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4 tips for Azure Cost Management | Arxus

Cost efficiency is the crux of every successful business. And managing your Azure expenses might definitely seem difficult at first glance. But it doesn’t have to be. Because with some simple tricks, you can learn to optimize your Azure consumption effectively. And we can teach you how to become an expert at it. Let’s dive into it together.

 

1. Establish clear governance guidelines

Before you can start managing and optimizing your Azure costs, it’s important to know where they’re coming from exactly. In our experience, it’s useful to establish concrete governance guidelines before implementing your Azure solutions. That way, you’re always informed about unexpected changes, which makes it easier to avoid any unwanted costs.

But where should you even begin? Just start by writing the procedure down. It doesn’t have to be an extensive, all-encompassing document. Make short, but clear agreements between you and your colleagues. And ask yourself:

 

Who will be monitoring the consumption costs?

What does your current Azure solution cost?

Is there room for optimization?

  • What system will be used?
  • Will it check both your actual AND forecasted costs?
  • Who needs to be informed when costs start escalating?
  • Is there a clear procedure in place?
  • What was the estimated cost of the architecture design before deployment?
  • How does it compare to the current costs?
  • And does your business still need this solution?
  • Are you using the flexible scaling capabilities of the public cloud?
  • Are your resources only running and available when necessary?
  • Is there a strategy in place to profit from commitment-based discounts?

 

Got the answers? Write them all down in your governance document. And make sure to regularly update it too. As your business grows and evolves, so do your guidelines. Also, frequently engaging with your consumption costs ensures a higher level of control. And helps keeping you informed about the ins and outs of your Azure Cloud environment.

 

2. Get a complete overview of your costs

Cost analysis tab

Microsoft has a whole range of useful tools that can help you get a better insight into your Azure consumption. And as an Expert Microsoft Partner, we’ll gladly assist you in this matter. Whether you’re operating within the CSP, MCA or EA framework for your cloud billing, the Azure native Cost Management service is the recommended tool to use. It not only gives you a clear overview of your current Azure costs, but also allows you to define budgets and alerts. And provides you with valuable insights on any cost anomalies.

Want to dive straight into the numbers? In the Cost Analysis tab you can quickly check your current Azure costs on different scoping levels. It is important to note, however, that you might not be able to view everything. That depends on your user permissions.

And if you’re an EA customer you can get an even more in-depth analysis of your Azure costs. With Microsoft’s Cost Management App you’ll be able to generate extensive Power BI cost reports. Despite their limited customizability, they can help you acquire extra insights in your costs. Also want to create your own filters, views and visualizations? Then you’ll want to check out the Cost Management connector in Power BI Desktop. This feature is also available for direct MCA customers.

 

3. Optimize your Azure resources and usage

We want you to get the most out of your Azure resources. And make sure you’re not paying too much. So, to help you manage your consumption as effectively as possible, we use both manual and automated tools, provided by Microsoft. Curious to find out how we go about it?

 

Automation

Automation

With the help of automation you can shut or scale your resources down when you’re not actively using them. Like during weekends or after business hours, for example.

Additionally, it allows you to perform repetitive tasks automatically, saving you a lot of time and effort.

 

Budgets & alertsBudgets & alerts

Setting up budgets and alerts is considered a best practice in cost management. They notify you, via email or through webhooks, when your actual or forecasted costs are reaching a predefined limit.

Unsure where to draw the line? The cost estimation in your governance guidelines can work as a threshold for your current costs. 

 

TaggingTagging

Providing logical and transparent tag names and values can have multiple benefits: Managing owners becomes easier. And defining business criticality gets a lot more practical (core applications: high / department applications: medium / archived applications: low). You can also group costs based on your own criteria, like Business Owner, Department, … And you get an overview of all tagged resources, making it easier to allocate your costs..

 

Waste-ManagementWaste management

Looking for a quick win? The easiest - and fastest - method to reduce your Azure costs is to delete your orphaned resources, like disks without an owner, for example. 

Not sure which resources can be removed? Just collect all the detached subscriptions or resources in a decommissioning environment. There you can easily target the ones you’re not using anymore.

 

Right sizingRight sizing

Using the right sized SKU for your Azure resource(s) can help save costs and/or deliver more performance to your Azure resource(s) depending on SKUs.

Right sizing can also reduce costs for overprovisioned resources

 

ReservationsReservations

Ready to commit to a one-year or three-year plan for your Azure resources? Then you might want to consider using reservations. That way, you could save up to 62%, depending on the SKU and commitment term. 

Or are you rather looking for commitment-based discounts that offer more flexibility? Azure Savings Plans are an ideal solution for dynamic workloads with variable usage criteria.

 

4. Ask for our Cloud Custodian advice

Need help understanding why your costs fluctuate? Or with analyzing your Azure consumption costs? With our Advise service you won’t have to worry about your cloud environment at all. We’ll take care of the entire optimization and management processes for you. And answer any questions you may have.

Ready to get the most out of Azure?
 

CONTACT US

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