Kubecost launches open-source OpenCost project to keep a lid on Kubernetes spending

Kubecost launches open-source OpenCost project to keep a lid on Kubernetes spending

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A startup called Kubecost, officially known as Stackwatch Inc., today announced the launch of a promising new open-source project that provides companies with tools around Kubernetes cost monitoring and optimization, as well as standardized methodologies for tracking those costs.

The initiative is called OpenCost and it has some pretty big backers, with the likes of Amazon Web Services Inc., Google LLC, Adobe Inc., D2iQ Inc., New Relic Inc. and SUSE SE all named as contributors.

OpenCost is a welcome project that aims to empower DevOps, FinOps and other developer teams with more actionable and accurate cost data around Kubernetes, as well as the tools they need to significantly reduce the cost of running the software without impacting on performance. One of the best things about it is that it can be deployed easily inside any Kubernetes cluster, providing real-time cost data within minutes.

Kubecost argues that there’s an urgent need for more actionable cost data, and ways for teams to cut down on their spending. Kubernetes is open-source software that’s used to orchestrate large numbers of containers, which host the components of modern applications. But while Kubernetes itself is free, the software eats up a lot of computing resources, which do have to be paid for.

Kubecost says that many organizations are seeing their Kubernetes bills get out of hand. It cites a 2021 survey by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation that found Kubernetes spending at most organizations is rising fast. In addition, the teams using Kubernetes are struggling to gain enough visibility into their deployments to reduce waste and cut costs without impacting application performance, the survey found.

The problem is that those teams lack the tools to know where their Kubernetes budget is going. To fix this, OpenCost introduces the first standardized methodology for Kubernetes cost tracking, allocation and measurement. Teams will be able to understand their infrastructure spending better, according to Kubecost. It will provide guidance and best practices for various in-cluster resource types, such as compute, storage, network and load balancers. That should allow teams to better allocated workload costs, the company said, and ensure they’re doing so in a standard and uniform way.

Kubecost Chief Executive Webb Brown discussed the findings of the CNCF survey with SiliconANGLE back in January when he appeared on theCUBE during the AWS Startup Showcase: Open Cloud Innovations event (below). He explained that he has seen some companies waste up to 80% of their Kubernetes spend as a result of inefficiency and poor resource management.

“About two-thirds of teams can’t answer where they are spending money,” he said. “And when you can’t answer that question, it’s really hard to be efficient,”

Kubecost already offered commercial tools for Kubernetes cost optimization, but the core of those offerings is built on open-source code that’s now being bundled together as the OpenCost project, Brown explained. “OpenCost will be a valuable and fully open source solution for many organizations to quickly understand where that budget is going, and exactly how and where they can safely rein it in,” he added.

Image: Kubecost

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