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FinOps Foundation Insights

Clouds announce FOCUS support and GenAI tools at FinOps X

July 3, 2024 | Article: 48 minutes

Key Insight: At FinOps X in San Diego last week, the three largest cloud service providers took the stage to announce feature launches and improvements to their FinOps offerings. Native FOCUS support was a ubiquitous theme, optimization recommendations were improved, and the use of AI assistants were common threads.

Mike Fuller, CTO of the FinOps Foundation, and J.R. Storment, Executive Director, welcome the Clouds to the stage

Jump to specific announcements

Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) all launched FOCUS 1.0 support, plus enhancements to existing FinOps features, and new announcements that ease and accelerate FinOps adoption. Oracle Cloud also launched FOCUS support just before the conference.

Google Cloud

Sarah McMullin from Google Cloud shares FinOps releases at FinOps X 2024 in San Diego

This year at FinOps X in San Diego, Google announced an updated BigQuery view to align with the FOCUS v1.0 GA release, and a new Looker Template that allows you to generate a table to visualize FOCUS data in Looker. Google says that:

“With the FOCUS Looker view, you can now:

Google Cloud: View your FOCUS data in the new Looker template

Google offers a step-by-step guide to using the BigQuery view and Looker Template to view your billing data in the FOCUS 1.0 format. (You will need to submit your contact information to read this guide.)

Google Cloud initially announced support for FOCUS in January 2024, and offers three ways to export cloud billing data to BigQuery: Standard Billing Export, Detailed Billing Export (resource-level data and price fields to join with Price Export table), and Price Export.

Generative AI is being incorporated into many areas of business operations, and at FinOps X 2024, Google announced that Gemini Cloud Assist can now be used to generate FinOps reports, summarize key insights, and write BigQuery scripts using natural language.

Google has now added alerts to its Anomaly Detection solution, which can be configured in the billing console. Google has also improved Committed Use Discount (CUD) management by adding scenario modeling for CUDs and furthered savings opportunities with new idle reservation recommendations in the FinOps Hub.

Google has offered their Carbon Footprint tool since 2021, but just announced that carbon data is now integrated with FinOps Hub. Google says that, “Through location-based carbon emission data and Google’s unattended project recommendations, FinOps Hub provides actionable insights to drive impactful decisions that benefit both the bottom line and the planet.”

Previously, at Next in April 2024, Google announced:

Microsoft Azure

Jimin Li from Microsoft shares FinOps releases at FinOps X 2024 in San Diego

This year at FinOps X in San Diego, Microsoft announced improvements to Exports that can be enabled from Cost Management labs by turning on the Exports (preview) button. According to Microsoft, the new Exports experience:

Microsoft Azure: Export FOCUS-formatted reports in Exports

Microsoft announced support for FOCUS in October 2023, with the ability to download a FOCUS sample Power BI report as part of the FinOps toolkit, and connect this report to your own data through the Cost Management connector for Power BI or by deploying a FinOps hub data pipeline. You can update existing reports or convert billing data to the FOCUS format.

Once you’ve used Exports to gather all the cost data you need, you can use Microsoft Fabric to analyze that data. Microsoft Fabric is integrated with Microsoft’s Generative AI Assistant, Copilot. Microsoft says that, “With Copilot in Microsoft Fabric, you can use natural language to create dataflows and pipelines, write SQL statements, build reports, or even develop machine learning models.”

Microsoft is enabling more proactive cost decision-making by embedding cost estimates into the Azure portal before deployment. This monthly cost estimate is currently available for Virtual Machines with pay-as-you-go subscriptions, with additional support coming soon.

Microsoft is also supporting FinOps in modern environments by displaying cost breakdowns for Kubernetes clusters and namespaces natively in Azure, and by adding Reservations and Savings Plans for newer resources and services.

Earlier this year, Microsoft also announced the release of Azure Carbon Optimization, which empowers engineers to optimize individual resources for carbon emissions.

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

James Greenfield from AWS shares FinOps releases at FinOps X 2024 in San Diego

AWS made their debut at FinOps X this year with perhaps the most anticipated announcement at FinOps X: launch of support for FOCUS data exports in the AWS Billing and Cost Management Console. Check out the product documentation for more information or go to the new FOCUS Dashboard to quickly get started visualizing your FOCUS data.

AWS: Export FOCUS-formatted reports in the Billing and Cost Management console.

In addition, AWS launched new optimization recommendations for RDS instances (which includes storage recommendations), and data exports in the Cost Optimization Hub with customizable column views.

Steph Gooch and Rick Ochs from AWS share these FinOps X updates on Twitch: The Keys to AWS Optimization, and Yuriy Prykhodko and Zach Erdman walk you through how to get started with FOCUS datasets on AWS.

AWS announced several FinOps releases in the first half of this year, including the launch of Cost Optimization Hub at re:Invent 2023, a new 7-day return window for AWS Savings Plans, support for new EC2 instance types and the ability to tune rightsizing recommendations in AWS Compute Optimizer, and retroactive tag application.

Amazon Q, AWS’s generate AI assistant, can be leveraged by developers to ask questions about cost data in natural language and receive summaries, analyze trends, and engage in dialogue about the data in Cost Explorer. Learn more about Amazon Q cost analysis capability.

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI)

Right before FinOps X, Oracle Cloud announced support for FOCUS in their cost and usage reports, with an additional converter to transform historical data into the new FOCUS format.

Oracle Cloud: Export FOCUS-formatted cost and usage reports in the Cost Management console

Oracle also released the following:

Multi-cloud FOCUS data now available

With the announcement of FOCUS support by AWS, FinOps Practitioners can access FOCUS-formatted data natively from four of the largest cloud service providers in the world, making multi-cloud analysis with FOCUS data a reality for millions of customers. Now is the time for FinOps Practitioners to get started using FOCUS datasets for FinOps analysis.

Learn all about FOCUS 1.0, including available training and steps to get started.

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