This post is part of Azure Spring Clean 2022, five day community event, which will run from March 14 – March 18, 2022. I would like to give a shout-out to Joe Carlyle and Thomas Thornton for organizing the event and accepting my contribution.
As companies move to a multi-cloud environment, they need have a cloud financial management strategy to manage their cloud spend. FinOps is a framework with best practices, provide guidance to manage cloud cost.
The biggest challenge with cloud is that its consumption based so the more you consume, the higher the cost. Hence, having a cost management strategy is vital to making sure the cloud does not break the bank.
So what is Cost Management? Cost management is the continuous process of planning and controlling cost.
Microsoft Azure has a built-in service knows as Azure Cost Management and Billing and its a free service.
Role Based Access Control (RBAC) Roles
|Azure RBAC Role||Description||Example Personas|
|Cost Management Reader||Read access to all cost mgmt. features, but no changes allowed||Azure service owner, it dev ops, finance analyst|
|Cost Management Contributor||In addition cost management reader can create budget and alert creation||Azure service owner, finance manager, dept. or product owner|
|Billing Reader||Has read-only access to billing information in Azure portal||Finance manager|
|Contributor||Lets you view everything, but not make any changes|
|Owner||Lets you manage everything, including access to resources|
Depending on your cloud journey, there are many Azure tools that can be used, although they are not part of the Azure Cost Management and Billing service, to assist with cost.
- Azure Pricing Calculator – This tool is used to figure the cost of Azure Services such as virtual machine cost, storage cost such as blob storage etc. This is generally used to figure out the cost of an Azure Service.
- Azure Migrate – Azure Migrate which is an umbrella of tools is used to asses and evaluate the on-premises workload environment and provides an estimated cloud cost.
- Azure Advisor – The cost recommendation section of Azure Advisor recommends specific cost saving based on the environment.
- Azure Hybrid Benefit – You can use your on-premises Windows Server and SQL Server licenses in Azure which could be a huge cost saving.
- Azure Dev/Test pricing – This is a great way to test out Azure with discounted prices.
Ways to optimize Azure cost
Shutdown the unused resources – The challenge with this strategy is, it might be limited to the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Azure Services, such as virtual machines etc. since there is no way to shut down the Platform as a Services (PaaS) Azure Services.
Right-size resources – Right size the under-use resources and Azure Advisor will have specific recommendations based on the Azure environment.
Reserve Instances – You can save by committing one year or three years upfront plans for the qualify Azure Services such as Azure virtual machines, blog storage etc.
Azure Dev/Test pricing – Get Azure dev/test pricing for development environments.
Setup budgets – Set up budgets and allocate cost to teams and projects.
Cost Managing is one of the five disciplines of Cloud Adoption Framework (CAF).
Here are screenshots of Azure Cost Management.
Below are the two Azure Cost Management sessions I did for the community.