We at Dowd and Associates are pleased to announce the release of the Cloud Billing Database AMI on the AWS Market Place. Our AMI makes Amazon billing data available in a Relational Database rather than just in separate CSV files on S3. It comes preloaded with a PostgreSQL database and a service that loads the database. The database is updated hourly so the most current data is always available. The database makes it easy to report the user defined tags and to generate reports spanning multiple billing periods.

We believe one of the impediments to broader acceptance of the Amazon Cloud is nature of it’s billing system. Existing data centers are deeply entrenched in the existing accounting systems. By comparison managing the billing files provided by Amazon is clumsy at best.

Amazon suggests “An application such as Microsoft Excel can be used to parse the billing data”. This not a very practical idea. Doing this daily or worse multiple times a day would be expensive and prone to error. It requires constant intervention to move the S3 billing data to files that can be accessed by Excel. Some of the S3 data has to be unzipped. The data in the S3 files may be bigger than Excel can handle. Amazon suggests an alternative, “Write an application that uses the Amazon S3 REST API or an AWS SDK to reference the data programmatically. This is precisely what we have done.

Our AMI makes billing data easier to manage and analyze by those with no specific knowledge of the inner workings of the Amazon Cloud. Using ODBC the billing data is easily available for analysis using tools like Microsoft Office. More generally it makes the billing data available to the existing accounting systems in a way that is not burdensome. The cloud system administrators no longer need to manage the S3 billing files. Those responsible for managing and analyzing the data are empowered to do their work with out constant tech support.

Our sincere hope is that this product will remove one more barrier to the broader acceptance of the Amazon Cloud.

See it on the AWS Marketplace

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