From the smallest startup to the largest multi-national organisation, monitoring Kubernetes costs can provide a real challenge for DevOps, FinOps, and other developer teams. It’s even more difficult to deduce which sectors are driving cloud infrastructure costs the most.
Containerised applications are used more than ever, and this shows no signs of slowing. As such, the need to control spending is of paramount importance for technology organisations.
While only a few years old, Kubecost is helping companies throughout the globe to keep their Kubernetes expenditure from spiraling out of control, all without having a negative impact on performance. But what does Kubecost actually do? Good question.
What is Kubecost?
Kubecost was founded by a small team of former Google engineers in San Francisco in 2019. It’s an open-source tool which gives developers easy visibility into their Kubernetes spend. If you’re not sure what Kubernetes is, don’t worry – you’re not alone. We’ll be covering that very soon.
With Kubecost, companies can easily monitor costs specific to the operation of any Kubernetes cluster (memory, CPU, etc.) in real time. Users can manage costs at cluster level or consolidate by application, project, team, or department. This enables exact rebilling and the efficient management of resources. Lastly, with alerts and optimisation paths, the multiplication of clusters can be prevented. This, in turn, stops budgets from getting out of hand.
What is Kubernetes?
The term “Kubernetes” comes from the Greek term, meaning “sailing pilot” or “helmsman”. But what does this mean in a software context? First developed at Google, Kubernetes, or K8s, can be difficult to define for those not in the know.
Haff and William Henry describe it thusly in their 2017 book, From Pots and Vats To Programs and Apps:
It eliminates many of the manual processes involved in deploying and scaling containerized applications… you can cluster together groups of hosts running Linux containers, and Kubernetes helps you easily and efficiently manage those clusters.
Essentially, Kubernetes is software used for managing containerized workloads and services. If you would like to lean more, it is worth reading a more detailed definition of Kubernetes and all its features.
While Kubernetes is a free software, it can take up a lot of resources which companies have to pay for. Not least of all, the time of their workforces. This is why Kubecost is so valuable to companies.
Is Kubecost Open-Source?
Yes, it is open-source. The project has an Apache 2.0 license. Luckily, there is a full list of the direct open-source dependencies which they include as part of their project.
The initiative under which Kubecost is run is called OpenCost, and it’s backed by big names including Amazon Web Services Inc., Google LLC and Adobe Inc.
What Are the Main Benefits of Using Kubecost?
The most striking benefit of Kubecost is that it allows organisations to accurately monitor their Kubernetes spending. While it’s possible to monitor costs manually, this is a difficult task. Not only is it incredibly time-consuming, but it may also require further resources and infrastructure. It’s also challenging to track all the resources a container uses from a server.
Kubecost helps to streamline these processes. How? Well, Kubecost has four main features:
- Cost allocation – Keep track of budget allocation across all native Kubernetes concepts. This allows organisations to give their teams cost data in line with their actual cloud bill.
- Unified cost monitoring – All Kubernetes and out-of-cluster spend is found in one place. Full cloud service billing integration is included.
- Optimisation insights – Companies can save 30-50% (and potentially more) on infrastructure spend with Kubecost’s automatically generated insights. All this is done without exposing private information and data is never shared with external parties, including Kubecost.
- Alerts & governance – Real time alerts and recurring reports allow teams to effectively address monitoring interruptions instantly, monitor their spending and stay within set budgets.
How Does Kubecost Save Tech Companies Money?
Using the four features mentioned above, companies can effectively keep their spending down. Their cost allocation model can analyse costs on any Kubernetes level. It supports concepts such as containers, clusters, pods, namespace, service, deployment, and others.
Kubecost collects real-time data from a company’s Kubernetes cluster. This is then analysed, and the user is given a detailed cost breakdown. This data is collected and presented so users can efficiently tune nodes and pods. It will identify underused nodes and storage so that they can either be eliminated or used more successfully.
Kubecost also has a notification feature to alert users when a cost threshold has been reached. This helps companies to make allowances and avoid further costs.
Budgets can also be divided among teams and apps by allocating role access to the cloud provider billing data. This means companies can avoid the pitfalls of resource bottlenecks.
Kubecost claim to have helped their users track and save on billions of dollars of spend. With a 30-day free trial awaiting every new user, why not put this to the test?
How Much Is Kubecost?
It offers three different plans:
- Team (free)
- Business ($449/mo)
Each of these plans are free for the first 30-days. For more information on what each of these packages offer, see Kubecost’s pricing list.
Kubecost can also integrate with the following cloud infrastructures:
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