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Cost Management

Google Cloud Next 2023 FinOps product announcements recap

September 7, 2023
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Sarah McMullin

Group Product Manager, Google Cloud Billing

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If it isn’t already clear, Google Cloud is invested in being FinOps-first. At Google Cloud Next 2023, we made some pretty exciting FinOps product announcements for Google Cloud Billing. Here are the top five:

1. Google Cloud continues to pioneer the FinOps movement: Through our strong roots in the FinOps Foundation, we announced our contributions to v 0.5 of the FinOps open billing standards FOCUS (FinOps Open Cost & Usage Specification) project. V 0.5 provides a common language and set of definitions for data dimensions, metrics, and attributes regarding billing data. Datasets conforming to FOCUS will enable FinOps practitioners to perform common FinOps capabilities, using a generic set of instructions, regardless of the dataset origin. 

Why do we want to participate in a project designed to level the cloud billing data playing field across all cloud service providers (CSPs)? First, being open is a part of Google’s DNA, having contributed to foundational open source internet technologies over the past 20 years. Second, we believe that customers who innovate faster actually save money faster. We don’t want you spending time trying to decipher your cloud bills! We want you to leverage your cloud billing data to make better business decisions that fuel innovation and drive industry changes.Open, high-quality cloud cost data is non-negotiable.

In support of good quality cloud cost data, Google Cloud Billing announced support for App Engine, Spanner, Firestore, and BigQuery granular, resource-level cost data that comes out of the box with the Billing detailed big query data export

To further FinOps industry adoption, we also launched a spotlight on FinOps thought leadership series on the Transform with Google Cloud thought leadership blog. In this monthly series, learn how FinOps has been adopted through real-life illustrative examples at work today from industry leaders.  

2. DuetAI is trained to a sample Certified FinOps Level. As part of Duet AI in Google Cloud, FinOps practitioners can also take advantage of AI integrated assistance for Billing based on models trained on Google Cloud best practices. Tailored for FinOps practitioners, you can use Duet AI to increase your Google Cloud billing proficiency. To measure Duet AI’s FinOps IQ, we partnered with the FinOps Foundation to put Duet AI to the FinOps test — literally: Duet AI passed a similar exam to the FinOps Certified Practitioner with flying colors. You can try it for yourself here. We have a robust roadmap for Google Cloud Billing has to unlock the power of generative AI that prioritizes accuracy first, but this is just the start. Look out for more innovations in this area. 

3. New FinOps Hub helps you mature your FinOps practice with smarter cost optimizations, new FinOps score, and peer benchmark: We’re focused on removing the cognitive load for cloud Finops practitioners . But when it comes to optimizing cloud spend, one of the hardest parts is knowing where to start. That is where the FinOps hub comes in.

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We announced the FinOps Hub public preview at Next ‘23 to provide one pane of glass to identify, adopt, and measure all cost optimizations across an entire Google Cloud landscape. WIth advanced machine learning capabilities, the FinOps hub tells users what their FinOps score is — a tangible measure of how they are using Google Cloud billing data and tools to achieve maximum cloud value, with suggestions on how to improve. Peer benchmarks (with an opt-out option) provide context with respect to how users are performing with their FinOps practice and overall rate optimizations through committed use discounts (CUDs). 

Additionally Google Cloud cost optimizations have also gotten a lot smarter — they’re no longer just about rate optimizations like purchasing a CUD or rightsizing a VM; rather, we recognize that cost optimizations should be orchestrated across your entire cloud landscape, doing both rate and usage cost optimizations together through personalized prescriptions, always with the ability to personalize optimizations according to business needs. The FinOps Hub includes rate and usage optimizations for a variety of Google Cloud services. Finally, the FinOps Hub provides a realized savings ledger so cloud FinOps teams can track their return on investment (ROI) on all their cost optimizations in one place, easily.  

4. Budgets gets extended to engineers: We also announced a great new tool for project users to keep track of their cloud costs through the extension of the rich Cloud Billing budgets tooling. Project owners, Project Editors and Project Viewers can now create budgets and Project owners get notifications about actual or forecasted budget alerts in the Google Cloud console or through the Cloud Billing Budget API.

5. Google Cloud Billing is building for FinOps 2.0: We’re building towards a future of FinOps automation, as seen through our latest API enhancements to get a head start including the new Pricing API in public preview. The new Pricing API allows you to not only get list prices on all the available services but also account-specific custom prices and discounts, with visibility into any internal SKUs that are available to your billing account as part of your contract or agreement. The Pricing API also provides additional metadata such as SKU to service mapping, a list of SKU groups, SKUs to SKU group mapping, and a geo and product taxonomy that allows you to further slice and dice the SKUs for improved analysis. This API, along with others such as the Commitments API, provide the basis for customers to advance their own advanced cost management applications. Learn how SAP leveraged Cloud Billing APIs and data in their journey to controlling costs and building financial resilience with automation through their Google NEXT session here

To stay up-to-date on all things cloud FinOps and Google Cloud Billing, sign up for our Billing Advisory cohort at billing-cohort@googlegroups.com, where you can gain access to early features, participate in user feedback sessions, and learn about our roadmap with a group of like-minded cloud FinOps professionals.

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