If you’re running software on AWS, then each month you’ll end up troubleshooting AWS billing issues.

This last month, my AWS bill for one of our internal accounts was higher than expected. Surprise surprise! I started to investigate the issues by navigating to my previous months bill from the Billing & Cost Management Dashboard by selecting the Bills section of the menu, highlighted in red. To start this process on your own AWS account, click here

AWS Billing Issue AWS Billing Dashboard

When I click on Bills, the following view defaults to the current month in the Date combobox, so you will want to pick the previous month. The bill that I’m investigating is November 2019, also highlighted in red.

AWS Billing Issues Details by AWS Service Charge

This specific AWS account has very little traffic on it. We used the account as a staging area for one of our clients that required Kubernetes. The staging area ran in US West (Oregon) and US East (Ohio) so effectively all of the services in these regions should be turned off.

Let’s start with the first item on the list, CloudWatch. CloudWatch is turned on at the EC2 instance level. The majority of the CloudWatch charges are coming from Oregon, the region that is no longer required, so I should be able to eliminate this cost by disabling the CloudWatch monitoring.

AWS Cloud Watch Billing Issues

To disable the CloudWatch monitoring, I can follow the instructions to Enable CloudWatch monitoring here, and turn off CloudWatch. To start, I’ll open a new tab to display the AWS EC2 instances in Oregon by clicking on Service from the navigation bar, and then right mouse clicking on EC2, and opening this url in a new browser tab. The EC2 region will display. I’ll want to ensure that I’m pointing to the right region, Oregon, highlighted in orange. Next, I’ll click on the Running Instances 1 highlighted in red.

AWS Billing Issues EC2 Instances

AWS Billing Issues EC2 Instances

I’ll select the running instance, click on the Action menu, select CloudWatch Monitoring, and select Disable Detailed Monitoring.

AWS EC2 Disable CloudWatch

Hmm, that’s interesting Disable Detailed Monitoring is turned off. I suppose this isn’t a problem after all, but why was I being billed?

In our next blog post, we’ll dive into greater detail. For the time being, I’ll terminate this EC2 instance to reduce my bill.

AWS EC2 Instance Terminated Reduce AWS Bill

AWS EC2 Instance Terminated Reduce AWS Bill