Controlling Your Azure Usage
It is a well-known fact today that cloud technology empowers your teams. IT teams have fewer hardware issues to be concerned about meaning they have more time to spend on other projects and optimization. Developers benefit from new tools to support their work decreasing infrastructure operational cost and increasing speed to deliver new features.
Migrating to the cloud: what about the cost?
The cost to run an application in the cloud is less than running the same on-premises. Hence it is logical why a lot of companies already moved to the cloud. Online articles report an exponential usage of the cloud and increasing investments in cloud technology. Investment is a positive way to hide the real concern behind this exponential usage: the cost is also growing fast. A frequently asked question I often get from our Belgian partners and customers is: How do you control this?
The technical way of controlling your cloud usage & costs
Microsoft Azure offers a variety of services and free tools to manage the flexibility of the platform, minimising risk and optimising costs so that companies can be successful with Azure deployments. These services and tools are called Azure Governance and Cost Management.
Once the investment has been approved, granted and all your applications are running in the cloud, you need to make sure that everyone gets their share of the budget. You can have a look at the usage in the meantime as Azure offers multiple tools to help you monitor consumption.
1) An overview of your current costs: Cost Management
The Cost Management tool is part of the Azure portal. This tool shows all different subscriptions and gives you an overview of the current costs. Besides, it also includes features like cost analysis to identify usage and budget details. Alert notifications will be sent to you when you are reaching the predefined budget. Based on your usage, this feature can create some recommendations to decrease the cost.
2) Defined policies: Azure Policy
An active way to reduce costs can be done by defining policies. In Azure, the resources you deploy are grouped logically into Resource Groups. These are containers in which you allocate resources based on your logic to group them. Policies are a set of definitions enforcing rules that you decided. Part of these policies can be auditing assignment, security rules and also resources restriction. The last one is interesting as it allows you to control what kind of resources your teams can deploy, as well as the size so that teammates don’t select an expensive option. A lot of policy definitions are already available, and you can create your own if needed. You can make sure your teams deploy only the resources being covered by the budget approved.
3) Mitigate the cost of your resources by best practices: Azure Advisor
Finally, the usage of best practices from Microsoft should help you to mitigate the cost of your resources. These best practices are listed in the Cost Management Advisor tool, but it is always better to apply it upfront. Giving your teammates a good understanding of Azure and the pricing is needed to leverage the cost. Some training and workshops may be needed to understand how Azure works, and to get the most technical and cost-effective results.
I cannot finish this article without mentioning the Azure Pricing calculator that is available publicly. This is a great starting point to estimate the price of a solution in the Microsoft Cloud.
Combining these tools grants you accurate monitoring and good control over the cost of your cloud. Get the most out of Azure by assigning the budget where your company will benefit the most. At Insight, we provide workshops that are designed to help companies manage their Azure tenant even better. Contact us for more information.
Want to know more about Azure Governance and Cost Management Advice? Watch the webinar