The Ultimate Azure Cost Optimisation Guide

Ask any goal-driven business, and they’ll tell you that reducing costs while maximising output is their definitive success secret. Managing your business spendings while focusing on enhancing productivity results in positive cash flows due to high returns. And today, we focus on the tips and best practices for optimising your cloud costs. If your organisation recently migrated to Azure cloud infrastructure and you’re looking for ways to optimise the costs, this post is for you.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll look at some of Azure’s cost management tools before taking a deeper dive into the top practical tips and best practices for optimising your costs. So let’s get this show on the road, shall we?

Azure Cost Management Tools

With Azure cost management tools, your organisation can effortlessly reduce spendings by finding underutilised resources and eliminating wastes. Below are the top features available on the platform:

Azure Budgets

Budgets is a function within Azure Cost Management that lets you set either a cost-based or usage-based budget for your Azure services. The feature comes with an alert system that lets you know if you exceed or reach the amount you set on the alert condition of the budget.

Even better, you can leverage the feature to configure automatic triggers for more effective cloud management. For instance, you can set a defined budget threshold such that when it’s reached or exceeded, the service shuts down automatically. Likewise, you can switch your cloud infrastructure to different service tiers according to the set budget triggers.

Azure Pricing Calculator

Assessing different pricing combinations of Azure cloud services has never been easier with Azure Pricing Calculator. This tool comes in handy, especially when expanding your cloud-based workloads or deploying new ones from your on-premise environment.

When you open the Azure Pricing Calculator page, you’ll find an index of services that you can estimate on the top screen. And once you click your targeted Azure service, the Calculator will provide a host of simple instructions you should follow to simulate the costs and understand the pricing for your future Azure projects.

Azure Advisor

If you need help identifying opportunities for cost savings, Azure Advisor has got you covered. The function can help you point out and optimise the following:

  • Optimising database use by right-sizing PostgreSQL, MySQL, and MariaDB.
  • Providing recommendations for Application Gateway, Azure Cache, Data Factory, App Services, availability sets, etc.
  • Analysing your configurations to help you optimise your Azure reliability, resources, security, performance, cost, and operational excellence.
  • Removing unutilised network resources, such as public IPs, virtual network gateways, and ExpressRoute circuits.
  • Pointing out underutilised virtual machines, particularly with regards to CPU or network utilisation. From there, you can decide to either resize the VMs or shut them down completely.
  • Acquiring reserved instances (RIs) for VMs that have been running consistently for an extended period.
Top Tips and Best Practices for Optimising Your Azure Costs

Without practical tips and best practices, the Azure Cost Management features discussed above may not be enough for complete optimisation.

Here are some additional hacks you can implement to bolster your cost management:

Shut Down Unutilised Resources

Azure is an all-in-one platform for all your cloud needs, and it comes with plenty of resources, some of which you may have subscribed to unknowingly. So if you’re looking to save on costs, the first step should be to identify all dormant resources such as idle ExpressRoute circuits and Virtual Machines with the assistance of Azure Advisor and shut them down. But it doesn’t stop there; your organisation should form a habit of constantly monitoring the cloud infrastructure to tell the resources being used apart from the ones that you should decommission immediately.

Choose the Most Suitable Azure Compute Service

It is one thing to build and deploy cloud solutions with Azure. But optimising those solutions for maximal cost-saving benefits is an entirely different story. The secret is simple; when selecting your business-specific Azure compute services, you want to go for those that offer the best value for money.

Some of the most cost-efficient compute services to consider include:

  • Azure Database Services. These services come with such handy features as PostgreSQL, MySQL, and SQL Server. They’re particularly suitable for developers as they facilitate the creation of relational databases within a few clicks.
  • Virtual Machines. VMs offer scalability and flexibility in running cloud apps. Plus, they come in various configurations, prices, and sizes that you can customise according to your business-specific needs.
  • Azure Functions. You should go for this compute service if your organisation deals with event-driven scenarios like data transfers, user interactions, or analytics.
  • Batch Compute. If you deal with high-performance workflows or computing tasks, this service is for you. It can run large-scale parallel jobs that don’t require any user input.
Consider B-Series VMs

B-series virtual machines or burstable VMs are excellent for cutting cloud costs, thanks to their flexibility and value for money. Suppose you have workloads that typically require moderate or zero CPU utilisation but may occasionally experience peaks in use. In that case, burstable VMs are here to ensure that you don’t waste money since they subscribe to the “pay for what you use” pricing model. The B-series VMs can save you 15-55%, subject to your operating system.

Take Advantage of the Azure Hybrid Benefit

If your organisation has a mix of both cloud-based and in-house workloads, the Azure Hybrid Benefit provides significant cost-saving opportunities for you. Azure is five times cheaper than other providers like AWS as it offers its customers massive discounts when moving on-prem apps and services to the cloud. Plus, you’re given a chance to store your data in an environment that best fits your business-specific needs.

Enjoy Massive Discounts with Azure Reserved Instances

Azure Reserved VM Instances is a purchase plan that can massively reduce your cloud costs if you subscribe to a 1-year or 3-year term. For the 1-year reserve instance, you’ll need to make the entire year’s payment to enjoy a 40-45% discount. On the flip side, the 3-year plan attracts a mouthwatering discount of 60-65%.

Steadfast Solutions is your Go-To Microsoft Azure Consulting Partner!

There’s no denying that Microsoft Azure is an ingenious computer systems resource that helps businesses enhance productivity, security, data storage, energy efficiency, among other benefits. However, that doesn’t mean it should take a toll on your budget through expensive subscriptions and licenses. On the contrary, the platform should be a cost-savings enabler for your fundamental business technology needs.

At Steadfast Solutions, we pride ourselves on providing enterprise-grade Microsoft Azure support and services to organisations throughout Australia. We apply our overflowing experience, expertise, and professionalism to help our clients lower hosting costs and enjoy scalable configurations necessary for business growth.

So don’t get left behind. Get in touch with one of our experts today for unique insights on how you can leverage Azure to accomplish your business goals.