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Everything to Know About New Features in Azure Cost Management

Azure Cost Management and Billing tools have the potential to reduce your Azure spending by 20-34%.
But do you know how to get the most out of Microsoft's set of cloud cost management tools to maximize your savings? The unexpected increases in one bill could be enough to ruin your day or even add to the growing challenges of your business. On the other hand, there's no better way to set your business up for success than by implementing new ways to cut unnecessary costs and manage usage from a single location. There is no easier way to manage your cloud spending and optimize efficiency. Gain valuable insight into your spending and save more money on your next bill by getting familiar with Azure Cost Management.

Profit>Loss

What is Azure Cost Management?

Cloud migration has already been proven to be a worthwhile endeavor, most notably its potential for scalability and security. Azure has been Microsoft's cost-effective answer to many common complications and sophistries in the oft-weary world of cloud computing.

Transparency is the only way to gain insight into cloud spending and resource management gets very complicated as storage and virtualization grows. It is easy to miss cost-saving opportunities when you're just trying to stay on top of daily usage and then trying to keep an eye on monthly bills and annual charges with the next upgrade that you have to budget and plan for again! Both enterprise agreement and pay-as-you-go subscribers could be missing out on savings without proper management of their cloud usage and costs.

Regardless of which Azure subscription you have, you may be paying for features or storage that you aren't using or overpaying for minimal usage. There could be a month where charges accrue and surprise you with an unintended bill that will throw your IT budget out the window for the quarter. Azure Cost Management and Billing means that no surprises like this could ever happen to you again. From one single portal, you can put visibility into your spending and avoid unintended increases while you save and focus on building your business instead of maintaining some semblance of sanity.

Microsoft developed this full suite of cloud cost capabilities as tools to simplify the management of cloud spending and monitoring usage. Initial and subsequent development has been guided by feedback from users and it is offered to Azure subscribers at no additional cost. Azure Cost Management and Billing is turned on for all users by default, so getting started is easy after you have familiarized yourself with the tools.

Azure Cost Management

The Features You Need to Know

Last month, Microsoft announced major updates to Azure Cost Management and Billing that will optimize costs and make it even easier to manage spending, plan for future costs, and cut back on redundant resources. These new Azure features promise to improve the experience for users and pave the way for additional insight into your spending. For optimal Azure efficiency with the latest updates, here are some of the most important things to know:

Budgets

Log into your Azure account and navigate to "Cost Management" and then "Budgets" in the left-hand menu and click "Add." A budget is the first step in optimization.
Budgets can be allocated to specific teams, projects, and/or departments. This encourages accountability for teams and departments and may also relieve management of some oversight responsibilities.

Cost Alerts

After setting your budget, you can set up cost alerts to prevent accounts from exceeding any budgets that have been set for them. You can configure alert conditions from the same part of the menu. These prevent over-spending in the context of your business or separate projects, setting them based on either cost forecasts or actual budgets.
Alerts can also be set up to notify multiple members of your teams; increasing accountability amongst team members, leaders, and management. This adds to the transparency of spending and usage so no one can be caught off-guard when budgets are spent. Instead, a notification will allow you to jump in before you exceed your budget or even if you have some leftover for that Friday afternoon happy hour.

Cost Forecasts

This is a powerful feature since cost forecasts can help you anticipate your budget by analyzing current spending trends to create more accurate estimates for future spending. This forecasting means informed planning and thoughtful risk-taking in a world where suddenly everything makes sense.

Subscriptions Cost View

The subscriptions cost view is another valuable addition to Azure Cost Management in March. This feature lets you easily explore spending on subscriptions in one integrated view. The detailed view provides even further insight into cost data by filtering specific subscriptions down to the resources for reports or services rendered.

Azure Pricing Calculator

Whether you're a new or longtime Azure user, the Azure Pricing Calculator is an essential tool for transparency in planning for your cloud solutions, and one we always like to share. Play out any potential scenarios or growth strategies to get an estimated cost that you can use to inform decisions with your budget in mind. Azure dreams can come true, right?

Cost Analysis

The most important step in cost optimization is to fully understand how your budget is being spent with Cost Analysis. This can be found right above the "Cost Alerts" in the left-hand menu. Here, you will find detailed reports through visual representations of your budget, spending, and usage. This powerful reporting can also be easily exported from Azure to use widely in presentations or reviews to help you plan or analyze for the future of your business.

Real-Time Monitoring

Azure has real-time monitoring that is faster than many other competitors, with only an 8-hour latency. This means that within 8 hours, you can view all the insights and analyses of your spending and usage. Who says it can't be that easy?

Recommendations

When your spending and usage become more familiar to Azure Cost Management, it will begin to share recommendations to help you to continue to optimize your cloud costs. Save yourself time analyzing data to determine where you can cut costs and let Azure do it for you!

Start Saving Today

Now that you have an understanding of the best features of Azure Cost Management, all that's left to do is to start making the most of your Azure cloud! By dedicating some time to set up your budget, set up forecast or actual alerts, and exploring the many views and features I covered in this post on Azure Cost Management, you are taking a crucial step in creating an improved cloud strategy. These features will ultimately save you from unmitigated costs by making sound decisions on investments that will return value, time and time again.

Craving more Azure cost-optimization? Spend some time exploring the new learning opportunities that were released with the latest round-up of features.

The Next Step in Azure Cost Optimization

Microsoft is continually working to improve Azure Cost Management, as I mentioned before, they are always taking feedback from users into great consideration. Because of this, Azure Cost Management will only improve from here on out. There is no better way to keep up with updates and other exciting opportunities that may come than to subscribe to the CSW Newsletter.

If you're already in the cloud or interested in Azure, working with a Microsoft Gold-certified Partner is the only way to make the most of all the features on offer without doing all the legwork. As a Cloud Solutions Partner, we offer certified expert guidance and experience to make sure that you aren't wasting time or resources while optimizing costs as cloud solutions continue to evolve. Take your next step with a free cloud assessment from Chicago's coolest cloud managed services and support team!