Exactly what factors contribute to "BoxUsage:t2.small"?

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What, exactly, are the factors that add up to BoxUsage:t2.small? Let's see if we can put together a complete list. I've opened a billing support case but they declined to answer, directing me here.

Things that DO go into BoxUsage:t2.small:

  • t2.small instance hours * current hourly price

Things that do NOT go into BoxUsage:t2.small:

  • Everything that goes into "ec2-other" (because BoxUsage:t2.small is a sub-component of "ec2-instances," which is distinct from "ec2-other"). That means:
  • No EBS
  • No data transfer
  • No load balancer charges

What don't I know about? (I'm sure that's a long list... but specifically about BoxUsage:t2.small please!)

"Wait, why do you want to know?"

Well, if you're curious... I experienced a sudden $500/month increase in our AWS bill which I tracked to an increase in cost for the BoxUsage:t2.small usage type. My Cloud Trail event log shows I created no new t2 instances close to that date. There were no other increases I can't account for, I didn't end any savings plans, amortizing versus blending versus unblended doesn't alter the result in Cost Explorer, etc. I don't use spot instances or reserved instances. It's a big increase and I want to understand it.

Thanks!

2 Answers
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If you don't have Reserved Instance or Savings Plans, BoxUsage indicates OnDemand EC2 usage. Here is a detail documentation for Usage Type.

profile pictureAWS
EXPERT
answered 6 days ago
  • Thanks for that link. Could stand to be more detailed, actually, as in breaking down all of the usage types, but it's information I didn't have before...

    I do have savings plans. But they didn't change on May 1st, the savings plan spend is about the same before and after May 1st, none of them have recently expired, none of them are close to expiring. And I didn't add any instances either. So it's difficult to see why BoxUsage:t2.small would double for reasons having to do with EC2 savings plans.

    Maybe a cost related to EC2-Other shot up and was absorbed by the savings plans, but that left some EC2-instances costs (BoxUsage:t2.small in particular) "uncovered?"

  • Thanks for that link. Could stand to be more detailed, actually, as in breaking down all of the usage types, but it's information I didn't have before...

    I do have savings plans. But they didn't change on May 1st, the savings plan spend is about the same before and after May 1st, none of them have recently expired, none of them are close to expiring. And I didn't add any instances either. So it's difficult to see why BoxUsage:t2.small would double for reasons having to do with EC2 savings plans.

    Maybe a cost related to EC2-Other shot up and was absorbed by the savings plans, but that left some EC2-instances costs (BoxUsage:t2.small in particular) "uncovered?"

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Thomas - I have a few suggestions for tracking this down. In Cost Explorer, set your filters in the Report Parameters selections to Granularity:Daily, Usage type: search for boxusage:t2.small, then select all available usage types that match the search, and then Group by: (Experiment with various dimensions such as Linked Account, Region, API Operation) to see if there is a clue where the added usage is coming from. By selecting Usage type groups, you will get an additional table in the report screen to show the number of hours recorded for that instance type in the time frame selected for your report. Be sure to make sure the date range at the top covers the time period in question. I suspect that there was simply an increase in total usage hours that will account for this increased cost on your bill. As an additional step, you can change the Group By dimension to group by Resource, which would identify the instance IDs that recorded hours for this charge. You will likely get a popup message asking you to Enable Resource-level data to see this detail. Doing so will give you resource-level granularity but for only past 14 days.

AWS
answered 5 days ago
profile picture
EXPERT
reviewed 21 hours ago
  • Grouping by resource in Cost Explorer requires hourly granularity which you may not have enabled. If that is the case I would suggest using daily granularity over the last few months to try to determine when the unexpected increase started. It's possible that alone may be enough, but if not I would also try grouping by region. You don't mention if you have multiple accounts in an Organization, but if so try grouping by linked account as well. Finally if you have a Cost and Usage Report configured you could use that to get resource-specific information as well. Athena is probably the easiest way to pull that information, see here for more info on doing that: https://docs.aws.amazon.com/cur/latest/userguide/cur-query-athena.html

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