You don’t need to pay additional costs to use Azure cost management. It is available for all AWS (Amazon Web Services) users. New Azure accounts require a 48-hour waiting time before they can access full features of Azure Cost Management. Also, Azure users don’t need a dev-test subscription or a software assurance.
Azure Cost Management is a cluster of tools that reduce inefficiencies that may lead to a cost spike. With this built-in tool, Azure users can explore how they use resources and the cost associated with each service. Users can also break down their reports by time, service, organization, and much more.
How Does Azure Cost Management Work For Enterprise Subscribers?
Azure customers with an Enterprise Agreement don’t need any agreement. Other Enterprise subscriptions eligible for Azure Cost Management include the Microsoft Partner Agreement (MPA) and the Microsoft Customer Agreement (MCA.) These agreements make Azure Cost Management accessible for customers, partners, and Azure solution providers.
Azure Cost Management Best Practices
Azure developed several BPs (Best Practices) to help utilize their cost management tool:
Plan In Advance
Planning early enough will help you set the right foundation for your cost-management efforts. It’s a best practice to know the number of resources you’ll need through your Azure journey. You can also plan based on Azure’s Well-Architected Framework. With the help of certified Azure professionals, you can split your project into short-term, medium, and long-term milestones.
If you plan with Azure costs in mind, you’ll have a clear projection of what you need to run the cloud. If you plan to use Azure for a long-time, consider using Azure reservations. If you have any interruptible workloads, then use Spot Instances. Azure also offers great discounts to help keep control of your cloud costs. These resources include a 12-month free trial on some services. Azure has over 20 services, which are always free. However, some projects require a combination of both free and paid services. Ensure your plan caters to such dependencies.
Right Size Your Virtual Machines
Azure Cost Management dashboard can help you identify the best opportunities for rightsizing. From the utilization graphs, you can compare the performance of several resources in your infrastructure. Always change each resource to use the smallest available instance while still meeting performance requirements.
For example, if you utilized 48% of an 8GB RAM instance in a month, consider downgrading to a 4GB instance. It’s equally important to terminate resources that remain underutilized for a long time. Azure also lets users rightsize system redundancies. If your workload doesn’t need high redundancy, you may also downgrade its storage.
Terminate Idle Resources
One sure way of managing cloud costs is terminating unused assets. Optimizing performance can mean moving workloads from different Azure regions, setting new Elastic IPs, creating new disk volumes, etc. Azure users often forget to terminate old resources, increasing cloud costs. Azure Cost Management lets you identify all VMs (virtual machines) and services that don’t add value.
A good tagging policy helps you avoid confusion when terminating resources. As you allocate resources, tag them in a manner that allows ease of termination. Azure also lets you run VMs at productive hours. You can set an auto-shutdown policy such that your VMs shut down in non-productive hours.
Automate Your Cost Management
Azure Cost Management lets you set alerts based on usage requirements. You can set policies in Azure to trigger critical notifications when you exceed your spending threshold. In addition, Azure uses APIs (Application Programming Interface) to merge your cost management data with other services to help you get meaningful insights out of your data.
Azure’s Power BI (Business Intelligence) solution enhances the interpretation of large sets of data for Enterprise customers. Azure users can also export data based on their defined schedules. Azure budgets API lets you automate the creation of budgets. The Budgets API generates a template from your previous usage.
Choose the Right Cost Management Solution
Cloud users also need good tools to get the most out of Azure Cost Management. The right tool can help you reduce cloud costs by significant amounts. Third-party Azure Cost Management tools use Artificial Intelligence to identify cost centers.
In addition, third-party solutions have greater analytics and deep visibility and can pull data from various external services. Ensure that your Cloud Service Provider has good ratings and charges affordable renewal fees after a free trial.
The Bottom Line
Azure Cost Management tool is ideal for users who can easily interpret raw data. However, it’s still limited in some aspects, and you might want to consider a third-party tool for complete cost management.
nOps provides proper cost optimization capabilities, allowing users to understand spending and manage costs effectively. It helps you identify the right VMs for running your workloads and rightsize resources for optimal performance. With nOps, you can experience up to a 20% decrease in Azure costs.
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