CloudZero Dimensions are the solution for understanding all the costs of operating cloud software in all the ways that matter to the business

An organization using CloudZero will have many Dimensions. Each Dimension is one business relevant way to understand spend. Dimensions can be used in many different ways throughout the product; to group and filter spend in the Explorer, to receive updates via Slack or Email through Views, to understand Cost per Customer, and more.

All Dimensions begin with charges. A charge is the dollar amount that the cloud provider billed for a given thing at a given time. Elements are the various values that a charge may have in a Dimension. For example, us-east-1 is an Element of the Region Dimension. In practice, Elements are usually referred to using the Dimension name; e.g. “us-east-1 is a Region in the Region Dimension,” “Billing is a feature in the feature Dimension.”

Custom Dimensions

Because your business and engineering needs are unique, CloudZero allows you to define your own Custom Dimensions. CloudZero CostFormation allows you to create dimensions targeted to your business and engineering practices using combinations of any of the system dimensions, including resource tags, Kubernetes data, and dimensions derived from billing line items, to derive Elements specific to your needs.

You can use these custom dimensions to break down your costs by product, micro-service, or engineering team. You can also use them to break down costs into COGs vs research and development costs or any other break downs that will help you understand your costs.

Core Dimensions

In the CloudZero platform, there are many Core Dimensions which are derived from various sources, including billing line items and resource properties. Some of these system properties are static, such as Region and Service while others may be dynamic, such as resource tags and Kubernetes labels.

Cloud Provider Billing Dimensions

Many dimensions are derived directly from billing data from your cloud provider. Here are some key Cloud Provider dimensions:

AccountElements consist of the account IDs for any cloud account you have connected to CloudZero.
CloudProviderElements consist of the cloud providers supported by CloudZero (i.e. AWS and Snowflake)
RegionElements consist of the cloud region where the billed resource is located.
ResourceElements consist of the resource identifier, such as the AWS resource ARN, Snowflake Name, or CloudZero CZRN.
ServiceElements consist of the cloud provider service type, such as an AWS service or Snowflake service
UsageFamilyElements consist of the cloud service charges.

Tag Dimensions

The CloudZero platform inspects all of your cloud resources and compiles the list of tags, both AWS tags and user tags, and exposes them as Dimensions that can be used throughout the platform.

Kubernetes Dimensions

Some dimensions are derived from dynamic data that is discovered through inspection of your cloud resources. If you set up our Container Cost integration, you will have Cluster, Namespace, Label, and Pod dimensions available.

Additional Cloud Provider Dimensions

Some additional dimensions are made available for all customers that are built using CloudZero CostFormation, which enables dimensions to be built using a higher level of logic to combine or filter based off of the other system dimensions. The following dimensions are available to all customers in the Explorer.

CZ:Defined:ElasticityThis dimension breaks down spend into two elements: Storage and Variable Costs.
CZ:Defined:Instance TypeElements are grouped by a sub-section of the UsageType name and filtered to show costs specifically related to the type, size, and family of a resource. This pertains to services like AmazonEC2, AmazonES, ElasticMapReduce, AmazonRDS, AmazonElastiCache, and AmazonSageMaker.
CZ:Defined:Networking CategoryElements comprise of the major types of networking spend, including VPC Endpoints, Data Transfer, Content Delivery, etc.
CZ:Defined:Networking Sub-categoryElements comprised of a deeper breakdown of networking related costs, including VPC Endpoint (Hours), VPC Endpoint (Bytes), AWS Outbound, S3 Outbound, etc.
CZ:Defined:PaymentOptionElements comprise of the different payment types (i.e. Reservation, Discount, Provisioned, etc) and are grouped based on LineItemType, UsageFamily, and UsageType
CZ:Defined:CategoryElements consist of the different categories of services similar to what you would see in the AWS console (e.g. Networking, Compute, etc.)

Using Dimensions in CloudZero

You can use Dimensions throughout CloudZero to understand your costs in the Explorer or to keep people at your organization updated about the spend they care about using Views. For more information, see the following sections:


It may take up to 15 minutes for changes to Custom Dimensions to be reflected in other features, like the Explorer and Views.

What’s Next

Learn about CostFormation and how to build Custom Dimensions.