Azure Cost Management Overview

Azure Cost Management Overview

Welcome to this video which provides an Overview of Azure Cost Management – my name is Terry Clancy Azure Cost Management (ACM) is a native Azure service, designed to allow customers and partners to gain complete visibility and control of their Cloud spend across Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS). It is designed to be used by “Managers”, who are responsible for budgets and the bottom line, “Finance users” who are responsible for managing funds, creating budgets and enforcing compliance & governance, and “App teams” including the developers who actually use the services of Azure or AWS. ACM is designed so that each of three personas can use it in a continuous iterative process made up of three stages, the first being “Visibility” which means understanding where the charges are coming from, how they relate to your invoice, and, being able to slice and dice and drill down into that data. The second is “Accountability” which means making sure that the teams responsible for charges, are made accountable for them, and, that they stay within budget. The third stage is optimization which means further reducing cost by identifying wastage, and optimizing resources & VM sizes, or ,by taking advantage of Microsoft specific benefits such as Reserved Instances. This ensures cost accountability across teams, as well optimizing cloud resource usage to maximize cloud investment potential. It also allows you to implement better financial governance across cloud based assets and spend. Azure Cost Management helps you make sense of what can be a very complex expenditure. For example as you can see here Azure has a great many Infrastructure and Platform Services. Line of Business applications can use complex combinations of these. Azure Cost Management makes it much easier to group and categorize spend by your specific Applications, Cost Centers, and Environments, as well as anything else that is helpful for your organization. To separate out the costs for an application for example, there are multiple approaches. You always start by selecting a scope that encompasses all the resources you want to include, and you can filter on the built in dimensions like Resource Resource Group or Subscription to select the components used by your application, other components will then be excluded. Alternatively, you can apply custom tags to all the resources used by the application and then filter on them. Azure Cost Management supports Pay as you Go, Enterprise Agreement (EA), MSDN a range of Visual Studio offers, , Azure Government, and Microsoft Customer Agreements but over time will support all Azure Offers. For the currently supported Azure Offers please see /costmgmt /data . That page provides a lot of detail about the supported offers and the dates from which data is collected for each offer. For Azure Customers ACM is on by default with a data latency of 8 to 24 hours. For AWS, the service must be setup separately. To access Azure Cost Management, open the Azure Portal ( and select: Cost Management + Billing Then select Cost Management and Azure Cost Management This generally consits of Cost Analysis, Cost Alerts, Budgets, Advisor Recommendations Export, And Cloud Connectors Note that the Cloudyn link you can see there is simply a link to the legacy Cloudyn Portal at The Cloudyn service will be deprecated and eventually turned off sometime next year. Let’s look at Cost Management from a visiblity perspective. In this category the main features are Cost Analysis which provides analysis capabilities inside of the Azure Portal, and, Export if you want to export the data for analysis, or for other use, outside of Azure Cost Management itself. The Cost Analysis blade provides you with a quick visibility of your cloud costs with four pre-defined views that can be further customized. Note that the cost analysis is provided for the specific scope selected, so always use the “Scope Pill” at the top to ensure you are looking at the correct scope of interest , this is where you define what set of data you want to look at. Management and Finance for example will typically look at broader scopes, where as developers and App teams will typically have a narrower scope, drilling down right into subscriptions and often looking at specific management groups. The Chart by default displays the Accumulated spend from the first of the current Month. By default, this is the actual cost for both Azure and the Marketplace deployments, but amortized cost is also available as an option. The Amortized cost view, spreads Azure Reservation Costs, based on the discounted reservation consumption price, over the Reservation Term. Note that if there is a budget selected for this scope and you can see that in this case there are several, then it is seen here as a dashed red line. Under Budget spend is in bright green and over budget spend is in bright red. If the Forecast Chartview is on, then the transparent green and red represent forecast spend through to the end of the period. The three Pie Charts at the bottom show the cost totals of the current view split by the various dimensions or tags that are selected. These can be set to those that are most important to you. You can select from about 20 or so dimensions or from any of your custom tags. On the main chart, you can Group by any one of the approximately 20 dimensions or from any of the tags you have applied to your Azure resources. For example, here I am grouping by Resource Group Name Dimension. As I hover over the chart The pop-up shows a totals of each Dimension member for the day selected. You can filter by any dimension member by clicking on that member’s color in any of the Pie Charts below, for example, here or on that Dimensions member’s color in the main chart above for example here. I’ll just click on the dark blue and you can see, I have now added a filter for Resource Group name equals Cost Mangagement Demo. You can then remove that filter by clicking on the related X. The Add Filter Pill is more powerful in that it allows you to multiselect dimension members. For example, I’ll select resource group name and now I can select multiple members of the Resource Group Name Dimenstion. You can also select a Daily granularity, which shows Azure costs per day. You can select a Column view which in this case shows one column per day. In this view the budget is reduced to a daily budget, so it is easy to see spend v budget on a day by day basis. You can also select a Monthly granularity, which in this case is not very interesting because we are only looking at one month, so we can use the Time Pill to select a different time period, for example 6 months. Which makes this view a little more interesting. We can also select a granularity of “None” which removes time from the “X” axis and shows the cost for the selected time period (in this case the last 6 months combined) split by the Group By dimension. Whenever you define a useful view as defined by Date range selected, the Group By Dimension, Filters and other settings, you can save the view and create a library of these saved reports. Simply give it a name, mark it as private or not and hit save. These can later be retreived by using the View Selector. The Current view can also be exported as a PNG image or as an Excel or CSV file. You can also export this views data to a storage blob from here. The Share button gives you a shareable URL to this specific view, for those with permission to see it. All the data you can access through the Azure Cost Management Cost Analysis user interface. and more, is available through the Azure Cost & Consumption APIs and much of it is also available for Power BI users through the Azure Consumption Insights Power BI Connector, Power BI requires much more work but allows you to display the data in different ways and blend the data with other data sources. Now let’s look at Accountablity and Budgets To support stakeholder accountability for cloud spend, Azure Cost Management provides very granular capabilities to dissect costs so that each stakeholder can see their respective spends, but not others and not more than they need to. This is supported by Role Based Access controls, scopes, dimensions, tags and soon, cost allocation and markups, all of which will be discussed in more detail in other videos. Budgets can be used to track spend against budgeted funds and hold stakeholders accountable for their cloud spend. Budgets can be set for any scope. For example, you can see here we have multiple budgets set for the Trey Research R&D Playground subscription scope. If we look at this monthly budget for expample, we can see it set for $1,500. per month resetting monthly. If we then edit the budget, we can see that we furthur filter that scope. So for example, we can select any one of around 20 built in dimensions or by custom tags. And for each one of those, we can multi-select the dimension members to be included. We can do that on multiple dimensions. We’ll pick resource type again, we can multi-select the members of that dimension. Alerts can be set to be triggered when certain Budget thresholds are met. Each alert can be associated with an Action Group which gives enormous flexibility in defining actions to be taken when alerts are triggered. It would be easy for example to use Action Groups to kick off an Automation Runbook to move an application to a smaller VM if it goes overbudget by say 20%. In addition to the actual cost triggering budget alerts we also plan to add a feature where-by Forecast spend would also trigger budget alerts. This means that even early in the month you could get alerts if you are on track to exceed budget alert thresholds. Note also that at the bottom here, recipients can be defined to receive emails when any of the Budget alerts get triggered. Whenever any Cost Alerts are triggered, they are they are also listed on the Alerts page, so you always have a summarized view of all of the alerts. Azure Cost Management provides cost optimization recommendations by enhancing the Azure Advisor service’s cost recommendations. If we select advisor recommendations, 4 categories of recommendations are provided for the selected scope with each one representing multiple instances of recommendations in that Category. For example, if we drill into “Right-size or shutdown underutilized virtual machines” we see 25 instances of this recommendation. In each case we can view Usage Patterns to look at CPU Utilization as well as many other metrics for that VM. If we decide to accept the recommendation it presents a recommended SKU and there’s a selection so we can go ahead and resize it to that recommended size. Amazon Web Services or AWS spend can be included in Azure Cost Management. You can separate and view Azure, AWS and Marketplace charges when you group by “Publisher Type” as you can see here in the pop up box and in the bottom left Pi chart. The Cloud Connectors blade allows you to add AWS Linked Accounts which then appear in Azure Management Groups, potentially alongside Azure Subscriptions. As organizations move to the cloud, cost management is becoming more and more important. Azure Cost Management is designed to satisfy that need and ensure that Azure Customers derive optimal value from the cloud, and, are able to deliver on the value, reporting and governance that their stakeholders demand. Thanks for listening, here are some links you may find helpful and please see our other videos in the Azure Cost Management Channel on Your Tube, using the link on this page. All the best with Azure Cost Management.

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