This blog was originally published at Cloud Management Insider.
You probably know Microsoft as the company behind Windows, but its Azure cloud business is paving the way to soon be a bigger revenue generator for them. This, in turn, opens up a need for embracing Azure cost management; especially for organizations that are not spending their money smartly.
Microsoft jumped into the cloud market with Azure and strongly building cloud services that can make the business scalable, efficient, and cost-effective. When the technology is new, and enterprises keep running towards adoption without prior planning then it can lead to huge cloud bills.
Cloud is said to be cost-effective but, you can save huge only if you put in efforts and implement best practices for cloud cost management. Hence, take responsibility, not just ownership.
This article helps you strategize for Azure cost management and avoid unnecessary expenses on your Cloud.
1. Resize your Virtual Machines
Virtual Machine offers numerous options to choose from, and this number is ascending every year. The pricing of VMs totally depends on the compute power and storage each VM offers. To Optimize VMs cost, you need to run VMs to their full capacity. Though the usage of VMs keeps fluctuating throughout the day, however, you can analyze your usage pattern by checking your Azure Monitor metrics.
The rightsizing of Virtual Machines has dual benefits of ensuring that you can use your VM to its fullest and cut the extra cost of billing by reducing the size of VM.
2. Pricing Option
Azure charges its resources differently based on how long you avail them. The price of the resources goes significantly down (at least 50%) if you subscribe to the service for a long time such as one year or three years. After selecting the required resource, it is important to select the right pricing option to reduce the overall cloud bill.
3. Transfer Workload to Containers
VMs are Azure’s most popular computing option, but not the only one. Containers are lighter than VMs and are less expensive due to their lower footprint and faster operability. This factor attracts a lot of organizations to move from VMs to containers.
Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) is a fully managed container hosting platform. AKS has features such as one-click updates, wizard-based resource management, Role-Based Access Controls (RBAC), Active Directory integration, built-in monitoring, and more. You can take advantage of combining multiple tasks to fewer servers. Virtual Machines take a lot of time to deploy in comparison to Containers.
4. Need to shift your workload to serverless
Due to the need for easier management of IT resources, serverless computing has also swept the computing world. Azure Functions is a serverless computing solution that allows you to run code as functions without the need to allocate or manage any server.
While using the Functions, developers only need to write software code as a collection of functions. The serverless vendor takes each of the functions and runs them in parallel “containers” that can easily be monitored and scaled.
Serverless computing is one of the success recipes for establishing Azure cost management practice. Since you only need to pay for the resources that you actually use, you can avoid the cost of renting and reserving Virtual Machines.
5. Must transfer your archive data to cold storage
Apart from computing, Azure storage is a widely used service for storing all the data of your applications. Blob Storage offers warm and cold storage options. Warm is designed for the data that is required frequently and cold is for data that is used rarely.
If you have a lot of data that you rarely use, then make sure that they are stored in cold storage. This is because it is cheaper in comparison to warm storage. However, the price to access the data of cold storage is very high. So, make your decision wisely.
6. Choose the right Cloud Management Platform for your Azure Cost Management
Once you have exhausted all the possibilities to save money on your cloud bills through your own efforts, it makes sense to go for a Cloud Management Platform. This will help you to review your Azure subscriptions and optimize costs via useful recommendations provided by the platform.
Evaluate a Cloud Management Platform (CMP) that can drive cost optimization by diving deep into all your subscriptions and provide intelligent recommendations for reducing app footprint, optimizing storage usage and its cost, getting rid of unused instances, and make the most out of cloud you are spending on.
Centilytics – an intelligent cloud management platform helps brings Azure cost management into practice. Its cost allocation piece allows you to drill down your cost to the associated with tagged and untagged resources.