Thursday, July 11, 2024

Introducing Google’s new Looker template FOCUS v1.0 GA

FOCUS v1.0

At Google Cloud, Google’s team firmly feel that in order to effectively manage and optimise cloud expenses, you should have the tools necessary to examine Google Cloud costs in conjunction with those of competing cloud providers. It shouldn’t be necessary to take time to translate cloud providers’ billing jargon. And they think using open standards is the best way to do that.

Google is a key contributor to the v0.5 and v1.0 Preview and GA open billing specifications, a founding member of the FinOps Foundation, and a founding member of the FOCUS project’s Steering Committee. Google cloud is happy to present a new Looker template view today that makes use of the latest FOCUS v1.0 GA to make managing cloud costs easier across clouds.

Explain FOCUS

FOCUS is a technological specification that unifies cost and usage billing data among cloud vendors and serves as a unifying standard for cloud billing data. Through the consolidation of cloud and consumption data into a single, shared data structure, FOCUS seeks to provide uniformity and standardisation throughout cloud billing data. Understanding how billing costs, credits, usage, and metrics map from one cloud provider to another was difficult prior to FOCUS because there was no industry-standard method for standardising key cloud cost and usage measures across multiple cloud service providers (CSPs).

All of the main cloud suppliers are supporting the FOCUS initiative, which is creating an open standard for cloud billing data. Version 1.0 introduced consistent vocabulary, taxonomy, and metrics for billing datasets generated by CSPs.

Introducing FOCUS v1.0 GA’s new Looker template

Using Google’s new Looker template, which creates a table based on the FOCUS query results, you can see your open billing data in Looker. You won’t need to generate these tables by hand because the included LookML code produces and maintains them automatically. With several advantages, this template provides an idea of how your cost patterns across services, SKUS, zones, territories, and resource types can be visualised.

Pre-made template: Eliminate the need to wait for personalised dashboards. You may get pre-built visualisations that show cost trends and breakdowns by services, charges, and locations right away by using the templates.

Simple filtering: This template can be used by anyone without the requirement to be a data analyst. Looker’s user-friendly interface enables you to delve deep into facts with a few clicks and filter to particular time periods or services.

Adaptability: Although the template is a fantastic place to start, Looker’s versatility allows you to customise the views to meet your own requirements. You may quickly add custom metrics, alter the visualisations, and integrate the dashboards into your current workflows if necessary.

An updated FOCUS v1.0 GA BigQuery view

Google provide three export options for Cloud Billing data to BigQuery that are related to cost and usage: Standard Billing Export, Detailed Billing Export (which includes price fields and resource-level data to join with a Price Export table), and Price Export. Google released a new BigQuery view in January that converts data into the FOCUS v1.0 Preview format.

A BigQuery view is a virtual table that displays the output of a SQL query. Google is now releasing an update for that BigQuery view in preparation for the FOCUS v1.0 GA. Please refer to the current guidance, which is updated to reflect any new changes, if you are currently using the Preview and would like to update your BigQuery view to the FOCUS GA.

Because the queryable virtual table in BigQuery views only holds information from the tables and fields listed in the base query that defines the view, these views are fantastic. Since BigQuery views are virtual tables, if you already use Billing Export to BigQuery, there are no extra data storage fees.

This BigQuery view allows you to:

  • View and query Google Cloud billing data that has been adjusted to comply with FOCUS v1.0.
  • Utilise Looker Studio or other visualisation tools by using the BigQuery view as a data source.
  • Examine your Google Cloud expenses in addition to information from other suppliers using the standard FOCUS format.

How it functions

Your current Cloud Billing data is layered with a virtual table that is the FOCUS BigQuery view. You must have Price Exports and Detailed Billing Exports enabled in order to utilise this feature. Your Cloud Billing data is mapped into the FOCUS schema by the FOCUS BigQuery view using a basic SQL query, and it is presented in the designated format. This makes it simpler to compare the costs of other cloud providers by enabling you to query and analyse your data as if it were local to FOCUS.

Looker and Looker Corenot Looker Studio support the Looker template. Make sure you have Detailed Billing Export and Pricing Export Enabled in order to use the template straight out of the box. Permissions are also required in order to start a new Looker Project and Connection.

This Looker template makes use of temporary tables, in contrast to BigQuery Views. You won’t need to create these tables by yourself because the LookML code that is provided will create and maintain them automatically.

Google has made it simple to use the FOCUS feature in Looker and BigQuery by providing a comprehensive guide. Register here to see the Looker template and sample SQL query, as well as to follow the instructions step-by-step.

Thota nithya
Thota nithya
Thota Nithya has been writing Cloud Computing articles for govindhtech from APR 2023. She was a science graduate. She was an enthusiast of cloud computing.


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