Kubecost Glossary

Below are definitions for common vocabulary involved with using Kubecost, as well as links for further reading across our documentation. If you have questions about Kubecost-specific terminology not already included in this glossary, feel free to reach out to support@kubecost.com to receive in-depth explanation, or even have it added here.



Resource allocation, the amount of cluster resource consumption something is responsible for, defined as max(request, usage).


Combining spend data into groups based on a defined category which is usually a Kubernetes concept such as (but not limited to) cluster, namespace, or service.

Cloud integration

Connecting your Kubecost with a cloud service provider to utilize their billing APIs and receive out-of-cluster (OOC) costs. Necessary to provide cost reconciliation. Learn more.


Cost and Usage Report by AWS. Generic shorthand for billing report from any cloud service provider. Integrate with Kubecost with this doc.


Pod resource efficiency. The resource utilization vs. resource request over a given time window. Learn more.


Extract, transform, load. Kubecost data processing architecture which retrieves cluster metrics and presents them in the Kubecost UI. Data is extracted from Prometheus, transformed into Kubecost structures, and those structures are loaded into stores, which can be queried by Kubecost APIs.


Cluster idle cost. The difference between the cost of allocated resources and the cost of the hardware they run on. The cost of space which can be used to schedule additional pods without disrupting existing workloads. Learn more.


Gateway which routes traffic into a cluster. Learn more.

Primary cluster

Individual cluster in a multi-cluster environment whose context you view the Kubecost UI through. Designated by setting Helm flag .Values.federatedETL.federator.enabled to true.

Rate Card

Microsoft Azure billing API that can be integrated with Kubecost to provide accurate pricing data. Learn more.


Matches in-cluster asset costs with up-to-date billing data from a cloud service provider to provide accurate cost metrics. Learn more.

Secondary cluster

Any cluster in a multi-cluster environment that isn't the primary cluster.


Kubernetes object that exposes an interface to outside consumers. When using the Cloud Cost Explorer, Service refers to an external cloud service (like AWS' S3).

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