Leveraging OpenCost for Effective Cloud Cost Control

This open source tool gives software companies insights into their cloud spending, helping them to identify and control waste.


As software development companies increasingly migrate their workloads to the cloud, the need to control costs becomes paramount for sustaining profitability and competitiveness. Amidst this backdrop, OpenCost has emerged as a vital tool for ISVs striving to manage their cloud expenditure efficiently.

What is OpenCost?

OpenCost stands as a vendor-neutral, open-source project aimed at facilitating cost transparency, monitoring, showback, and chargeback in cloud environments. Developed under the auspices of the Linux Foundation’s Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), OpenCost provides ISVs with a comprehensive platform to gain insights into their cloud expenditure dynamics. Through its intuitive interface and robust functionalities, OpenCost equips ISVs with the means to monitor and optimize their cloud costs effectively.

The Value OpenCost Provides

Matt Ray, the Senior Community Manager at Kubecost, underscores the significance of OpenCost in addressing the challenges associated with understanding cloud costs, especially for developer teams. With OpenCost’s integration into multi-cloud cost reporting capabilities, the project has ascended to prominence within the CNCF ecosystem. By incorporating the FinOps Foundation’s FinOps Open Cost & Usage Specification (FOCUS), OpenCost facilitates seamless implementation of cost optimization strategies across diverse cloud environments. This amalgamation of cloud, Kubernetes, and third-party APIs empowers developers to decipher intricate cost metrics and align their infrastructure expenditures with organizational objectives.

“Working with FOCUS, OpenCost will be joining metrics from cloud, Kubernetes, and third-party APIs to pull in all the data developers need to understand costs and to speak the same language about infrastructure and software costs with their finance teams,” Ray says.

Additional benefits that OpenCost offers ISVs include:

  • Alignment with Organizational Goals: By providing developers with the tools to align infrastructure expenditures with organizational goals, OpenCost fosters a culture of accountability and efficiency within software development companies.
  • User-Friendly Interface: OpenCost offers an intuitive interface that simplifies the process of monitoring and managing cloud costs, making it accessible to developer teams with varying levels of expertise.
  • Proactive Cost Management: With OpenCost, developer teams can proactively identify cost optimization opportunities and take timely action to mitigate wastage, contributing to overall cost efficiency and profitability.
  • Facilitation of Collaboration: OpenCost fosters collaboration between developer teams and finance departments by providing a common platform for discussing and analyzing cloud expenditure, facilitating alignment of priorities and objectives.
  • Continuous Improvement: OpenCost’s commitment to ongoing development and enhancement ensures that it remains responsive to evolving cloud cost management challenges, enabling software development companies to stay ahead of the curve.

Addressing the Cloud Cost Crisis

The importance of cloud cost management is underscored by alarming statistics revealing rampant wastage in cloud expenditure. In 2022, 32 percent of cloud spend was squandered, with 75 percent of organizations reporting an upsurge in cloud waste. Furthermore, a staggering 7 out of 10 organizations remain uncertain about their cloud budget allocation. These figures accentuate the pressing need for tools like OpenCost to instill fiscal discipline and accountability within ISV operations.

Ray comments, “Many cloud cost tools are not built for use by developer teams, but the OpenCost project brings that visibility right to developers.” Empowering developers to exert control over cloud costs is a pivotal FinOps challenge confronting organizations. OpenCost stands poised to address this challenge head-on, by democratizing access to cost insights and empowering ISVs to make informed decisions regarding their cloud expenditure.

Melissa McGaughey

Melissa McGaughey, a DevPro Journal contributor, has over a decade of experience in B2B digital marketing within the SaaS and tech industries.

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Melissa McGaughey
Melissa McGaughey, a DevPro Journal contributor, has over a decade of experience in B2B digital marketing within the SaaS and tech industries.