Azure Cost Management licensed by Cloudyn, a Microsoft subsidiary, allows you to track cloud usage and expenditures for your Azure resources and other cloud providers including AWS and Google. Easy-to-understand dashboard reports help with cost allocation and showbacks/chargebacks as well. Cost Management helps optimize your cloud spending by identifying underutilized resources that you can then manage and adjust.
To watch an introductory video, see Introduction to Azure Cost Management.
Monitor usage and spending
Monitoring your usage and spending is critically important for cloud infrastructures because organizations pay for the resources they consume over time. When usage exceeds agreement thresholds, unexpected cost overages can quickly occur. A few important factors can make ad-hoc monitoring difficult. First, projecting costs based on average usage assumes that your consumption remains consistent over a given billing period. Second, when costs are near or exceed your budget, it’s important you get notifications proactively to adjust your spending. And, cloud service providers might not offer cost projection vs. thresholds or period to period comparison reports.
Reports help you monitor spending to analyze and track cloud usage, costs, and trends. Using Over Time reports, you can detect anomalies that differ from normal trends. Inefficiencies in your cloud deployment are visible in optimization reports. You can also notice inefficiencies in cost analysis reports.
Historical data can help manage costs when you analyze usage and costs over time to identify trends. Trends are then used to forecast future spending. Cost Management also includes useful projected cost reports.
Cost allocation manages costs by analyzing your costs based on your tagging policy. You can use tags on your custom accounts, resources, and entities to refine cost allocation. Category Manager organizes your tags to help provide additional governance. And, you use cost allocation for showback/chargeback to show resource utilization and associated costs to influence consumption behaviors or charge tenant customers.
Access control helps manage costs by ensuring that users and teams access only the cost management data that they needed. You use entity structure, user management, and scheduled reports with recipient lists to assign access.
Alerting helps manage costs by notifying you automatically when unusual spending or overspending occurs. Alerts can also notify other stakeholders automatically for spending anomalies and overspending risks. Various reports support alerts based on budget and cost thresholds. However, alerts are not currently supported for CSP partner accounts or subscriptions.
You can determine optimal VM usage and identify idle VMs or remove idle VMs and unattached disks with Cost Management. Using information in Sizing Optimization and Inefficiency reports, you can create a plan to down-size or remove idle VMs. However, optimization reports are not currently supported for CSP partner accounts or subscriptions.
If you provisioned AWS Reserved Instances, you can improve your reserved instances utilization with Optimization reports where you can view buying recommendations, modify unused reservations, and plan provisioning.
You should register your Azure (or other public cloud) subscription and start monitoring your Cloud spend. The Cloudyn management console is available at https://azure.cloudyn.com
Documentation is available at: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-gb/azure/cost-management/overview
Update – July 2021:
Microsoft wants to steer Cloudyn users toward using its Azure Cost Management and Billing solution instead. For this reason the Cloudyn service was ended on June 30th 2021. As per the Microsoft announcement on the matter “Microsoft acquired Cloudyn in July 2017 to bring a wealth of cost management experience and capabilities to the broader Azure community. Many organizations have known and loved the capabilities Cloudyn brought to the table and now that many of these have been (or are being) integrated into Azure Cost Management, Cloudyn will be retiring on June 30, 2021.“