If you are in Azure, you might have asked “Why are my Azure Costs so high?”  We’ve heard this too from our community and there can be many reasons for this, but often the basics are overlooked or misunderstood. In this post, we are sharing what we learned at Microsoft Ignite in 2019 that still applies today. These are the 5 Azure design decisions that will impact your costs.

Azure Glidepath

  1. Managed Disks

There are several variations depending on your need for speed and capacity. Truly understanding which workloads require what type of disk solution will save you money in the long run.

a.     Premium SSD Managed Disks – Premium SSD Managed Disks are high-performance, Solid State Drive (SSD) based Storage designed to support I/O intensive workloads with significantly high throughput and low latency. With Premium SSD Managed Disks, you can provision a persistent disk and configure its size and performance characteristics.

b.    Standard SSD Managed Disks – Standard SSD Managed Disks, a low-cost SSD offering, are optimized for test and entry-level production workloads, requiring consistent latency. Standard SSD Managed Disks can also be used for big data workloads that require high throughput.

c.     Standard HDD Managed Disks – Standard HDD Managed Disks use Hard Disk Drive (HDD) based Storage media. They are best suited for dev/test and other infrequent access workloads that are less sensitive to performance variability.

d.    Ultra Disk – Ultra Disk are next generation, high-performance Solid State Drive (SSD) with configurable performance attributes that provides the lowest latency and consistent high IOPS/throughput. Ultra Disk offers unprecedented and extremely scalable performance with sub-millisecond latency.

  1. Storage Tiers

Azure storage offers different access tiers, which allow you to store blob object data in the most cost-effective manner.

 – Optimized for storing data that is accessed frequently.

The hot access tier has higher storage costs than cool and archive tiers, but the lowest access costs. Example usage scenarios for the hot access tier include:

  • Data that’s in active use or expected to be accessed (read from and written to) frequently.
  • Data that’s staged for processing and eventual migration to the cool access tier.

Cool – Optimized for storing data that is infrequently accessed and stored for at least 30 days.

The cool access tier has lower storage costs and higher access costs compared to hot storage. This tier is intended for data that will remain in the cool tier for at least 30 days. Example usage scenarios for the cool access tier include:

  • Short-term backup and disaster recovery datasets.
  • Older media content not viewed frequently anymore but is expected to be available immediately when accessed.
  • Large data sets that need to be stored cost effectively while more data is being gathered for future processing. (For example, long-term storage of scientific data, raw telemetry data from a manufacturing facility)

Archive – Optimized for storing data that is rarely accessed and stored for at least 180 days with flexible latency requirements (on the order of hours). The archive access tier has the lowest storage cost. But it has higher data retrieval costs compared to the hot and cool tiers. Data in the archive tier can take several hours to retrieve. Data must remain in the archive tier for at least 180 days or be subject to an early deletion charge.

Example usage scenarios for the archive access tier include:

  • Long-term backup, secondary backup, and archival datasets
  • Original (raw) data that must be preserved, even after it has been processed into final usable form.
  • Compliance and archival data that needs to be stored for a long time and is hardly ever accessed.
  1. Replication

There are a few reasons why you should consider replicating your Azure workloads. The first being Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery, the other is having your processing power and storage closer to your end user customers.  Once again, depending on your application workload needs will determine the level of replication you buy, if needed at all.

Site Recovery service: Site Recovery helps ensure business continuity by keeping business apps and workloads running during outages. Site Recovery replicates workloads running on physical and virtual machines (VMs) from a primary site to a secondary location. When an outage occurs at your primary site, you fail over to secondary location, and access apps from there. After the primary location is running again, you can fail back to it.

  1. Azure Region

Azure costs are different per region. Why?  If you think about it, many expenses vary from location to location: land, construction, electric etc. Therefore, choose wisely on what region you want your Azure instances living in.

  1. Traffic Management

If you think that you can reduce your costs by sticking your Azure instance in the cheapest Azure Region, let’s say U.S. East, but if all your traffic is coming from the EU, your latency could prevent you from locating your Azure instance in the U.S. East.

Another area of consideration is Azure Reserved Instances. If you plan to keep your Azure instance consistent, then you must consider reserved instances. Significantly reduce costs—up to 72% compared to pay-as-you-go prices—with one-year or three-year terms on Windows and Linux virtual machines (VMs).

If you are asking yourself, “do I have to set these options up each and every time I deploy a VM, storage, etc. in my Azure instance?”, the answer is no!


Working with many clients, MessageOps has established Governance Azure Resource Management templates or GlidePath™ for Governance, where we work with you to establish all these cost management policies by workload. At the same time, we help you establish security and tagging policies so that you can scale your Azure environment in the most secure and cost-effective way.

Our GlidePath™ service for Governance adheres strictly to the best practices of the Azure Cloud Adoption Framework.  We offer four GlidePath™ offerings around Cloud Governance to fit your budget allowing you to protect, plan, forecast, and budget your Azure cloud expense in the most economical fashion.

Contact MessageOps to learn more at 877-788-1617 or email [email protected].

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