At MessageOps, we recommend that you take full advantage of Microsoft’s Azure cost management capabilities. Many of these services are available for free when you set up your Azure account. Having financial governance around your Azure subscription is an absolute must for any organization that is considering or already is in the Azure cloud. In this post, we will review four (4) ways to manage, govern and control your Microsoft Azure expenses.

1. Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework

We recommend that your company review and adhere to the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework (CAF).  The Cloud Adoption Framework is a collection of documentation, implementation guidance, best practices, and tools that are proven guidance from Microsoft designed to accelerate your cloud adoption journey. This framework is intense, but lays out theory, tools, and actions.

From a cost management standpoint, Azure governance is an important component. If you are looking to use any of the following cost management strategies, then you should consider incorporating Azure governance into your strategy:

    • Chargeback/Showback expenses by application or internal department
    • Charge outside customers
    • Budget properly for Azure Services
    • Be cost efficient

Azure Glidepath™ for Governance provides a great jump start for properly launching and maintaining Azure cost and security governance solutions.

2. Azure Cost Anomaly Detection

Being surprised at the end of the month when you receive your Azure invoice is what no one wants.  Setting up a machine learning application that provides Azure monitoring or your unique Azure spending patterns will be very valuable. Inscape Anomaly is a complementary service that does just that.  Inscape Anomaly looks at your spending patterns at the Subscription, Resource Group, and Resource level. So, if there is a run-away query or a batch job that was scheduled to run every month for 6 hours and instead its running once a day for 6 hours, you would be alerted of this anomaly, why it happened and gives you the ability to remediate it quickly so your Azure invoice will not be a surprise.

Azure cost management using Inscape Anomaly

Get Azure cost anomaly alerts and future anomaly predictions with Inscape Anomaly, a Microsoft funded service. Try Inscape Anomaly today!

3. Microsoft Cost Analysis

Before you can properly control and optimize your Azure costs, you need to understand where costs originated within your organization. It’s also useful to know how much money your services cost, and in support of which environments and systems.  (Note: if your CAF is not set up properly with Tagging and Policies, these tools will be only as good as the foundation they sit on top of.)

Review the Microsoft Cost Analysis Quickstart to explore and analyze costs.

4. Azure Budgets

If you want to hold departments within your organization accountable to for their Azure consumption, Azure budgets is a must.

In this tutorial, you will learn how to:

  • Create a budget in the Azure portal
  • Create and edit budgets with PowerShell
  • Create a budget with an Azure Resource Manager template

You can set up alerts when you achieve a certain percentage of a budget so your team will know where they stand in their budget cycle. (In order for this to work well, proper Azure Management Hierarchy needs to be in place. This includes Subscriptions, Resource Grouping, and Resources with appropriate tagging and policy enforcement.)

Where to Start

Not sure where to start? The machine learning and alerting of cost anomalies is a recommended place to start. Inscape Anomaly only takes a few minutes to set up, and will protect and alert you of any cost anomalies so you can close them down quickly, without getting burned by a rouge program or mistake that was made that could cost you big bucks. Plus, your Azure Management Hierarchy doesn’t have to be set up for Inscape Anomaly to work.  The other tools are VERY important, but will take time to fully flush out and get adopted.

Looking for a Microsoft Azure partner?

No matter where you are on your Azure journey, MessageOps is ready to support you. For questions or more information, contact MessageOps at 877-788-1617 or submit a request form.

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