Your cost management service should be able to identify idle features and resources and stop them for the time being. You can re-activate these resources whenever you want, but the auto stopping ensures you don’t forget about them and keep racking unnecessary bills.

3. Root cost analysis

You should be able to analyze your costs down to the ground level. Your platform should give you a bird's eye view; clusters, nodes, tasks, labels, storage, etc. This will help you determine unnecessary spending and do something about it. 

4. Data retention

You should be able to retain your cloud cost data for several years. This will help you compare costs as your business grows and ensure you’re not overpaying for cloud resources.

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Stefan Ionescu

Stefan has always been a lover of tech. He graduated with an MSc in geological engineering but soon discovered he had a knack for writing instead. So he decided to combine his newfound and life-long passions to become a technology writer. As a freelance content writer, Stefan can break down complex technological topics, making them easily digestible for the lay audience.