cloud professional services

Jul 14, 2020 5:15:40 PM by Kirill Morozov

5 Best Practices to reduce your bills in Azure


Cloud cost-saving should be part of the implementation and management strategies from the get-go. Businesses that transition to the cloud is increasingly realizing that cloud computing and cost management must go hand-in-hand. The pay-as-you-go structure of cloud computing can work in your favor, but it could also be what causes costs jumping through the roof. CIOs and CTOs should lead the cost optimization discussion and champion cost-aware computing across teams.


When working with MS-Azure, there a more than a few must-have Best Practices you need to implement to Reduce Bills, and we’re happy to bring about the 5 most important ones:


1. Optimize resources

Cost discussions should be part and parcel of technical discussions and strategies. Adopting FinOps and CostOps models is one such approach to create a cost evangelist out of everyone, from the finance teams to the development and operation squads. Developers have a natural affinity for selecting large and powerful resources that sometimes go unused or underused. Having the cost optimization discussion early on can help to steer a cost-efficient awareness and resource utilization.

Right-sizing virtual machines is among the most effective initiatives in optimizing resource and cost efficiency on Azure. Most developers spin up VMs that are larger than what is needed. Over-provisioning a VM can lead to higher costs. Stay on top of costs, the schedule starts, and stop times for these VMS. Embrace a performance monitoring approach for the under or over-utilization of the resource to guide a cost reduction that doesn't compromise performance.

2. Terminate unused assets

There are tools for auto-scaling your resources, but this can only be as effective as the metrics used to employ in the scaling. Use the parameters reported by the application, including page response time and queue length. These metrics can reveal idle resources maintained but not being used.

One of the most significant cost drivers in Microsoft Azure is unattached disk storage. When you launch VMs, disk storage gets assigned to act as the local storage for the application. This disk storage remains active even after you terminate a VM, and Microsoft continues to charge for it. Regularly checking for and deleting unused assets in your infrastructure, such as disk storage, can significantly reduce your Azure bill.

3. Use reserved instances

Pricing optimization is one other critical consideration for reducing spend in Azure. The provider offers reserved instances for workloads that you are confident will be running for a long & consistent time period, such as websites and customer apps. If you identify and anticipate such apps and their usage in advance, you can save a great deal by reserving instances. Reserved instances are an indispensable tool for companies that want to stay on top of their cloud budgets.

You get to take advantage of the great discounts offered when you pay for capacity upfront. Depending on how long you make the reservation for, both Microsoft Enterprise Agreement and Azure Hybrid can enable you to save up to:

  • 72% on Linux VMs
  • 80% on Windows VMs
  • 65% on Cosmos DB databases
  • 55% on SQL Databases

The best thing is that you can get out of the agreement anytime, and Microsoft will reimburse you for any unused credit.

4. Move workloads to containers

Azure VMs is a popular computing option for performance efficiency, but the Azure Kubernetes is more cost-efficient. The containers are lighter and thus cheaper than the VMs. They have a low footprint and support fast operability.

AKS will enable you to combine several tasks into a small number of servers. You will get features such as wizard-based resource optimization, built-in monitoring, role-based access control, and one-click updates. Containers are quicker to deploy than VMs.

5. Right-size SQL database

Your Azure cost management strategy is not complete without looking at your PaaS assets. Many developers use the Azure SQL database to manage apps. It's essential to track the utilization of the SQL Databases and the workloads running on them. Azure pricing for SQL Databases follows a DTU model that encompasses memory, compute, and IO resources.

There are three tiers, including Basic for development and testing, Standard for multi-user apps, and Premium for high-performance multi-user apps. Choose a service tier that gives you the best cost efficiency without sacrificing performance.

To Conclude:

Organizations need the right plans and automation tools for reducing Azure cloud computing costs. These five best practices are the basic techniques to adopt on the path to cost maturity based on Microsoft's 3 part formula:

  • Measure
  • Snooze
  • and Resize.

For a scaled evaluation and optimization of the Azure environment, you might need to invest in an intelligent cloud management solution that can drill down costs and track resource utilization and performance.

At Cloudride, we help our clients to plan and execute a comprehensive and hands-on cost optimization strategy in the cloud environment. From migration to architecture design and container management, we pay a close eye on costs and security to achieve an agile infrastructure that delivers the most business value.


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