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Azure Cost Management: How to Optimize Cloud Costs

Understanding your cloud billing and budget is key if you’re managing workloads in Microsoft Azure. After all, who wants to receive a bill almost twice as much as estimated at the end of the month? 

Azure cost management

Similar to the other major cloud service providers (AWS and Google Cloud Platform), Azure comes with multiple tools to manage cloud costs. These tools include budget setting, cost analysis, and a nifty pricing calculator, to name a few.

By using these tools, you can stay within your budget and gain better control of your finances. Better yet, you may uncover a few unnecessary expenses or other areas in which you can save on your cloud costs.

This article will discuss Azure cost management in detail, including the tools available and other ways you can gain greater control over your Azure and cloud finances.

Introduction to Azure cost management tools 

Multiple Azure cost management tools are available free of charge to users to manage cloud spending better. These tools include:

  1. Azure pricing calculator
  2. Cost analysis tool
  3. Budgets
  4. Azure cost management alerts
  5. Azure Advisor 

Keep reading to learn how each tool works and see how they provide a more granular view – allowing you to dissect your spending down to the dollar per second.

Related: How to Convince Your Dev Team that Cloud Cost Management Is Important?

Azure pricing calculator

The Azure pricing calculator allows you to estimate the cost of Azure services and resources such as compute, storage, databases, and managed services like Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS).

Simply select the products you’re interested in and fill out the necessary factors for each service/resource (estimated instances, region, number of virtual machines, etc.). You’ll find a quote f below, including both upfront and monthly costs.

For organizations that aren’t using Azure yet, the pricing calculator provides a coherent pricing estimates for your chosen package before starting a project.

However, if you’re already using Azure services and resources, you may want to try a few other tools to manage costs better – for example, the cost analysis tool.

Cost analysis tool

The cost analysis tool provides you with a detailed breakdown of your spending on the Azure cloud platform. It allows you to see where your money is going – grouped by resources, tags, and other features. This helps to gain a better understanding of costs – and you may even identify a few anomalies in the process. 

If your cloud bill is higher than expected, the Azure cost analysis tool should be your first point of contact. 

Budgets

Managing cloud costs can at times feel like walking on hot pebbles blindfolded. But setting a budget lets you align Azure spending with your requirements, ensuring you don’t spend a penny more than you intended.

To set a budget, open Scope and click the Budgets menu. You can then name your budget and determine the budget amount and time period – either monthly, quarterly, or annually. Be sure to give a name to your budget to keep track of it – the last thing you want is to muddy the waters, not knowing what budget was meant for which project.

A cool feature of Azure budgets is notifications. You can set up notifications when your spending reaches a given percentage of the total budget or when your resources exceed the budget (either entirely or at a given time of the month based on a percentage).

With a budget and alerts set up, you can be confident that you won’t exceed your spending limits. It’ll also help you keep track of your costs, seeing how much money you’re actually spending on given resources or other Azure services.

Azure cost management alerts

While there are budget alerts, Azure includes other cost management alerts that help to keep track of your spending.

For example, you can set alerts for credit and department spending quotas. Credit alerts are automatically set to notify you when you reach 90-100% of your balance, ensuring you don’t capsize your budget. 

On the other hand, department spending quotas can be set at a fixed threshold to alert the appropriate department heads (or other employees) when a set percentage of the threshold is met, allowing you to better optimize cloud costs and spending.

Azure Advisor 

Finally, we have Azure Advisor – a handy tool that analyzes resource use. It also suggests alternative solutions to help improve cloud performance, security, andcost-effectiveness. 

With custom recommendations, you will gain further valuable insights to understand better where your money is going. Having such clarity of your resource expenditure and knowing where you can save is the best path to optimizing costs going forward.

Multiple tools ideal for optimizing Azure cloud costs 

Azure cost management allows you to save money on your cloud bill without compromising efficiency.

With a helping hand from the free Azure cost management tools, you’ll be on your way to better understanding your costs, services, and associated resources for a better, more optimized approach to cloud usage.

To learn more, check out this article that goes deeper into the best practices for cloud cost management valid for any cloud provider: Cloud Spend Management: What Is It and Can It Really Help to Cut Your Bill?

FAQ

What is Azure cost management?

Azure cost management is a cluster of best industry practices for managing expenses within Microsoft Azure. There are numerous free tools to help you with your finances, including the Azure pricing calculator, cost management alerts, and custom budgets.

Is Azure cost management available for pay-as-you-go customers?

Yes! Pay-as-you-go customers can access Azure cost management tools to better understand their cloud spending.

How do you save money on Azure resources?

To save money on Azure cloud services, we suggest dissecting your cloud bill to see where you’re spending money and where you can save it. Use the tools listed in this article to get started.

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