Apptio Cloudability vs Usage.AI: Comparing Cloud Savings Tools
Frederik Bussler

Frederik Bussler

May 10, 2022 · 4 min read

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Cloud expenses have become staggeringly high in recent years, as more and more businesses have turned to cloud-based solutions to power their operations. As a result, optimizing cloud resources has become a top priority for many organizations.

There are a number of different tools available to help with this, but in this article, we'll be focusing on two popular options: Usage.AI and Apptio Cloudability.

Both of these tools offer a variety of features to help you manage your cloud resources effectively and optimize your spending. However, there are some key differences between them that you should be aware of.

What are the costs?

Apptio Cloudability charges a monthly fee based on the amount of AWS spend that you want to manage. The AWS Marketplace breaks down Apptio Cloudability’s costs as follows:

  • Manage up to $150K of monthly AWS spend for $54,000
  • Manage up to $300K of monthly AWS spend for $108,000
  • Manage up to $600K of monthly AWS spend for $216,000

Usage.AI charges a simple 20% fee on the actual savings that you achieve. This means that there are no upfront costs or long-term commitments involved. If, for example, you save $10,000 on your cloud costs in a month, you would only be charged $2,000 for that month.

Here's a break-down of how much Usage.AI would cost, if you were to save 57% at the same three different levels of AWS spend:

  • Monthly AWS spend of $150K for up to $17,100
  • Monthly AWS spend of $300K for up to $34,200
  • Monthly AWS spend of $600K for up to $68,400

Usage.AI offers significant savings compared to Apptio Cloudability, particularly for businesses with a large AWS bill. With $150K in monthly AWS spend, you could save almost $37,000 per year with Usage.AI; with $300K in monthly AWS spend, you could save nearly $74,000 per year; and with $600K in monthly AWS spend, you could save almost $148,000 per year.

Usage.AI offers a lot of flexibility in terms of how you pay for its services, as there are no upfront costs or long-term commitments involved. This makes it a good option for businesses who want to save money on their cloud costs, but don't want to be locked into a contract.

How much can you save?

An Apptio Cloudability AWS datasheet claims that customers can achieve savings of around 20% of annual AWS spend. Let’s look at how much you could save on the same three previous levels of AWS spend:

  • Monthly AWS spend of $150K: Save ~$30,000
  • Monthly AWS spend of $300K: Save ~$60,000
  • Monthly AWS spend of $600K: Save ~$120,000

Usage.AI, on the other hand, enables savings of up to almost three times as much (57%) with its Flexible No-Commitment Reservations. This makes it a more attractive option for businesses who are looking to save as much money as possible on their cloud costs. Let’s look at how much you can save at the same three levels of spend:

  • Monthly AWS spend of $150K: Save up to $85,500
  • Monthly AWS spend of $300K: Save up to $171,000
  • Monthly AWS spend of $600K: Save up to $342,000
How long does set-up take?

Apptio Cloudability has not published estimates for how long it takes to set-up their tool. However, given that it is designed for IT, finance, and DevOps teams to work together on implementing various measures, it is likely to take a more significant amount of time and effort to get up and running.

Usage.AI can be set-up in just a few minutes by creating a limited-access IAM Role. This makes it much easier and quicker to get started with, which could be particularly important for time-stretched  businesses who don't want to spend extensive resources on set-up.

Who are they for?

Apptio Cloudability is designed for IT, finance, and DevOps teams who need to work together to optimize their cloud resources. It offers a range of features to help with this, including the ability to establish team budgets, forecast and track cloud spend, correlate cloud spend with business value, and stay informed of costs in real-time.

Usage.AI, on the other hand, is designed for any businesses who want to save money on their cloud costs without having to put in a lot of effort. It promises near-zero work in terms of getting started, and achieves savings of up to 57% with its Flexible No-Commitment Reservations.

How do they work?

Apptio Cloudability works by giving you visibility into your cloud spend and providing a range of tools to help you optimize your resources. This includes the ability to allocate all costs accurately (including support charges and containers), rightsize resources across major cloud services, and enable team ownership of cloud spend.

Usage.AI works by automatically buying and selling reserved instances on the EC2 Reserved Instance Marketplace in real-time, based on your needs. This means that you don't have to commit to any long-term contracts, and you can reactively adjust your cloud resources as your needs change.

What data do they ask for?

Apptio Cloudability requires you to give them access to your AWS account in order to connect to your CUR file. They explain that "when setting up accounts, we connect directly to the S3 bucket" and that "a CUR file for a mature AWS infrastructure can contain hundreds of millions of lines." 

Usage.AI also requires you to give them access to your AWS account in order to connect to the EC2 Reserved Instance Marketplace. Usage.AI only requests access to benign data such as CPU utilization, instance metadata, tags, existing reservations and savings plans. Further, all data is encrypted both at rest and in transit.

Conclusion

Both Usage.AI and Apptio Cloudability offer a variety of features to help you manage your cloud resources effectively. However, there are some key differences between them that you should be aware of before making a decision.

Usage.AI is designed for businesses who want to save money on their cloud costs without having to put in a lot of effort. It offers near-zero work in terms of getting started, and achieves savings of up to 57% with its Flexible No-Commitment Reservations. This makes it a good option for businesses who want to save as much money as possible on their cloud costs, but don't want to be locked into a contract.

Apptio Cloudability is designed for cross-functional users across IT, finance, and DevOps teams. It offers a range of features to help with this, including the ability to establish team budgets, accurately forecast and track cloud spend, correlate cloud spend with business value, and stay informed of costs in real-time. However, it is likely to take a significant amount of time and effort to get up and running.

When choosing between these two options, it's important to consider your specific needs and requirements. If you need a tool that is quick and easy to set-up, and offers the most savings at the lowest cost, then Usage.AI is the right choice for you. However, if you have an unlimited budget and need a more comprehensive solution that offers a wide range of features, then Apptio Cloudability might be a better option.


The Author

Frederik BusslerContent Marketer
Frederik Bussler
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Frederik is a content marketing consultant with experience across startup, mid-market, and enterprise companies, helping them to develop and execute long-term content strategies.

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