Cloud App Development, Cloud Security, Cloud Deployment Models

FinOps Foundation Launches New Specification with Google and Microsoft to Demystify Cloud Billing Data

FinOps Foundation Launches New Specification with Google and Microsoft

The FinOps Foundation, part of The Linux Foundation's non-profit technology consortium, which aims to advance the people and practice of cloud financial management, today announced the FinOps Open Cost and Usage Specification (FOCUS), a technical project to build and maintain an open specification for the presentation of cloud cost, usage, and billing data. Google and Microsoft are founding members and will be on the FOCUS steering committee.

Businesses increasingly need a single view of spend associated with delivering applications and services in the cloud. FOCUS outlines a consistent structure for the presentation of cloud cost data, which will enable companies to expedite cloud adoption. The consistent presentation increases trust in the data and the ability to map costs back to their business.

By making billing data easier to understand and more consistently reportable between multiple vendors, FOCUS will remove complexity and overhead from processes such as allocation, chargeback, budgeting, forecasting, and the other FinOps capabilities to maximize business value in the cloud. The specification initially targets spending from Infrastructure-as-a-Service providers and will expand to SaaS, PaaS, and on-premise costs to allow unified cost reporting across more types of spending.

"FOCUS will solve problems that organizations maturing their cloud adoption now face," said Udam Dewaraja, who recently left Citi as Head of Global Cloud Financial Management. As part of the FinOps Foundation now, he will chair the initial FOCUS working group. "Today, there's no clear way to unify cost and usage data sets across different vendors. Having previously faced this challenge as a practitioner, I am convinced that a vendor-neutral, open-source specification with a common schema and terminology will drive the FinOps discipline forward in a major way."

FOCUS will enable collaboration between major cloud providers, FinOps tool vendors, major SaaS providers, and the most advanced FinOps enterprises, many of whom struggle to handle disparate terminology, pricing and billing concepts across billing sources. It will also enable a common FinOps-serviceable format for cloud billing data instead of the variety of FinOps tools and platforms currently in use—which also have their own particular ways of summarizing, normalizing, or reporting such data.

"Google Cloud is committed to being an open platform that maximizes business value from the cloud. We are committed to supporting open billing standards for consistency and financial accountability, not only among cloud providers, but also across SaaS, vendor, and service providers," said Mich Razon, VP & GM, Head of Commerce Platforms at Google Cloud.

"Our approach with the Microsoft Cloud is to meet customers where they are, providing flexibility that drives innovation with cloud computing. FOCUS aligns with this vision by streamlining cost monitoring efforts and helping organizations maximize their business value with the cloud. We are committed to working with the FinOps Foundation to bring together the knowledge and involvement of all major players in cloud billing to benefit all," said Fred Delombaerde, Vice President of Core Commerce at Microsoft.

"FOCUS will enable companies to get a better grasp on managing public cloud spend. They will have increased understanding and trust in billing data, enhanced accountability for spending, and reduced training requirements to adopt additional cloud services," said Mike Fuller, FinOps Foundation CTO, formerly head of FinOps for Atlassian.

"The efforts of the FinOps Foundation have centered upon enabling best practices for the daily work of practitioners. These efforts have been complicated by underlying complexity and inconsistency in how cloud spend data is presented between providers. FOCUS addresses this problem by creating a common language for cloud spend, which reduces the effort required for organizations to allocate, understand, and show the value of their cloud spending," said J.R. Storment, FinOps Foundation Executive Director.

FOCUS will develop iteratively with each step enabling common FinOps capabilities and extending the specification to handle new types of cost and usage data sets and vendors. The initial release is expected in June at the FinOps X conference, and will primarily address foundational FinOps cost reporting use cases for the presentation of Cloud Service Provider (CSP) cost and usage data sets. Future versions will evolve to:

  • Extend the specification for the presentation of non-cloud data sets e.g., SaaS, internal, licensing, and other consumption-based products costs, etc.
  • Document FinOps capabilities enabled by each version of the specification, including generic data set examples and queries.
  • Include open-source data converter implementations and data validators to accelerate adoption.
  • Include vendor scorecards to help track progress towards compliance / compatibility
  • Harmonize terminology and nomenclature between FOCUS and tangential standards such as OpenCost, OpenTelemetry, and others.
  • Enable the creation of a common repository for data being ingested from multiple sources.
  • Enable changes to the output formats of billing data providers as they adapt to the specification.
  • Add a repository of code enabling users to query their own vendor APIs or cloud billing data.

The FOCUS specification will be available for licensed use by anyone who creates billing data, those who ingest or analyze cost or usage data, or by organizations who wish to standardize the billing data they receive. The specification, reference implementations, software and data sets will be available for no cost via an open source license.

For more information and details on how to join the FOCUS Project, please visit focus.finops.org

About the FinOps Foundation

The FinOps Foundation (F2) is a project of The Linux Foundation. The F2 community includes 10,000 FinOps practitioners from around the world including 88% of the Fortune 50. Its mission is to advance every individual who manages the value of cloud through enriching connections, career and skill advancement, and best practices for building a FinOps practice.

FinOps is a portmanteau of "Finance" and "DevOps," stressing the communications and collaboration between business, finance, and engineering teams. It is a synonym for the practice of cloud financial management, a growing discipline designed to ensure organizations can make informed decisions to achieve the most value from every dollar they spend on cloud.

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