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Setup Cloud Spend Alerts

You can set up cloud consumption alerts so that you are notified when your cloud spend exceeds certain thresholds.

Consumption alerts are supported for IaaS/PaaS cloud platforms:

  • Azure
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Watch our quick 2-minute video to learn how you can create custom alerts.

We currently have three type of cloud consumption alerts in PyraCloud, Spike Alerts, Overage Alerts and Reserved Instance Utilization.

Spike alerting is designed to identify and alert you of usage anomalies in your Azure or AWS environments. You can configure usage thresholds, as well as communication preferences should your consumption exceed your defined threshold.

Note: By default, PyraCloud defines the alert threshold at a 25% spike in consumption compared to the previous month, across all subscriptions.

You can also define consumption parameters over defined time periods and an Overage Alert will notify you if the value is exceeded.

Overage alerting gives very granular control, allowing you to set the consumption value as well as the time period against which the service is monitoring consumption.

Reserved Instance alerting allows you to set minimum utilization thresholds that monitor the consumption of your reservation purchase.

Figure 1 – Consumption Alerts

The top section (1) describes Notification Hub settings. In the example above, you can see that this user only has Web notification enabled for both Spike and Overage alert types.

Left Pane (2) is a list of all alerts for the past 30 days and the right pane (3) shows details about the currently selected alert.

How to Access Consumption Alerts

You can access consumption alerts from any cloud consumption reports.

Figure 2– Accessing Consumption Alerts

You see the alert list by default. This report provides a basic overview of generated consumption alerts for every Cloud Provider you configured in PyraCloud.

Consumption Alerts Section

Essentially two modules are available in consumption alerts:

  • Consumption Alerts
  • Manage Alert

Consumption Alerts

This tab contains information about all generated alerts.

Figure 3 – Consumption Alerts

The top section (1) describes Notification Hub settings. In the example above, you can see that this user only has Web notification enabled for both Spike and Overage alert types.

Left Pane (2) is a list of all alerts for the past 30 days and the right pane (3) shows details about the currently selected alert. You can read more about this page in the dedicated Understanding Alert execution chapter.

Manage Alerts

This tab allows you to manage your alert definitions and notifications.

Figure 4 – Manage Alerts

Create new alert (1) opens new interactive form where you can precisely configure your alert definition.

You can read more about this in Creating Alert definition chapter

Manage Notification (2), brings you to the Notification Hub configuration page, where you can precisely configure in which form you wish to see notifications. In the Alerts section (3) you can see a list of all created alerts, along with the most important columns to quickly grasp the context of the definition. Subscribe column (4) has a toggle button where you can subscribe / unsubscribe from particular definitions.

If you are not subscribed, you will not receive any notification from that alert in any form.

Quick actions (5) can be used to quickly modify or remove alert definitions.

Understanding Alert Execution

The Consumption Alerts tab presents all created alerts. Alerts are evaluated once a day at 23:00 (Universal time zone)

New Execution Entries

New execution entries have “New” badge and by default you can view entries from the last 30 days. By clicking on an entry, you are marking it as read thus the “New” badge will be removed.

Figure 5 – New Execution Entries

To load more alerts, click “Load more” button when you reach the bottom of execution list.

Figure 6 – Load More

Execution Details

The details section is loaded immediately after clicking on alert from left pane.

Top section (1) shows brief explanation of why the alert was created, for example: 13.39 USD above the set threshold.

Figure 7 – Execution Details

You can also see details loaded directly from the alerts definition (2), like threshold, time range, and applied filters. Those parameters will be explained further in Alert Parameters section.

The bottom section (3) shows the Filters that have been applied.

Alert Preview

The preview section is a graphical representation of the alert and highlights the point of time when it occurs.

Figure 8 – Alert Preview Graph

You can interact with this chart similarly to the Consumption Reports, which includes “hover-over text” when you are viewing a vertical bar in the chart.

Analyze alert in consumption reports

The Alert item allows you to perform more detailed analysis in Consumption Reports so you can find the root cause of that alert. When you follow the “Analyze Consumption” link, the report will be opened in a new tab with the filters and dates extracted from the alert.

Figure 9 – Analyze in Consumption

Creating Alert Definition

Notification Hub Settings

Notification configuration allows you to set your preferred delivery methods for the alerts you have configured. The configuration page can be accessed by clicking on the “Notification Hub” link or “bell” icon in top menu bar.

Figure 10 – Accessing Notification Hub Configuration Page

Once the Notification Hub page appears, you should see a dedicated section for consumption settings. This is where you can individually configure delivery methods for Spike and Overage alert types.

Figure 11 – Notification Hub Consumption Settings

Adding Alert Definition

You can access the wizard by clicking “Create New Alert” or “Edit”. Remember that the alert name has to be unique across all of your alerts.

Figure 12 – Adding Alert Definition

Alert Types

Notification alerting supports two modes: Spike and Overage.

Spike mode is used to detect anomalies in your consumption characteristics, for instance a Virtual Machine that was left running after performance tests executed by the team.

Overage mode is used to track if the overall consumption is in the defined boundary (threshold).

Figure 13 – Alert Types


Parameters allow you to control the behaviour and data scope of the alert. By choosing “All Tenants” or “All Subscriptions” each tenant or subscription will be monitored separately.

For example, you configured the threshold as follows:

  • 14 days, and
  • Spend increase of 25%

This means that the above rule will be applied individually to all subscriptions or tenants. If the condition is met, a notification will be produced.

Figure 14 – Parameters

The Custom option works slightly different. First you need to select a report type (1) and then you can precisely craft your definition, using that report (2). For instance, you may only want to monitor virtual machines in single subscription. To do that in the report selector (1) you should select: “Azure EA Consumption Details”, then select “Virtual Machine” in Meter Category and then narrow down the subscription filter according to your requirements.

Figure 15 – Choosing Parameters

If you are actively using the “Save Filters” functionality, you can click “Save Search” and all saved filter combinations will be available.

Figure 16 – Save Searches

Threshold Configuration

In this section you are configuring the criteria of the alert. First you select the time context in which the average or sum cost will be calculated from (1). Then you should decide on the % or cost threshold to monitor (2).

For example, on a Spike Alert, by selecting 14 days, the average from the last two weeks will be calculated. Let’s assume the result is 100 USD. You now set your threshold to 25%. Your consumption will be monitored and any spend that is greater than 125 USD will be reported as notification.

Figure 17 – Threshold Configuration

Additionally, you can control two extra parameters (3):

  1. Ignore days with no spend.
    • If enabled, it means that days with no consumption will not be counted within average. For example, disabling Virtual Machines during the weekends.
  2. Minimum alert value

This mean that you will be notified only when criteria (1) are met and spend is greater than provided value. This is helpful when monitoring spend under a specific value and a spike in these scenarios may be too noisy. For example, you may have daily spend at $5, so a spike to $10 may not be as relevant, until that spike exceeds a certain amount (like $100).

Visibility Configuration

Alert definitions can be private. A private alert means that it will only be visible for you (1). A public alert means that you can share this alert configuration with anyone in your company (2).

Figure 18 – Visibility Configuration

When you select “share with your team”, an additional dropdown appears where you can add team members individually. By default people with whom the alert is shared are unsubscribed – they have to subscribe to the alert to see notifications, this prevents you from generating unwanted notifications on other user’s accounts.

Figure 19 – Share with your Team

Updated on July 24, 2020

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