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Make my Cloud Cheaper!

In this blog I'm sharing my take on the popular cloud topic of 'Cost Optimisation', specifically the optimisation of money spent on services in Microsoft Azure. I feel like this is a timely article because in recent weeks I've seen a ton of "do more with less" type language floating around on LinkedIn.

Cloud cost optimisation is not really about making cloud cheaper...

Despite the title of this post, cost optimisation is not necessarily about making Azure as cheap as possible. Cost optimisation is about ensuring that the money being spent by an organisation is being used to maximum effect in an optimal way.

Technologies in the cloud are provided under a service model, designed to be consumed on-demand. Moving to the cloud from a book-keeping perspective is a shift from owning infrastructure to leasing solutions, or put another way, CAPEX to OPEX, with the exception of things like Enterprise Subscription commitments and Reserved Instances that you might choose to pay upfront.

On my travels I've collected some real-world examples of ways in which you can ensure that you're getting the most value for your cloud spending...

Tom's Top Ten

Common Opportunities to Optimise Cost.

  1. Where possible, move from IaaS to PaaS, why?, because the PaaS equivalent of whatever you're doing with infrastructure will offer a much better long term ROI. Sometimes the PaaS offering will cost less but more importantly, you're reducing the operational costs associated with a service or solution.

  2. Use monitoring and analytics to keep a close eye on your spending. This will enable you to gain a detailed understanding of where the money is going and then you can evaluate the cost/benefit of various services. Anomaly Detection is now available in Cost Analysis Insights, check it out via the link at the end of this blog.

  3. Review any IaaS VMs you have deployed that are idle, for example 80% of the time a bunch of your VM's aren't doing much, this is one of the most common areas for potential savings.

  4. Check how your virtual machines are licensed. A lot of customers are paying for VM SKUs that include the cost of the OS because Hybrid Benefit isn't correctly understood. You might be paying for VMs that include the cost of Windows Server licensing when you could be using your existing licensing (BYOL).

  5. Don't store infrequently accessed data on storage that's optimised for frequent access, make sure it's hosted on the most sensible storage for it's purpose.

  6. This one's kind of related to the previous point. If you have a lot of data in the cloud, create policies that align to how you classify access and retention of that data. Establish archival practices to archive data to archive storage.

  7. Configure the automation of scaling your provisioned resources to match demand.

  8. Pool your databases to share provisioned capacity.

  9. Limit who can provision and deploy which Azure resources and services. Create boundaries and restrictions that require approval and setup budgets with alerts.

  10. Don't provision the same capacities and capabilities for development and testing environments as your production environments.

Useful Related Links

Rightsize to maximize your cloud investment with Microsoft Azure | Azure Blog and Updates | Microsoft Azure

Save big by using your on-premises licenses on Azure | Azure Blog and Updates | Microsoft Azure

Azure Cost Management and Billing updates – February 2022 | Azure Blog and Updates | Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Cost Management 2022 year in review | Azure Blog and Updates | Microsoft Azure

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