Cost management is an essential aspect for anyone who is running their workloads in the cloud. For anyone managing their infrastructure and workloads in Azure, Azure Cost Management is an essential and free service offered to Azure customers for providing the utilization and cost information on their workloads hosted on the Azure cloud.
It is designed to be used by Cloud Architects, Project Managers, Finance heads, App teams, and software developers for budgeting, RBAC, and to gain more visibility.
What is Azure Cost Management?
Azure Cost Management (ACM) is a cloud-native service offered by Azure to their customers, which you can use through the Azure Portal. This service lets you analyze the cloud service usage and expenditures and predicts future spending. It helps to visualize and forecast the Azure costs, find deviations, and cost optimization opportunities for the Azure services.
Top Features of Azure Cost Management
Once enabled, it continuously monitors your resources and activities on Azure and provides reports.
It provides the integration with Azure Advisor to get cost recommendations specific to your usage, for right-sizing your resources, and to identify idle resources.
To customize the cost and usage data, you can use the cost management REST APIs to create a specific view of your system usage.
It integrates with Microsoft Power BI to export your data and conduct a thorough analysis.
Get started with ACM
Log in to the Azure portal (portal.azure.com). Search for cost management and navigate to the management blade.
Azure Cost Analysis:
The cost analysis not only provides your past cost details and the forecasted costs for up to 12 months. This tool lets you accurately analyze expenses and allows you to group and filter across the resources.
Select the scope for which you want to see the cost data. You can select the root management group or an individual subscription as the scope. Apply filters as per your requirements (daily, monthly, yearly).
Use the group by the filter to get the usage reports on many parameters, such as group by department, location, resource, resource groups, etc. When you group by resource, you can get another valuable report of the expensive resources that allows you to analyze if they are required or can be optimized.
You can also schedule an export of the reports to a storage account using Exports under Settings. You can use the Power BI connector to get the Azure consumption insights into your Power BI dashboard.
This tool allows you to set up a budget for your Azure services and monitor the usage regularly to see if a budget has exceeded or is within the limit. You can also set an automated trigger for the budget and get a notification if the budget reaches a certain percentage of the limit.
Azure Advisor provides a personalized recommendation by analyzing your usage data to help you optimize your resources for better cost-effectiveness, reliability, performance, and security. It provides the specific actions to implement on your azure resources as the best practices.
Tips to optimize your Azure costs:
Choosing the compute service best suited for your workload
Using reserved computing resources for your constant workload
Avoid over-provisioning the resources; start with the minimum and increase the capacity based on the usage
Stop or delete the azure resources when they are not in use
Autoscaling your resources only when required based on the traffic
Keep track of the budget and spending across the teams or projects
Use the Cost management Service to get the reports on your actual spending and take specific actions for the optimizations
More interestingly, you can manage your AWS costs using Azure cost management if you have a multi-cloud infrastructure.
What is new in Azure Cost Management?
You can get the summarised totals in the cost analysis (Preview) based on resource groups, subscriptions, services, and reservations.
Combining the above tools should always help you control your budgets and keep track of their utilization. And it’s always a good strategy to implement the Azure best practices to host your workloads on the Azure cloud. The factors like services, resource type, user’s location, and billing zone are also matters for Azure cost. More interestingly, you can also manage your AWS costs using Azure cost management if you have a multi-cloud infrastructure. Here is reference documentation on Manage AWS costs and usage in Azure.
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