Microsoft recently added the option for account managers to create custom dashboards through the Azure portal, making it possible to create an individual Azure VM dashboard in order to monitor, manage and assess the performance of your VMs. However, the dashboards have some limitations.
Like the Azure administration portal, you can use a custom Azure VM dashboard to stop and start VMs. You can use the Azure Role-Based Access Control feature to create permission tiers for your developers, and – using the Configure feature – change the size of your VMs and the resources assigned to them.
What you cannot do with a custom Microsoft Azure VM dashboard is monitor your Azure spend or use any of the dashboard´s feature to automate on/off times for your non-production VMs. It feels as if Microsoft do not want you to know how much you are spending until your next bill comes in; and, when you have recovered from the shock after actually receiving your bill, they not provide you with the tools to do anything about it.
There´s No One-Size-Fits-All Solution
There are several third-party vendors that have developed software with an Azure VM dashboard built into their product but none of these are one-size-fits-all solutions. Some focus on VM management, some on integrations, and others on cost reduction – although you might not know it when you look at the cost of their subscription packages!
The best way to move forward with this conundrum is to prioritize the features you want in an Azure VM dashboard, and then find a third-party vendor with a product that matches your priorities. For many companies, the obvious gap in the custom Microsoft Azure VM dashboard is the inability to control Azure costs by automating on/off times for non-production VMs – a gap that can be filled by ParkMyCloud.
An Azure VM Dashboard with a Scheduling Feature
We prefer to think of ParkMyCloud as scheduling software with an “Azure-style” VM dashboard. Through ParkMyCloud´s single-view dashboard, account managers can create permission tiers, oversee VM activity, increase accountability and identify unused resources. More importantly, ParkMyCloud can save up to 65% on the cost of deploying non-production VMs on Microsoft´s cloud computing platform.
ParkMyCloud does this by identifying VMs suitable for “parking” and enabling developers to schedule on/off times for them. Via our versatile Azure VM dashboard, developers can choose which of the recommended VMs they want to park, select a pre-configured parking schedule or create one of their own, and assign the same schedule to all their non-production VMs or different schedules to each.
Quick, Easy and Effective VM Scheduling
ParkMyCloud is a simple SaaS application that takes just a few minutes to implement, with the process for scheduling non-production VMs taking just about as long to complete. Once set, the schedules can be adjusted as necessary or “snoozed” if access to the parked VMs is required “out of hours”. It is even possible to permanently park VMs and just snooze the schedule when access is required.
Once schedules are set, the Azure VM dashboard displays projected savings over the next thirty days and – once the schedules are operational – the actual savings figure is also displayed. These figures can be viewed and downloaded in report form by account managers to monitor accountability by teams and/or credentials, and to help with future capacity, budget and project planning.
How Much Can ParkMyCloud Save?
The amount by which ParkMyCloud can reduce Microsoft cloud computing costs depends on a number of factors. Some companies will have more non-production VMs suitable for parking than others, use different pricing tiers or deployment regions. Larger companies will also be benefitting from discounts due to existing software licenses or Microsoft Enterprise Agreements.
We feel it is safe to say that ParkMyCloud can save up to 65% of the cost of deploying non-production VMs on Microsoft Azure. We arrive at this figure by assuming most development, staging and testing VMs will not be required between 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. and during weekends. That amounts to 64.285% of the hours in a week, so “up to 65%”. Of course, if you use the “permanently parked” feature and snooze the schedule when you want access to your parked VMs, the savings could be much higher.
Try ParkMyCloud Free
If you have been looking for an Azure VM dashboard with a scheduling feature, why not try ParkMyCloud free for fourteen days? Our offer consists of a full-package service with customer and technical support to help optimize your Microsoft Azure costs. After fourteen days, you can continue to use ParkMyCloud free of charge with limited features, or upgrade to a premium feature-rich package. Typical payback for our most popular subscription package is less than two months.
There are no costs associated with our free trial offer, no contracts to sign nor credit cards required. In order to register for your free ParkMyCloud trial, simply click on any “Try it Now” button and enter your email address. If you have any questions about the features available on our Azure VM dashboard or about our free trial offer, you are welcome to contact us. Alternatively you can review our Cloud Management FAQs section via this link.