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FinOps Open Cost & Usage Specification (FOCUS)

A technical specification to build and maintain an open standard for cloud cost, usage, and billing data, sponsored by the FinOps Foundation and contributors across the FinOps and cloud communities.

What is FinOps Open Cost & Usage Specification (FOCUS)?

FOCUS is the FinOps Foundation community specification that works to establish an open standard for cloud billing data. It specifies vendor neutral cross-cloud measures for key cost and usage dimensions and metrics. These measures and their derivations establish a baseline schema that enables cloud billing data to be surfaced in a common FinOps-serviceable format.

What problem are we trying to solve?

There’s no standard way to normalize key cloud cost and usage measures across multiple Cloud Service Providers (CSPs), Software as a Service (SaaS) products, or license sellers. This creates challenges for stakeholders when making decisions and quantifying the business value of cloud. This project will define a consistent set of measures, describe their origins, and prescribe an approach for surfacing the corresponding billing data via a shared data schema that is serviceable across all billing sources.
This open specification will be critical for the FinOps community, especially as more and more service providers continue to enter the market with their own billing data formats and measures.

Why are we working on an open billing standard?

By defining a standard way to surface key cost and usage measures across billing sources in a consistent way, and maintaining this specification as a discrete Project, the FinOps Foundation can further its mission to create open standards and best practices for individuals and organizations managing the value of cloud.

A few guiding statements that direct the mission include:

  • Billing data is confusing, and it’s not anyone’s fault
  • Developing consistency in billing data is key– trust requires understanding
  • Smart people don’t always agree– so, which are the correct metrics?

How to get started with FinOps Open Cost & Usage Specification?

The FOCUS Project will be building on the important work already done by the Open Billing Standards Working Group of the FinOps Foundation. You can follow and discuss this early work with other FinOps practitioners on our Community Slack channel for the FOCUS. If you aren’t a part of the FinOps Community yet, please join!

Why is FOCUS being developed as a separate open source Project rather than a Working Group?

It is critical to any organization using an open source specification or software to be able to rely upon the license terms and intellectual property they are using. Tracking the contributors and intellectual property rights associated with a project like this is important and takes some specific work. The FinOps Foundation is the Sponsoring Project of FOCUS, but FOCUS will be a standalone open source Project to allow it to own and manage the intellectual property rights that will be necessary to protect users of the FOCUS Project work products.
Establishing a technical Project allows contributions, contributors, license rights, and any intellectual property rights to be clearly and precisely tracked over time. This ensures that those contributing to and relying upon the specification are protected.

How can I contribute to FOCUS?

Anyone can contribute to the FOCUS specification and work products.

To contribute to the Project you must become a Member by signing a Membership Agreement, also known as a Contributor License Agreement. If your company deals with other Open Source projects, they will likely be familiar with this agreement, which must be accepted as is. No markups are possible.

After becoming a member, you will join one or more of the FOCUS Working Groups, also known as FOCUS Groups or FGs. These groups will develop the spec, sample data sets, use cases, reference implementations and other work products. FGs are set up by the FOCUS steering committee. Each FG will have a lead who will work with the members to accomplish the work set out for it.

As of February 1, 2023 the legal structure for FOCUS has been set up. The Steering Committee and initial FG is being established. Once that work is complete, in February 2023, additional members will be able to join the Project.

The sample membership agreement, overview slides, FAQ and other documents related to the Project are available for review in this folder.

How can I use the FOCUS specification?

The FOCUS specification will be available for licensed use by those who create billing data, by those ingesting or analyzing cost or usage data, or by organizations who wish to standardize the billing data they receive. The specification will be available for no cost via an open source license which will be fully specified after the Project is launched.

What is the schedule for development of FOCUS?

The FOCUS project is working toward the following schedule:

  • Establish FOCUS Project legal framework, scope, contribution model, membership structure – completed January 2023
  • Establish Steering Committee and initial FOCUS Working Group – February 2023
  • Grow FOCUS Membership with supporting members who wish to contribute to and use the FOCUS specifications – February-March 2023
  • Integrate existing FinOps WG content into FOCUS project common format specification – February -March 2023
  • Initial Release of common billing format specification, initial cloud billing mapping – June 2023

Status updates will be provided in our Community Slack channel for the FOCUS

Thank you to our previous contributors

There have been a large number of contributors to the original FinOps Foundation – Open Cloud Bill working group, including all of the below.

CITI, Palo Alto Networks, Disney, Domo, Atlassian, HSBC, Chevron, JP Morgan Chase & Co.,HERE Technologies, Deloitte, Accenture, SADA, CloudZero, VMWare, VMWare Aria Cost powered by CloudHealth, Apptio Cloudability, Kubecost, Backblaze, MongoDB, Kion, OpenTelemetry, OpenCost, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, Oracle Cloud.

The contributions made to the Open Cloud Bill working group will be transitioned into the new FOCUS Project starting March 2023.