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FinOps Open Cost & Usage Specification (Open Billing)

A technical specification to build and maintain an open standard for cloud cost, usage, and billing data, developed 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 & usage dimensions/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 and 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 & 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 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, what 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 member yet, please join!

Why is FOCUS being developed as a Technical Specification rather than a Working Group?

The FinOps Foundation is the Sponsoring Project of FOCUS, but FOCUS will be a standalone specification Project to better protect and manage the intellectual property rights that will be necessary for users of the FOCUS Project outputs. In order for organizations to trust the specifications and reference implementations that result from the FOCUS Project, they must be able to rely upon the right to use these work products under the terms of license agreements.
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?

FOCUS will be developed using a hybrid contribution model, meaning that changes and additions may be proposed either via Github issues and pull requests or at FOCUS Working Group meetings. Github will be the official system of record for the Specifications and any other work products. The contribution model will be officially defined in the FOCUS repository.The Project will have multiple tiers of membership once established, but will work toward consensus approval of changes in every case possible. If you have a technical contribution to make to the Project, please contact us on Slack. If you would like to review or license the specification, reference implementations or other work products, please continue to check back here in January 2023 to review the details available at that time.

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.

Who develops and maintains FOCUS?

The FinOps Open Cost & Usage Specification is currently in development by the FinOps Foundation community with inspiration, guidance and resources from Joint Development Foundation, the Open Web Foundation agreements, the Alliance for Open Media Patent License 1.0, and the Linux Foundation.

Learn more on the Project GitHub Repo.

What is the schedule for development of the FOCUS?

The FOCUS project is working toward the following schedule:

  • Establish FOCUS Project legal framework, scope, contribution model, membership structure and establish Steering Committee – January 2023
  • Integrate existing FinOps WG content into FOCUS project common format specification – February 2023
  • Identify major contributors and staff FOCUS Working Groups – February 2023
  • MVP Release of common billing format specification, initial cloud billing mapping – March 2023
  • MVP release of reference implementation supporting multiple cloud billing sources – June 2023

Discuss these milestones and more on our Community Slack channel for the FOCUS.

Thank you to our contributors

Practitioners

  • CITI
  • Palo Alto Networks
  • Disney
  • Domo
  • Atlassian
  • HSBC
  • Chevron

Consulting Partners

  • Deloitte
  • Accenture
  • SADA

Platforms/Other Projects

  • CloudZero
  • VMWare
  • VMWare Aria Cost powered by CloudHealth
  • Apptio Cloudability
  • Kubecost
  • Backblaze
  • MongoDB
  • Kion
  • OpenTelemetry

Cloud Service Providers

  • Google Cloud
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Amazon Web Services