A Beginner’s Guide to Azure Cost Management

By Ridhwaan Unia | June 24, 2024

When thinking of ways to cut down on licensing expenses, Azure cost management is something you and your organization should utilize.

When it comes to Azure licensing, it’s not like the traditional per-user Microsoft subscription. You pay for what you use. That’s why finding ways to use less could uncover additional savings that you can then use elsewhere.

Here are some essential tips for streamlining Azure Cost Management:

1. Approve Your Azure Calculator Estimate Before Setting Up Azure Resources

The Microsoft Azure Pricing Calculator is a tool that can help you estimate the cost of your Azure resources based on configuring and selecting different Azure products and features. It will include detailed pricing information based on usage, region, and specifications.

Having a governance process of approving costs before provisioning can give you a framework of how you will use Azure products and can help you establish a budget target for what you want to pay for. This also ensures there are no surprises when it comes to your invoices.

2. Create Azure Budgets and Alerts

Budgets in Cost Management help plan and monitor organizational spending by driving organizational accountability. They help you mange costs and monitor how spending progresses over time.

Alerts notify you when spending, based on usage or cost, reaches or exceeds the defined budget condition. You can set them to notify you when you have used 50% of your budget as an initial warning and 80% as a second warning. This way you know when you are close to exceeding your limit.

3. Shut Down or Delete Resources Not in Use

Resources in Azure will be useful or not depending on the needs of your organization. Removing the ones you never use helps you avoid charges that can drive the cost of your Azure environment up. Periodically review your resources and determine if you can shut them down.

4. Scale Resources Down - If Required

If you find that you're over-provisioned on a resource, you can scale that resource down.

One of the biggest benefits of Azure is how easily scalable it is. This means if you find yourself in a scenario where, for example you have too much CPU, you can scale down or back up if you find that you need more CPU.

5. Azure Cost Management and Billing

You can access this feature in the Azure portal. It provides you with built-in dashboards you can use to dive into your cost analysis and sort them by resource and invoice details or by feature. You can create a daily cost view and have the system send you daily emails with automated reports on your usage.

You can then export that data to create a report you can review with your team.

6. Manage User Resource Permissions

Certain users within your Azure environment only need to access the resources pertinent to their role. Having permissions that are too broad can enable users to create resources and forget about them. This means you will have to pay for those resources as well. The principle of least privilege is a security-first principle. However, the downstream impact is better cost management.

7. Use Azure Advisor

Azure Advisor gives you cost recommendations to help you strategically optimize your Azure resources for several fields:

  • Reliability
  • Security
  • System operation and performance
  • Cost

8. Ask Your Licensing Partner for Advice

Teaming up with a licensing partner like Stoneridge Software gives you access to a team of experts who can help you utilize these Azure best practices and manage more complicated aspects of Azure cost management like Azure Hybrid Benefit or optimizing storage tiers.

Stoneridge can also help you manage your other Microsoft and third-party ISV licenses.

Reach Out Today to Discover More About Stoneridge’s Licensing Services

The Stoneridge licensing team is ready to help you optimize your license management, identify ways to save money, and offer proactive support. Get in touch with us today for more information.

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