Amazon Web Services apparently isn't satisfied with slicing pricing on its cloud services to lure and retain customers. Now it's crafting neat tools to help users track cloud usage and spend, and, as usual, making it pretty easy.

The Cost Explorer feature announced Wednesday, in Amazon's typical low-key style, offers users a clear view into what they're paying so users can adjust if needed. Upon signup customers get the current month's spend within a day's time period. A few days later details of the past 12 months of spend become available for analysis and the tool updates data every 24 hours.

"You can use Cost Explorer to visualize patterns in your spending on AWS resources over time. You can quickly identify areas that need further inquiry, and see trends that you can use to understand spend and to predict future costs," states the announcement on the AWS site.

Cost Explorer lets users analyze spend data for up to the last 13 months and users can specify time ranges for the data you want to see, and you can view time data by day or by month.

The new tool debuts in the midst of an ongoing, escalating price war being waged by both big and small cloud hosting and services providers. Just yesterday Tech Times reported how MediaFire slashed service costs, following fast in the steps of Microsoft and AWS. Rackspace, however, maintains it won't cut costs just to follow the crowd, stating users don't mind paying premium price for premium service.

But every vendor is clearly hungry to grab a big piece of a burgeoning lucrative market. A new RightScale research report reveals 89 percent of small-to-mid sized companies are using a public cloud, and 74 percent are using a hybrid cloud approach. AWS is the top vendor, with Rackspace and Google App Engine landing in second and third place respectively.

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