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Full Microsoft Azure Cost Management Cloud Management Software Review – All You Need To Know About Microsoft Azure Cost Management

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microsoft azure cost management

What is Microsoft Azure Cost Management?

microsoft azure cost management

Microsoft Azure Cost Management is a licensed software by Cloudyn, a subsidiary of Microsoft which lets you track usage and expenditure on cloud for Azure resources as well as other cloud providers like Google and AWS.

It has easy to use and understand dashboard reports for cost allocation, chargebacks and showbacks. Cost Management assists in optimizaiton of cloud spend by identifying resources that are underutilized so you can adjust and manage them.

Optimization of cloud spend while maximizing the potential of your cloud helps you:

  • Manage cloud spend better
  • Get rich financial and operational insights
  • Enables cost chargebacks and allocation
  • Optimizes usage of cloud resources
  • Is available to customers of Azure and managed service providers

Benefits

Make the most of your cloud investment

With Microsoft Azure Cost Management, you can manage the spend for your cloud with accuracy and transparency. Cloudy, a subsidiary of Microsoft licenses Cost Management and helps you take advantage of the Azure software as well as different clouds by offering tools that help you allocate, monitor and ensure optimization of your costs so as to confidently speed up future investments.

Monitor and visualize cloud usage and costs

Microsoft Azure Cost Management lets you collect cloud billing data and usage via Azure APIs, Google Cloud’s Platform and AWS. This data gives full visibility of the consumption of resources and your costs all over the cloud platforms within a unified, single view. Your IT operations team and business users can also create custom dashboards from which they can view the data according to their requirements.

Gain rich operational and financial insights

With Microsoft Azure Cost Management, you can monitor cost trends and cloud consumption continuously and track the real cloud spend vis a vis you actual budget so as to keep from overspending. You can also detect usage inefficiencies and spending anomalies as well as use past data that will improve accuracy in forecasting for cloud expenditure and usage.

Improve organizational accountability

You can allocate the costs of cloud to business projects and units using Microsoft Azure Cost Management, and come up with clear chargeback and showback reports that drive accountability around the enterprise. You can also empower teams to manage cloud spending better by allowing access to the correct insights and data with RBAC. You can also set custom thresholds for budgets and alert stakeholders automatically when they’re about to overspend.

Optimize your cloud efficiency

Microsoft Azure Cost Management helps you optimize your asset use by allowing you to right-size your virtual machines correctly and also to eliminate resources that are idle. You can access benchmarks for your industry as well as best practices from a huge dataset of customers, understand usage and derive improvement recommendations.

Cost Management for managed service providers

For service providers who are managed, Microsoft Azure Cost Management lets you offer cloud optimization and cost management as value-add services to your customers while increasing profit margins with custom service tiers and pricing. Cost Management gives a guarantee of full segregation of data via application to multi-tenants and managed service providers get N-tier hierarchy visibility according to each customer.

Monitor usage and spending

You can monitor spending and usage because they’re crucial in that you pay for what you consume over time. If usage is above agreed thresholds, unexpected cost overages can happen. Reports also help you monitor your spending to track cloud usage and analyze costs as well as trends. OverTime reports lets you detect anomalies that are different from the usual trends. Cloud deployment inefficiencies are visible in the reports, as well as those in cost analysis reports.

Manage costs

Past data can assist you in cost management and identify trends over time as you analyze usage and costs. Trends help forecast future spending, and cost management also comes with projected cost reports. Cost allocation helps manage costs via cost analysis based on your company’s tagging policy. Tags can be used on custom accounts, entities, and resources to refine allocation of costs. Category manager also helps you get additional governance.

Access Control

With Access Control, you can manage costs by making sure users and your teams only access data they need. Entity structure, scheduled reports with recipient lists and user management can be used to assign access.

Alerting

With Alerting, you can manage costs by getting notifications automatically when unusual overspending and spending happens. They also notify other stakeholders on spending anomalies, and risks of overspending, automatically. It has reports with alerts based on cost thresholds and budget, but alerts don’t currently support CSP partner subscriptions and accounts.

Improve efficiency

Microsoft Azure Cost Management helps determine the optimal usage of VM and identifies VMs that are idle or removes them together with unattached disks. You can use information from Inefficiency reports and Sizing Optimization to create a downsizing plan or remove the idle VMs.

Features

microsoft azure cost management

Review usage and costs

Microsoft Azure Cost Management shows usage and costs to help in tracking trends, creating alerts, and detecting inefficiencies. Cost and usage data are displayed in reports and dashboards. Specifically, you need an Azure account and trial or subscription to do the following:

 

You can track the money spent on costs and usage using Over Time reports thus identifying the trends.

Detect usage inefficiencies

Through Microsoft Azure Cost Management’s Optimizer reports, you can optimize usage, improve efficiency and identify how to save money that was spent on cloud resources. It helps with sizing recommendations that are cost effective to reduce expensive or idle VMs. The resulting report, Cost Effective Sizing Recommendations report, identifies potential savings you can make annually through comparing instance VM capcity to past memory usage and CPU data.

Create alerts for unusual spending

Stakeholders can also be alerted automatically on spending anomalies and risks of overspending. Alerts are easily and quickly created from reports which support them and these can be based on cost and budget thresholds. Alerts can be created for any spending with the Cost Report tool.

Export data

In the same way alerts are created for reports, you can also export data from them, like from Cloudyn account lists to other user data.

Forecast future spending

Microsoft Azure Cost Management lets you forecast spending for the future from past spending and usage data. Cloudyn reports help you see cost projection data. In this way, you can do the following:

Manage costs by using Azure Cost Management

Costs can be managed and showback reports produced in Microsoft Azure Cost Management via cost allocation based on tags. This process assigns costs to cloud resources that have been consumed and are fully allocated once resources have category tags. After this you can give chargeback or showback to users with reports and dashboards. Many resources are however untagged or not able to be tagged when you start using Cost Management.

Use custom tags to allocate costs

Cloudyn uses group tag data for resources from Azure and propagates tag information automatically to them. You can also see cost by resource tags. You’ll first define the scope from a cost model which distributes change costs. Once created, segment data by cost entity, subscription, account or multiple tags. Tags also help perform chargeback or showback to the rest of the enterprise.

Category Manager

This is a tool that cleanses data by merging multiple category values and creating new ones. It is rule based and you get to select a category and create rules for merging values that exist.

Tag sources and reports

Tag data in reports on Cloudyn are from:

  • Cloud provider billing APIs
  • Cloud provider resources APIs
  • Manually-created tags from Category Manager – a data cleansing tool that creates new tags based on rules that are applied to existing tags, and Cloudyn entity tags – user-defined meta data applied to Cloudyn entities

If you want to see cloud provider tags in the cost reports, use Cost Allocation 360 to create custom cost allocation model.

Create showback and chargeback reports

This varies from one company to another, but you can use any reports or dashboards in Cloudyn to do either of the chargeback or showbacks. You can give user access to anyone in the company so they too can view the reports and dashboards on demand. Cost Analysis reports support showback and let users dig into usage and cost data specific to their group in the company.

Assign access to cost management data

Access to data on cost management is from entity or user management. Cloudyn’s user accounts also determine access to admin or entity functions. The access can be admin or user, and unless these are modified with each user, admin access gives unrestricted use of all Cloudyn portal functions to a user including recipient lists management, user management, and root entity access to all entity data. Entities reflect the hierarchical structure of your business, while identifying divisions, departments and teams in Cloudyn. It also helps you track spending based on entities. Once you register your account or agreement, an admin permissions account is created so you can:

Create a user with admin access

You may have admin access, but coworkers may also need it.

Create a user with user access

Users who need access should have user access to view cost management data like reports and dashboards.

Delete a user

When you do this, any entities such a user accesses remain untouched. Saved personal reports are deleted, but public ones created by them are not. You can’t remove yourself, and you can’t restore a deleted user.

Delete or export personal data

To do this, you need a support ticket which becomes a formal Data Subject Request, and Microsoft acts promptly to remove the account, deleting customer or personal data.

Create and manage entities

The best practice when defining cost entity hierarchy is identifying your company’s structure. Entities segment spending based on subscriptions or accounts. You can create cost entities and logical groups to track and manage spending.

Pricing

microsoft azure cost management

Below are the Cost Management features for managing the spend on Azure at no extra cost. It is licensed by Cloudyn, a subsidiary of Microsoft.

Standard Capabilities: $0

  • Categorization by Resource Tags
  • Cost & Usage Reporting
  • Cost & Usage Alerts
  • Recommendations
  • Cost & Usage Budgets Management

Premium Capabilities: Free up to June 2018

  • External Budgets Import
  • Chargeback Features
  • Recommendation Thresholds Customization

Cost Management for Google Cloud/AWS

Standard Capabilities: 1 percent on cloud spend annually

  • Cost & Usage Reporting
  • Cost & Usage Budgets Management
  • Categorization by Resource Tags
  • Recommendations
  • Cost & Usage Alerts

Premium Capabilities: 1 percent on cloud spend annually

  • Chargeback Features
  • Recommendation Thresholds Customization
  • External Budgets Import

Cost Management for other clouds

The features listed here are priced at 1 percent on the managed cloud spend for Google Cloud Platform and Amazon Web Services that took immediate effect. Azure Cost Management is available at no cost for all its customers and partners so as to manage their spend. Added premium capabilities were available for free up to June 2018 after which they became paid features.

Technical Details

Devices: Windows, Mac, Web-based

Languages: English

Pricing Model: Annual subscriptions

Customer Types: Large Enterprises; Medium Business

Deployment: Cloud-hosted

Integrations: Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and AWS

Support Details

Microsoft Azure Cost Management support is available in markets where it is offered. Specific services may not be covered in regions after the GA (General Availability).

  • Phone
  • Live support
  • Email
  • Tickets
  • Contact us form
  • Azure forums
  • Azure Service Health
  • @AzureSupport on Twitter
  • Support community
  • Documentation and guides
  • Azure Advisor
  • Support FAQ

Support resources include webinars, Knowledge center, whitepapers, videos, Events, code samples, templates, downloads, Azure updates, and Azure roadmap as well as case studies.

Support is available in nine languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Italian, Korean, Traditional Chinese and Japanese. It provides 24/7 support for all severities in English and in Japanese for severity A only. You can get support at local business hours, but outside business hours support is in English with translation service.

Business hours: North America – 6AM to 6PM, Pacific Time Mon-Fri excluding holidays. For most countries, business hours are from 9AM to 5PM on weekdays (weekends and holidays are excluded).