Setting Up Bill Data

Billing Centers use costs from bill data to enable an accurate view of costs across accounts and services. Supported clouds include AWS, Azure, and GCP. To connect your bill data to RightScale, follow the instructions here.

Additionally, since Bill Data is utilized, any tags configured in the Billing Center Allocation Rules must be native cloud tags (not RightScale tags) and must be present in the cloud bill. When using tag-based allocation, some vendor require additional configuration:

Costs displayed in Billing Centers are affected by any Markups and Markdowns.

Managing Billing Centers

View existing Billing Centers

All configured Billing Centers can be seen from the Billing view of Optima. From here, users can select an existing Billing Center to review cost data or setup alerts & reports. By default, the current month is shown starting on the 3rd of the month (on the 1st/2nd we show prior month). You can change the month using the month switcher in the filter bar.



Use the Show menu to hide/show data while in card view.

Create a new Billing Center

Users with the appropriate access can create new billing centers by first clicking on the New Billing Center button from the home page and following the steps in the wizard. Users can create any number of Billing Centers within each organization. Additionally, billing centers can be created in a hierarchy to allow for additional breakdown of cost information.


  1. Enter a Billing Center Title and optionally add a Billing Center description.


  2. Cloud Accounts and Tags can be configured for any specific Billing Center via Allocation Rules

Managing Access

RightScale supports 2 dedicated roles to view and manage billing centers.

  • billing_center_admin: This role gives full access to View/Add/Edit/Delete Billing Centers including managing granular user permissions. This role can only be granted at the organization level and gets access to all billing centers within the organization.

  • billing_center_viewer: This role gives view only access to based on whether it's granted at the organization level or individual billing centers level. If granted at the organization, users will have view only access to billing centers within it. Otherwise, the access is limited to the billing center they are part of (and any sub-billing centers of the billing center). This role does not provide full access to rest of the Optima.

Users with the enterprise_manager role have full access on all billing centers and can grant organizational level billing center roles to users and/or groups from RightScale Governance.

Within the Billing Center UI users with the enterprise_manager and/or billing_center_admin role will see a dedicated Users tab where they can view all users who have access to the Billing Center including inherited roles from the organization.


To add users with billing_center_viewer role to a billing center, follow these simple steps:

  1. Open the billing center and click on the Users tab. Click Add Users button to start the process.


  2. Users can use the type-ahead feature to quickly find and select users and/or RightScale groups.


  3. Click Save to commit changes.


Users with the the enterprise_manager and/or billing_center_admin role can also remove existing users by following the steps below:

  1. Open the billing center and click on the Users tab.


  2. Select the desired users to be removed and click Remove Selected.


  3. Confirm the action by clicking Remove.


Governance users will see a new message to indicate that users can have granular permissions on billing centers.


Edit a Billing Center

A Billing Center's name and description can be edited by navigating to the Billing Center.


Delete a Billing Center

Users with the appropriate access can click on the Delete button in the top-right corner of the Billing Center screen.


Users are presented with a confirmation screen before the Billing Center is deleted. Once a Billing Center has been deleted, allocated costs that are not picked up by any of the remaining Allocation Rules are reallocated to the Unallocated Billing Center.


If the Billing Center has costs allocated to it, then deleting it may reduce the displayed cost totals for up to 24 hours.

To avoid this disruption we recommend:

  1. Update the Allocation Rules so that the Billing Center will not be assigned any costs.
  2. Wait up to 24 hours until the Billing Center no longer has any costs assigned to it.
  3. Now delete the Billing Center. Since it has zero costs, it will not impact the displayed cost totals.

Manage sub-billing centers

Users with the billing_center_admin role can create sub-billing centers and further allocate costs. See the hierarchy documentation for more information.

Tabular View

Tabular View is a data table, found in the Billing Centers module, that gives users a granular view into their cloud costs. You can group and filter data, select the dates, drill down to details, and export the data. Learn more in Analyzing Data with Tabular View.

Billing Centers Tabular View

Recommendations in Billing Centers

Within each billing center, the Recommendations tab shows a set of tailored recommendations to help you better understand waste in your cloud spend as well as realize more savings. You have the ability to view complete details, share, and/or export these recommendations easily, all within the context of your billing centers. Learn more about how recommendations work


The set of recommendations in a billing center are those that match the same rules that are used for allocating costs to the billing center.

Scheduled Reports and Budget Alerts

Scheduled Reports and Budget Alerts within Billing Centers work similarlly to Optima Budget Alerts and Scheduled Reports, except they are scoped to a Billing Center. Schedule reports includes a link to download the savings recommendations.


Allocation Rules

Allocation Rules are a prioritized list that costs are matched against, and then properly allocated to a corresponding Billing Center. Each Allocation Rule specifies a tag (key=value) or Cloud Account number(s), and a target Billing Center. Allocation Rules exist at the Organization level and can optionally be created within any billing center to define the sub-billing centers. Multiple Allocation Rules can target the same Billing Center.


Rule Priority

Allocation Rules are applied in ascending numerical order. It is possible that a single cost could match multiple rules (ie. a Server that matches a Cloud Account Rule and a Cloud Tag Rule); in these cases, the first processed rule (lower numbered) will take priority.

Creating Allocation Rules

Allocation Rules can be created by selecting the Allocation Rules header in Billing Centers and clicking Create New Rule.


When creating allocation rules in order to define sub-billing centers, take note of the method with which rules are applied top-down.

Cloud Tag Rules

When creating a new Cloud Tag Rule, users will be presented with a Rule Definition string textbox to provide a tag key-value pair. Any number of * can be used as a wildcard value in either of the tag fields. For example: *code=1234 or env=Prod*. After defining the tag rule, supply a Billing Center from the dropdown list to which costs should be allocated.


Cloud Account Rules

When creating a new Cloud Account Rule, users will be presented with a Choose Cloud Accounts button to specify which Cloud Accounts to include in the new Allocation Rule. After selecting the Cloud Account(s), select a Billing Center from the dropdown list to which costs should be allocated.


Multiple Cloud Tags

In charge-back scenarios where one tag key is used with multiple values, the Multiple Cloud Tags option can be used to quickly create allocation rules and billing centers for all values of the chargeback tag. When creating multiple cloud tags, users will be presented with a textbox to provide the tag key to use for all of the rules and a separate input in which to enter all of the possible tag values for that key. For example, assume that you have resources tagged with the following tags that you wish to use for billing center allocation:

  • project = secretProjectA
  • project = Maintenance
  • project = Special

For tag key you would enter project.

For multiple tag values you would enter each tag value, one per line:


When each allocation rule is created, if a billing center already exists with a name matching the given tag value, the rule is set to that billing center. If no billing center has a name that matches the tag value, you are provided with the following options:

  • Create a new billing center with the same name as the tag value.
    This will create a new billing center with the name set to the value of the tag. This is the most common approach.

  • Do not create a new allocation rule.
    This will skip the creation of the allocation rule altogether.



When entering values as above, three new allocation rules are created along with new billing centers (assuming that no biling center exists named secretProjectA, Maintenance, or Special).


Editing Allocation Rules

An Allocation Rule can be edited by clicking the pencil icon next to the target rule. A pop-up window will present the same fields that were set when the rule was created. Edit the Rule Definition (Cloud Tag or Cloud Accounts) and/or the associated Billing Center and click Update Rule.


When Allocation Rules are updated, ALL historical costs are re-allocated based on the new Allocation Rules. This process may take several minutes to finish and display correctly on the dashboard.

Deleting Allocation Rules

An Allocation Rule can be deleted by clicking the trash can icon next to the target rule. A pop-up window will ask for confirmation prior to deletion.


Creating a new Billing Center while creating allocation rule

A new billing center can be created while creating an allocation rule.

  • Click on Billing Center
  • Click on + Create a new Billing Center


  • Enter a key and value for the Rule Definition: env=QA*
  • Enter the Billing Center Name: QA
  • Click on the Save button on the bottom right.


The new Billing Center is created with the new allocation rule.