Microsoft Azure utilises a pay-per-use subscription model, meaning the greater usage your company has, the larger the bill.
If you hold a keen understanding of your Azure usage, this intuitive payment model, can allow for optimising cloud spending.
With the upcoming Microsoft 9% price increase, managing and optimising your Azure cloud usage is more important than ever. If done effectively, it could significantly lower your Microsoft bill.
However, this is easier said than done. If your company is (rightly) taking full advantage of the excellent cloud capabilities Azure offers, you likely have a complex combination of Azure Infrastructure and Platform services in use.
This is where Azure Cost Management comes in.
What is Azure Cost Management?
Azure Cost Management Centre is a centralised service for reviewing, managing, and optimising Azure usage. This software allows you to group and categorise expenditure by specific service usage, assisting users in breaking down costs.
With little technical knowledge, users can review and understand the key cost drivers, making your cloud use expenditure much more accessible.
The Continuous Cost Optimisation Cycle
Azure Cost Management Centre has been developed for the intuitive implementation of a continuous cost optimisation cycle. This process is the most effective to optimise cloud spending and keep wasteful consumption to an absolute minimum. It is made up of three stages:
- Visibility. Being able to closely examine data to gain a complete specific understanding of the origins of charges and how they relate to your overall Microsoft bill.
- Accountability. Making sure teams and projects are held accountable for the charges they are responsible for, ensuring such use is necessary.
- Optimisation. Reducing costs by identifying unnecessary usage and optimising resources and virtual machine sizes.
ACM’s primary function is to allow users to gain complete visibility of their cloud spending across Azure.
Providing users with a comprehensive view of their cloud spending in an easy-to-digest format is the platforms bread and butter.
Each Azure service that your business uses is tracked separately and has multiple individual metrics, used to calculate your overall bill.
Under the Cost Analysis section of ACM, you can access a breakdown of the costs associated with different periods of time. From here you can filter these costs into different views based off different Azure service usage.
ACM has the ability to significantly scope down on these metrics, so although your management or finance teams may only need to access these views at a broad scope, your IT team would be able to delve deep into the cost of each specific service operation.
These views provide customisable charts and graphs which can be easily exported into PNG, Excel, and CSV files for reporting usage.
Using Azure Cost Management’s visibility features, you can identify specific high spots of infrastructure and platform service usage.
With these identified, accountability can be taken.
It is important that the teams responsible for the usage of services are aware of the cost breakdowns. The task to optimise can then be given to the teams which actually use the services, decentralising cost responsibility.
Through the use of Role Based Access Controls and Cost Allocation Rules, teams can see their respective spends, without having access to this information for others.
ACM’s budgeting feature allows you to dedicate budgets to specific services. You can designate individual recipients to be alerted when costs are nearing the set budget, holding stakeholders accountable for their cloud expenditure.
Alike to the view customisation features, budgets can be set for fully customisable scopes.
With services of high usage identified and the teams responsible held accountable, the optimisation process becomes much more manageable.
To avoid mistaken overspending through overlooked service usage hikes, the action groups feature allows you to set automated protocols, which kick in when specific levels of your budget are reached.
ACM also provides detailed usage forecasts which are predicted based on your previous and current usage.
Perhaps the most useful optimisation tool comes through ACM’s integration with Azure Advisor. This provides you with intuitive cost reduction recommendations based on your deployed Azure service configurations.
These recommendations are broken down into sections; Impact Level, Potential Savings, and Impacted Resource.
Once service usage has been optimised, it is important to restart the cycle and have a period of moderating, to identify further opportunities to optimise.
How We Can Help
Microsoft recently announced a 9% price increase that will take effect on April 1st 2023, making cost optimisation as crucial as ever.
Optimising Azure spending is only one piece of the puzzle. To learn more how to optimise other areas of Microsoft spend and what you can do about these upcoming price changes, check out our blog on mitigating Microsoft’s price increase.
As a Microsoft Gold Partner we at Vital are ideally placed, with our team of experienced and certified technicians, to help you:
- Understand your current Microsoft expenditure.
- Optimise your consumption.
- Secure the best Microsoft pricing.
- Maximise your investment’s value.
For a no obligation review of your Microsoft cloud infrastructure get in touch here.