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Unleashing the Power of Open Source Introducing XC3 Cloud Cost Control

Introducing our latest package offering, XC3, designed to help businesses achieve operational efficiency in their cloud infrastructure and effectively control cloud costs. As more companies transition to the cloud, cloud cost management has become increasingly important for successful operations. XC3 is a cloud cost control solution developed by Xgrid and powered by open-source tools such as Cloud Custodian, Prometheus, and Grafana. With XC3, businesses can streamline their cloud cost optimization strategies, enabling them to maximize their cloud resources while minimizing their costs.

In this blog post, we’ll dive into the complexities of controlling cloud costs and explore the benefits of using XC3. XC3 enables its users to gain access to a wide array of features, including the ability to monitor cloud costs, detect and remediate idle resources, and set custom alerts to ensure optimal cloud usage. The recent updates in XC3 acknowledge that the software is licensed under Apache Software License 2.0, and we encourage everyone to contribute to the project by reporting issues and submitting enhancements. Let’s work together to enhance the functionality of XC3 and make it the go-to solution for cloud cost control.

Why XC3: The Open Source Revolution That Makes Cloud Cost Control a Breeze!

Controlling costs in the cloud is an ongoing challenge for businesses, and there are several major obstacles that companies must contend with in order to keep their cloud spending in check. These challenges are not one-time issues that can be solved and forgotten; rather, they require continuous attention and robust management to ensure that costs remain under control over the long term. Some of the key challenges that businesses face when it comes to controlling costs in the cloud include but are not limited to:

  1. Complexity of cost attribution: The complexity of cost attribution makes it stringent to determine which resources were provisioned by whom, leading to a lack of visibility and making it challenging to effectively manage and control costs. For example, multiple departments or teams within an organization may be using the same cloud resources, making it difficult to attribute costs accurately. Adopting a code offering like XC3 can help businesses overcome these challenges and implement best practices associated with multi-cloud cost optimization.
  2. Identifying the most expensive resources: Identification of the most expensive resources can be an additional challenge. Without insight into which resources are driving up costs, businesses may struggle to optimize usage and control costs efficiently.
  3. Unused and underutilized resources: Unused and underutilized resources can also be a significant drain on costs. These resources can continue to accrue costs, even if they are not being utilized effectively. Without proper monitoring and management, businesses may end up paying for resources they don’t even need.
  4. Lack of visibility into cloud usage: Without proper visibility into cloud usage, businesses may struggle to understand where their resources are being utilized and how they can be optimized. This can lead to overspending, wasted resources, and increased costs.
  5. Lack of expertise in cloud cost management: Managing cloud costs requires expertise and knowledge. Without the right skills and resources, businesses may struggle to optimize usage and control costs effectively.

XC3 is a solution that helps businesses control cloud costs by providing real-time visibility into cloud usage and costs. It enables businesses to identify inefficiencies and waste, track and manage cloud spending across multiple providers and accounts, and optimize their cloud infrastructure for cost savings and efficiency. With XC3, businesses can reduce cloud costs, prevent overspending, and achieve greater value from their cloud investments.

Exploring the Power of XC3: A Hands-On Guide

One of the key features that set XC3 apart from other cloud cost management tools is that customers have complete ownership of the underlying infrastructure. This means that customers’ data stays within their own environment, providing an extra layer of security and control. Powered by open-source tools such as Cloud Custodian, Prometheus, and Grafana, XC3 offers a user-friendly interface and advanced features that make it easier for businesses to monitor their cloud inventory, track resource usage, and optimize cloud costs. By using XC3, businesses can ensure that their cloud resources are tagging policy compliant, which helps with cost allocation and resource optimization.

Cloud Costs and Compliance with XC3

XC3 is a cloud-agnostic platform that supports multiple cloud providers. Its modern and efficient serverless infrastructure includes Lambda functions, API gateway, SNS, and SQS, all set up with Terraform. It’s worth noting that the cost of XC3 infrastructure may vary depending on the usage patterns and the amount of traffic the application receives. Therefore, it’s important to monitor the usage and adjust the resources accordingly to optimize the costs.

XC3 provides secure access to its users, allowing them to authenticate and authorize access to the dashboard using AWS Cognito. Users can easily configure and deploy XC3 infrastructure with its automated deployment capabilities. In addition to these advanced features, XC3 boasts an easy-to-use interface that empowers users with comprehensive insights and analytics for optimizing cloud costs across multiple cloud providers.  Here are some of the key reasons how:

  1. Resource inventory retrieval and presentation: XC3 retrieves and presents a comprehensive resource inventory for businesses, providing greater visibility into their cloud infrastructure. This helps them to understand where their resources are being used and how they can be optimized to reduce costs.
  1. Maximizing observability of cloud infrastructure costs: XC3 optimizes cloud infrastructure costs by providing comprehensive observability through AWS cost explorer managed service APIs. It accurately discovers resources and attributes costs to them, benefiting businesses with a clear understanding of their spending. This allows for informed decisions and efficient resource optimization, resulting in cost savings.

Grafana Dashboard

This diagram provides a monthly cost breakdown of a selected AWS account, including the cost of the AWS organizational units and the cost of each project. It offers comprehensive cost visibility to enable data-driven decisions for optimizing cloud costs effectively.

XC3 Workflows

In addition, XC3 allows users to build custom workflows through dynamic and conditional policy execution. Below we look at some of the workflows enabled by XC3:

  1. Cost allocation through tagging compliance:

Automate your cloud resource tagging with XC3 and stay compliant with ease! Our event bridge-triggered process ensures proper cost allocation and consistent tagging compliance for multiple cloud providers. Never miss a tag again – XC3 identifies untagged resources and applies the appropriate tags according to your policy. Manage and track your AWS resources hassle-free with XC3.

XC3 Tagging Compliance

XC3 goes beyond just ensuring tagging compliance by providing stakeholders with relevant information about the EKS cluster as shown below:


Tagging Compliance Alert

  1. De-provisioning of non-critical workloads:

De-provisioning of non-critical cloud resources is essential for optimizing cloud costs and maintaining a secure environment. Automated cloud management tools, like Cloud Custodian policies, make it easier to streamline cloud usage and promote efficient resource management. Cloud Custodian policies can be used to stop and start EC2 instances during non-working hours as well as for deprovisioning EKS clusters. Administrators can receive email notifications to stay informed about the deprovisioning process. The way Cloud Custodian supports deprovisioning of EC2 instances and EKS clusters, similar processes can be replicated for other AWS resources to cut cloud costs.

Deprovisioning of Non-critical Workloads

This diagram illustrates how EC2 instances can be stopped using the ‘off-hour’ tag to reduce costs associated with running idle resources.

Stopped Instances

  1. Monitoring and Alerting: 

The XC3 backend utilizes an event-driven serverless architecture to generate cost reports, which are stored in an S3 bucket. A Cost Report Notifier application is scheduled to run on a regular basis using AWS EventBridge. When the application runs, it retrieves the reports from the S3 bucket and transforms them into markdown tables for easier readability.

After the reports have been transformed, the Cost Report Notifier leverages the APPRISE library to distribute them to various target sinks. By doing so, the Cost Report Notifier proactively notifies the relevant team members of any possible cost concerns, allowing them to promptly take necessary actions.

Cost Report Notifier

Check out the example notification below, which provides detailed information on cost-sensitive metrics such as the monthly cost breakdown of your AWS accounts and projects, as well as the most expensive services being used.

Cost Report Notifier Alert

What’s next for XC3?

As an open-source package offering, XC3 is continuously evolving to meet the needs of businesses operating in the cloud. We have a roadmap in place to add new features and functionalities to XC3, and we are excited to hear from our users and contributors. Our team is currently working on enhancing XC3’s resource optimization capabilities by adding support for more cloud platforms and advanced remediation workflows. We also plan to integrate new open-source tools into XC3 to provide users with even greater insights into their cloud usage and cost optimization.

We invite you to join us in building the XC3 community and contributing to its development. Whether you want to suggest a new feature, report a bug, or simply want to start a discussion, we welcome your feedback. Together, we can make XC3 the go-to solution for cloud cost optimization and help businesses save money while operating more efficiently in the cloud. Let’s join forces and revolutionize cloud cost optimization with XC3!

For our product overview, watch this video.
For the product demo, watch this video.


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