08-29-17 | Blog Post

Understanding and controlling your Microsoft Azure bill

Blog Posts

Azure bill confusionIn multiple studies, the top concerns for executives around the cloud are security, migration strategies (which apps are moving to the cloud and which aren’t), and cost management. In the public cloud such as Microsoft Azure, cost control is an especially desirable outcome.

According to Cloudamize, a cloud analytics company, 34 percent of the instances they analyzed had cost saving opportunities greater than 30 percent, and 76 percent of the analyzed instances weren’t provisioned optimally for their workloads. It appears that most organizations aren’t optimizing cloud costs like they think–most likely because they’re bringing their on-prem deployment models and management strategies to the cloud table, where they don’t quite fit in.

Unfortunately, cloud and on-premises models don’t work the same way. And there’s no place where you’ll see that more clearly than your bill. With the Microsoft’s pay-as-you-go model, depending on your environment and how you’re using it, you could be in for some big sticker shock. What are some ways to manage your Azure bill and keep it from getting out of control?

Well, perhaps obviously, optimizing your spend is a giant step towards managing your bill.  But it’s one thing to say you’ll fix your spend and another to actually do so. Here are three tips to get you started on your spend optimization journey.

  1. Server tagging: Server tagging is creating a name and a value for each VM you have in your cloud environment. Examples of server tagging include by geographic region, department, application, server role (web server, database) or environment (production, QA). Labeling your servers with values unique to your organization can help you keep better track of them.
  2. Cloud analytics: Using this tool can help determine who is using your resources, how, and when. Cloud analytics can look at the course of your environment over time and determine if a once-efficient solution no longer is so. Cloud analytics is also a great way to eliminate cloud sprawl.
  3. Billing alerts: If you use Microsoft Azure, you can set customized billing alerts to let you know when you are close to reaching a maximum spend or have exceeded it. Online Tech’s managed Azure cloud with SprawlGuard™ protection also offers similar alerts, but with the caveat of predicting your monthly spend based on usage and notifying you if you’re likely to exceed your spending threshold long before you reach it.

Managing public cloud spending is tough, but it doesn’t have to be. When you optimize your environment and keep a careful eye on your spend using server tagging, cloud analytics and billing alerts, you can see a dramatic cost savings. Finding the right service provider to help you architect your Azure environment properly is key to helping you control your public cloud bill as well. Besides billing alerts, get more than just spending and see actual predictions of whether you’ll exceed your monthly spend before your bill is due.

If you’re struggling to keep your Azure bill under control, we can help. Our managed cloud services with SprawlGuard™ protection are specifically designed to help you monitor and control your Azure spending. Visit www.sprawlguard.com for more information.

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