How to Reduce Azure Costs

If your organization develops and tests its products on Microsoft´s Azure cloud computing platform, discovering how to reduce Azure costs without having to reassign or limit your resources can help keep your projects on budget.

Being able to reduce Microsoft Azure costs by up to 60% can result in considerable savings if you run multiple virtual machines (VMs) or subscribe to one of Azure´s high performance options and – depending on the nature of your business – your savings could be much higher.

How to Reduce Microsoft Azure Costs

Microsoft Azure is a versatile and scalable cloud computing platform that can save organizations a lot of money compared to hosting their own infrastructure. However, there are opportunities to reduce Microsoft Azure costs further.

  • If you know how much capacity your organization will require over the next three years and you have a minimum of 500 users, you can enter into an Enterprise Agreement (EA) with Microsoft to reduce Azure costs by 15 percent to 45 percent.
  • Smaller organizations can reassign their resources to develop scheduling scripts that shut down non-production VMs when they are not required. Alternatively, developers can manually shut down non-production VMs from within the Azure Management Portal.

Neither of these “solutions” are ideal for most organizations. Although EAs have a flexible payment structure, your organization will be tied into a contract for three years. If your situation changes, Microsoft will allow you to pay extra and “Step Up” to a higher level of service. There is no option to “Step Down” and pay less.

Creating scheduling scripts takes up time from resources that could be used elsewhere, and – if you choose this option to shut down non-production VMs – you may have to pay for a reserved public IP address to avoid Microsoft reassigning your IP address to another client.

Finally the option to manually shut down unrequired VMs is not foolproof. Shutting down Microsoft Azure from within the VM (rather than from within the Management Portal) does not reduce Azure costs because the platform continues to reserve the compute resources for the VM.

Reduce Azure Costs with Management Software

A better option to reduce Microsoft Azure costs is with cloud computing management software. Cloud computing management software performs many functions, but primarily gives large organizations visibility over all their cloud computing accounts and allows them to create permission tiers.

One of the other functions of cloud computing management software is scheduling. Scheduling can be configured to stop non-production VMs running on Azure when they are not required. It is a function we refer to as “parking”.

Using management software to park a VM when it is not required is a lot cheaper and a lot easier than writing a scheduling script. Furthermore, if the VM is required for any purpose while it is parked, the schedule can be “snoozed” so that the VM is unparked and ready for use.

How Cloud Computing Management Software Works

To park non-production VMs with cloud computing management software, you connect to your Microsoft account from the management software. The UI displays your Microsoft Azure VMs and recommends which ones are suitable for parking based on the tags and names you have assigned them.

The UI then takes you to a grid displaying days of the week and times of the day. You simply click on the grid to highlight the days of the week and times of the day your non-production VMs are not required. Most development and testing VMs can be parked at nights and at weekends.

The UI will display the projected savings based on the pricing of each VM, and, as you continue to reduce Azure costs with the cloud computing management software, your projected savings become actualized.

How Much You Can Reduce Microsoft Azure Costs By

How much you can reduce Microsoft Azure costs by depends on the ratio of non-production VMs used by your organization. If you have an equal 50/50 split of production and non-production VMs – and you only need to run your non-production VMs for 40 hours each week – you would be able to reduce Microsoft Azure VM costs by almost 40%.

As well as reducing your costs, the implementation of cloud computing management software also delivers indirect benefits. For example, while the non-production VMs are parked, they are inaccessible unless the schedule is snoozed. This means there is no risk of the VMs being hacked and no need to scan them for viruses.

TIP: One option used by many organizations is to permanently park all non-production VMs and snooze the schedule whenever they are required. As Microsoft Azure is billed by the minute, this approach ensures that you will never pay for any unused capacity and will reduce Azure costs to the minimum.

Try ParkMyCloud Cloud Computing Management Software for Free

ParkMyCloud is a lightweight Software-as-a-Service app that enables organizations using Microsoft´s platform to reduce Azure costs. By scheduling on/off times with ParkMyCloud, organizations only pay for the computing power they use and reduce Azure costs by up to 60%.

Try It Now For 30 Days

We invite you to try ParkMyCloud free for thirty days and see how much you can reduce Microsoft Azure costs with our cloud computing management software. It costs nothing to set up, we do not require your credit card and whatever you reduce your Azure costs by – that is yours to keep.

To find out more about our invitation, do not hesitate to contact us. Our helpful team will explain more about the offer, help you set up your free account and explain the features of the ParkMyCloud UI. Within minutes you can start parking your unused non-production VMs and saving up to 60% on your Microsoft Azure costs.

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