Six of the Best Azure Storage Cost Optimization Practices


Azure cloud storage provides cloud users the opportunity to store massive amounts of data. With Azure, you can store data and back up essential data, your business may need.

Azure storage is a highly scalable, durable, secure service that provides seamless data access. It is virtually limitless, meaning you can store as much data as possible. You can store data ranging from small files such as images and text to large hard drives for virtual machines.

While Azure storage is limitless and highly secure, if unchecked, storage costs can quickly get out of hand. This article will help you understand Azure storage costs and various cost optimization strategies.

Types of Azure Storage Services

In order to understand Azure storage costs, it is best to understand the various storage services. These storage services include:

Azure Files Storage: This is a flexible way of remotely accessing your resources over the cloud. You can use SSH on Mac, Windows, or Linux to access files stored on the cloud. It’s ideal if you want a similar copy of your existing files.

Blob Storage: Unlike File Storage, Blob Storage could compile multiple data into one folder, accessible anywhere. You can also configure access policies for Blob Storage. It’s ideal for users who want scale, for example, data analytics.

Disk Storage: Azure’s persistent disks help you store data securely with an attached virtual disk. You can facilitate data transfers between Azure Disk Storage and other APIs.

Table Storage: Used to store structured data. Structured data has labels and attributes that help classify information—for example, web content, addresses, markups, and much more.

Best Strategies for Azure Storage Cost Optimization

Here are some of the ways to optimize storage costs on Azure.

Delete Unattached Azure Managed Disks

When creating a storage disk in Microsoft Azure, you’ll have the option of choosing either a Managed or Unmanaged Disk.

Unattached Disks have no related compute services, so you can delete them to eliminate higher storage costs. Most users resolve to terminate compute resources, but forget to delete unused disks. To delete a volume, you can use Azure’s dashboard or PowerShell. On the dashboard, find Disks>Overview. Ensure that the disk state is unattached, then click ‘Delete.’ It’s equally important to note that users cannot delete disks attached to other resources. You must first detach other services before you can delete the volume.

Delete Unattached Unmanaged Disks

Unlike Managed Disks, Unmanaged Disk services require users to create a separate Azure Storage Account. An Azure Storage Account combines multiple types of storage, Blob, Files, and Disks, into one portal. With Unmanaged Disks, users are responsible for their backup and disaster recovery. To delete them, locate your Virtual Hard disk on the Azure Storage Account, click on the disk. The overview tab displays disk properties. If the status is ‘unlocked ‘and the lease state ‘available,’ it means the resource isn’t attached to any volume. Go ahead and delete.

Right Size Azure Computing and Storage Services

Rightsizing ensures you only pay for what you use. If you’ve been on the Azure cloud for some time, you will get usage reports. Use these reports to forecast the resources you’ll need for the upcoming years. Choose a suitable storage capacity with a long-term commitment to get a discount.

Choose the Right Storage Tiers

Azure’s Blob Storage comes with three main storage tiers: The Hot option, Cool option, and Archive option. From the name, Archive storage helps users to archive data beyond three months. The Archive tier is ideal for data that’s rarely accessed, and is the cheapest tier.

The Hot tier stores frequently modified data, and the Cool tier stores occasionally accessed data. You can store data in the Cool tier for 30 days and beyond. Depending on your usage, you can save on storage costs by choosing the longest storage tier.

Utilize Reserved Capacity to Optimize Blob Storage Costs

If you reserve storage space with Azure Reservations, you’ll get discounts for the advanced commitment. Azure has Reserved Instances for Virtual Machines to dedicated hosts. Compared with the on-demand model, reserved capacity could yield savings of up to 70%-80%.

Understand the Azure Blob Storage Billing Model

Blob Storage prices depend on several factors such as the type of operation, availability region, and size of data transfers. To optimize costs, choose longer commitments with small data transfers. You can tweak each factor to get the least projection while maintaining performance.

The Bottom Line

Optimizing Azure storage costs can go a long way to reducing your cloud spending. By implementing these strategies, you can easily optimize costs and operate more profitably.

nOps allows you to gain visibility into your Azure cloud storage services and databases. Through nOps, you can identify opportunities to right size your resources and optimize underutilized volumes, optimizing cloud costs.

Start your nOps free trial today or schedule a demo to get started!